Canadian citizens and permanent residents can sponsor their foreign-born children to immigrate to Canada. Sponsored children will obtain Canadian permanent residence, allowing them to live in Canada indefinitely, go to school, access social services, and eventually transition to Canadian citizenship.
Basic Requirements to Sponsor
A child sponsorship application is a two-step process whereby the Canadian citizen or permanent resident applies to sponsor the child, then once this application is approved, the immigration authorities will process the child’s application for permanent residence. In order to be approved as a sponsor, the Canadian must meet the following requirements:
- be at least 18 years of age
- reside in Canada
- be willing to sign a 10-year undertaking to be financially responsible for the child once he or she arrives in Canada
Exception to the Requirement to Reside in Canada
The requirement for the sponsor to reside in Canada only fully applies to permanent residents. Canadian citizens may reside abroad while sponsoring a child provided that they can demonstrate their intention to return to Canada once permanent residence is granted to their child.
Minimum Income Requirement
There is no minimum income requirement to sponsor a child. However, the immigration authorities will assess whether they believe that the sponsor has sufficient income and/or assets to support the child once he or she arrives in Canada. In this regard, the inability of an immigrant to financially support him or herself once they arrive in Canada is a ground for refusal. It is therefore necessary for the sponsor to be able to show employment or assets sufficient to support themselves and their child.
Requirements to Qualify as a Dependent Child
A dependent child is a child under the age of 22 who is unmarried and not in a common-law relationship. The child may be either the biological or adopted child of the sponsor.
Child of a Canadian Citizen May Automatically Be a Citizen
It should be noted that not all foreign-born children necessarily need to be sponsored for permanent residence. Children born to a Canadian citizen parent outside Canada will automatically be considered Canadian citizens as long as their Canadian parent or parents were not themselves born abroad. In this regard, as of April 17, 2009, when the Citizenship Act
was amended, only the first generation born abroad will automatically be considered citizens. A child born to a Canadian outside of Canada must be registered as a citizen in order to be recognized as such. This requires an application to the citizenship authorities that can be done either inside or outside of Canada. Children who are adopted outside of Canada, or will be adopted once they arrive in Canada, can be sponsored for permanent residence, or in some cases can apply directly for Canadian citizenship. The adoption must conform to the legal requirements of both the birth country and of Canada. When processing such applications, the immigration authorities will assess whether they believe that the adoptive relationship is a genuine child-parent relationship, or whether the adoption it is simply intended to facilitate the immigration of the child to Canada, the latter being a ground for refusal. The immigration authorities will also assess whether they believe the adoption to be in the best interests of the foreign child. If they believe that the child’s interests would be better served by remaining in the home country, they may reject the sponsorship application on this basis. In all cases of adoption, the genuine and informed consent of the biological parents must be obtained. An orphan is a child whose parents are both deceased. Orphans under the age of 18 and who are unmarried can be sponsored by a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, provided that the orphan is the brother or sister, nephew or niece, or grandchild of the Canadian sponsor. Where a Canadian sponsor does not have any spouse, common-law partner, conjugal partner, child, parent, grandparent, sibling, uncle, aunt, nephew, or niece living in Canada, and no relative living abroad who may be sponsored under the regular categories, then they may sponsor any other relative regardless of their age.
Contact Us for Further Information
The Law Office of Matthew Jeffery has years of experience successfully representing sponsorship applicants and can assist you with your case. If you are interested in having our firm conduct a FREE ASSESSMENT to determine whether you and your relative are qualified for Family Sponsorship, please click here
. If you would like to email us to ask a question about sponsorship applications please click here