Eligibility Requirements for Family Class Sponsorships
The immigration department has set specific eligibility requirements for both sponsors and sponsored persons under the family class sponsorship program. The requirements vary depending on the type of program you apply to.
Spouse of common law partner sponsorship programs
If you would like to sponsor a spouse or a common-law partner to enter Canada you must:
- Be 18 years or older
- Be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident
- Reside in Canada
- Not be in prison, bankrupt or under a removal order
- Not be convicted of certain criminal offences
- You must be at least 16 years of age
- You must not be related by blood to the sponsor
The relationship between the sponsored person and the sponsor must also be scrutinized and fall in any of the three categories below:
- A spouse: These are legally married couples. If married in Canada, they need a certificate of marriage to show that their union is valid. If married outside Canada, the marriage must be proven to be valid according to the law in the country in which it took place and also according to the federal laws of Canada.
- Common-law partner: A common-law relationship exists if the sponsored and sponsor have cohabited for not less than one year.
- Conjugal partner: If a relationship exists but it cannot be classified as a common-law partner then it could be considered a conjugal partnership. Conjugal partners are couples who have had a mutually dependent relationship for at least one year and can demonstrate the same commitment level as married couples or a common-law union.
Grandparent and parent family sponsorships
In order to qualify as a sponsor under the parent and grandparent sponsorship program you must sign an undertaking that you will provide financial support to the relative for a designated period. The sponsor should be able to fulfill the minimum income requirements of this program. Sponsored persons must be the parent or grandparent of the sponsor.
Dependent child family sponsorship program
In order to sponsor a dependent child, you must be 18 years and over, a Canadian citizen or permanent resident and not possess any of the factors such as facing a removal order or criminal conviction, that would disqualify you as a sponsor.
The sponsored person needs to meet certain minimum requirements to be considered as a dependent child. For instance, the maximum age of dependent children who qualify to be sponsored was recently adjusted to under 22 years. This means that anyone who is 21 years and below can be sponsored by a Canadian citizen or permanent resident to live in Canada. The sponsored person must either be a biological child or an adopted child of the sponsor.