According to the department of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, individuals who are citizens or have permanent residence status in Canada can sponsor their family members to come to Canada and apply for permanent residence status too. As a sponsor, you are required to provide for the basic needs of the sponsored individual(s) during their stay in Canada. Unfortunately, not all Canadian citizens and permanent residents can sponsor family members to Canada. There are certain obligations and eligibility criteria for sponsors.
• You have to be a Canadian to be a Sponsor. That means you are either a Canadian citizen or registered as an Indian under the Canadian Indian Act. You can also be a sponsor if you are a permanent resident (although there are some conditions to this)
• You need to be above the age of 18 to sponsor any family members including parents and grandparents.
• You should be living in Canada at the time your sponsored family member will be in Canada. This is because as a sponsor you are obligated to provide for the basic needs of your family members including living quarters. Only Canadian citizens can be living abroad while sponsoring a spouse or child. Permanent residents must be physically resident in Canada in order to sponsor.
• You will need to provide proof that you earn enough money to provide for the basic needs of the person or people you want to sponsor. You may be required to provide your financial records if you intend to sponsor children below the age of 18 years or a spouse with a child.
• Finally, you need to sign an undertaking to promise that you will provide for your sponsored family member’s basic needs.
• Quebec has specific conditions to be a sponsor, which you should find out if you live there.
Some individuals have been denied as sponsors for failing to meet the eligibility criteria and for some specific conditions by Canadian immigration law. You might not be able to sponsor family members for some of the following reasons:
• If it has been less than three years since you signed an undertaking letter for another sponsored family member, you will not be able to submit a new application for another relative.
• Individuals who are on social assistance, besides disability assistance, are not eligible to be sponsors.
• You cannot be a sponsor if you did not pay back any social assistance received by the sponsored relative while the undertaking you signed was still in place.
• Anyone who is bankrupt, in default of immigration loan, performance bond, court order alimony or child support cannot be a sponsor. Bad credit habits give a poor picture of your ability to provide for the basic needs of your sponsored family.
• If you have been convicted of a violent or sexual offence you may not be able to apply for sponsorship for your family members. Also if you are currently incarcerated or under a removal order, you cannot be a sponsor.