Sponsor your parents and grandparents

About the process

If you submit the interest to sponsor form and you’re invited to submit a complete application, you can sponsor your parents and grandparents to become permanent residents of Canada.

If you do, you must:

  • support them and their dependants financially
  • make sure they don’t need social assistance from the government

Who is eligible to sponsor a parent or grandparent

Find out if you meet the income requirements

Before you apply, find out how much money you need to sponsor your parents and grandparents. You’ll have to prove you have this income in your application.

You can sponsor your own parents and grandparents if:

  • you’re at least 18 years old
  • you live in Canada
  • you’re a Canadian citizen, a permanent resident of Canada, or a person registered in Canada as an Indian under the Canadian Indian Act
  • you have enough money to support the persons you want to sponsor
    • To show that you have enough, you’ll have to provide your proof of income.

If you live outside Quebec

To become a sponsor, you must promise to financially take care of the persons you are sponsoring for a period of time. IRCC call this promise an undertaking.

The undertaking commits you to:

  • providing financial support for your sponsored family members for 20 years, starting when they become permanent residents
  • repaying any provincial social assistance (money from the government) your sponsored family members get during that time

Also, you and your sponsored family members need to agree to certain responsibilities during the undertaking period. IRCC call this the sponsorship agreement.

The sponsorship agreement means that:

  • you’ll provide for the basic needs of your sponsored family members
  • the person you sponsor will make every effort to support themselves and their family members

When you apply, you’ll have to complete and sign a form that includes the undertaking and the sponsorship agreement.

If you live in Quebec

You must meet Quebec’s immigration sponsorship requirements after IRCC approve you as a sponsor. The Quebec ministry in charge of immigration will assess your income.

You must also sign an undertaking with the province of Quebec.

Who can’t sponsor a parent or grandparent

You can’t sponsor your parents and grandparents if:

  • you’re less than 18 years old
  • you won’t live in Canada when you apply to sponsor your parents and grandparents and/or when your parents and grandparents become permanent residents
    • Your primary residential address must be in Canada when you submit your application and until IRCC make a decision on your application.
  • you’re not a Canadian citizen, a permanent resident of Canada, or a person registered in Canada as an Indian under the Canadian Indian Act
  • you’re a temporary resident, that is you’re visiting, studying or working in Canada on a visa or permit
  • your permanent residence application is still in process
    • You must have permanent resident status at the time you submit your sponsorship application.
  • your proof of income shows you don’t have enough money to support the persons you want to sponsor

You may not be eligible to sponsor your parents and grandparents if you:

  • are in jail, prison, or penitentiary
  • didn’t pay back:
    • an immigration loan
    • a performance bond
    • court-ordered family support payments such as alimony or child support 
  • didn’t give the financial support you agreed to when you signed a sponsorship agreement to sponsor someone else in the past.
  • declared bankruptcy and are not discharged.
  • receive social assistance for a reason other than a disability
  • were convicted of a violent criminal offence, any offence against a relative or any sexual offence inside or outside Canada
  • can’t legally stay in Canada and must leave the country because you received a Removal Order

There may be other reasons that make you ineligible to sponsor your parents and grandparents. If IRCC determine you’re not eligible to sponsor, IRCC’ll tell you why.

You can sponsor your own parents and grandparents, related by blood or adoption.

In case of divorce or separation, you can sponsor your parents’ and your grandparents’ spouses, or conjugal or common-law partners.

In the application, you can only include your brothers and sisters, or half brothers and sisters, if they qualify as dependent children.

You may sponsor more than 1 person or couple if you meet the income requirements for all the people you want sponsor and their dependants (spouse, partner and children).

The people you sponsor must also be eligible

To show they meet the eligibility requirements, your parents and grandparents and their dependants must provide:

  • all required forms and documents with their application
  • any additional information IRCC request during processing, including:
    • medical exams
    • police certificates
    • biomerics

Examples of who you can sponsor

See the examples below to better understand who you can sponsor.

Example 1: Sponsoring your mother and father, together as a couple

You can sponsor your parents together as a couple. On the application, one of them (either your mother or your father) will be designated as the main applicant, called the principal applicant. The other will be designated as a dependant.

  • If you designate your mother as the principal applicant, your father will be the dependant.
  • If you designate your father as the principal applicant, your mother will be the dependant.

If you have brothers or sisters, you can include them in the application only if they qualify as dependent children. If they’re older than the age limit or they don’t meet all the requirements, they can’t be added to your parents’ application as dependent children. They’ll have to immigrate to Canada on their own.

Example 2: Sponsoring your father, your step mother and their son

You can sponsor your father, his spouse and their son (your half-brother). On the application, your father must be the main applicant, called the principal applicant, because he’s related to you. Your step mother can’t be the principal applicant. She’ll be listed as your father’s dependant. Your step-brother can be added as a dependant only if he qualifies as a dependent child.

Example 3: Sponsoring your grandparents, your mother and your step father

In this situation, you’ll have to submit 2 separate sponsorship applications: 1 per couple.

On your grandparents’ application, one of them (either your grandmother or your grandfather) will be designated as the main applicant, called the principal applicant. The other will be designated as a dependant.

  • If you designate your grandmother as the principal applicant, your grandfather will be the dependant.
  • If you designate your grandfather as the principal applicant, your grandmother will be the dependant.

On your mother’s application, your mother must be the principal applicant, because she’s related to you. Her partner can’t be the principal applicant. He’ll be listed as your mother’s dependant.

Who you can’t sponsor

You can’t sponsor:

  • your spouse’s parents and grandparents (your in-laws)
    • However, you can be a co-signer on your in-laws’ application.
  • someone who is inadmissible to Canada
    • This means they are not allowed to come to Canada.

When your sponsored family members arrive at the port of entry to Canada, they must show the border services officer their:

  • Confirmation of Permanent Residence
    • this is the document IRCC sent when IRCC approved their application
  • valid passport or travel document
  • permanent resident visa (if IRCC issued you one), which must be valid
  • Quebec Selection Certificate, if they’re going to live in Quebec
  • any other document IRCC issued to you and told you to bring with you

If your family members are already in Canada

They’ll have to meet an immigration officer to receive their permanent residence. IRCC call this a landing interview. IRCC’ll send them instructions about what documents to bring with them, and the time and place of their interview.

What happens at the border

The border officer will:

  • check that your permanent resident visa and Confirmation of Permanent Residence haven’t expired
  • ask your family members to confirm information that they gave in their application

Your sponsored family members must tell the officer of any funds they’re bringing into Canada, including:

  • cash
  • stocks
  • bonds
  • money orders
  • traveller’s cheques

Get more information on the documents your parents and grandparents need and the interview process when crossing the Canadian border.

If satisfied that they meet the requirements to enter Canada, the officer will:

  • allow them to enter Canada as a permanent residents
  • start the process to mail their permanent resident card to the address on their Confirmation of Permanent Residence
    • Make sure their Canadian address is correct.