Sponsor your relatives

You may be able to sponsor certain relatives to immigrate to Canada under the Family Class if you’re at least 18 years old and a:

  • Canadian citizen or
  • person registered in Canada as an Indian under the Canadian Indian Act or
  • permanent resident of Canada

If you sponsor a relative to come to Canada as a permanent resident, you must:

  • support your relative financially when they arrive
  • be able to meet basic needs for yourself and your relative, such as:
    • food
    • shelter
    • clothing
  • make sure your relative doesn’t need social assistance

Fees

Sponsor a child: from $150

Sponsor an adult (22 years or older): from $1,050

Sponsoring an eligible relative

You can sponsor certain relatives if you’re 18 years of age or older and a:

  • Canadian citizen or
  • person registered in Canada as an Indian under the Canadian Indian Act or
  • permanent resident of Canada

You must live in Canada to sponsor eligible relatives unless you:

  • are a Canadian citizen who lives abroad and
  • plan to return to Canada when your relatives immigrate and
  • are sponsoring your:
  • spouse or
  • common-law or conjugal partner or
  • dependent children who have no dependent children

If you live in Quebec, you must also meet Quebec’s conditions to be a sponsor after IRCC approve you as a sponsor. This includes signing an “undertaking” with the province. This is a contract that binds your sponsorship.

Your responsibilities

When you sponsor a relative to become a permanent resident of Canada, you must:

  • meet set income guidelines
  • agree in writing to give financial support to your relative and any other eligible relatives coming with them:
    • beginning on the date they become a permanent resident
    • for up to 20 years (depending on their age and how you’re related)

The person you sponsor must sign an agreement saying they will make the effort to support themselves. This includes sponsored dependent children 18 or older. Dependent children under 19 don’t have to sign this agreement.

Who isn’t eligible to sponsor a relative

You may not be able to sponsor a relative if you:

  • are in prison
  • have not paid your alimony or child support payments
  • have declared bankruptcy and haven’t been released from it yet
  • got social assistance for reasons other than being disabled
  • didn’t pay back an immigration loan, made late payments or missed payments
  • sponsored another relative in the past and didn’t meet the terms of the sponsorship agreement were convicted of a violent crime, any offence against a relative or any sexual offence, depending on details of the case, such as:
    • the type of offence
    • how long ago it was
    • whether a record suspension was issued (formerly called “pardons” in Canada)

Other things not on this list may stop you from being able to sponsor a relative.

You can only sponsor relatives like a brother, sister, aunt or uncle in very specific situations. If your family member doesn’t meet the criteria below, you can use our Come to Canada tool to find out which programs they may be eligible to apply for.

Depending on your situation, there are 2 options for who you can sponsor.

Orphaned brother, sister, nephew, niece or grandchild

You can sponsor an orphaned brother, sister, nephew, niece or grandchild only if they meet all of these conditions:

  • they’re related to you by blood or adoption
  • both their mother and father passed away
  • they’re under 18 years of age
  • they’re single (not married or in a common-law or conjugal relationship)

You can’t sponsor your brother, sister, nephew, niece or grandchild if:

  • one of their parents is still alive
  • no one knows where their parents are
  • their parents abandoned them
  • someone else other than their parents is taking care of them while one or both their parents are alive
  • their parent is in jail or otherwise detained

Other relative

You may sponsor one relative, related by blood or adoption, of any age, if you meet all of these conditions:

  • you (the person who wants to sponsor your relative) don’t have a living relative you could sponsor instead, such as a:
    • spouse
    • common-law partner
    • conjugal partner
    • son or daughter
    • parent
    • grandparent
    • orphaned brother or sister
    • orphaned nephew or niece
    • orphaned grandchild
  • you (the potential sponsor) don’t have any relatives (aunt or uncle or any of the relatives listed above), who is a:
    • Canadian citizen
    • permanent resident
    • registered Indian under the Indian Act

If the relative you want to sponsor has a spouse, partner, or dependent children who will come with them to Canada, you must include them on the same sponsorship application.

Examples of who you can sponsor

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

Example 1: Eligible to sponsor an aunt

Veronica doesn’t have a spouse or a common-law partner. She has no children, and lives in Canada as a permanent resident. Her parents and grandparents have all passed away and she doesn’t have any relatives in Canada who are Canadian citizens, permanent residents or registered Indians. Veronica would like to sponsor her aunt Betty, who she is very close with. Her aunt Betty is married and has a daughter.

Veronica meets the requirements to sponsor her aunt because she doesn’t have:

  • a close living relative she could sponsor instead (such as a spouse, partner, child, orphaned sibling, parent or grandparent) and
  • any other relative such as an aunt who is a citizen, permanent resident or registered Indian of Canada.

On the application, Betty will be designated as the principle applicant and her husband will be designated as a dependant.

Betty’s daughter can be included on the application only if she qualifies as a dependent child. If her daughter is older than the age limit or she doesn’t meet all the requirements, she can’t be added to Betty’s application and will have to immigrate to Canada on her own.

Example 2: Eligible to sponsor a cousin

Sam is an only child. His parents and grandparents have passed away. He was raised in the United States by his only cousin.  He immigrated to Canada as a permanent resident. He’s single (doesn’t have a spouse or a common-law partner). Sam doesn’t have any relatives in Canada who are Canadian citizens, permanent residents or registered Indians. Sam wants to sponsor his American cousin. His cousin is single (doesn’t have a spouse or a common-law partner).

Sam meets the requirements to sponsor his cousin to come to Canada because he doesn’t have:

  • a close living relative he could sponsor instead (such as a spouse, partner, child, sibling, parent or grandparent) and
  • any other relative who is a citizen, permanent resident or registered Indian of Canada.

Example 3: Not eligible to sponsor an aunt by marriage

Aba is a Canadian citizen. The only family she had in Canada was her mother, who passed away. Aba has always been close to her mother’s only brother and his wife. Aba’s uncle recently passed away, and Aba would like to sponsor his wife (her aunt by marriage) to come to Canada. Aba does not meet the requirements to sponsor her aunt, because they’re not related by blood.

Who you can’t sponsor

You can’t sponsor someone who is inadmissible to Canada. This means they’re not allowed to come to Canada.

There are two stages in the process for your eligible relatives to become permanent residents.

  1. You apply to sponsor your relatives.
  2. Your family members must apply for permanent residence.

You must send both your sponsorship application and the permanent residence application for your relatives at the same time.

To apply as a sponsor, you must be at least 18 years of age and a:

  • Canadian citizen or
  • person registered in Canada as an Indian under the Canadian Indian Act or
  • permanent resident of Canada

IRCC’ll process your application to sponsor and write you to tell you if IRCC approve your application.

How to apply

To apply to sponsor your eligible relatives you must:

1. Get the application package

The application package includes the:

  • instruction guide
  • forms you need to fill out
  • document checklist

When submitting applications:

  • you’ll have to provide proof of income
  • your relatives must state they will try to support themselves
  • you must agree in writing to support your relatives for a set amount of time (3 to 20 years)
  • include all your relative’s dependent children (if any) on your relative’s application
  • include all the documents listed in the document checklist
    • missing information or documents can delay your application

All information in your application must be true. You must tell the truth about:

  • your family members (include them all on your application)
  • your marital status
  • any change in your case

The people you sponsor must also tell us about each of their close family members. These family members must have a security and criminality check and a medical exam. If they don’t, the sponsored person won’t be able to sponsor them in the future.

Helping your relative with their application?

If you want to:

  • prepare your relative’s application for them
    • This would mean that you’d be acting as their representative.
  • check on their application status

You have to request permission and provide the right forms with your application.

2. Pay your application fees

In most cases, your fees will include:

  • processing fees for you, the people you’re sponsoring and their dependants
  • the right of permanent residence fee
  • the biometrics fee

Biometrics fee

In most cases, you must pay a biometrics fee when you submit your application. Otherwise you may experience delays. The biometrics fee covers the cost of collecting fingerprints and a digital photo.

After you pay the biometrics fee with a complete application, IRCC’ll send your family members a letter confirming that they need to give their biometrics and where they can go. Your family members must show this letter when they give their biometrics.

They must give their biometrics in person. They should book an appointment if this service is offered.

Third-party fees

Depending on your situation, you may need to pay third parties for:

  • medical exams
  • police certificates
    • You need to include police certificates when you apply.
    • You need a police certificate for the people being sponsored and each family member 18 or older (who isn’t already a Canadian citizen or permanent resident).
    • Police certificates are generally valid for 1 year from the date they’re issued.
      • Depending on processing time, IRCC may ask you for new certificates.

The instruction guide can help you understand which fees apply to you.

3. Submit your application