Determine your eligibility – Sponsor your eligible relatives

Some relatives may be eligible to immigrate to Canada as permanent residents.

If you have relatives who want to immigrate to Canada under the Family Class, you must sponsor them. You and your relatives must meet certain requirements.

Your relatives must have medical, criminal and background checks. They may not be allowed to enter Canada if they have a criminal record or are a risk to Canada’s security. They may have to get a police certificate from police in their home country. The application kit explains medical, criminal and background checks.

Sponsoring an eligible relative

You can sponsor certain relatives if you are a citizen or permanent resident of Canada and if you are 18 or older.

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

  • sponsored another relative in the past and did not meet the terms of the sponsorship agreement,
  • are in default of alimony or child support payments,
  • got government financial help for reasons other than being disabled,
  • 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 and
    • whether a record suspension was issued
  • did not pay back an immigration loan, made late payments or missed payments,
  • are in prison, or
  • have declared bankruptcy and have not been released from it yet.

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

To be a sponsor you must:

  • meet set income guidelines, and
  • agree in writing to give financial support to your relative and any other eligible relatives coming with them for up to 10 years, depending on their age and how you are related. (This time period begins on the date they become a permanent resident.)

The person you sponsor must promise to try to support themselves. Dependent children under age 19 do not have to sign this agreement.

If you live in Quebec, you must also meet Quebec’s conditions to be a sponsor after Citizenship and Immigration Canada approves you as a sponsor. For instance, you must sign an “undertaking” with the province—a contract that binds the sponsorship.

If you are a Canadian citizen who lives abroad and you plan to return to Canada when your relatives immigrate, you may sponsor your spouse, common-law or conjugal partner, or dependent children who have no dependent children.

To sponsor any other eligible relatives, you must live in Canada.

Who you can sponsor

Depending on your circumstances, there are two options for who you can sponsor.

Option 1 – Orphaned close relatives

You can sponsor close relatives, related by blood or adoption, such as brothers, sisters, nephews, nieces, or grandchildren only if they meet all of the following conditions:

  • They are orphaned,
  • They are under 18, and
  • They do not have a spouse, common law partner, or conjugal partner.

Option 2 – Other relative

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

  • you do not have a spouse, common-law partner, or conjugal partner, or one of the following living relatives you could sponsor instead:
    • son or daughter,
    • parent,
    • grandparent,
    • brother or sister,
    • uncle, aunt,
    • nephew or niece.
  • you do not have any of the above-named relatives who is a:
    • Canadian citizen,
    • permanent resident, or
    • 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.

If your relative does not qualify for sponsorship they may still be able to come to Canada as a skilled immigrant through Express Entry. Express Entry manages applications for certain economic immigration programs and selects applicants for their skills, experience and ability to contribute to Canada’s economy. Express Entry candidates may be awarded points for having a family member living in Canada. More information is available on the Express Entry web page.

Find out if you are eligible

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