Who are Eligible to Sponsor Spouse or Children in Canada

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Permanent residents and citizens of Canada are allowed to sponsor members of the family class. By sponsor it means that the immigrants, when they arrived in Canada will be under the responsibility of the sponsor, to care and support for in all ways possible to help them be self-sufficient enough to stand on their own feet.

The basic requirements for a sponsor are:

  • You must be 18 years of age or older,
  • A Canadian citizen, Registered Indian or permanent resident of Canada.
  • You must live in Canada or provide evidence, if you are a Canadian citizen living outside of Canada, that you will live in Canada once the person you are sponsoring becomes a permanent resident.

Once it has been established that you could sponsor,

  • You must sign an agreement with your spouse or common-law partner confirming that each of you understands your obligations and responsibilities and then
  • Sign an undertaking promising to provide for your spouse or common-law partner’s basic requirements and, if applicable, those of his or her dependent children.
  • You must also prove that you have sufficient income to provide basic requirements for the person/s you will sponsor. To do this, you must provide documents showing your financial resources for the past 12 months.

You may NOT sponsor

  • If you signed an undertaking for a previous spouse or common-law partner and three years have not elapsed since he or she became a permanent resident.
  • If you were previously sponsored as a spouse, common-law or conjugal partner and became a permanent resident of Canada less than 5 years ago.
  • If you receive social assistance for a reason other than disability.
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You may not also sponsor if you are in default of an undertaking, an immigration loan, a performance bond, or family support payments, this will be a default and you must first settle them before you will be allowed to sponsor. You will not be eligible to sponsor if you are in default of a previous undertaking. If you are in default and you submit an application to sponsor, it will be refused and the sponsorship fees that you have paid will not be refunded or applied to subsequent sponsorship applications.

You may not also sponsor if you were convicted of an

  • offence of a sexual nature,
  • a violent criminal offence,
  • an offence against a relative that results in bodily harm or an attempt or threat to commit any such offences—depending on circumstances such as the nature of the offence, how long ago it occurred and whether a pardon was issued.

You are also not allowed to sponsor if you are under a removal order, are detained in a penitentiary, jail, reformatory or prison.


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You are also not eligible to sponsor if you are in default of a previous undertaking or if you have already applied to sponsor your current spouse or common-law partner and a decision on your application has not yet been made.

If federal eligibility requirements are met, the Case Processing Centre in Mississauga (CPC-M) will send the sponsor a letter with instructions to download the kit from Minister of Citizenship and Immigration or with the Ministère de l’Immigration, de la Diversité et de l’Inclusion if you live in Québec to be completed and submitted to MIDI with a copy of the letter from CPC-M.

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