Family Class

The intent of the family class immigration program is to reunite Canadian citizens and permanent residents with close members of the family class. By undertaking to support sponsored members of the family class, the sponsor promises that their family member will not be a burden on Canadian society for the duration of the undertaking.

Sponsor

A sponsor is a Canadian citizen, permanent resident (or Registered Indian) at least 18 years old, who resides in Canada and has filed an application to sponsor a member of the family class, a member of the spouse or common-law partner in Canada class or an applicant seeking permanent residence status in Canada under H&C grounds [R130(1)]. Sponsors must meet these requirements on the day the sponsorship is filed and from that day until the day a decision is made with respect to the application (to sponsor) [R133(1)]

Canadian Citizens residing abroad may sponsor their spouse, common-law partner, conjugal partner or dependent children without dependent children of their own provided they satisfy immigration officials that they will reside in Canada once their spouse, common-law or conjugal partner and dependent children become permanent residents in Canada

Have the minimum necessary income (LICO) required to support themselves and their family members, as well as all sponsored persons and their family members, including any already sponsored under undertakings still in effect

The financial test is needed to prove that sponsors can support sponsored persons for the period of the undertaking.

The sponsor’s income must meet the minimum necessary income requirement, as identified annually by Statistics Canada in LICO levels, to support all members of a sponsor’s own family and all sponsored persons and their family members, including family members listed as non- accompanying. The applicable LICO level is based on urban areas of 500,000 inhabitants or more, regardless of where the sponsor lives.

Sponsoring your same-sex partner as a spouse

You can apply to sponsor your same-sex partner as a spouse if:

  • you are a Canadian citizen and permanent resident and
  • you were married in Canada and issued a marriage certificate by a Canadian province or territory on or after the following dates:
  • British Columbia (on or after July 8, 2003)
  • Manitoba (on or after September 16, 2004)
  • New Brunswick (on or after July 4, 2005)
  • Newfoundland and Labrador (on or after December 21, 2004)
  • Nova Scotia (on or after September 24, 2004)
  • Ontario (on or after June 10, 2003)
  • Quebec (on or after March 19, 2004)
  • Saskatchewan (on or after November 5, 2004)
  • Yukon (on or after July 14, 2004)
  • all other provinces or territories (on or after July 20, 2005).

If you were married outside Canada, you may apply to sponsor your same-sex partner as a spouse as long as the marriage is legally recognized according to both the law of the place where the marriage occurred and under Canadian law.If you were married outside Canada, you may apply to sponsor your same-sex partner as a spouse as long as the marriage is legally recognized according to both the law of the place where the marriage occurred and under Canadian law.

Common-law partner

You are a common-law partner—either of the opposite sex or same sex—if:

You have been living together in a conjugal relationship for at least one year in a continuous 12-month period that was not interrupted. (You are allowed short absences for business travel or family reasons, however.)

Conjugal partner

This category is for partners—either of the opposite sex or same sex—in exceptional circumstances beyond their control that prevent them from qualifying as common-law partners or spouses by living together.

Dependent child (no matter which parent is supporting the child, and also including

children adopted overseas

A son or daughter is dependent when the child:

  • is under the age of 22 and does not have a spouse or common-law partner;
  • is over the age of 22 and depended substantially on the financial support of a parent since before the age of 22 because of a physical or mental condition.

Lock-in age of principal applicants or accompanying family members:

For dependent children, only the age is locked in, not dependency. If the applicant is

under the age of 22 at the time of “age lock-in,” then the fact that they surpass that

age by the time a decision is made on their application does not affect their eligibility.

Grandfather or grandmother

Father or mother Proof through birth certificate, etc. Otherwise DNA testing not uncommon.