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Do you want to sponsor a family member from Nepal or elsewhere?

December 9, 2012

Determine your eligibility – Sponsor your spouse, partner or children

Effective October 25, 2012, sponsored spouses or partners must now live together in a legitimate relationship with their sponsor for two years from the day they receive permanent residence status in Canada.

If you are a spouse or partner being sponsored to come to Canada, this applies to you if:

  • You are being sponsored by a permanent resident or Canadian citizen
  • You have been in a relationship for two years or less with your sponsor
  • You have no children in common
  • Your application was received on or after October 25, 2012

Learn more about the new conditional permanent residence measure for spouses and partners.

Your spouse, common-law or conjugal partner, or dependent children may be eligible to immigrate to Canada as permanent residents.

An application for Family Class sponsorship can be made if your spouse, common-law or conjugal partner, or dependent children live inside or outside Canada.

The first step is for you to apply as the sponsor. Both you, as the sponsor, and your relative must meet certain requirements.

Applicants for permanent residence must go through medical, criminal and background screening. Applicants with a criminal record may not be allowed to enter Canada. People who pose a risk to Canada’s security are also not allowed to enter Canada. Applicants may have to provide a certificate from police authorities in their home country. The Sponsor’s Guide for Family Class explains medical, criminal and background checks.

Sponsoring a spouse, partner or dependent childYou can sponsor a spouse, common-law or conjugal partner, or dependent children if you are a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident of Canada. To be a sponsor, you must be 18 years of age or older.

You can apply as a sponsor if your spouse, common-law or conjugal partner, or accompanying dependent children live with you in Canada, even if they do not have legal status in Canada. However, all the other requirements must be met.

You can also apply as a sponsor if your spouse, common-law or conjugal partner, or dependent children live outside Canada, and if they meet all the requirements.

When you sponsor a spouse, common-law or conjugal partner, or dependent children to become permanent residents of Canada, you must promise to support them financially. Therefore, you have to meet certain income requirements. If you have previously sponsored relatives to come to Canada and they have later turned to the government for financial assistance, you may not be allowed to sponsor another person. Sponsorship is a big commitment, so you must take this obligation seriously.

To be a sponsor:

  • You and the sponsored relative must sign a sponsorship agreement that commits you to provide financial support for your relative, if necessary. This agreement also says the person becoming a permanent resident will make every effort to support her or himself.
  • You must provide financial support for a spouse, common-law or conjugal partner for three years from the date they become a permanent resident.
  • You must provide financial support for a dependent child for 10 years, or until the child turns 25, whichever comes first.

You may not be eligible to be a sponsor if you:

  • failed to provide financial support you agreed to when you signed a sponsorship agreement to sponsor another relative in the past
  • defaulted on a court-ordered support order, such as alimony or child support
  • receive government financial assistance for reasons other than a disability
  • 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 record suspension (formerly called “pardons” in Canada), was issued (SeeSponsorship Bar for Violent Crime below)
  • were previously sponsored as a spouse, common-law or conjugal partner and became a permanent resident of Canada less than 5 years ago (See Five-year Sponsorship Bar for persons who were sponsored to come to Canada as a spouse or partner below)
  • defaulted on an immigration loan—late or missed payments
  • are in prison or
  • have declared bankruptcy and have not been released from it yet.

Other factors not included in this list might also make you ineligible to sponsor a relative.

If you live in Quebec, you must also meet Quebec’s immigration sponsorship requirements, after Citizenship and Immigration Canada approves you as a sponsor.

Sponsorship Bar for Violent Crime

On November 17, 2011, new eligibility requirements for sponsors came into force. These new requirements prevent a person from sponsoring a member of the family class if they have been convicted of certain offences.

The following table gives examples of relationships which would prevent sponsors who have been convicted of an offence causing bodily harm from sponsoring.

Amended Provision Examples of Relationships
a. current or former family member of the sponsor;
  • the spouse or common-law partner of the sponsor and their children
  • the ex-spouse or common-law partner of the sponsor and their children
  • the children of the sponsor
b. a relative of the sponsor, as well as a current or former family member of that relative;
  • the parent/grandparent, child/grandchild, sibling, niece/nephew, aunt/uncle, cousin of the sponsor
  • the spouse or common-law partner and children of the parent/grandparent, child/grandchild, sibling, niece/nephew, aunt/uncle, cousin of the sponsor
  • the ex-spouse or ex-common-law partner (and their children) of the parent/grandparent, child/grandchild, sibling, niece/nephew, aunt/uncle, cousin of the sponsor
c. a relative of the family member of the sponsor, or a current or former family member of that relative;
  • the parent/grandparent, child/grandchild, sibling, niece/nephew, aunt/uncle, cousin of the sponsor’s spouse/common-law partner or children
  • the spouse or common-law partner and children of the parent/grandparent, child/grandchild, sibling, niece/nephew, aunt/uncle, cousin of the sponsor’s spouse/common-law partner or children
  • the ex-spouse or ex-common-law partner (and their children) of the parent/grandparent, child/grandchild, sibling, niece/nephew, aunt/uncle, cousin of the sponsor’s spouse/common-law partner or children
d. a current or former conjugal partner of the sponsor;
  • the conjugal partner of the sponsor
  • the ex-conjugal partner of the sponsor
e. a current or former family member of a family member or conjugal partner of the sponsor;
  • the spouse or common-law partner or children of the sponsor’s child
  • the ex-spouse or common-law partner and children of the sponsor’s spouse, partner or child
f. a relative of a conjugal partner of the sponsor, or a current or former family member of that relative;
  • the parent/grandparent, child/grandchild, sibling, niece/nephew, aunt/uncle, cousin of the sponsor’s conjugal partner
  • the spouse/common-law partner (and their children)of the, parent/grandparent, child/grandchild, sibling, niece/nephew, aunt/uncle, cousin of the sponsor’s conjugal partner
  • the ex-spouse/common-law partner (and their children) of the parent/grandparent, child/grandchild, sibling, niece/nephew, aunt/uncle, cousin of the sponsor’s conjugal partner
g. a child under the current or former care and control of the sponsor, their current or former family member or conjugal partner;
  • a foster child who is or was cared for by the sponsor, their spouse/partner, ex-spouse/partner or children
h. a child under the current or former care and control of a relative of the sponsor or a current or former family member or conjugal partner of that relative; or
  • a foster child who is or was cared for by the parent/grandparent, child/grandchild, sibling, aunt/uncle or cousin of the sponsor a foster child who is or was cared for by the spouse/partner or ex-spouse/partner (and their children) of the parent/grandparent, child/grandchild, sibling, aunt/uncle or cousin of the sponsor
i. someone the sponsor is dating or has dated, whether or not they have lived together, or a family member of that person.
  • current or ex-boyfriend/girlfriend, their spouse or common-law partner and their dependent children

Note: “partner” includes common-law and conjugal partners

Five-year Sponsorship Bar for persons who were sponsored to come to Canada as a spouse or partner

On March 2, 2012, changes to the eligibility requirements for sponsors came into force. These changes bar a previously-sponsored spouse or partner, from sponsoring a new spouse or partner within five years of becoming a permanent resident, even if the sponsor acquired citizenship during that period. Other members of the family class will not be affected by the regulatory changes.

Scenarios for previously sponsored spouses/partners
Date of Sponsorship Application Eligibility to sponsor
Sponsorship application received prior to March 2, 2012 Not subject to the 5-year sponsorship bar regardless of the date on which the sponsor became a permanent resident
Sponsorship application received on or following March 2, 2012 Subject to the 5-year sponsorship bar
Definitions
Relationships that are not eligible
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