One of the most crucial immigration objectives of Canada is the reunification of families; making the Canadian Family Sponsorship program one of the more popular immigration streams.
Typically, family sponsorship is limited to a Canadian citizens or permanent residents spouse, common-law partner, dependent child, parents and grandparents. A family member of a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada can be sponsored on the basis of their relationship. A citizen can be outside of Canada when sponsoring a spouse, common-law partner or dependent child. On the other hand, Canadian permanent residents must be in Canada to sponsor their family members.
***Update — On January 04, 2016 at 8:00 a.m. EST, CIC will begin accepting applications to sponsor parent and grandparents. There will be cap to the number of application accepted, so we highly suggest completing the applications prior to this date.
Other Eligible Relatives for Sponsorship
There are occasions where other family members can be sponsored. They are known as eligible relatives of a Canadian citizen or Canadian permanent resident.
- a sibling, nephew, niece, or grandchild who is orphaned, under 18 years of age and not married or in a common-law relationship;
- another relative (only one) of any age or relationship, but only if you do not have a family member who could be sponsored as a member of the family class, and you do not have any relative who is a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident or registered as an Indian under the Indian Act.
- an accompanying relative of the above (for example, spouse, partner and dependent children).
The permanent resident or Canadian citizen promises to financially support the sponsored family member and those accompanying this relative.
Super Visa — a visitor’s visa for parents and grandparents
Parents and grandparents can now apply through the Super Visa program instead of the Family Sponsorship. This allows them to visit relatives in Canada for up to two years without renewing their status. It takes around one month to process a Super Visa application. The Super Visa, unlike Family Sponsorship, does not give the holder permanent-resident status. It is expected that parents and grandparents of Canadian citizens or Canadian permanent residents will be able to apply under the Family Sponsorship in late 2013.
The parent or grandparent wishing to apply for the Super Visa must:
- Be the parent or grandparent of a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident of Canada;
- Be admissible to Canada;
- Be a genuine visitor to Canada who will leave by choice at the end of the visit;
- Have an invitation from a Canadian host;
- Provide a letter from the sponsor, who promises to provide financial support;
- Prove that he has bought Canadian medical insurance coverage for at least one year;
- Complete an immigration medical examination.
Depending on which country the parent or grandparent is from, a temporary resident visa may also be required.