What is Family Class?

A Canadian citizen or permanent resident who is seeking to reunite with a member of their family, should explore the Family Class category within the sponsorship stream.

Who can be a sponsor?

You must meet the following requirements to be eligible to sponsor a member of the Family Class, a Spouse, Common-Law or Conjugal Partner:

  • Be a Canadian citizen, permanent resident or registered Indian
  • Be at least 18 years of age
  • File an application to sponsor a member of the Family Class or the Spouse or Common-Law Partner in Canada Class
  • Sign an undertaking promising to provide for the basic requirements of the sponsored person(s) (the duration of the undertaking depends on who you are sponsoring)
  • Sign an agreement with the sponsored person
  • Meet the Low-Income Cut-Off (LICO) for the past 12 months (there are exceptions and other requirements to this rule depending on who you are sponsoring)
  • Reside in Canada (there is an exception to this rule)
  • Not be subject to any sponsorship bars

Who can be sponsored?

A sponsor’s:

  • Parents
  • Grandparents
  • Sponsor's Spouse/Common-Law/Conjugal Partner
  • Dependent Child
  • Grandchildren
  • Adopted child
  • Nephew/Niece
  • (half) Sister/(half) Brother

Some of these family members can only be sponsored following circumstances.

The sponsor can also sponsor any relative regardless of age or relationship if the sponsor does not have any living relative in the list above who could be sponsored and no relative who is a Canadian citizen/PR/registered Indian. These members include:

  • Aunt
  • Uncle
  • Cousin

Is my spouse eligible?

For your spouse to be eligible to be sponsored by you, they must

  • Be legally married to you
  • Be at least 18 years old

If your spouse is currently living with you in Canada you can apply under the Spouse or Common-Law Partner in Canada Class.

Is my common-law eligible?

For your common-law partner to be eligible to be sponsored by you, they must:

  • Not be legally married to you
  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Have been living with you for at least 12 consecutive months in a ‘marriage-like’ relationship

If your common-law partner is currently living with you in Canada you can apply under the Spouse or Common-Law Partner in Canada Class.

Is my conjugal partner eligible?

For your conjugal partner to be eligible to be sponsored by you, they must:

  • Not be legally married to you or in a common-law relationship with you
  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Have been in a relationship with you for at least 1 year
  • Live outside Canada
  • Not be able to live with you in their country of residence or marry you because of significant legal and immigration reasons such as:
    • They are still married to someone else in a country where divorce isn’t possible
    • You are in a same-sex relationship, and same-sex relationships are not accepted, or same-sex marriage is illegal where they live
    • Your relationship is between different religious groups which is not accepted and they may be punished legally or socially

You’ll need to give proof that you could not live together or get married in your conjugal partner’s country (for example, proof of refused long-term stays in each other’s country)

Is my dependent child eligible?

For dependent children to be eligible to be sponsored by you, they must:

  • Be under 22 years old (this can be waived under specific circumstances)
  • Not have a spouse or common-law partner

Children 22 years old or older qualify as dependants if they meet both of these requirements:

  • They are unable to financially support themselves because of a mental or physical condition
  • They have depended on their parents for financial support since before the age of 22

How much money do I need?

Total number of people you’ll be responsible for202020192018
2 people$32,899$41,007$40,379
3 people$40,445$50,414$49,641
4 people$49,106$61,209$60,271
5 people$55,695$69,423$68,358
6 people$62,814$78,296$77,095
7 people$69,935$87,172$85,835
If more than 7 people, for each additional person, add:$7,121$8,876$8,740
Size of Family UnitMinimum necessary gross income
1 person (your child or grandchild)$25,921
2 persons$32,270
3 persons$39,672
4 persons$48,167
5 persons$54,630
6 persons$61,613
7 persons$68,598
More than 7 persons, for each additional person, add$6,985

How long is the undertaking?

How long am I financially responsible for the family member I am sponsoring from when they become permanent residents?

Person you sponsorLength of undertaking for all provinces except Quebe
Spouse, common-law partner or conjugal partner3 years
Dependent child (biological or  adopted) or child to be adopted in Canada under 22 years of age10 years, or until age 25, whichever comes first
Dependent child 22 years of age or older3 years
Parent or grandparent20 years
Other relative10 years

What is the application process?

Sponsoring a member of the Family Class is a two-stage process which is considered an ‘outside Canada class' where the application is processed outside of Canada.

Stage 1: Sponsorship Application

This process is initiated by the sponsor and involves an assessment of their eligibility to sponsor under the Family Class.

Stage 2: Permanent Residence Application

After an immigration officer determines both applications, from the principal applicant and the sponsor are complete, the applicant will receive a permanent resident visa as well as any accompanying family members.

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