Bringing Your Relatives to Canada | MyConsultant

Family Class

Bringing Your Relatives to Canada

Bringing Your Relatives to Canada

Here are a few things to consider if you want to sponsor your parent or grandparent to live in Canada as a permanent resident via family reunification programs.

For many new immigrants to Canada the idea of moving to a new country with no friends or family can be daunting. Luckily, Canadian permanent residents and Canadian citizens are allowed to sponsor their parents and grandparents in Canada as permanent residents under the family class.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada will be accepting 20,000 applications under the Family Class for parents and grandparents of Canadian citizens and permanent residents in 2019 and will also be discarding the current lottery system, in which potential sponsors are chosen completely at random. Under this system, those not chosen cannot sponsor their parents or grandparents and must submit an expression of interest for sponsorship again the following year. 

In 2019 the system will revert to a first come, first served basis, meaning that all permanent residents and citizens will be allowed to submit an application. The government will then process them in the order received until the yearly quota has been filled. Applications that are not included in the quota will be returned to the applicant and will not be processed. Current application fees are as follows:
  • $1,040 CAD per applicant, which includes the sponsorship fee, government fee, and right of permanent residency fee
  • $85.00 CAD per applicant for biometrics, if applicable

Permanent Residency

Once an immigrant arrives in Canada on an immigrant visa, they become a permanent resident of Canada, after which they need to meet certain criteria before they can apply to sponsor their parents or grandparents for permanent residency. These minimum criteria take a minimum of three years to achieve, as the sponsor needs to prove that they have met the low-income cut-off for their family size in each of the three years preceding the date they submitted their sponsorship application; this can be proven by their Notice of Assessment from the Canada Revenue Agency. Below are the minimum incomes required based on family size for 2015, 2016, and 2017. For anyone sponsoring a parent or grandparent in 2018, they would have had to have met the minimum income requirements listed below in each of the three years.  

If any of the following apply to the sponsor, then they may not be eligible to sponsor their parents or grandparents:
  • they are in prison;
  • they are in default of an immigration loan (late or missed payments);
  • they have declared bankruptcy and have not been released from it yet;
  • they received government financial assistance for reasons other than a disability;
  • they did not pay a court-ordered support order, such as alimony or child support;
  • they did not provide the financial support they agreed to on a previous sponsorship agreement;
  • they have been convicted of a violent criminal offence, or any offence against a relative or any sexual offence, depending on circumstances, such as:
o the nature of the offence;
o how long ago the offence occurred;
o whether a record suspension was issued to the sponsor.

While the sponsor is waiting to meet these criteria, Canada offers other visa options that allow parents and grandparents to stay in Canada with their family. 

Super Visa

While waiting, sponsors may still be able to sponsor their parents or grandparents for a super visa, which allows the parent or grandparent to remain in Canada for a maximum of two years without having to exit the country. The parent or grandparent can then also apply for a one year extension of their super visa from within Canada. A super visa does not authorize them to work or study in Canada, however.

In order to be eligible for a super visa, the parent or grandparent needs to prove that their child or grandchild is earning enough income to support them while in Canada. This amount varies from year to year and is based on the sponsor’s family size, including the parent(s)/grandparent(s) applying for the visa. 
Below are the current income requirements the sponsor must meet for a super visa, which are updated yearly:

Current application fees are as follows:
  • $100.00 CAD per applicant 
  • $85.00 CAD per applicant for biometrics, if applicable

While Canada continues to allow Canadian citizens and permanent residents to sponsor their parents and grandparents to come to Canada, those who do not yet meet the minimum requirements to do so can still be reunited with their family members via the super visa option. Should the sponsor not yet meet the minimum income required to sponsor their parent or grandparent for a super visa, their parent or grandparent can still apply for a visitor visa, which will allow them to spend up to six months in Canada. 

About the author

Deanne Acres-Lans [CICC ID: R508363]
Our Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant has over 12 years of experience in the Canadian immigration industry. She has also gone through the immigration process herself (to South Africa) and is able to relate to our clients on a personal level.
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