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Although not a legal requirement, a close relative in Canada may support your application by submitting a sponsorship. Sponsors must be Canadian citizens or permanent residents, aged 18 or over, living in Canada.

If you are a person described in the Family Class below and your application is based on family reunification, having a sponsor may be a major factor in the approval or refusal of your case. However, a sponsorship is only one factor in making a decision on whether or not there are sufficient humanitarian or compassionate reasons to process your application from within Canada. The Family Class includes:

• the sponsor’s father, mother, grandfather or grandmother;

• the sponsor’s brother, sister, nephew, niece, grandson or granddaughter, who is an orphan, under age 22 and who does not have a spouse or common-law partner;

• any child under 22 who the sponsor intends to adopt and who is orphaned or abandoned and whose parents cannot be identified or a child who has been placed with a child welfare authority for adoption; or

• any other relative of the sponsor if the sponsor does not have a spouse or common-law partner, son, daughter, mother, father, brother, sister, grandparent, aunt, uncle, niece or nephew who is a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, and no other family class relatives whom he or she could sponsor.

• the sponsor’s dependent children, including adopted children. Dependent children must meet the criteria in the chart below.

Dependent children

You must include all dependent children from your current and previous relationships, whether they are in Canada or not, in this application. To be considered dependent, the child must meet the criteria listed in column D and any one of columns A, B or C below.

Be under the age of 22 and not a spouse or common-law partner Depend substantially on the financial support of a parent and been continuously enrolled and in attendance as full-time students in a government-accredited post secondary institution since before the age of 22 (or since becoming a spouse or a common-law partner, if this happened before the age of 22) Depend substantially on the financial support of a parents since before the age of 22 and unable to provide for themselves due to a medical condition. Meet the definition of "dependent children" both at the time the application is made and at the time the visa is issued. However, children in column A can be older than 22 when the visa is issued, as long as they were under 22 at the time of application.

Note: Child custody disputes must be resolved before you submit your application

Your sponsor’s financial responsibilities

Your sponsor must sign a contract, called an undertaking, promising to provide financial support for you and your family members’ basic requirements, if you are unable to do so. Basic requirements are food, clothing, shelter and goods and services required for the activities of everyday life. Dental care, eye care and other health care not covered by public health services are also included.

The undertaking ensures that you and your family members will not need to apply for social assistance or welfare. Your sponsor must prove that he or she has enough income to fulfil the sponsorship obligation. It starts on the day you become a permanent resident and is valid for:

• Three years (period varies in Quebec) if you are being sponsored by your spouse or common-law partner

• Three years for dependent children over age 22

• Ten years for dependent children under 22, or until the child reaches 25 years of age, whichever comes first

• Ten years for all other cases

How does my relative become a sponsor?

If you have a relative who wants to sponsor you, he or she must complete a sponsorship application. The sponsorship application must be submitted with your application for permanent residence. Before ordering a sponsorship application guide, your sponsor must read Appendix D.

Appendix D:

To sponsor relatives who want to stay in Canada permanently on humanitarian and compassionate grounds:

• your relatives must be members of the Family Class;

• you must be 18 years of age or older and a Canadian citizen or permanent resident who is currently living in Canada;

• you must sign a contract promising to provide financial support for your relatives, if they cannot support themselves, for up to ten years. This contract ensures that your relatives will not need social assistance or welfare; and,

• you must prove that you can meet the financial obligations of a sponsorship.

You may not sponsor if:

• relatives you sponsored in the past have received social assistance or welfare during the validity period of the sponsorship;

• you have not made a required payment on an immigration loan;

• you are in prison; or,

• you are bankrupt.

This is only a summary of requirements. See the sponsorship application guide for details.




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