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Individuals eligible to apply to immigrate to Canada through family sponsorship must have a qualifying relationship with a Canadian citizen or permanent resident who is at least 18 years of age. The types of relationships recognized as qualifying family relationships under Canadian Immigration law are broad.
Canada permits its citizens and permanent residents to sponsor the following types of family members: a spouse; conjugal or common-law partner; children; parents; and grandparents. Canadians may also sponsor the dependent relatives of qualifying relatives.
In addition, Canadians may sponsor a brother or sister, nephew or niece, or orphaned grandchild, but only if these relatives are unmarried or under 18 years of age.
Some Canadian citizens and permanent residents may be eligible to sponsor a relative that does not fall into the age or relationship categories described above, but only if the Canadian sponsor does not have a spouse or common law partner, or other relatives who could be sponsored, and only if the Canadian sponsor does not have any Canadian relatives. Note that siblings over 18 years of age and adult, independent children cannot be sponsored under any circumstances.
Specific eligibility requirements vary based on the type of family relationship. Additional information is available at http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/immigrate/sponsor/index.asp.
The application process involves two parts: (1) the sponsorship application (which establishes the sponsor’s eligibility and promise to financially support the relative); and (2) the relative’s application (which establishes his or her eligibility as a qualifying relative and shows that there are no medical or criminal bases for denying the application).
The applications for both sponsorship and permanent residence should be filled out and sent at the same time. There are two steps to process the application forms:
The sponsorship application is processed by the Case Processing Centre (CPC) in Mississauga, Ontario (for family members living outside Canada), or the CPC in Vegreville, Alberta (for family members living inside Canada).
If the sponsorship application is approved, the permanent residence application is sent to the appropriate Canadian visa office.
The forms that need to be submitted vary based on whether the applicant is inside or outside Canada. For more information, visit http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/immigrate/sponsor/index.asp.