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One of the most popular streams of Canadian immigration, family sponsorship programs make it easy for citizens and permanent residents to bring their family members to Canada with reduced processing times.

There are a number of relationships that qualify for Family Class Sponsorship, including spouses and common-law partners, parents and grandparents, and dependent children.

Canada reunited 85,179 family members in 2018.

Spouse or Common-Law Partner Sponsorship

There are two streams of applications for Spouse and Common-Law Sponsorship, Inland and Outland Spousal Sponsorship. In some cases, you do not need to be legally married in order to be eligible to sponsor your loved one to come to Canada. Canada recognizes common-law partnership if you have been continuously living together in a conjugal relationship for at least one year.


Inland Spousal Sponsorship

If you and your spouse are living together in Canada while they are on a valid study permit, work permit, or visitor’s visa, you can apply for inland spousal sponsorship from within the country. The sponsored person may be eligible to apply for a Spousal Open Work Permit and, in most cases, within 4 – 5 months, they can get authorization allowing them to work in Canada for any employer while permanent residence application is being processed.

Outland Spousal Sponsorship

Outland Spousal Sponsorship allows spouses or common-law partners the opportunity to apply for permanent residence while living abroad. While the eligibility requirements for a sponsor are the same, the advantage of an outland sponsorship, as compared to the inland application, is the right to submit a spousal sponsorship appeal in case of refusal. However, outside of Canada applicants can not apply for a Spousal Open Work Permit. The sponsored person may, however, obtain a temporary visa to travel to Canada while their application is being processed.

A Canadian citizen who resides outside of Canada for work related reasons may start the process of sponsoring if he/she satisfies immigration officials that he/she will resume residence in Canada when the sponsored person becomes a permanent resident. A permanent resident can’t sponsor someone if he/she is living outside of Canada.

Dependent Children Sponsorship

Foreign nationals, who first immigrated to Canada without their children, can sponsor dependants after they obtained permanent residency or citizenship.

Only a child who is dependent on parents can immigrate under the Family Class Program. For a child to qualify as a dependant he or she must be under 22 years old, not married or in a common-law relationship. A child over the age of 22 will still be considered a dependent if they suffer from a physical or mental condition that prevents them from being able to support themselves.

Out of the 85,179 family members in 2018, 67,153 were admitted as spouses, partners and children.

Parents and Grandparents Sponsorship

The unique Parent and Grandparent Sponsorship program, as well as the Super Visa program, allow Canadian citizens and permanent residents to sponsor parents and grandparents who wish to be reunited with their children and grandchildren.

Every year Canada sets a cap on the number of applications it accepts under the PGP program. As per Canada’s immigration levels plan, the 2020 admission target for the PGP is set at 21,000. In 2019, the target was 20,500. In 2018, 17,000 respectively. In 2017 – 10,000 applications. Not only the cap has increased, but also an application process was modified significantly and now contains six distinct stages.

While sponsoring parents or grandparents may take two years or longer, we recommend applying for a Super Visa in the meantime to bring your parents to Canada.

Out of the 85,179 family members in 2018, 18,026 were admitted under the parents and grandparents category

Super Visa for Parents and Grandparents

A super visa is a multi-entry visa that lets your parents and grandparents visit you for up to 2 years at a time and provides multiple entries for a period up to 10 years. It is a popular option for immigrants to Canada who wish to see their parents and/or grandparents for an extended period, while also building their lives and careers in Canada. This visa class allows for people who are citizens of Canada or Permanent Residents (PR) to act as guarantors for their parents or grandparents to visit and stay in Canada for long durations.

The super visa is still a temporary solution for your parents and grandparents to stay in Canada. If you’d like your parents or grandparents to stay with you permanently, you should consider the Parent and Grandparent Program (PGP), which is a program for permanent resident status.

You must apply for a Super Visa from outside Canada. You can apply online or on paper.


Fill out the free assessment and we will be in touch with you to discuss your available options.