Canada’s family class sponsorship program is one of the quickest ways of getting a permanent residency status in Canada, for both you and your family members.
It is a programme that was set up to drive Canada’s commitment to reunite family and loved ones. That means, family members can sponsor themselves to come to Canada for work, study or settling.
With this, you can also sponsor a family member to become a permanent resident in Canada (only if you yourself is recognized as a legal citizen of the country or a permanent resident of 18 years of age and above).
Anyone you sponsor under this program can then live, study, and work in Canada.
How Does the Family Class Sponsorship Program for Permanent Residency in Canada Work?
Anyone familiar with Canada can attest to the fact that getting a Permanent Residence (PR) in Canada is quite strenuous. However, the Family Class Sponsorship program for permanent residence in Canada makes things quite easy.
The Family Class Sponsorship program does this by rendering capable adults who are already permanent residents or citizens of Canada the ability to sponsor a relative for permanent immigration to Canada.
Before accepting to support a relative for the family class sponsorship program, you will be required to provide their basic needs for a specific period of time, so as for them not to solely rely on social assistance from the government.
The relative to be sponsored must also be living outside the provinces of Canada; however, the program still applies to those that are currently temporarily residing legally in Canada, either due to work or via a Canadian study permit valid at the time of applying.
Criteria for Application for a Family Class Sponsorship Program for Permanent Residence in Canada
For a Family Class Sponsorship program application to be considered valid, both the sponsor and the sponsored must meet the following requirements:
To be a sponsor, you must:
- Have a resident status in Canada.
- Be above 18 years old to qualify.
- be a legal citizen of Canada or have a legal permanent Resident document
Also, you and the sponsored relative must sign a sponsorship agreement that entrusts you to offer him or her support, both financially and otherwise.
The agreement also says that a person you’re sponsoring will make every effort to support his or herself as soon as your sponsorship period elapses.
Suppose the person you wish to sponsor happens to be your spouse by a common-law or conjugal partner. In that case, you must provide financial support for the person for three years, starting from when their Canadian permanent residency status is approved.
As for a dependent child, the financial support duration is ten years or until the child turns 25 years old.
If you have committed any crime that took you to prison or have been charged with a serious offense, or have gone bankrupt in the past, your sponsorship may not be valid.
Who Can I Sponsor?
With the aid of the family class sponsorship program, you can sponsor the following category of relatives:
- Spouse (if he or she is legally married to you, and your marriage is legally valid).
- Dependent children. Only when the child is under 22 and does not have a spouse or common-law partner. However, this can still work if they depend on you due to a physical or mental condition before getting to 22.
- Common-law partner (restrictions apply) only if the both of you have been staying together in a conjugal relationship for at least one year without breaks or interruptions. You will also need proof that you and your common-law have a mixed affair and set up a household for yourselves.
- Conjugal partner (restrictions apply) only when you cannot qualify as common-law partners or spouses due to prodigious or exceptional circumstances beyond your control.
- Brothers, sisters, nephews or nieces, granddaughters or grandsons are orphaned, under 18 years of age, and not married or in a common-law relationship.
- Parents – (Additional conditions apply)
- Grandparents – (Additional conditions apply)
- Accompanying relatives of the relative to be sponsored (spouse, mother or father-in-law of your partner and dependent children).
- Any other relative of any age or relationship but only under specific conditions.
Joint Agreement / Undertaking for the Family Class Sponsorship Program
At the point of your application, you will need to sign the undertaking for the family class sponsorship for permanent residence in Canada, which is a binding contract between every sponsor and the IRCC minister and is kept safe for legal purposes.
This Undertaken is usually referred to as an IMM 1344 form. By signing this form, both you (the sponsor) and every other co-signer are expected to support the sponsored relative if they cannot fend for themselves. That means they should provide the sponsored relative with basic requirements such as food, clothing, shelter, the necessary goods or services, and health care if they aren’t capable.
In the IMM 1344 form for the family class sponsorship for permanent residence in Canada, you can find detailed information on the obligations that sponsors take upon themselves. An explanation of these obligations and the consequences of not complying are also written. By signing this form, both the sponsor and the relative concede that they understand and are willing to comply.
Below are some basic requirements of the IMM 1344:
- Household supplies
- Gas or petrol
- Personal requirements
Goods and services like dental care, eye care, and health services are not provided by the government.
Upon approval, both the sponsor and the applicant are bonded by the obligations contained in their IMM 1344 form. Thus withdrawing their agreement means defying the applicant’s stay in Canada unless the entire undertaking is withdrawn when the sponsored applicant has become a permanent resident in the country.
Note: A change in circumstances that related them like marital breakdown, separation, divorce, family rifts, change in financial circumstances, or death of the principal applicant in cases where there are accompanying family members does not invalidate the undertaking.
Signing the IMM 1344 form
The IMM 1344 form for the family class sponsorship for permanent residence in Canada immigration program must be signed by the sponsor, the co-signer (if relevant), and the family member to be sponsored. A parent could sign on behalf of a principal child applicant who is too young to sign for themselves.
An individual with power of attorney may sign on behalf of a client with signing authority, such as a person with impaired physical or mental capacity. In such cases, that individual must render a copy of a legal document to prove that they have been duly appointed.