Our immigration attorneys are in the business of bringing families together when they’re separated by borders and distance. If you are a Canadian citizen or permanent resident with family members such as spouses, children, or parents in other nations, we can help reunite you by helping you navigate the family class immigration process.
Here are some of the most common questions we get about family class immigration.
What is Family Class Immigration?
Family class immigration is a class of immigration that allows people who are already citizens or lawful permanent residents of Canada to sponsor certain family members for permanent residency.
There are two types of sponsorship. The inland sponsorship lets your family member live and work in Canada while their application is being processed. This is generally only for spouses, common law partners, or children. You must be able to prove this person lives with you.
Outland sponsorships are for family members who are currently living or working outside of Canada. The vast majority of family class sponsorships will be outland sponsorships.
How can I Sponsor a Family Member to Canada?
First, contact an immigration attorney. The process is complex and is unlikely to be successful if you don’t secure legal help.
Next, complete an application for sponsorship. You can secure the checklist of documents and the forms you will need by clicking here.
What’s the Family Sponsorship Process?
Once you apply you’ll need to pay application fees online. You’ll also be required to provide the CIC with certain documents, including fingerprints, background checks, and medical exams.
In some cases CIC might require you and your family members to come for an interview. At others they will review your application and allow the migration to proceed without requiring any further information.
If your application is submitted online you can follow the whole process and progress of your application online. We usually suggest that our clients take this route both for their peace of mind and for ease and speed.
What are the Requirements to be a Sponsor?
Sponsors must be over the age of 18 and must be Canadian citizens or permanent residents.
Each sponsor must sign a sponsorship agreement that warrants you will provide financial support for your relative if necessary. That means you are ready to provide that relative with food, shelter, clothing, medical care, and the provision of other needs for up to three years from the date for which they become a permanent resident.
If the relative goes on public assistance at any time during those three years you will be required to pay that money back.
Who is Eligible for Family Class Sponsorship?
To be eligible for family class sponsorship, you must be a qualified relative of a Canadian permanent resident or citizen with one of the following relationships:
- Common Law Partner
- Conjugal Partner
- Dependent Children
- Orphaned brothers and sisters who are under the age of 18 and unmarried.
- Orphaned nieces and nephews who are under the age of 18 and unmarried.
- Orphaned grandchildren who are under the age of 18 and unmarried.
You may not sponsor adult siblings, other relatives of other ages, a fiancée, or someone with whom you are in a relationship solely for immigration purposes.
A relative may not sponsor you if you would be ineligible to come to Canada. For example, if you are found to be a security risk or have participated in criminal activity that renders you ineligible for immigration then sponsorship is not going to get you over the border.
How Much Income is Needed to Sponsor a Family Member?
It depends on how many people you’re already supporting. For example if you you’ll be responsible for yourself and one other then you’ll need to be making $32,270. The CIC will also check your income for the past 12 months to make sure that it’s consistent.
You can find the most up-to-date charts here.
How Long will the Sponsorship Application Process Take?
It can take about a year to work through the entire process from start to finish. It’s important to plan for this time frame.
What Happens If My Sponsorship Application is Refused?
You can file an appeal, but you’ll need to move quickly. There are deadlines you’ll have to meet in order to successfully fight the refusal.
The strategy will depend on the reason for the refusal. In some cases we may be able to help you rectify the reasons for the immigration officer’s concern, or to find other evidence that you can bring forth at your appeal hearing.
Why is It So Important to Get Legal Help for Family Sponsorship?
Not everyone who applies for family sponsorship will have their requests granted. The ones that do tend to be the ones who bring in legal representation early.
Our attorneys can help you spot potential problems and reconcile them before you apply. We can help you prepare your application in a way that showcases all of the available evidence that Canadian officials will want to see before granting a family sponsorship application.
We may even be able to see an easier pathway to get your family member to Canada. Family sponsorship is not always the best path, even if your family member is related to you.
Need Help Bringing Your Family Members to Surrey, BC?
Sponsoring family members can be stressful. Get the help and support you need to navigate this difficult process.
Our attorneys have decades of immigration experience. We’ve helped thousands of people immigrate to Canada and the BC area. We’ll help you get united with your family too.
We even have attorneys on staff who speak Punjabi and Mandarin fluently.
Call us at (604) 394-2777 to make an appointment today. We are happy to set up a video chat appointment if you are not currently located near our office in Surrey, BC. Our team is ready to work with you!