Family Class
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Family Class

8.1  What is family sponsorship?

Canadian citizens and permanent residents, aged 18 and over and living in Canada, may sponsor the applications of certain relatives who wish to immigrate to Canada. This is known as family class sponsorship.

8.2  What financial requirements must sponsor meet?

Sponsor’s income will be evaluated to determine whether it is sufficient to support sponsor’s immediate family and sponsored relatives. A sponsor must be able to provide for the lodging, care, maintenance and normal settlement needs of the applicant and accompanying dependents for 10 years. This means that sponsored relatives should not need financial help from the government.

If a spouse or a dependent child are sponsored, the financial requirements may be omitted.

8.3  What if sponsor does not meet the financial criteria?

If sponsor is married, their spouse can be a co-signer to take the obligations to the sponsored relatives. In this case, the co-signer is equally responsible for the support of the sponsored relatives.

If sponsor does not meet the financial requirements or sponsor’s and co-signer’s combined income does not meet the financial requirements, the application for sponsorship can be refused.

8.4  Does sponsor have obligations to the Canadian government?

A sponsor signs the Undertaking which is a legal contract between the government and the sponsor and a promise by the sponsor to provide for the needs of the sponsored relatives without resorting to social benefits for the period of 10 years. If the sponsor fails to meet the obligations, legal actions can be taken against the individual.

8.5  Can a relative other than listed be sponsored?

A Canadian citizen or permanent resident who does not have a relative a spouse, child, parent, grandparent, sibling, uncle, aunt, nephew, or niece in Canada, and who does not have a family class relative to sponsor, may sponsor one relative regardless of relationship and age.

8.6  What rights and responsibilities have sponsored relatives?

Once landed, the sponsored relative becomes a permanent resident in Canada and has all rights and responsibilities that go with the status.

8.7  Can a sponsored relative lose permanent resident status?

A sponsored relative can lose the status on the same grounds as any permanent resident.

8.8  Must sponsored relatives support themselves?

Sponsored relatives are supposed to do their best to support themselves, unless elderly.

8.9  Can sponsored relatives receive pension in Canada?

A sponsored relative enjoys the same rights as any permanent resident. To be eligible for such government benefit as Old Age Pension, a sponsored relative must have lived in Canada for a minimum period of time and be a minimum age. A sponsored relative may have to live in a province for a certain amount of time before being eligible for free health care.

8.10  What is the application process for Family Sponsorship?

A sponsor must apply for sponsorship approval within Canada. He has to submit the application and pay the processing fee. Once the application has been approved, the sponsor will receive the application kit that must be sent to the sponsored relative. The relative is supposed to complete the application forms and submit them to the specified visa office. The relative and his/her dependents must meet the health and security requirements.

8.11  How long applications for sponsorship are processed?

The time frame depends on various factors. However, family class applications are considered high priority and processed ahead of business and skilled worker applications.

8.12  Will be interview required?

Sponsor may be called for interview within Canada to check the financial details. The sponsored relative may be called for interview to the processing post. The relative may be asked to provide details about the ties of relationship.

8.13  What are the reasons for refusal?

A family class application may be refused for a number of reasons. For example, the sponsor may not meet the financial requirements or proof of relationship or other documents may be unavailable or unsatisfactory or the applicant may have a serious medical condition or have a criminal record.

If the application is refused, the visa officer will write to the applicant giving the reason for the refusal. The sponsor will also be notified and will be informed of the right to appeal.

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