The Government of Canada is strongly committed to keeping families together and, as such, allows parents to sponsor their dependant children for Canadian immigration. If a child meets the definition of a dependant and the parent meets the requirements to be a sponsor, then the parent can submit an application for the child to become a Canadian permanent resident.
Canada’s family class immigration allows the sponsorship of children, spouses, common-law/conjugal partners, and even parents and grandparents. Family class accounts for around a quarter of all new permanent residents admitted to Canada each year.
If a child was born in Canada, or if one of the child’s parents is a Canadian citizen, then there is a strong possibility that the child is already a Canadian citizen. If you think you or your child might meet this criteria, you can use Canada’s citizenship tool to check.
In order to qualify for sponsorship, both the sponsoring parent and the dependant child must meet the eligibility requirements listed below, as determined by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).
Parent: Requirements to sponsor a child for Canadian immigration
To qualify as a sponsor, a parent must be at least 18 years old and have status as either a Canadian citizen or permanent resident.
All sponsors must agree to provide for the basic needs of the person they wish to sponsor. In addition, sponsors must sign an undertaking, agreeing to provide financial support to their sponsored family member once they become a permanent resident and repay any social assistance payments received by the sponsored family member during the period of the undertaking.
There are certain situations that can result in a parent being ineligible to sponsor their child:
- If the parent was sponsored to become a permanent resident of Canada less than five years prior to an application to sponsor.
- If the parent does not intend to live in Canada with the sponsored child once they become a permanent resident.
- If the parent is a permanent resident and residing outside Canada. (Please note: Canadian citizens can file a sponsorship application regardless of their country of residence, so long as they intend to live in Canada with the sponsored relative once the application is approved.)
- If the parent is receiving social assistance for a reason other than a disability.
- If the parent is in jail or has been convicted of certain criminal offences, especially offences against relatives.
In most cases, the sponsoring parent does not have to show proof of financial income. However, if the dependant child being sponsored also has dependant children of their own, then the parent will be required to meet a certain income requirement.
If you are living in Quebec and want to sponsor a child: Please note that you must meet Quebec’s immigration sponsorship requirements in addition to the requirements listed in this article.