How You Can Reunite With Family In Canada

Family reunification is one of the primary guiding principles of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA).

The Act permits recent immigrants and long-established Canadians to reunite with their families outside Canada through sponsorship programs. 

Canadian citizens or permanent residents can be eligible to sponsor their spouse, dependent children, parent and grandparents, common-law partners, and other relatives under special circumstances.

Family sponsorship programs are one of the easiest means for individuals who wish to immigrate to Canada to come, work, live, study and even gain permanent residence in the country. 

In this article, we will be discussing how you can reunite with family in Canada through sponsorship programs. 

Let’s get started.  

How Can You Reunite With Family In Canada

If you are living abroad or are a Canadian citizen or permanent resident looking to reunite with your family, you can achieve it through the Family Class Sponsorship Program. 

The family sponsorship program enables Canadian citizens and permanent residents to sponsor members of their families living outside of Canada to work, study and live in Canada. 

Through the program, the sponsored family member may eventually gain permanent residency status in Canada. To qualify for this sponsorship program, the sponsor must be at least 18 years old and a citizen or permanent resident of Canada.

Which Family Members Are Eligible For Family Reunification?

The Family Sponsorship Program has different categories and specific members can be sponsored in each category. Here is a list of eligible family members you can sponsor in Canada. 

  • Spouse
  • Common Law Partner
  • Conjugal Partner
  • Dependent Children
  • Parents and Grandparents
  • Adopted child
  • Other relatives

Sponsor Tour Spouse, Common Law Partner, Conjugal Partner, Or Dependent Children

Here, a Canadian citizen or permanent resident can sponsor their spouse, common-law partner, conjugal partner, or dependent children to become permanent residents in Canada. 

The sponsor must provide proof showing that he is capable of financially supporting the family members he wishes to bring over to Canada and ensure that they do not rely on the Canadian government for social welfare. 

The spouse must;

  • Be at least 18 years of age
  • Be legally married to the sponsor

Immigration officers will expect to see the following evidence if you are applying to sponsor your spouse:

  • Relationship Information and Sponsorship
  • Marriage Certificate
  • Evaluation Form
  • Wedding invitations and photos
  • Birth certificates or adoption records for any children you and your spouse may have together
  • Proof of registration of marriage with a government authority

Immigration officers will also demand t see any two of the following;

  • Evidence showing joint ownership of a property (between you and your spouse)
  • Pay stubs or tax returns demonstrating that you and your spouse live at the same address
  • Joint bank accounts
  • Utility invoices with your and your spouse’s names
  • Copies of government-issued IDs
  • Automobile insurance

The Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada process spousal sponsorship applications in approximately 12 months which includes a two- or three-month waiting period during which the sponsorship application is reviewed.

The  common law partner must;

  • Be at least 18 years of age
  • Have been living with the sponsor for at least 12 months even though they are not legally married

The conjugal partner must; 

  • Be at least 18 years
  • Have been with the sponsor for a minimum of 12 months. 

Dependent children;

  • Must be less than 22 years 
  • Must not be married or have a common-law partner

Exceptions may be made for dependent children under the age of 22 if;

  • They are incapable of supporting themselves financially because of a physical or mental condition. 
  • They depend on their parents for financial support before they turned 22

Sponsor Your Parents And Grandparents

Through the Parents and Grandparents sponsorship program, you can bring your parents and grandparents to Canada to become permanent residents. As a sponsor, you must submit the interest to sponsor form after which you will be minted to apply. 

If you do not receive the Invitation to Apply, you can still bring your parents and grandparents to Canada to stay for an extended period through a Super Visa. 

You must provide sufficient proof of funds for your application to be approved. Sponsored parents and grandparents are required to provide all necessary documents and additional information needed. These include police clearance certificates(interlink), medical exams, and biometrics. 

Read also:

Sponsor Your Relatives

You can sponsor an orphaned sibling, nephew, niece, cousin, or grandchild under this category. However, for relatives to be eligible for this program, they must meet certain criteria.

  • They must be below 18 years and single
  • Both parents must have passed away
  • They must be related to the sponsor by blood or adoption. 

Note: It is only in rare circumstances that relatives like a brother, sister, aunt, or uncle can be sponsored. Peradventure they do not meet the conditions for sponsorship under this category, they can search for other immigration programs they may be eligible for using the Come to Canada tool. 

Sponsor Your Adopted Child

You can sponsor an adopted child from another country to become a permanent resident in Canada. The sponsor will have to go through the adoption process and the immigration process. 

Requirements For Family Sponsorship In Canada

To be eligible for the family sponsorship program, there are certain requirements you must meet. They include; 

  • The sponsor must be at least 18 years old
  • The sponsor must be a Canadian citizen, permanent resident, or registered Indian living in Canada
  • Both the sponsor and the applicant must indicate that the applicant will make effort to support him/herself
  • The sponsor must sign an undertaking promising to assist the applicant or family member financially for a certain period of time (3-20 years)
  • You must provide accurate and coherent information in the application
  • You should include all dependent children if you have any on your relatives’ application and all documents required in the document checklist. 

Documents For Canadian Sponsorship Visa

To submit a Canadian Sponsorship Visa application, you will be required to attach the following documents; 

  • Proof of Identity
  • Proof of sponsor’s Canadian citizenship
  • Proof of relationship to the sponsor
  • IRCC-mandated immigration forms
  • Additional family papers and information
  • Police clearance certification
  • Medical Examination (submitted after processing)

Guide on Canada Family Visa Procedure

You can apply for a family visa in 2 different ways:

  • You  must apply to become a sponsor
  • Your family member you wish to sponsor must apply for permanent residency.

As a sponsor, the process involves 4 steps:

  1. Ensure you are eligible to sponsor 
  2. Fill out the sponsorship application
  3. List all of your family members
  4. Agree that all the information provided on your application is true

The process for an applicant involves 5 crucial steps:

  1. Fill out your immigration application
  2. Scan and upload the documents
  3. Pay the application fees including your biometrics fees, third-party fees, medical exam, and police clearance
  4. Submit your complete application
  5. Check your application status


The Family Sponsorship Program is a great option for individualswho want to reunite with family. The Canadian Government understands the importance of relationships and believes that families shouldnt be kept apart. 

While breaking the barier of distance by offering sponsorship programs to eligible indivduals, the government of Canada also priorities these programs. 

Sponsorship programs typically have the shortest period for processing compared to other immigration programs so you nolonger have to worry on how to reunite with family. 

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