One of the objectives of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (the Act) is to see that families are reunited in Canada. The Family Class category is for applicants who have a close relative who is not a Canadian Citizen or Permanent Resident of Canada. A family class can be defined as a class of persons who may become permanent residents on the basis of the requirements provided under the Act. Members of the family class include:
The family class category seeks to promote family reunification rather than national economic goals. Citizenship and Immigration Canada is of the opinion that the support of the sponsors assists new immigrants in achieving self-reliance and expediting their contribution to their Canadian community.
Sponsors assume a legal obligation to help the Foreign National being sponsored and therefore, may have to meet certain income requirements set out by the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.
The Sponsor and any Co-Sponsor are responsible for providing the essential needs for the person being sponsored and their dependents for a period of three to ten years after their relative’s arrival in Canada. Should the Canadian Sponsor fail to support the Foreign National, and the Foreign National receives social assistance, the Authorities may take legal recourse.
Co-Sponsors become necessary when a single individual cannot meet the minimum financial requirements. Married and common-law partners who are Canadian Permanent Residents or Canadian citizens may be Co-Sponsors. Co-Sponsors assume the same obligations and responsibilities as the sponsor, and must also sign the application forms for sponsorship.
Sponsorship Obligations: The undertaking shall be given to the minister or if the sponsor lives in a province which has criteria regarding such undertaking, then to the competent authority of such province (Only in Quebec). The undertaking is a binding contract between sponsors and the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration. Sponsors (and co-signers) promise to provide the sponsored person with basic requirements from the day they enter Canada until the end of the specified period of the undertaking. The undertaking for a spouse, common-law partner or conjugal partner is 3 years from the date of becoming a permanent resident.
You may not be eligible to be a sponsor if you:
The Spousal Sponsorship program is an important subsection of the Family Class immigration category. Under this program, a Canadian citizen or permanent resident may sponsor a spouse or common-law partner and dependent children for Canadian permanent residence.
Both the Canadian citizen or permanent resident and the foreign national must be approved by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) in order for the sponsored person to receive a visa.
In order to receive a visa through this immigration program, the sponsor and sponsored person must prove that their relationship qualifies under any one of following three categories:
Inland sponsorship is when the couple is together in Canada and the foreign spouse/common-law partner has temporary status in Canada, either as a worker, student, or visitor. However, the person being sponsored may be eligible for an Open Work Permit, allowing him or her to work for any employer in Canada while the sponsorship application is being processed.
If a permanent resident sponsor misrepresents a material fact on their application to sponsor, it could result in the sponsored relative being found inadmissible and the permanent resident sponsor could be removed from Canada and be found inadmissible for a period of 2 years from the date of removal. If a Canadian citizen sponsor misrepresents a material fact on their application to sponsor, they could face penalties.
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