Can I be a sponsor for a member of my family?

You may be able to sponsor a or a member of your family to apply for status if you're:

  • a Canadian citizen, or
  • a permanent resident.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has a policy that allows people who are defined as Status Indians under the Indian Act to sponsor relatives and family members. This policy was created because it was left out of the law.

Relatives and family members include your , , , , parents, and grandparents.

You must also be:

  • at least 18 years old, and
  • living in Canada.

If you're a Canadian citizen, who's not living in Canada, you can sponsor your spouse, partner, or child. But you'll have to show that you'll be living in Canada when the person you're sponsoring becomes a permanent resident. To do this, you need to show you have a plan for moving to Canada after the application is approved. A permanent resident cannot do this from outside Canada.

If you did not tell IRCC about a family member

You cannot sponsor a if you did not tell IRCC about them when you applied for or became a permanent resident.

IRCC created a policy that says they may not enforce this rule if:

  • you came to Canada as a resettled refugee,
  • you got status in Canada, or
  • you were sponsored as a spouse, a common-law or conjugal partner, or a dependent child.

The policy has been extended until September 2023.

Read more in Step 5.

Other rules

There are other requirements that you must meet to be a sponsor. And there are other situations where members of your family cannot be sponsored.

Some rules are specific to sponsoring certain family members. For example, there are rules that apply to sponsoring a spouse or partner. Read more in the Next Steps and:

Parents and grandparents

IRCC is not accepting applications to sponsor parents or grandparents at this time.

Your parents or grandparents may be able to apply for a Super Visa to come to Canada as visitors for longer than the usual 6 months allowed on a visitor visa. The Super Visa is a multiple entry visa valid for 10 years. Starting July 4, 2022, it lets parents and grandparents stay for up to 5 years each time they visit, with the option to extend their stay for 2 more years while in Canada. This means Super Visa holders might be able to stay in Canada for up to 7 consecutive years.

The Super Visa does not make your parents or grandparents permanent residents.

Read more in Which relatives can I sponsor to become permanent residents?

Get help if you need it

The rules and the process for sponsoring someone are complicated.

If you make a mistake in an application, it can be difficult to correct. Your application might be refused or you or your relative or family member could have problems with immigration status in the future.

If you're not sure about something, ask for information from a community agency or get legal help.

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