Can I sponsor my child or my spouse or partner’s child?

You may be able to sponsor your or a dependent child of your , , or 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.

You must also be:

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

But if you're a Canadian citizen living outside Canada, you must show that you will live in Canada when your child becomes a permanent resident.

There are many other rules about being a sponsor that apply regardless of who you want to sponsor. Make sure to read about these in Can I be a sponsor for a member of my family?. This includes information about:

  • who can be a sponsor, and
  • when a sponsor has to financially support the person they've sponsored.

In this question, we talk mostly about rules that are specific to sponsoring a dependent child. The child might be included in an application to sponsor your spouse or partner, or might be sponsored on their own.

If you’re a protected person

If you're a , for example, a or , you might not need to do a sponsorship application for your dependent child. There's a different process that you can use if it's been less than a year since you became a permanent resident. 

And if you're applying for permanent resident status after you become a protected person in Canada, you can include your dependent child in your application.

If you’re a Canadian citizen

If you were a Canadian citizen at the time your child was born, your child may be a Canadian citizen. If your child is a Canadian citizen, you don't need to sponsor them. You can apply for proof of citizenship for them.

If you want to adopt a child

Adopting a child from outside of Canada is called international adoption.

You may be able to sponsor a child born outside Canada who you plan to adopt.

Or, if you adopt a child born outside Canada and you're a Canadian citizen at the time of the adoption, you may be able to apply for Canadian citizenship for your child.

The rules about international adoption are complicated. And it costs between $20,000 and $50,000 to adopt a child internationally. It's very important to get legal help from a lawyer who knows about international adoption before you start the process.

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