Long distance relationships are stressful enough, without the strain and uncertainty of the immigration process. At Lowe & Company, we not only try to understand our clients’ concerns, but to anticipate their needs and questions. We care for our clients as individuals, and have been guiding them through the Canadian immigration system since 1990.
As a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, you have the right to sponsor your Spouse or Partner, and Dependent Children to immigrate to Canada; these cases generally have the highest priority processing. You may also sponsor your Parents and Grandparents to immigrate to Canada, but they may not automatically have the right to be sponsored, and there is a limit on the number of applications processed each year.
We have helped families from over 50 countries reunite on Canadian soil over the last 30 years, and we can help you too! By preparing your family’s case thoroughly and proactively addressing any problems you may not be aware of, we can make the entire process easy and painless.
Spouses, Partners, and Children
The family class immigration program was designed to reunite Canadian citizens and permanent residents with their families on Canadian soil. That being said, the process to apply for sponsorship and transition your family over to Canada differs depending on which group they fall under: (a) spouses, partners, and children, or (b) parents and grandparents.
Let’s quickly go over the first group.
Spouses, Partners, and Children Explained
Spouses, or partners bound in legally valid civil marriage, can be sponsored under the family class. The marriage must be legally recognized in the country where it took place as well as in Canada.
Common-law partners, or partners who have cohabited for at least 12 months, may be sponsored under the family class. If this is the case for you, you must be able to provide proof or evidence of interdependency. For example, we may present evidence such as a rental agreement or lease with both your names, joint bank accounts, credit cards or other evidence depending on the particulars of your situation.
Conjugal partners, or partners who are not married but have been in a continuous marriage-like relationship for at least 12 months, may be able to be sponsored under the family class. Conjugal partners typically cannot live together or get married for reasons beyond their control; however, these cases are often difficult to prove.
Dependent children, or biological or adopted children related to at least one of the two partners, can be sponsored under the family class.
What are “dependent” children?
- Biological or adopted children that are less than 22 years of age and are not married or in a common-law relationship
- Biological or adopted children that are 22 years of age or older that have always been dependent on their parents financially, since before they turned 22, and are unable to be financially independent due to a physical or mental condition.
Orphans, or a person that is your biological or adopted sibling, nephew, niece, or grandchild and both of their parents have died, may also be sponsored under the family class. At the time their sponsorship application is received by the Canadian government, they must be under 18 years of age. They must be single and cannot be in a common-law or conjugal relationship.
For every sponsorship case involving spouses and partners, you must provide proof of the genuineness of your relationship. There may be age differences; cultural differences; and even language differences, which may lead an Immigration Officer to suspect that the marriage or relationship is not genuine. Thus, it’s not unusual for us to provide over 100 pages of evidence for a spouse or partner sponsorship case, including pictures, emails, texts, travel histories and many other items depending on what you have accumulated over the years.
You must also prove the relationship with your dependent children. In most cases, a government issued birth certificate with the parents named on it is sufficient, but we have sometimes had to arrange for DNA testing where the Immigration Officer suspects that the documentation is not genuine.
In-Canada and Overseas Sponsorships
All family class cases—that is, sponsorships for spouses, common-law partners, conjugal partners, dependent children, orphans, parents, and grandparents—can be processed as overseas sponsorships; that is to say, the immigration file is processed at a Canada Immigration office outside of Canada (in the USA, London, Hong Kong or elsewhere). While the overseas sponsorship application is being processed, the sponsored family member may sometimes be able to visit the sponsor in Canada, though they may need to apply for a Visitor Visa.
What It Means to Sponsor Your Spouse, Partner or Child
Sponsoring someone to come to Canada means that they will be coming to live with you. Once you know who you want to sponsor to come to Canada and can verify that they are eligible to be sponsored, we must determine whether you can support your family members.
In order to sponsor your spouse, partner or dependent child, you must (a) be at least 18 years of age,(b) be a Canadian citizen, permanent resident, or a person registered in Canada as an “Indian” under the Canadian Indian Act, (c) be able to prove that you aren’t receiving social assistance for a reason other than a disability, and, most importantly, (d) be able to provide for the basic needs of whomever you are sponsoring.
The sponsor will also be financially responsible for the sponsored relative for the sponsorship period. If the sponsored relative goes on government assistance during the sponsorship period, the sponsor may still be liable to repay the support: even if the relationship breaks down (for example, by divorce or separation),
From Internet Relationships, to Arranged Marriages, to couples with age differences over 30 years, to couples that communicate through iPhone translation Apps, we’ve helped families from over 30 countries to reunite in Canada. Let us guide you through the entire process, and take the stress out of that part of your lives!
Request a consultation and find out how we can assist you!
Parents and Grandparents
The family class immigration program was designed to reunite Canadian citizens and permanent residents with their families on Canadian soil. That being said, the process to apply for sponsorship and transition your family over to Canada differs depending on which group they fall under: (a) spouses, partners and children, or (b) parents and grandparents.
Let’s go over the second group.
Parents and Grandparents Explained
Parents and grandparents, or your biological or adoptive mother, father, grandmother, and grandfather, can be sponsored under the family class. Throughout the entire sponsorship process, the sponsor must be able to provide evidence that the family relation is genuine and legal and is not for convenience or “in bad faith.” For example, there must be a genuine parent-child relationship.
Additionally, when sponsoring parents and grandparents, the sponsor must meet a minimum necessary income for three years prior to the day they submit the sponsorship application. These income requirements change from year to year, and the amount the sponsor needs to meet is based on the total number of people they will be responsible for. If married, the sponsor can add their spouse’s income on top of theirs.
How the Process Differs from Spouses, Partners, and Children
While Canadians have the right to sponsor their Spouse, Partner and Dependent Children and know that their sponsorship application will be processed, there is no such right when it comes to Parents and Grandparents. In recent years, the Canadian government has allocated an annual quota, and there are typically many more people that wish to apply than there are spaces available.
Canada Immigration has used a number of different means to allocate the quota. Sometimes they have used a “First to Apply” system; but with tens of thousands of applicants within the first 10 minutes of opening, the system was widely criticized.
For 2020 and 2021, a Lottery system has been set up, with Canadians being invited to submit Expressions of Interest over about 4 weeks. Then, the Canadian government will randomly draw a certain number of Parents and Grandparents; in 2021, there will be 30,000 foreign parents and grandparents drawn via the Lottery.
As a result, there is currently no possible way to guarantee a successful sponsorship for parents and grandparents, though with persistence, you can certainly improve your chances. At Lowe & Company, we have assisted clients in submitting Sponsorship requests for their parents and grandparents, and though the process sometimes takes several attempts, we have been able to help many such cases.
Request a consultation and find out how we can assist you!