Sponsorship is a pathway for eligible children of Canadian immigrants to be reunited with their parents. The Canadian government places particular value on keeping families together. Therefore, under the right circumstances, it will be a straightforward process to bring dependent children to live with their parents in Canada.
Under Canadian immigration law, a person who meets the sponsorship requirements may petition their spouses, children, common-law partners, and immediate family members to join them through a family visa. The following are the minimum criteria for sponsors who wish to petition their children to immigrate to Canada:
- They must be 18 years of age
- They must hold status as a Canadian citizen or permanent resident
- They must agree to shoulder the basic expenses of their dependent upon arrival
- They must be able to provide financial support and repay any social assistance payments that the Canadian government extends during their dependent’s stay.
If you are looking to sponsor your child, there are several things to keep in mind that might help make the path to obtaining permanent residence status or citizenship for your child easier:
Ensure your child meets the legal requirements
As of October 2017, the age limit for dependents is 22 years of age and below. Prior to this date, only children below 19 years were eligible to be sponsored. Children who are older than 22 years old may be sponsored if they suffer from a mental or physical disability and are dependent on their parents for financial support. You can view the full list of requirements for child dependents on the Canadian Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada website.
As a Canadian citizen, your child may already be eligible for citizenship
Before you apply for sponsorship for your child, check that your child is not already considered eligible for Canadian citizenship. Even if your child was born outside of Canada, children of Canadian citizens are eligible for citizenship. You may discuss your unique circumstances with an experienced immigration consultant who can advise you on how best to formalize your child’s citizenship.
You must continue to live in Canada even after your child achieves permanent residency
You may be disqualified from sponsoring your child if it is discovered that you do not intend to remain in Canada after your child attains permanent residency status. Make sure your long-term plans consider this as immigration authorities will prioritize granting residency to individuals who plan to settle in Canada permanently.
You may be disqualified from sponsorship if you have a criminal record
If during the application process or the sponsorship period you are imprisoned and convicted of a criminal offence, you may lose your eligibility for sponsoring your child. Your character and personal record comprise an important part of your review, and any criminal activity will negatively affect it.
If an immigrant parent has established a stable life in Canada, petitioning their child for sponsorship is a viable option. Family petitions comprise one-fourth of the permanent resident status grants each year. Canadian immigration authorities prioritize families who not only want to be reunited with one another but more importantly, those who wish to make Canada their permanent home.
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