MOVING TO CANADA AS A FAMILY
Family reunification is one of the main objectives of Canada’s immigration policy. If you have a family and are immigrating to Canada, you will most likely want to bring your family with you.
If you are a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident, it is possible to bring:
- Your spouse or common-law partner
- Your dependent child
- Your spouse or common-law partners dependent child
- A dependent child of a dependent child
The Canadian government recently changed the definition of a dependent child. A dependent child must now be 19 years of age or under; previously the limit was 22 years of age.
Parents, grandparents and other family members cannot come with you when you immigrate to Canada, but you may have the opportunity to sponsor them to move once you have arrived in Canada.
Sponsoring your Spouse, Partner or Child
If you wish to sponsor your spouse, partner or child, you must provide proof you can:
- Meet basic needs (e.g. food, shelter, clothing)
- Support your spouse, partner or child financially
- Make sure your relative does not need to ask for financial help from the government
Your relative must also have medical, criminal and background checks.
If you are eligible to sponsor a family member or spouse and you can fulfil the above needs, you may apply to the Citizenship & Immigration Canada (CIC) to become a sponsor. If you live in Quebec, you must also fulfil the Quebec government’s requirements for sponsors, which you can find on the official Quebec government website. Sponsors are also known as guarantors.
Since December 2014, eligible spouses or common law partners now have the opportunity to work in Canada while they wait for their permanent residence application to be processed. For more information on this new rule, see the CIC website.
Sponsoring your Parents or Grandparents
If you are a Canadian citizen or permanent resident and already living in Canada, you may apply to CIC to sponsor your parents or grandparents to become permanent residents under the Family Class visa. If you are eligible to sponsor your parents or grandparents, you must be able to financially support them and ensure they do not need government assistance to live in Canada.
There is also a temporary visa option for parents or grandparents who wish to visit Canadian citizens or permanent residents. This type of visa is called the Parent and Grandparent Super Visa, which allows parents or grandparents to visit their family for up to two years without having to renew their status.
For more information on sponsoring family members to move to Canada, see the CIC website.