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Family reunification can be viewed as one of the cores of Canada's immigration system.

Canada is a country of immigrants which means that practically every Canadian citizen or resident has family members residing abroad. Many Canadians are striving to reunite with their loved ones.

To become a sponsor, you must promise to financially take care of the person(s) you are sponsoring for a period of time. We call this promise an ‘undertaking’.

The “length of undertaking” is the time period you are financially responsible for the person(s) you sponsor. It starts on the day the person you sponsor becomes a permanent resident.

There are three (3) major sponsorship categories currently available in Canada:

1. Sponsoring an immediate family member – spouse / common law parner (of the same or opposite sex) along with dependent children under the age of 22 (non-married with no dependents of their own):

Canadian citizens or Canadian Permanent residents are entitled to sponsor their spouse or common-law partner residing abroad and dependent children under the age of 22.

Sometimes due to personal reasons, people first immigrate to Canada by themselves, while their spouse and minor children remain abroad. If you declared your immediate family members as “non-accompanying dependents” while becoming a Canadian Permanent resident, you have a right to sponsor them.

Canadian citizens and permanent residents of Canada can also marry / become partners with people of other nationalities and wish to bring them to Canada.

To be eligible to sponsor your wife / husband / dependent children, you should meet the following basic criteria:

  • You should be at least 18 years of age;
  • You should be a Canadian Permanent Resident or Canadian Citizen residing in Canada (certain exemptions exist for Canadian citizens residing abroad);
  • In most cases, there are no specific income requirements to become eligible to sponsor immediate family members, but you cannot be collecting Welfare. On the other hand, if you are getting government assistance due to a Disability issue, you can still be eligible to sponsor immediate family members.
  • You must make a commitment to provide for basic needs and to financially support your spouse / children for the duration of the sponsorship undertaking.

  1. 2. Sponsoring parents and grandparents: 

  2. To be eligible to sponsor parents or grandparents, in addition to meeting the basic criteria, mentioned above, you should have enough money to be a qualified sponsor. What does it mean?

  3. You must meet income requirements for each of the 3 tax years preceding the date you apply.

  4. For example, if you applied in 2020, you should have met income requirements for 2017, 2018 and 2019.
  5. If you are residing in the province of Quebec, you must meet income requirements only for 1 year prior to the date you apply.


3. Sponsor another family member:

Under certain circumstances you may be eligible to sponsor your sibling, niece, nephew, uncle and even the person who is not related to you by blood. In such cases, Humanitarian and Compassionate consideration can play a significant role.

Do you meet the income requirements?

Income required for the 3 tax years preceding the day you apply (sponsors applying in 2021)

Total number of people in your immediate family
(spouse, children + sponsored persons):
2020 2019 2018
2 people




3 people




4 people




5 people




6 people




7 people




if more than 7 people, for each additional person, add:




Duration of the financial undertaking

Person you Sponsor Length of undertaking
Spouse, common-law partner or conjugal partner 3 years
Dependent child (biological or adopted) or child to be adopted in Canada, under 22 years of age 10 years, or until age 25, whichever comes first
Dependent child 22 years of age or older 3 years
Parent or grandparent 20 years
Other relative 10 years

Interested in the Canadian Immigration Family Sponsorship Program?


Please note, you must be a Canadian citizen or a Permanent resident of Canada in order to sponsor a member of your family.