Becoming a permanent Canadian citizen can, indeed, be both a confusing and difficult process, especially if you have a friend or family member that you want to help but don’t quite know how to. This is why you’ve probably asked yourself, or even Googled the question, “can I, as a permanent resident, sponsor my friend to Canada, or can it only be a family member?”
This is a very common question that we are going to answer below, as well as go over the requirements one must meet to sponsor someone to Canada.
Can I Sponsor My Friend To Come To Canada?
Unfortunately, there currently is no sponsorship program available for friends. An eligible Canadian citizen or permanent resident can sponsor certain relatives who will then become Canadian permanent residents under the family class category. A friend does not fall under the family category.
Eligible Family Members Who Can Be A Sponsor
If you have family members dreaming of permanent residency, you can help make their dreams come true, but you must be an eligible family member yourself. This includes:
- Being a permanent resident of Canada, or a Canadian citizen
- Being 18 years of age or older
- Being financially stable and self-sufficient (meaning you must not be receiving social assistance)
- Being able to provide for your family/applicant (i.e. food, clothes, housing, etc.)
You must also be considered a:
- Common-law partner
- A spouse
- Conjugal partner (a committed relationship for at least one year where you are unable to live together for various reasons out of their control)
Certain Family Members Who Are Not Eligible To Sponsor
The above are considered eligible under the family class category. Those not eligible include:
- A brother or sister
- A friend
- If you were sponsored by a partner and became a permanent resident yourself less than five years ago
- If three years have not passed since you’ve sponsored a previous spouse or partner
- You have declared bankruptcy
- You are not in jail
- You have not been convicted of a violent or sexual offence
- You failed to provide the basic needs for a previously sponsored family member
- You have failed to pay an immigration loan, performance bond, or family support
Who Can I Sponsor To Canada?
The family sponsorship process can be for anyone that is over 18 years of age and is your spouse, common-law partner, conjugal partner, dependent children, parents or grandparents.
Dependent children can be sponsored to live with their parents. They must be under the age of 22 and be the biological or adopted child of a permanent resident of Canada or Canadian citizen. But again, you must be able to prove that you can provide for their basic needs. When it comes to bringing your parents or grandparents to Canada, this doesn’t actually fall under the family class sponsorship category but rather the super visa category. You need to be able to prove you can provide them with financial support. This type of immigration process can actually take a long time, therefore, typically people apply for their parents or grandparents to have a visitor visa while they wait for their sponsorship application to be accepted. Because this process can take a long time, people look into other options such as the express entry programs.
Applying For Family Sponsorship With Oro Immigration
Becoming permanent residents of Canada is a dream for many, but actually understanding all of the steps involved with the process can be confusing. That’s why our team of consultants here at Oro Immigration in Toronto, Ontario help immigrants from all over the world obtain Canadian permanent residence. Canadian immigration processes will be much easier to understand and navigate through with the help of a professional. We will be there for you every step of the way. From helping you gather the required documents and filling out the application to helping you understand the government fees (and other applicable fees associated with the sponsorship agreement) and seeing your application to completion.
While we can’t help you sponsor a friend to Canada, we can certainly help your family come to Canada. If you’re ready to learn more about Canadian immigration, give us a call or email us. We look forward to helping you sponsor relatives or answer any of your immigration questions.