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Sponsoring an eligible relative

You can sponsor certain relatives if you’re 18 years of age or older and a:

  • Canadian citizen or

  • person registered in Canada as an Indian under the Canadian Indian Act or

  • permanent resident of Canada

You must live in Canada to sponsor eligible relatives unless you:

  • are a Canadian citizen who lives abroad and

  • plan to return to Canada when your relatives immigrate and

  • are sponsoring your:

  • spouse or

  • common-law or conjugal partner or

  • dependent children who have no dependent children

If you live in Quebec, you must also meet Quebec’s conditions to be a sponsor after we approve you as a sponsor. This includes signing an “undertaking” with the province. This is a contract that binds your sponsorship.


Your responsibilities

When you sponsor a relative to become a permanent resident of Canada, you must:

  • meet set income guidelines

  • agree in writing to give financial support to your relative and any other eligible relatives coming with them:

    • beginning on the date they become a permanent resident

    • for up to 20 years (depending on their age and how you’re related)

The person you sponsor must sign an agreement saying they will make the effort to support themselves. This includes sponsored dependent children 18 or older. Dependent children under 19 don’t have to sign this agreement.


Who isn’t eligible to sponsor a relative

You may not be able to sponsor a relative if you:

  • are in prison

  • have not paid your alimony or child support payments

  • have declared bankruptcy and haven’t been released from it yet

  • got social assistance for reasons other than being disabled

  • didn’t pay back an immigration loan, made late payments or missed payments

  • sponsored another relative in the past and didn’t meet the terms of the sponsorship agreementwere convicted of a violent crime, any offence against a relative or any sexual offence, depending on details of the case, such as:

    • the type of offence

    • how long ago it was

    • whether a record suspension was issued (formerly called “pardons” in Canada)

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