Family Class Sponsor – Learn how to sponsor a family member

What is Family Class Visa? Canada

If you are an adult Canadian permanent resident or citizen with a family member who wants to immigrate to Canada, you may be able to help them become a permanent resident through family class sponsorship.

Family Class Sponsorship aims to reunite families and provides an opportunity to close family members to Immigrate to Canada under this program.

The three most prominently used categories under the family class are

  1. Sponsoring your spouse or partner
  2. Sponsoring your dependant biological and adopted child
  3. Sporing your parent or grandparent

You may be eligible to Sponsor under the family class if

  1. You are 18 years old
  2. You are a
    • Canadian Citizen OR
    • permanent resident of Canada
  1. You can prove that you are not receiving social assistance for reasons other than a disability
  2. and you can provide for the basic needs of any persons you want to sponsor


Your Spouse

  • Must be legally married to the Sponsor.
  • And at least 18 years of age.

Your Common-Law Partner

  • isn’t legally married to the Sponsor
  • is at least 18 years or more
  • Has been living for a minimum of 1 year in a conjugal relationship without long periods apart.

Your Conjugal Partner

  • isn’t legally married or in a common-law relationship with the Sponsor
  • is at least 18 years old
  • has been in a relationship with the Sponsor for at least one year
  • lives outside Canada
  • can’t live with you in their country of residence or marry you because of significant legal and immigration reasons.
Sponsor in Family Class PR

Family Class Sponsor – Sponsorship undertaking

Your Obligations as a sponsor – Spousal PR

When you agree to be a sponsor, you must sign an undertaking promising to give financial support for the basic needs of your spouse or partner and their dependent children.

Basic needs are:

  • food, clothing, shelter, and other necessities for everyday living,
  • dental care, eye care, and other health needs that aren’t covered by public health services.

Length of the undertaking

  • is 3 years for spouse, common law partner or conjugal partner
  • is 3 years for child over 22 years 
  • is 10 years or the child turns 22 years (of age) whichever comes first if the child is under 22 years 

    Canceling the undertaking

    A sponsor may cancel the sponsorship undertaking anytime before the application’s decision by raising an IRCC Webform. Once the application is approved, the undertaking won’t be canceled (for the length of the undertaking) even if 

    • the person you sponsor becomes a Canadian citizen
    • you become divorced, separated or your relationship with the sponsored person breaks down
    • you or the sponsored person move to another province or country
    • you have financial problem

      You may not be able to sponsor under Family Class if

      • are sponsoring a spouse or partner but you signed an undertaking for a previous spouse or partner and it hasn’t been three years since they became a permanent resident,
      • previously sponsored someone and did not pay back any social assistance they received while the undertaking was in place.
      • are in default on an immigration loan or a performance bond
      • did not pay court-ordered alimony or child support
      • have declared bankruptcy which has not been discharged
      • were convicted of
        1. an offense of a sexual nature,
        2. a violent crime,
        3. an offense against a relative that caused bodily harm or
        4. threatened or attempted to commit any of the above offenses—depending on the nature of the offense, how long ago it happened and if you received a pardon.
      • are sponsoring a spouse or partner and you were previously sponsored as a spouse, common-law or conjugal partner and became a permanent resident of Canada less than five years ago,
      • are under a removal order,
      • are in a penitentiary, jail, reformatory or prison,
      • have already applied to sponsor your current spouse or partner and haven’t received a decision.
      Get your Spousal PR through Krish Immigration Consulting
      Apply for Spousal PR through Krish Immigration Consulting

      Can I sponsor if I am living outside Canada?

      Yes, you can sponsor your spouse, common-law or conjugal partner under Family Class as long you are a Canadian Citizen. You cannot be living outside Canada and be sponsoring if you are a Permanent Resident of Canada.

      Sponsorship and a previous sponsorship undertaking. 

      If family members you sponsored in the past got social assistance or welfare while the undertaking was valid, you can’t sponsor until:

      • you repay the full amount of any social assistance or welfare payment or
      • repay the debt to the satisfaction of the government authority that issued the benefit or ordered you to pay.

      Sponsorship and Immigration Loan.

      If you got a transportation, assistance or right of permanent residence fee (previously called the right of landing fee) loan and have missed payments:

      • You can’t sponsor if you are in default of your loan.

      Family Class vs Canada Class

      Who can you sponsor under Family Class?

      • the person you want to sponsor lives outside Canada
      • the person you want to sponsor currently lives with you in Canada but doesn’t plan to stay in Canada while the application is being processed
      • you plan to appeal if the application is refused
      • you’re sponsoring your conjugal partner or dependent child

      Who can you sponsor in Canada Class?

      • lives with you in Canada
      • has valid immigration status in Canada
      • would like to apply for, and qualifies for, an Open Work Permit so that they can work while the application is being processed


      What are my options if Spousal PR is not applicable to me and I still want to immigrate to Canada?

      There are multiple pathways that you can look at depending on your situation and based on your education, work experience and connections to Canada.

      1. Studying in Canada

      2. Express Entry

      3. Provincial Nominee Programs  (Source: IRCC Website)

      4. Pilot Programs (like AIPP, RNIP etc., which requires a job offer). (Source: IRCC Website)