About the process
If you submit the interest to sponsor form and you’re invited to submit a complete application, you can sponsor your parents and grandparents to become permanent residents of Canada.
If you do, you must:
- support them and their dependants financially
- make sure they don’t need social assistance from the government
Who is eligible to sponsor a parent or grandparent
You can sponsor your own parents and grandparents if:
- you’re at least 18 years old
- you live in Canada
- you’re a Canadian citizen, a permanent resident of Canada, or a person registered in Canada as an Indian under the Canadian Indian Act
- you have enough money to support the persons you want to sponsor
- To show that you have enough, you’ll have to provide your proof of income.
If you live outside Quebec
To become a sponsor, you must promise to financially take care of the persons you are sponsoring for a period of time. We call this promise an undertaking.
The undertaking commits you to:
- providing financial support for your sponsored family members for 20 years, starting when they become permanent residents
- repaying any provincial social assistance (money from the government) your sponsored family members get during that time
Also, you and your sponsored family members need to agree to certain responsibilities during the undertaking period. We call this the sponsorship agreement.
The sponsorship agreement means that:
- you’ll provide for the basic needs of your sponsored family members
- the person you sponsor will make every effort to support themselves and their family members
When you apply, you’ll have to complete and sign a form that includes the undertaking and the sponsorship agreement.
If you live in Quebec
You must meet Quebec’s immigration sponsorship requirements after we approve you as a sponsor. The Quebec ministry in charge of immigration will assess your income.
You must also sign an undertaking with the province of Quebec.
Who can’t sponsor a parent or grandparent
You can’t sponsor your parents and grandparents if:
- you’re less than 18 years old
- you won’t live in Canada when you apply to sponsor your parents and grandparents and/or when your parents and grandparents become permanent residents
- Your primary residential address must be in Canada when you submit your application and until we make a decision on your application.
- you’re not a Canadian citizen, a permanent resident of Canada, or a person registered in Canada as an Indian under the Canadian Indian Act
- you’re a temporary resident, that is you’re visiting, studying or working in Canada on a visa or permit
- your permanent residence application is still in process
- You must have permanent resident status at the time you submit your sponsorship application.
- your proof of income shows you don’t have enough money to support the persons you want to sponsor
You may not be eligible to sponsor your parents and grandparents if you:
- are in jail, prison, or penitentiary
- didn’t pay back
- an immigration loan
- a performance bond
- court-ordered family support payments such as alimony or child support didn’t give the financial support you agreed to when you signed a sponsorship agreement to sponsor someone else in the past
- declared bankruptcy and are not discharged
- receive social assistance for a reason other than a disability
- were convicted of a violent criminal offence, any offence against a relative or any sexual offence inside or outside Canada
- can’t legally stay in Canada and must leave the country because you received a Removal Order
There may be other reasons that make you ineligible to sponsor your parents and grandparents. If we determine you’re not eligible to sponsor, we’ll tell you why.
Who you can sponsor
You can sponsor your own parents and grandparents, related by blood or adoption.
In case of divorce or separation, you can sponsor your parents’ and your grandparents’ spouses, or conjugal or common-law partners.
In the application, you can only include your brothers and sisters, or half brothers and sisters, if they qualify as dependent children.
You may sponsor more than 1 person or couple if you meet the income requirements for all the people you want sponsor and their dependants (spouse, partner and children).
The people you sponsor must also be eligible
To show they meet the eligibility requirements, your parents and grandparents and their dependants must provide:
- all required forms and documents with their application
- any additional information we request during processing, including:
- medical exams
- police certificates
Examples of who you can sponsor
See the examples below to better understand who you can sponsor.
Example 1: Sponsoring your mother and father, together as a couple
You can sponsor your parents together as a couple. On the application, one of them (either your mother or your father) will be designated as the main applicant, called the principal applicant. The other will be designated as a dependant.
- If you designate your mother as the principal applicant, your father will be the dependant.
- If you designate your father as the principal applicant, your mother will be the dependant.
If you have brothers or sisters, you can include them in the application only if they qualify as dependent children. If they’re older than the age limit or they don’t meet all the requirements, they can’t be added to your parents’ application as dependent children. They’ll have to immigrate to Canada on their own.
Example 2: Sponsoring your father, your step mother and their son
You can sponsor your father, his spouse and their son (your half-brother). On the application, your father must be the main applicant, called the principal applicant, because he’s related to you. Your step mother can’t be the principal applicant. She’ll be listed as your father’s dependant. Your step-brother can be added as a dependant only if he qualifies as a dependent child.
Example 3: Sponsoring your grandparents, your mother and your step father
In this situation, you’ll have to submit 2 separate sponsorship applications: 1 per couple.
On your grandparents’ application, one of them (either your grandmother or your grandfather) will be designated as the main applicant, called the principal applicant. The other will be designated as a dependant.
- If you designate your grandmother as the principal applicant, your grandfather will be the dependant.
- If you designate your grandfather as the principal applicant, your grandmother will be the dependant.
On your mother’s application, your mother must be the principal applicant, because she’s related to you. Her partner can’t be the principal applicant. He’ll be listed as your mother’s dependant.
Who you can’t sponsor
You can’t sponsor:
- your spouse’s parents and grandparents (your in-laws)
- However, you can be a co-signer on your in-laws’ application.
- someone who is inadmissible to Canada
- This means they are not allowed to come to Canada.
How to apply
If you’re invited to apply to sponsor your parents and grandparents, there are 2 applications:
- You must apply to become a sponsor.
- Your parents or grandparents must apply for permanent residence.
Submit both the sponsorship and the permanent residence applications together online at the same time.
We must get your application package 60 days from the date of your invitation. The deadline is clearly marked on your invitation to apply.
The steps to apply to sponsor your parents and grandparents are a bit different for the 2021 process. We’ll invite people from the remaining pool of potential sponsors who submitted an interest to sponsor form in 2020.
If you’re invited to apply, we’ll email you using the email address you gave us.
Step 1. Get an invitation to apply
We randomly select and invite potential sponsors to apply to sponsor their parents and grandparents. For the 2021 process, we’ll send enough invitations to apply with the goal to accept 30,000 applications.
Step 2. Apply online
To avoid using outdated forms or an old instruction guide, don’t start filling out your application unless you’re invited to apply to the 2021 program.
If you apply but don’t end up being invited, we won’t refund the sponsorship application processing fee.
This year, we’ll accept applications from those who are invited through an online process. We’ll add more information on how it works in the coming weeks.
If you live in Quebec, find out the steps to take to sponsor your parents and grandparents in Quebec.
Step 3. Pay your application fees
In most cases, your fees will include:
- processing fees for you, the people you’re sponsoring and their dependants
- the Right of Permanent Residence Fee
- the biometrics fee
You have to pay fees online.
In most cases, you must pay a biometrics fee when you submit your application. If you don’t your application may be delayed. The biometrics fee covers the cost of collecting fingerprints and a digital photo.
Third party fees
Depending on your situation, you may need to pay third parties for
- your medical exam
- a police certificate
The instruction guide can help you understand which fees apply to you.
Step 4. Send us additional information during processing
During processing, we’ll ask the person you’re sponsoring to submit their
- medical exams
- police certificates
- You don’t have to include police certificates when you apply. We’ll ask you for them later in the process.
- You need a police certificate for the people being sponsored and each family member 18 or older (who isn’t already a Canadian citizen or permanent resident).
- Police certificates are generally valid for 1 year from the date they’re issued.
- Depending on processing times, we may ask you for new certificates.
- When the biometrics fee is paid, we’ll send your family members a letter asking them to give their biometrics.
- Your family members must show this letter when they give their biometrics.
- They have 30 days to give their biometrics in person at their closest collection point.