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Family Class

Immigration to Canada – Family Class

Family class
(Family Class)

Under Canadian law, any Canadian resident, citizen or permanent resident who has reached the age of 18 (before the introduction of the new immigration law in June 2002, the minimum age was 19 years) has the right to sponsor their close relatives so that they can obtain an immigrant visa to Canada.

Mandatory requirement – the sponsor must reside in Canada. As an exception, a Canadian citizen (only a citizen, but not a permanent resident) living outside Canada may sponsor a spouse/spouse or child, provided that after receiving an immigrant visa, a sponsored relative returns to Canada for permanent residence.
The essence of sponsorship is that a Canadian must provide evidence that he has a stable financial situation and is able to commit himself to keeping a summonsed relative at his own expense, providing him with accommodation, food, daily needs and medical expenses not covered by the State (dental treatment, eyes, cosmetic surgery, etc.). At the same time, the sponsor must show the presence of a stable income (salary) for the last 36 months, with confirmation of payment of taxes for the income received. There is a minimum amount of income that a sponsor must show on the basis of his tax returns for the last 3 years. The amount of income required depends on the number of family members who will be dependent on the sponsor, including himself. For example, for a family consisting of a sponsor, a spouse, one child and a sponsored relative (mother) – you need to show income per 4 people. The exception is the sponsorship of a spouse/marriage partner and a child where sponsorship is permitted, even if the sponsor cannot provide proof of the minimum income required for the past 12 months.

When sponsoring a relative, the sponsor signs an obligation (Undertaking) to support a sponsored relative for a certain period. This period is 3 years or 10 years (depending on the type of kinship and age). For a spouse/marriage partner, this period is 3 years. For those children who were under the age of 22 when entering Canada, they were either 10 years old or until they reached the age of 25 (which would come earlier); for those children who were aged 22 and over at the age of 22 and over at the age of 22 and over – a term of 3 years. Parents, grandparents and all other relatives on the permitted list are 10 years old. During this period, the sponsored relative will not be able to receive financial assistance from the state (welfare). If a sponsored relative applies for social benefits after entering Canada, the sponsor will be required to pay the state all social assistance funds that have been spent by the state on a relative of the sponsor. Also, the sponsor may be denied further sponsorship of other relatives.
Close relatives who can be sponsored by a Canadian citizen include:

Spouse, as well as an unregistered formal marriage partner (common-law partner or conjugal partner);

– The parents or adopted dependent children of the sponsor under the age of 22 (dependent child);

Parents of the sponsor;

The sponsor’s grandparents;

Children under the age of 18 (unmarried) if their parents have died and are sponsored by a brother/sister, nephew/niece, grandchildren;

– brother/sister, nephew/niece, grandparents, grandchildren, if the sponsor himself no longer has any other close relatives (wife, common-law partner, conjugal partner, children, parents)

The family sponsorship process consists of two stages:

1 – obtaining a sponsorship permit;

2 – passing the immigration process sponsored by a relative.

At the same time, the documents for both stages are prepared at once and all together sent to case Processing Centre (located in Mississauga, Ontario). They first review the sponsor’s documents and decide whether they meet the requirements imposed on the sponsor. If they do, Case Processing Centre itself then sends the entire package of documents to a relative in the Canadian Embassy of the country where the sponsored relative resides. The Embassy considers a relative’s application to immigrate to Canada under the category of “family sponsorship” and decides whether to grant him an immigrant visa.

State fees to be paid during the immigration process:

1. Processing fee (this fee is a payment of the state’s costs for processing applications).

  • 75 CAD – for sponsor;
  • 475 CAD – for a sponsored relative 22 years and older or if it is a spouse/marriage partner of the sponsor, regardless of age;
  • 75 CAD – for a sponsored relative under the age of 22 (and who is not a spouse/marriage partner of the sponsor);
  • 550 CAD – for each family member of a sponsored relative 22 years and older or if it is a spouse/marriage partner of a sponsored relative, regardless of age;
  • 150 CAD – for each family member of a sponsored relative under the age of 22 (and who is not a spouse/marriage partner of a sponsored relative).

The Processing fee is paid at the same time as filing documents with Case Processing Centre. If the sponsor is denied sponsorship (it is not approved as a sponsor), and the documents are not transferred for further processing to the Canadian Embassy of the country of residence of the sponsored relative, he is returned all the state duties Processing Fee, minus 75 CAD – the state duty of the sponsor. This is a significant difference from the old law, when all Processing Fee, regardless of the outcome of the case, were irretrievable.

2. Right of Permanent Residence Fee (this fee is a payment of the state’s expenses for the registration of a sponsored relative as a permanent resident of Canada).

  • 490 CAD – for a sponsored relative and his/her spouse/marriage partner (if any).

This fee is not paid for children.

This fee can be paid at any time prior to the issuance of visas, although it is preferable to pay this payment at the same time as paying the first part of processing fee when applying for approval by the client as a sponsor in Case Processing Centre. If The Right of Permanent Residence Fee was paid in advance and the sponsor was refused sponsorship or a sponsored relative was denied a visa, these fees are fully refunded to the sponsor by Canadian immigration authorities in the form of a cheque (Money Order)

What’s new in this category

The age at which children are considered dependent has been changed and therefore sponsored by a relative in Canada – the age has been increased to 22 years. In addition, children over the age of 22 may be dependent (i.e. those who are entitled to sponsorship) if they are full-time students or are disabled (i.e. they have physical injuries or mental illnesses). Undoubtedly, this is a very humane act, and such aspirations of the Ministry of Immigration are welcome.

It is given the opportunity to act as a sponsor and those who are in a common-law partnership (common-law partners), that is, do not have a certificate of marriage. It is required that such a couple live together for at least one year.

The age of the sponsor has been reduced from 19 to 18 years. That is, now any resident of Canada, who has the status of a citizen or permanent resident, can act as sponsors of their close relatives at the age of 18.

A new category – In-Canada landing class – has been introduced. The point of it is that it will be allowed to apply for sponsorship of spouses and children who have already entered Canada and live with the sponsor. If under the old law a sponsored relative could apply for family sponsorship to be immigratory to Canada only while outside Canada, under the new law it would be possible to do so in Canada itself. This does not apply to all relatives, but only to sponsored spouses/marriage partners and children.

When sponsoring spouses/marriage partners and children 22 years of age and older, the term of the sponsor’s responsibility is reduced from 10 to 3 years. For all other categories of relatives, the term of commitment by the sponsor remained the same – 10 years.

The requirements for the sponsor’s responsibility for fulfilling his obligations to support a relative summoned to Canada are increasing. If a sponsored relative applies for social benefits after entering Canada, prior to the sponsorship period, the sponsor will be required to pay the state all social assistance funds that have been spent by the state on a relative of the sponsor. The sponsor will also be prohibited from sponsoring other relatives in the future.

An important change is the introduction of a temporary visa for a sponsored spouse if the couple does not have children together. Only after 2 years of residence with Canada, the immigrant receives the final permanent resident visa.

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