You met your girlfriend outside of Canada, and it was love at first sight. Now, you can’t imagine life without her, and you want to bring her to Canada to live with you permanently. You’re not sure what the process is, but you’re a Canadian citizen, so it should be pretty simple, right? Think again - sometimes sponsoring someone to come to Canada can be quite complicated. Read on to learn about what it takes to sponsor your girlfriend or significant other to come to Canada.
Are You Eligible to Sponsor Someone?
First, you must determine whether you can sponsor someone, and whether that person is eligible for sponsorship to come to Canada.
You can sponsor someone to come to Canada if you’re a Canadian citizen or permanent resident and you’re 18 years of age or older. Do you live in Quebec? You also have to meet that province’s sponsorship requirements.
However, there are some exceptions to the conditions mentioned above. You’re ineligible to sponsor someone if you didn’t meet the terms of a sponsorship agreement in the past. A sponsorship agreement states that you’ll provide the basic requirements of life (food, shelter, clothing, and health needs not covered by provincial health plans).
Another bar to sponsorship eligibility is not paying alimony or child support. That shows the government you don’t have the financial means (or if you do, you won’t use them) to support someone else. Declaring bankruptcy that hasn’t been discharged also prevents you from serving as a sponsor.
Did you receive social assistance, and you’re not disabled? You won’t be able to sponsor anyone to immigrate to Canada. The inability to pay back an immigration loan, or even late or missed payments, rules you out as a sponsor.
If you’ve been convicted of certain crimes, you can’t sponsor anyone, either. These crimes include offenses of a sexual nature, violent crimes, an offense against a relative resulting in bodily harm, or even an attempt or threat to commit such offenses. And if you’re currently in prison, regardless of the offense, you can’t become a sponsor.
You don’t have to be a scofflaw to be ineligible to sponsor someone. If someone else sponsored you as a spouse, common law partner, or conjugal partner, and you became a permanent resident of Canada less than five years ago, you must wait until that five year period has passed before sponsoring someone. See Family Sponsorship or Spousal Sponsorship.