What is Dependent Child Sponsorship?
The main purpose of the sponsorship of dependent children, which is offered through the Family Class sponsorship, is to enable family members who reside in different countries to be reunited and live together in Canada. More specifically, the program allows Canadian citizens and permanent residents to bring their children from abroad to Canada as permanent residents.
Dependent children, whether biological or adopted, can be sponsored to live with their parent(s) as permanent residents in Canada.
Am I Eligible to Sponsor my Child?
To sponsor your child to come to Canada, you must:
- be 18 years of age or older;
- be a Canadian citizen, a permanent resident living in Canada, intending to return to Canada, or a person registered under the Indian Act of Canada;
- be able to provide for your basic needs and those of your dependent children as well as your spouse, if applicable;
- be able to prove your relationship to your child
- not have a criminal record;
- not be in prison, charged with a serious offence, or bankrupt;
- not be in default of a previous sponsorship undertaking;
- not be under immigration investigation;
- not be receiving income assistance, except for reasons of disability.
Does my Child Qualify for Sponsorship?
To be eligible for sponsorship, children must fall under the definition of a dependant, meaning they are:
- the biological or adopted child of a Canadian citizen or permanent resident;
- are not married or in a common-law relationship;
- are under the age of 22.
A child over the age of 22 may also qualify as a dependant providing, they meet the following two requirements:
- they suffer from a physical or mental condition that prevents them from being able to support themselves;
- they have depended on their parents for financial support since before the age of 22.
What are the Requirements for Sponsoring a Child?
As a sponsor, you will be required to sign an “undertaking” that contractually commits you to providing for your child’s basic needs, such as:
- medical expenses not provided by the public health system.
The length of the undertaking for biological dependent children or those to be adopted in Canada who are under 22 years of age is 10 years or until they reach 25 years of age, whichever comes first. For dependent children over the age of 22, the duration of the undertaking is 3 years.
How does Sponsoring a Child for Immigration Work?
You will be required to go through four main steps when applying to sponsor a child:
Step 1. Obtain an application package found on the government website; it contains a guide with instructions and forms that will help you complete the process correctly.
Step 2. Pay the online application fee, which includes the processing fee for all persons included in the application, the Right of Permanent Residence Fee, the biometric fee and any other third-party fees, if applicable.
Step 3. Submit your application by following the submission instructions provided in the guide you downloaded.
Step 4. Submit the required supporting documents when prompted to do so by Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).
Is the Process of Sponsoring a Child Different in Quebec?
The province of Quebec has its own immigration procedures and additional steps will have to be taken if you reside in that province.
You will need to file an application at the federal level with Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), and at the provincial level with the Ministère de l’Immigration, de la Francisation et de l’Intégration (MIFI).
Applicants who reside in Quebec will need to apply for a Quebec Selection Certificate (QSC) and sign an “undertaking” with the province. This undertaking commits you, as a “contractual” sponsor, to provide for the basic needs of the sponsored person and, if applicable, to reimburse the government for any assistance (social assistance) provided to the sponsored person during the sponsorship period.
The duration of this undertaking is different in Quebec than in the rest of Canada and varies, in the case of children, according to their age.
What happens after sponsorship?
Children sponsored through the Family Class of immigration receive Canadian permanent residence. This includes the right to study and work in Canada.
If at least one parent (legal parent at birth or biological parent) was born in Canada or became a Canadian citizen before the child was born, your child may already be a Canadian citizen.
However, if your adopted child was born outside Canada, he or she is not automatically a Canadian citizen.