Through family sponsorship, a Canadian citizen or permanent resident can sponsor a dependent child living abroad to join them in Canada and become a permanent resident. The purpose of sponsoring a dependent child is to allow family members residing in different countries to be reunited in Canada.
Children’s eligibility requirements
To be eligible for sponsorship, a child must be dependent, i.e.:
- A child of a Canadian citizen or permanent resident or their spouse;
- Are not married or in a common-law relationship;
- Are under the age of 22.
If a child is over 22, they can be considered a dependent as long as they:
- Have a physical or mental condition that prevents them from being able to support themselves; and
- Dependent on parents for financial support since before age 22.
Sponsor Eligibility Requirements
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 or intending to return to Canada, or a person registered under the Indian Act of Canada;
- Be able to meet your basic needs and those of your dependent child, as well as your spouse (if applicable);
- Be able to prove the relationship with your child;
- Not having a criminal record;
- Not be in jail, charged with a serious offense or be bankrupt;
- Not be in default of a previous sponsorship commitment;
- Not be the subject of an immigration investigation; and
- Not receiving income assistance, except for disability reasons.
The duration of the undertaking for a dependent child in Canada under the age of 22 is 10 years or until the child reaches the age of 25, whichever comes first. If the dependent child is over 22 years of age, the duration of the commitment is three years.
Sponsor a dependent child in Quebec
If you wish to sponsor your dependent child to come to Quebec, the province has its own immigration procedures and additional steps you will need to take.
You will need to file an application at the provincial level with the Ministry of Immigration, Francisation and Integration (MIFI) in addition to the usual application at the federal level with Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).
In addition, applicants residing in Quebec will need to apply for a Quebec selection certificate (QSC) and sign an “undertaking” with the province. The undertaking obliges you, as the sponsor, to meet the basic needs of the dependent child and to reimburse the government for any assistance provided to the sponsored person during the sponsorship period, if applicable.
Finally, the duration of the commitment of a dependent child in Quebec is different from that of the rest of Canada and varies according to his age. If the dependent child is under 16, the commitment is at least 10 years, or until age 18, whichever is longer. If the dependent child is 16 or older, the commitment is for at least three years, or until age 25, whichever is longer.
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