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Family Visas

Family class migration

This visa category allows Canadian Citizens and Permanent residents to sponsor the following family members for permanent residence in Canada:

  • Parents
  • Grandparents
  • Dependent children
  • Spouse /common law partners/ Conjugal partners
  • Sibling, nephew, niece, or grandchild under 18 years who is unmarried and whose parents are deceased

The three categories of family class migration include:

  1. Parents and Grand Parents Program (PGP)
  2. The Spousal Sponsorship category
  3. Dependent Child Sponsorship
  1. Parents and Grandparents sponsorship programs

    Citizens and PR holders in Canada could bring their parents and grandparents to Canada using one of the following family class programs:

    • Parents and Grandparent Program (PGP)
    • Super Visa Program

    1.1 Parent and Grandparent Program (PGP)

    Parents and Grandparents of Canadian Citizens and Permanent Residence holders can be sponsored under this stream. All successful candidates would receive permanent residence in Canada and could be eligible to apply for Canadian Citizenship if all relevant criteria have been met.

    Citizens and Permanent residents interested in sponsoring their parents or grandparents through this program must first fill an online form on the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) website, indicating their interest to apply as a sponsor. In 2018, the IRCC has indicated that they would accept up to 17,000 applications for processing through the PGP stream.

    *If invited to apply, candidates have 60 days from the date of invitation to submit a complete application form together with all supporting documents.

    Eligibility requirements for PGP:

    • The sponsor must be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident
    • The sponsor must be at-least 18 years of age
    • The sponsor must meet the minimum income levels indicated for the PGP to be able to sponsor for a minimum of 3 consecutive years (If the sponsor is married or in a common law relationship, then both incomes could be included to meet the minimum income level). * Sponsor will need to submit notices of assessment issued by the Canadian Revenue (CRA) to prove that they meet the minimum income requirements.
    • The sponsor must sign an undertaking to repay any provincial social assistance benefits that has been paid to the sponsor or other family members for a period of 20 years. (if the sponsor is living in Quebec, then additional undertaking needs to be signed)

    1.2 Super Visa Program

    This program allows parents and grandparents of Canadian PR holders and Citizens to come to Canada on a long- term visitor visa and stay for up to two years on their initial entry to Canada. Applicants who are successful could get a Super visa, with multiple entry for up to 10 years.

    Eligibility Criteria:

    • Written proof of financial support from the sponsor in Canada
    • The sponsor must meet the minimum income requirements to apply under this category
    • The applicant would need to purchase a minimum of one year’s health insurance and undergo a medical examination to be evaluated along with the application by Canadian immigration services
  2. The Spousal Sponsorship Category

    This category is for the spouse or common-law partner of a Canadian Citizen or Permanent resident to be able to gain permanent residency in Canada. Both the Canadian Sponsor and the sponsored person must first be approved by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to be able to successfully receive this visa. Under the Spousal sponsorship category, applications can be made under:

    1. Outland sponsorship category; OR
    2. Inland sponsorship category

    Outland Sponsorship

    The outland sponsorship application is applicable when the sponsored partner is living outside Canada. Outland applicants could also apply through this program while they are in Canada and could be allowed to travel in and out of Canada while this visa application is being processed. The visa application would be processed in the sponsored person’s country of origin, or the country in which they have resided in legally for at least one year.

    Inland Sponsorship

    Inland sponsorship applies when the couple is residing together in Canada, and the spouse/partner is in Canada under a temporary visa category, either as a worker, student or visitor. The person being sponsored may be eligible for an  Open Work Permit, allowing him or her to work for any employer in Canada while the sponsorship application is being processed.

    *Permanent residence granted under the Spousal Sponsorship program has conditions that must be met:

    • The sponsor is financially responsible for the sponsored spouse for three years after the spouse gains permanent residence in Canada
    • Individuals who gain permanent residency under the Spouse Sponsorship program cannot sponsor a spouse for at least five years after receiving Canadian permanent residence.

    The relationship between the sponsor and sponsored person needs to fall under one of the below relationship categories to gain permanent residency as a spouse in Canada:

    • Spouse
    • Common-law Partner
    • Conjugal Partner


    You must submit valid marriage documents to prove the validity of the marriage (marriage certificate). If there are no children from the marriage, and the marriage is less than 2 years, then it is required that the sponsor and sponsored person maintain that marriage for a minimum of two years following the application to be eligible to receive the spouse visa. The permanent residency of the spouse could be revoked if these conditions are not met. (This can be waived off in special cases where the spouse can demonstrate signs of neglect or abuse from their partners)


    This category applies for anyone who has lived with their significant other continuously for at least a year. You would need to provide proof of joint bank accounts, receipts, utility bills, documents that prove that both parties live at the same address (Driver’s license, bank statements, insurance) and any other required documents requested by Canadian immigration to prove the common law relationship.


    Under this category, the sponsor and sponsored person would need to show evidence that they have been in a continuous, committed relationship for at least one year. However, unlike a common law partner, you need not reside in the same house. When applying under this category, it is important to mention WHY or what barriers have prevented you from living together, including immigration barriers, cultural reasons, sexual orientation or other. With this category you can only apply through outland sponsorship, not inland.

    *In Canada, same sex partners and same sex marriage partners are also recognized and eligible to apply under any of the above three categories, if they meet all eligibility requirements.

  3. Dependent Child Sponsorship Program

    This program allows the dependent children (both biological and adopted) to live in Canada with their parents as permanent residents.

    The IRCC would first need to approve both the sponsor (Parent) and the child abroad (sponsored person) to be eligible for this program before they can receive a visa.

    In order to receive a visa through this program, the sponsor and sponsored child would be required to prove their relationship to each other. Individuals whose adoption proceedings are in the final phases of processing may begin sponsoring their child before the adoption has been finalized.

    *Children sponsored through the Family Class of immigration receive Canadian permanent residence and have the rights to study and work in Canada.


    The Canadian government requires payment of sponsorship and processing fees for Family Class applications. Additionally, there is a “Right of Permanent Residence Fee” for every sponsored relative who is not a dependent child – this is the only fee that will be refunded if the application is withdrawn or refused.

    Processing Time

    Family Member

    Fees ($CAN)

    Total Fees/Person ($CAN)

    Spouse, partner, or relative age 22 or older

    • Sponsorship fee ($75)
    • Processing fee ($475)
    • Right of permanent residence fee ($490)



    Relative under age 22 and not your dependent child


    • Sponsorship fee ($75)
    • Processing fee ($75)
    • Right of permanent residence fee ($490)



    Dependent child, adopted child or orphaned relative

    • Sponsorship fee ($75)
    • Processing fee ($75)



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