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::: IMMIGRATION [ CANADA ] > Family Class Immigration

Family Class members are people sponsored to come to Canada by a person who is a Canadian Citizen or a Permanent Resident of Canada. According to Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC), Canadian citizens and permanent residents living in Canada who are 18 years of age or older, may sponsor close relatives or family members who want to become permanent residents of Canada. Sponsors must promise to support the relative or family member and accompanying family members for a period of 3 to 10 years to help them settle in Canada.

Family reunification is a key objective of Canadian immigration. In addition, spouses or common-law partners who are 16 years of age or older, and have legal temporary status in Canada as visitors, students, or temporary workers (Temporary Resident Visa holders) may apply under this Class. 

The Family Class applicant must be the sponsor’s:

ü       spouse, common-law or conjugal partner;

ü        dependant child, including a child adopted abroad;

ü       child under 18 to be adopted in Canada;

ü       parents or grandparents; or

ü       an orphaned child under 18 who is a brother, sister, niece, nephew or

ü       grand child and is not a spouse or common-law partner. 

The sponsor starts the Canadian immigration process by obtaining an application from Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC). The type of application and submission procedure differs depending on the relationship between the sponsor and the applicant, and whether the applicant is abroad or already in Canada.

If the applicant is the sponsor's spouse, common law partner, conjugal partner or dependent child. 

Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) has introduced a Joint Application Guide that is simpler and easier to use for both sponsors and applicants. The new guide is designed to promote quicker processing by streamlining the receipt of applications.

The sponsor will receive a joint application and guide, including the sponsorship and immigrant applications. It is then up to the sponsor to obtain the necessary documents and information from the applicant, whether abroad or in Canada, and submit both the sponsorship and immigrant applications and all supporting documents to the Case Processing Centre in Mississauga, Ontario.

If the applicant is outside of Canada, the Case Processing Centre will complete the sponsorship assessment and then send the immigrant portion to a visa office that serves the area where the immigrant applicant lives. The visa office assesses the immigrant's application, interviews the applicant, if necessary, and conducts medical, security and criminality checks.

An application by a spouse or common-law partner under the In-Canada Class -- including interviews, and medical, security and criminality checks -- will be assessed by a Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) staff in Canada.

Application Process 

ü       Preliminary Review (Paper Screening)

ü       Interview Requirement

ü       Application Decision

ü       Medical Clearance

ü       Security clearance

ü       Visa issuance 

The immigration officer is entitled to request that the sponsor applicant attend a Selection Interview if he/she has concerns regarding any or all of the following:  

ü       authenticity of the documents submitted ;

ü       truthfulness and total completion of the forms;

ü       verification of the information entered on the forms;  

The medical examination requirement is mandatory and serves the following purposes:  

ü       to protect the health of Canadians;

ü       to protect the safety of Canadians;

ü       to reduce and prevent excessive demand on Canada's

ü       health and social services 

Each applicant over the age of 18 is required to pass the security requirement. All applicants must prove that they are not a threat to the safety of Canadian society. Applicants provide this information through police clearances which the applicant must obtain directly and by passing the background clearances which the immigration authorities obtain on behalf of the applicant. 


ü       Is a Canadian citizen or a Canadian permanent resident; and

ü       Meets the family class sponsorship requirements 

The Sponsor must demonstrate the financial ability to provide the Family Sponsorship Immigrant and dependents with their essential needs 

ü       Food, clothing, shelter and other basic requirements of everyday living; and

ü Dental and eye care and other health needs not covered by public health services available to all Canadian citizens and Canadian permanent residents.  

A Sponsor must demonstrate a level of income that meets the minimum necessary income or low-income cutoff (LICO) for a given family size, as established by Statistics Canada. The Sponsor is freed from this requirement if:

ü The individual requiring sponsorship is the spouse, common-law partner or conjugal partner of the Canadian Sponsor; or

ü       The individual requiring sponsorship is the dependent child of the Canadian Sponsor.  

To determine if the Sponsor's total income is sufficient, deduct the following from the total family income:

ü       Workmen's compensation board payments, except for permanent disabilities;

ü       Payments from provincial or municipal sources for welfare assistance;

ü       Payments from federal, provincial or municipal sources for employment training, or for any social or welfare benefits which are not of a fixed and continuing nature; and

ü       All debts.  

The resulting amount must exceed the minimum income levels shown in this chart

Size of Family Unit
Minimum necessary income
1 Person (the Sponsor) $20,778
2 Persons $25,867
3 Persons $31,801
4 Persons $38,610
5 Persons $43,791
6 Persons $49,389
7 Persons $54,987
Each additional person $5,598


If the Sponsor is unable to demonstrate a financial ability to provide for essential needs, his or her spouse, common-law partner, or conjugal partner may act as a co-signer, if: 

ü Their combined income meets the minimum necessary income; and

ü       The co-signer meets all the other sponsorship requirements of a valid Sponsor.

Essential needs are defined as:  

ü Food, clothing, shelter and other basic requirements of everyday living

ü       Dental and eye care and other health needs not covered by public health services available to all Canadian citizens and permanent residents

The Sponsor must be willing to enter into an agreement with:

ü The Government of Canada or Quebec, whereby he or she agrees to provide the above essential needs for a prescribed period of time; and

ü       The Sponsored relative (if over 22 years of age and not elderly), whereby the Sponsor promises to support the Sponsored person(s) for a prescribed period of time, and

ü The Sponsored person(s) promises to make every effort to become self-supporting.

The Sponsor must have either:

Physical residency in Canada; or

ü       For Canadian citizens sponsoring a spouse, common-law partner, conjugal partner, or dependent child, a demonstrated intention to reside in Canada by the time the Sponsored family member lands in Canada as a permanent resident.  

ü       In addition, the Sponsor must be: at least 18 years old; not in prison; not bankrupt; not under a removal order if a permanent resident; and not charged with a serious offence.

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---Harivadan Desai                       More>>>