Grounded Ingenuity | Refined Results

March 08, 2020
By Timothy Loh

Canada offers a number of pathways for Canadian citizens and permanent residents to sponsor family members to become permanent residents of Canada.

Canadian citizens over the age of 18 who are resident in Hong Kong may be eligible to sponsor their spouse (including a common-law partner or conjugal partner) and their children (who are unmarried, under the age of 22 and without their own dependent children) if they will reside in Canada when these family members become permanent residents. There is no pathway per se for a Canadian citizen to sponsor their fiancée to immigrate to Canada but the fiancée may qualify as a common-law partner (on the basis of co-habitation in a conjugal relationship for at least 1 year) or conjugal partner (on the basis of a conjugal relationship for at least 1 year).

Note that children of Canadian citizens may already qualify for Canadian citizenship even if they were born in Hong Kong or any other place outside Canada. In this case, the children should apply for Canadian citizenship rather than permanent residency.

As there is a concern that family members sponsored to come to Canada may burden the Canadian social safety net, sponsors will need to meet financial thresholds.

In the case of sponsorship of a spouse or child, the sponsor must provide an undertaking to provide financial support for basic needs of the sponsored family member. For applications for residents outside Quebec, in the case of a spouse, the undertaking will last for 3 years from the day the spouse becomes a permanent resident and, in the case of a child, the undertaking will last for 10 years from the day the child becomes a permanent resident or until the child reaches 22 years of age, whichever comes first.

It is possible for a Canadian citizen to sponsor parents and grandparents but the sponsor must be living in Canada at the time of the application and must be invited to apply following a submission of interest.

In the case of a sponsorship of a parent or grandparent or a child with their own dependent child, the sponsor must meet minimum income thresholds which will depend upon the number of family members being sponsored and, for sponsors residing outside Quebec, must provide an undertaking to provide financial support to those family members for 20 years beginning on when they become permanent residents.

An alternative to sponsoring a parent or grandparent for permanent residency is to apply for a super visa for them. A super visa entitles the parent or grandparent to stay in Canada for up to 2 years (whereas visitor visas are normally issued for 6 months). Super visas may be renewed.

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