Canadian citizens and permanent residents can sponsor their children living abroad to immigrate to Canada.
Through family class sponsorship, a Canadian citizen or permanent resident can sponsor a dependent child living abroad to come to join them in Canada and become a permanent resident. The purpose of sponsoring a dependent child is to enable family members who reside in different countries to be reunited in Canada.
Child eligibility requirements
In order to be eligible for sponsorship, a child must be dependent, meaning they are:
- 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 the age of 22, they may qualify as dependent as long as they:
- Have a physical or mental condition that prevents them from being able to support themselves; and
- They depended on their parents for financial support before the age of 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 provide for your basic needs and those of your dependent child, as well as your spouse (if applicable);
- Be able to prove the relationship to your child;
- Not have a criminal record;
- Not be in prison, charged with a serious offense, or be bankrupt;
- Not be in default of a previous sponsorship undertaking;
- Not be under immigration investigation; and
- Not be receiving income assistance, except for reasons of disability.
The length of the undertaking for a dependent child in Canada who are under the age of 22 is 10 years or until they reach 25 years of age, whichever comes first. If the dependent child is over the age of 22, the length of the undertaking is three years.
Sponsoring 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 have to take.
You will need to file an application at the provincial level with the Ministère de l’Immigration, de la Francisation, and de l’Intégration (MIFI) on top of the usual application at the federal level with Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).
Moreover, applicants who reside in Quebec will need to apply for a Quebec Selection Certificate (QSC) and sign an “undertaking” with the province. The undertaking requires you, as a sponsor, to provide for the basic needs of the dependent child and reimburse the government for assistance provided to the sponsored person during the sponsorship period, if applicable.
Finally, the length of undertaking for a dependent child in Quebec is different than in the rest of Canada and varies according to their age. If the dependent child is under 16 years of age, the undertaking is for a minimum of 10 years, or until the age of 18, whichever is longer. If the dependent child is 16 years of age and older, the undertaking is a minimum of three years, or until the age of 25, whichever is longer.
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