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How do I sponsor parents, grandparents, adopted children and other relatives living outside of Canada?

Sponsor Eligibility

You may be eligible to sponsor adopted children and other relatives living outside of Canada if:

  • The person you want to sponsor is a member of the family class. If they are not, you will be not be able to sponsor them;
  • You are 18 years of age or older;
  • You are a Canadian citizen or permanent resident;
  • You reside in Canada;
  • You sign an undertaking promising to provide for the basic needs of the person being sponsored and, if applicable, his or her family members;
  • You and the sponsored person sign an agreement that confirms that each of you understands your mutual obligations and responsibilities; and
  • You have an income that is at least equal to the minimum necessary income that the Canadian government determines each year. This is also known as the "Low Income Cut-Off" or "LICO."

The LICO income is based on your Gross Annual Income. You have to provide Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) with documents that show your financial resources for the past 12 months and prove you are financially able to sponsor members of the family class. You may get the help of a cosigner.

Who is eligible to be sponsored?

Important Note: Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) will not be accepting applications for the Parent and Grandparent (PGP) program until January 2015.

As an alternative to the sponsorship of parents and grandparents, CIC introduced in 2011 the Parent and Grandparent Super Visa. This is a 10-year multiple entry visa that allows parents and grandparents to stay in Canada for up to 2 years per visit. You can learn more about the Super Visa on the CIC website.

You can sponsor relatives or family members under this class if they are:

  • A child whom you adopted outside Canada and you were a Canadian citizen or permanent resident living in Canada at the time the adoption took place, or a child whom you intend to adopt in Canada
  • Your brother or sister, nephew or niece, grandson or granddaughter, if he or she is an orphan, under 18 years of age and not married or in a common-law relationship
  • Any other person with whom you have family relationship if you do not have a spouse, son, daughter, mother, father, brother, sister, grandfather, grandmother, uncle, aunt, niece or nephew who is a Canadian citizen, registered Indian or permanent resident or whom you may sponsor. If you believe you are in this situation, contact the Citizenship and Immigration Canada Call Centre.

Who is a dependent child?

Dependent children may be your own children or those of the person you are sponsoring. To be sponsored, they must:

  • Be under the age of 22 and not a spouse or common-law partner; or
  • Have depended substantially on the financial support of a parent and have been continuously enrolled and in attendance as full-time students in a post secondary institution accredited by the relevant government authority since before the age of 22 (see The sponsor's guide (IMM 5196) for more details); or
  • Have depended substantially on the financial support of a parent since before the age of 22 and unable to provide for themselves due to a medical condition.

Many settlement agencies can help you with your sponsorship application. To find help in your area, go to Services Near Me.

For More Information

Last Updated: May 29, 2013
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