Parental Sponsorship

This popular immigration stream allows Canadian citizens and Permanent Residents to sponsor their parents and grandparents for Permanent Residency.

The Family Class sponsorship program includes a stream for parents and grandparents of Canadian citizens and permanent residents.

Successful parents and grandparents under this program will receive Canadian Permanent Residency and be able to apply for Canadian Citizenship three years thereafter. To be eligible for Family Class sponsorship, the sponsor in Canada must meet the following requirements:

  • Be a Canadian citizen or Permanent Resident
  • Be 18 years of age or older
  • Exceed the MINIMUM NECESSARY INCOME LEVEL for this program. If married or in a common-law relationship, the income of both can be included
  • The sponsor must sign an undertaking to repay any provincial social assistance benefits paid to the sponsor and accompanying family member(s), if any, for a period of 20 years if necessary; and if the sponsor resides in Quebec, an additional ‘undertaking’ must be signed

  • Please Note: The cap of 5,000 applications for the Parent and Grandparent Sponsorship Program has been reached. Individuals wishing to bring their parents and/or grandparents to Canada may still do so through the Super Visa Program.


    Another option for bringing parents and grandparents to Canada is the Super Visa program. Successful applicants receive a 10-year, multiple-entry visitor visa that allows parents and grandparents to spend an extended period of time with their loved ones in Canada.


    Parents or grandparents of Canadian citizens and Permanent Residents are eligible to apply for this visa. The applicants cannot be inadmissible to Canada on the basis of health or security, and they may be required to meet specific conditions set forth by the visa office through which they will be applying.

    It is important to note that no dependents can be included on this application. Only parents or grandparents, and their spouses or common-law partners, may apply for the Super Visa.


    The super visa is ideal for parents and grandparents living in countries that require a Temporary Residence Visa (TRV) for entry into Canada. By obtaining the super visa, they will be able to travel freely between Canada and their country of residence without the worry and hassle of regularly re-applying for a TRV.

    Applicants from TRV-exempt countries can also greatly benefit from this new provision. They may apply using the same application process. However, instead of being issued a visa, they will be given an official letter from Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC), which will authorize their visits to Canada for up to 2 years at a time.


    The application process is similar to that of a regular TRV. However, additional documentation is required to ensure that the parents and grandparents will be well supported during their time in Canada. This includes:
  • A letter of invitation from the child or grandchild residing in Canada
  • Documents that prove the child or grandchild meets the LOW INCOME CUT-OFF (LICO) MINIMUM
  • Proof of parental relationship with child or grandchild, such as a birth certificate that names them as a parent
  • Proof of medical insurance coverage for one year with a Canadian insurance company

  • The application should be processed at the Canadian visa office responsible for the applicant’s place of residence outside of Canada. Depending on the visa office, additional documentation may be needed. The complete application will be assessed with regard to a number of factors.

    The purpose of the visit to Canada must be examined, as well as whether or not the parents or grandparents will maintain sufficient ties to their home country. Showing family ties, finances, and other connections that lie outside of Canada can evidence this information.

    All super visa applicants will be required to undergo a medical examination. The visa office will issue forms and instructions for this examination after the application has been submitted.


    If you are a citizen or permanent resident of Canada and are at least 18 years old, you may be eligible to sponsor certain relatives to immigrate under the Family Class.

    If you sponsor a relative to come to Canada as a permanent resident, you must:
  • Be able to meet basic needs—such as food, clothing and shelter—for yourself and your relative
  • Support your relative financially when he or she arrives, and make sure your spouse or relative does not need to ask for financial help from the government.

  • Additionally, some relatives may be eligible to immigrate to Canada as permanent residents.

    If you have relatives who want to immigrate to Canada under the Family Class, you must sponsor them, and you and your relatives must meet certain requirements.

    Your relatives must have medical, criminal and background checks, as they may not be allowed to enter Canada if they have a criminal record or pose a risk to Canada’s security. They also may additionally have to get a police certificate from police in their home country. Any information you need regarding medical, criminal and background checks can be found in the application kit.

    However, you may not be able to sponsor a relative if you:
  • Sponsored another relative in the past and did not meet the terms of the sponsorship agreement
  • Are in default of alimony or child support payments
  • Receive or have received government financial help for reasons other than being disabled
  • Have been convicted of a violent crime, any offence against a relative, or any sexual offence, depending on details of the case, such as:
  • The type of offence
  • When it occurred
  • Whether a record suspension was issued
  • Failed to pay back an immigration loan, made late payments or missed payments altogether
  • Are currently in prison
  • Have declared bankruptcy and have not been released from it yet
  • Failed to pay back an immigration loan, made late payments or missed payments altogether
  • Are currently in prison
  • Have declared bankruptcy and have not been released from it yet

  • Other things not on this list may stop you from being able to sponsor a relative.

    To be a sponsor you must:
  • Meet set income guidelines
  • Agree in writing to give financial support to your relative and any other eligible relatives coming with them for up to 10 years, depending on their age and how you are related. (This time period begins on the date they become a permanent resident.)

  • The people you sponsor must promise to try to support themselves, however, dependent children under age 19 do not have to sign this agreement.

    If you live in Quebec, you must also meet Quebec’s conditions to be a sponsor after Citizenship and Immigration Canada approves you as one. For instance, you must sign an “undertaking” with the province—a contract that binds the sponsorship.

    If you are a Canadian citizen currently living abroad and you plan to return to Canada when your relatives immigrate, you may sponsor your spouse, common-law or conjugal partner, or dependent children who have no dependent children.

    To sponsor any other eligible relatives, you must live in Canada.

    Who you can sponsor:
  • Brothers, sisters, nephews, nieces, or grandchildren who are orphaned, are under 18 and do not have a spouse or common-law partner
  • Relatives of the above (for example, spouse, partner and dependent children) who will come with them to Canada
  • One relative of any age or relationship, but only if you do not have one of these living relatives who could be sponsored as a member of the family class:
  • Spouse or common-law partner
  • Conjugal partner
  • Son or daughter
  • Parent
  • Grandparent
  • Sibling
  • Uncle, aunt, nephew or niece, and

  • You do not have any relative who is a:
  • Canadian citizen
  • Permanent resident
  • Registered Indian under the Indian Act


    Under most circumstances, individuals coming to Canada as temporary foreign workers or permanent residents have the right to bring their dependents with them, including any and all dependent children. However, circumstances arise when this is not possible at the time of immigration. For Canadian citizens and permanent residents with dependent children abroad, the government has created a special program to facilitate their loved ones’ entry into Canada.

    Dependent children may be eligible to come to Canada in order to reside with their parent(s), including adopted children. Furthermore, an orphaned brother, sister, nephew, niece, or grandchild may also be eligible under this category. In exceptional circumstances, other family members may also be eligible. In order to be eligible for this program, both the Canadian citizen or permanent resident (also called the ‘sponsor’), and their child abroad (the ‘sponsored person’), must be approved by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC).

    Sponsors will have to prove that they meet the minimum income requirements by submitting notices of assessment issued by the Canadian Revenue Agency (CRA) in support of their sponsorship and they must also demonstrate they have met the minimum necessary income level for three consecutive years.

    Family Class Sponsorship Requirements

    The Family Class sponsorship category was created to reunite close family members in Canada. Through the Family Class, Canadian citizens and permanent residents may sponsor their dependent children, parents and grandparents, spouse, common-law, and conjugal partners.

    The Government of Canada has a strong commitment to keeping families together whenever possible. Because of this, processing of Family Class applications is a top priority at Canadian Visa Offices.

    To receive a visa through this immigration program, the sponsor and the sponsored person will be required to prove their relationship to one another. Individuals whose adoption proceedings are in the final phases of processing may begin sponsoring their child before the adoption has been finalized.

    After Sponsorship

    Children sponsored through the Family Class of immigration receive unconditional Canadian Permanent Residency. This includes the right to study and work, if applicable, in Canada.