Talking about Family immigration to Canada, I’m delighted to help you understand that Canada has become one of the most desirable countries in the world to live in and has recently become even more attractive to potential residents and citizens alike.
Canada’s beautiful landscapes, strong economy, and numerous other benefits have made it an ideal place to immigrate to in the last few years, and that trend doesn’t look like it will change anytime soon.
The Canadian immigration system allows foreign nationals to become permanent residents of Canada, provided they fulfill specific requirements.
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One way of becoming a permanent resident through immigration to Canada is by establishing your relationship with an eligible Canadian citizen or permanent resident and immigrating through family sponsorship.
This process can take several years from start to finish and requires a substantial investment of time and money.
So if you’re considering joining the growing number of people who have immigrated to Canada from another country, you may want to know all you can about the family immigration process before moving.
This article covers the basics of the family sponsorship process for Canadian immigration and tips on improving your chances of getting approved.
The Basics of Family Immigration to Canada
You must have a valid reason for immigration; many already meet the requirements without knowing.
For example, family members will fall under immediate relatives, grandparents, parents, and children.
These classifications allow you to sponsor your spouse, common-law partner, parents, grandparents, or children for Canadian permanent residence.
You can also apply for temporary residence for those same relatives.
Spouses and children of permanent residents or citizens of Canada may be eligible for a work permit given on humanitarian grounds.
People who have been granted refugee status are not subject to this requirement but must apply through the normal process with IRCC as they would in any other country.
Exceptional cases such as child trafficking victims and unaccompanied minors would qualify without needing specific documentation confirming the trafficking or abandonment experience.
Why Choose Family Immigration?
It can be difficult for refugees or migrants to find a way into Canada as the process is so stringent.
It is an easier route for those with family living in Canada.
There are other routes, such as Express Entry, if someone has studied in a Canadian institution for at least two years with proof and can speak English or French.
However, the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada does not necessarily view it favorably if the person applying lives outside Canada.
What’s more, there are currently 783 000 people on an immigration wait list waiting for their number to come up so they can apply; this process takes 3-8 years.
With all of these wait times, it is no wonder why going through family visas could be the most straightforward option.
What Documents Do I Need?
If you are applying for permanent residency and you don’t have a criminal history, you may not need anything other than proof of residence and funds in the bank account.
For a temporary resident permit, you will need a valid passport with an expiry date of at least six months after the end date of your proposed stay in Canada.
However, if you have been charged or convicted of certain offenses, even one-time charges such as speeding tickets, you will be required to obtain a criminal background check from the RCMP police force in that province.
You will also require passport information and travel history, background documentation, marriage certificate for spouses, evidence of a relationship, sponsor’s proof of income, and consulate fees.
The Process of Family Immigration to Canada
To sponsor someone, the resident’s family must submit paperwork to Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada detailing his financial situation over the previous year (IRCC).
This will enable the authorities to assess the sponsor’s financial capacity to sustain the incoming family.
Canada has recently introduced a new Express Entry System and points system as part of its family immigration program.
But suppose you’re a Canadian citizen and want your spouse, common-law partner, or parents (over 18) who don’t live in Canada to be able to move here as permanent residents (immigrate).
You must apply for them on a Sponsorship Undertaking through Citizenship and Immigration Canada.
The first step is for you, the sponsor, to get approval from CIC before undertaking the sponsorship process.
If you are sponsoring more than one person at a time, an extra fee will be charged per person, so make sure they all fall within your household income.
Here is a breakdown of how the process works:
You need to first start with your complete profile and all necessary documents to enter into the express entry pool;
When you submit your completed application, you’ll be asked questions that will help the government find out if you could become a permanent resident;
If you meet all the requirements, then Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) will assess your file for eligibility and forward it on for an in-person assessment;
To get a provincial nomination, you have to meet specific criteria.
You’ll have only one chance every 12 months, during which IRCC assesses your application for eligibility.
Choosing Between Sponsorship Types
The Canadian government offers a sponsorship program for family reunification.
The two main types of sponsorship are the 5-year Family Sponsorship Program and the 10-year Family Sponsorship Program.
These programs allow close relatives in Canada to apply for permanent residence on behalf of certain family members living abroad.
Please refer to CIC’s guide on selecting a sponsorship type for additional information.
How to Apply for Family Immigration to Canada
The Canadian government has various options for inviting your family to come and live with you in Canada.
The first step is determining if you have eligible family members. Any household member can apply as long as they meet specific criteria, such as being under 18 years old or over 65 years old.
This assessment will take these routes:
- Sponsorship agreements.
- The Family Class applications.
- Other programs such as immigrant investor visas or applying for the Quebec Skilled Worker Program.
The Challenges of Family Immigration to Canada
Unfortunately, one of the most challenging aspects of family immigration to Canada is that, due to the point system in determining eligibility for permanent residency and citizenship, more immigrants from India are eligible than from any other country.
It’s also a challenge because you must live in the country long enough to become eligible.
The point system is not used for Family Class immigrants and thus may be subjected to challenges like language barriers, living adjustments, and possessing few job skills.
Canada is the best place for your family to settle in due, but this will be true only if the Government of Canada has granted you immigrant status.
The immigrant and business class programs, plus a few other avenues, will lead you to a life of opportunity.
When it comes time for family immigration to Canada, you should also not forget studying and working opportunities that can significantly raise your income.
Take some time now and find out which avenue is best for you.