Family Class category is the Canadian immigration program that bridges Canadian citizens and permanent residents with their family members outside Canada. Through this program, a Canadian citizen or permanent resident may sponsor his or her spouse/common-law partner/conjugal partner, parent(s) and grandparent(s), as well as natural adopted dependent child/children.
Requirements for the Sponsor:
- The sponsor must be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident;
- The sponsor must not be a person who was sponsored to Canada as a spouse within the last 5 years;
- The sponsor must be 18 years of age or older;
- The sponsor must not be in a prison, or under a removal order (if the sponsor is a permanent resident);
- The sponsor must not have filed bankruptcy and should have sufficient means to support the sponsored person.
Requirements for sponsored person:
- The person must be at least of the age of 16;
- The person must not be closely related by blood to the sponsor.
Requirements pertaining nature of relationship
The sponsor must prove that the relationship between himself or herself with the sponsored person matches any one of the relationships listed below:
- Spouse: This means that the sponsor and the sponsored person are legally married to each other. If they were married within Canada, a Marriage Certificate from the province or territory where the marriage was solemnized will suffice. If they were married outside Canada, then that marriage must have taken place according to the law(s) in effect in that country, as well as the Canadian Federal law(s). Same-sex marriages are legal in Canada and are eligible for spousal sponsorship. However, same-sex marriages solemnized outside Canada cannot be considered for spousal sponsorship under the Family Class category, unless an application can be made based on the grounds of common-law partner/conjugal partner, if such a relationship between the two can be proven.
- Common-law partner: To qualify as common-law partners, the sponsor and the sponsored person must have been living together for a period not less than 1 year, excluding brief (short) absence(s) of one from the other due to matters pertaining to business or family matters.
- Conjugal partner: Conjugal partners can be of same-sex, as well as opposite sex. A person is said to be in a conjugal relationship with another if matters beyond their control has prevented them from entering into a normal relationship, and, the person have had a mutually dependent relationship for a period not less than 1 year, exhibiting close emotional ties, mutually owned/shared assets (for example, joint bank accounts, apartments, etc.), and intimacy (efforts to spend time together and reunite whenever possible).