If you have a family member living outside of Canada that you would like to sponsor for immigration, the Family Class Sponsorship program could be the solution you are looking for. However, navigating the application process can be complex and overwhelming. 

That’s why we have created this step-by-step guide to help you through the process. From determining your eligibility to submitting your application, we will cover everything you need to know to successfully sponsor your loved one. So let’s get started!

Assessing Eligibility

Family class sponsorship applications require both the sponsor and the sponsored family member to meet certain eligibility criteria. In this section, we will discuss the eligibility criteria in detail. To qualify as a sponsor, you must be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, at least 18 years old, and be able to prove that you can financially support the sponsored person. 

Additionally, you must not be receiving social assistance except for disability-related reasons. The sponsored family member must be an eligible family member, such as a spouse, common-law partner, parent, grandparent, dependent child, or other eligible relatives. They must also undergo medical and security checks to determine their admissibility to Canada. It is essential to assess eligibility before proceeding with the application process to avoid any unnecessary delays or rejections.

Preparing the Application

Preparing the application is a critical step in the family class sponsorship process. To ensure a successful application, it is essential to gather and submit all necessary documents and forms accurately and in a timely manner. The following are the required documents and forms for the application:

  • Sponsorship application: The sponsor must complete the sponsorship application, which includes details such as their personal information, relationship with the sponsored person, and their ability to financially support them.
  • Application for permanent residence: The sponsored person must complete an application for permanent residence, which includes information such as their personal details, family information, education, work history, and language proficiency.
  • Supporting documents: These include documents that establish the relationship between the sponsor and the sponsored person, such as marriage or birth certificates. Financial support documents, such as proof of income, may also be required.
  • Police certificates and medical exams: The sponsored person must undergo a medical exam and obtain a police certificate from all countries where they have lived for six months or longer since the age of 18.

It is crucial to ensure that all forms are completed accurately and that all required information and documents are provided. Incomplete or inaccurate applications can result in delays or even a refusal of the application. Therefore, it is recommended to carefully review the application package and instructions provided by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) before submitting the application.

Submitting the Application

Submitting the family class sponsorship application is the final step in the process. It is essential to ensure that all the forms are completed correctly, and all the required documents are included. Once the application is ready, the sponsor must submit it to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). The application can be submitted either online or by mail.

When submitting the application, the sponsor must pay the processing fees, which vary depending on the type of sponsorship and the number of family members being sponsored. The sponsor must also ensure that the application is submitted within the prescribed timeline.

After the application is submitted, the sponsor will receive a confirmation of receipt from IRCC. This confirmation will include an application number that the sponsor can use to check the status of the application. Processing times for family class sponsorship applications can vary depending on the location and the specific circumstances of the case.

It is important to note that the sponsor and the sponsored family member(s) must meet all eligibility criteria and provide all required information and documents to avoid delays or potential rejection of the application. If IRCC requests additional information or documents during the processing of the application, the sponsor must respond promptly and provide the requested information to avoid any further delays.

Waiting for a Decision

  • Once the application has been submitted, the sponsor and the sponsored family member will have to wait for a decision from IRCC. The processing time for family sponsorship applications varies depending on the type of application, the country of origin of the sponsored person, and the volume of applications received by IRCC.
  • Processing times can range from a few months to a few years, and it is important to note that processing times can change without notice. Sponsors and sponsored family members should keep themselves updated on the current processing times for their specific application.
  • Several factors can impact the timeline for processing, including the completeness of the application, the number of applications received, and the complexity of the case. Applications that are missing information or documentation will likely take longer to process, as IRCC will have to request additional information from the sponsor or the sponsored family member.
  • It is also important to note that applications from certain countries or regions may take longer to process due to additional security or medical screenings.
  • During the processing period, sponsors and sponsored family members can check the status of their application through IRCC’s online portal. They will need their application number and other identifying information to access the portal. It is recommended to check the portal regularly to ensure that any requests for additional information or documentation are addressed promptly.
  • If there are any changes to the sponsor or sponsored family member’s situation during the processing period (e.g. change of address, change in employment status), they should inform IRCC immediately to avoid delays in processing.
  • Once a decision has been made, IRCC will notify the sponsor and the sponsored family member in writing. If the application is approved, the sponsored family member will receive instructions on how to proceed with obtaining their permanent residence status. If the application is refused, the sponsor and the sponsored family member may have the option to appeal the decision or submit a new application with additional information or documentation.

Approval and Follow-Up

Once the application has been approved, the sponsored family member will receive a Confirmation of Permanent Residence (COPR) and may then proceed with planning their arrival to Canada. This can include arranging transportation, finding accommodation, and enrolling in language classes or other settlement services.

As a sponsor, it is important to continue fulfilling your obligations even after the family member has arrived in Canada. This includes providing financial support for their basic needs, such as housing and food, for a specified period of time. Additionally, you will be responsible for helping them integrate into Canadian society and providing emotional support as they adjust to their new life.

It is also important to note that if there are any changes to your circumstances, such as a change in financial status or a change in relationship status with the sponsored family member, you must inform Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) immediately.

In conclusion, family class sponsorship can be a complex process but with careful preparation, attention to detail, and patience, it can be a rewarding way to reunite with loved ones in Canada. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can navigate the application process with confidence and increase the likelihood of a successful outcome.


The family class sponsorship application process involves several important steps, including assessing eligibility, preparing the application, submitting the application, waiting for a decision, and preparing for arrival in Canada. It is essential to carefully review the eligibility criteria and submit a complete and accurate application to increase the chances of success. Family class sponsorship can provide numerous benefits, including reuniting families and promoting social and economic integration in Canada. 

We encourage those interested in sponsoring a family member to carefully follow the process and seek professional advice if needed. With proper preparation and attention to detail, family class sponsorship can be a successful and rewarding experience for both the sponsor and the sponsored family member.


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