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Sponsor a Distant Relative for Permanent Residence

To sponsor certain relatives to immigrate to Canada under the Family Class you must be at least 18 years old, and a Canadian citizen or person registered in Canada as an Indian under the Canadian Indian Act or permanent resident of Canada.

If you sponsor a relative to come to Canada as a permanent resident, you must:

  • support your relative financially when they arrive

  • be able to meet basic needs for yourself and your relative, such as food

  • shelter and clothing

  • make sure your relative doesn’t need social assistance

When you sponsor a relative to become a permanent resident of Canada, you must meet set income guidelines. You must also agree in writing to give financial support to your relative and any other eligible relatives coming with them thus beginning on the date they become a permanent resident and for up to 20 years (depending on their age and how you’re related).

However, the person you sponsor must sign an agreement saying they will make the effort to support themselves including sponsored dependent children 18 or older. Those under 19 don’t have to sign this agreement.

You can sponsor relatives such as brother, sister, aunt, or uncle in very specific situations. Depending on the situation, there are two options for who you can sponsor. These are orphaned brother, sister, nephew, niece or grandchild and other relatives.

For the orphaned brother, sister, nephew, niece, or grandchild, you can sponsor only if they meet all these conditions:

  • they’re related to you by blood or adoption

  • both their mother and father passed away

  • they’re under 18 years of age

  • they’re single (not married or in a common-law or conjugal relationship)

For the other relatives too, you can sponsor one relative, related by blood or adoption, of any age, if you meet all these conditions:

  • you (the person who wants to sponsor your relative) don't have a living relative you could sponsor instead, such as a:

    • spouse

    • common-law partner

    • conjugal partner

    • son or daughter

    • parent

    • grandparent

    • orphaned brother or sister

    • orphaned nephew or niece

    • orphaned grandchild

  • you (the potential sponsor) don’t have any relatives (aunt or uncle or any of the relatives listed above), who is a:

    • Canadian citizen

    • permanent resident

    • registered Indian under the Indian Act

Note that you can’t sponsor your brother, sister, nephew, niece, or grandchild if:

  • one of their parents is still alive

  • no one knows where their parents are

  • their parents abandoned them

  • someone else other than their parents are taking care of them while one or both their parents are alive

  • their parent is in jail or otherwise detained

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