2.D Refugee-Sponsor Relationship
D.5 What special considerations may apply when relatives are among the sponsors?
(iii) Is there a family sponsorship program already in place?
How Canada Does It
Refugees may be able to immigrate to Canada through family-class sponsorship. In this case the sponsor must be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident and can only sponsor his/her spouse, common-law partner, conjugal partner, dependent children, parents, and grandparents. Resettled refugees may also apply for their dependants (see 2.D.5(ii)) to join them under Canada’s “One-Year Window” provision.
Refugees may be able to immigrate to Canada through a family-class sponsorship. Generally, sponsors must meet the following criteria:
- They are Canadian citizens or permanent residents;
- They are at least 18 years old;
- They are sponsoring a qualifying family member: spouse, common-law partner, conjugal partner, dependent children, parents, and grandparents;
- They are able to prove that they have enough income to provide basic needs for their spouse, common-law partner, and their dependent children. If they are sponsoring parents and grandparents, sponsors must demonstrate they are earning a certain minimum level of income depending on their family size.
Refugees may also apply for their family members to reunite with them under Canada’s “One Year Window” provision. The family members left behind must:
- Have been declared on the refugees’ permanent residence application and sponsorship undertaking;
- Qualify as “dependants” (spouses, common-law partners, dependent children, spouse or common-law partner’s dependent children, or dependent children of dependent children); and
- Have had their applications to immigrate to Canada submitted by their family members within one year of their family members receiving permanent residence.
Because they qualify as family members, they receive the same refugee status as the principal applicant and they obtain permanent residence so long as they are not inadmissible to Canada. Because de facto dependants do not qualify as “family members” per Canada’s regulations (see D.2(ii)), they are ineligible to apply for reunification with the principal family unit under the One Year Window provision.