Family sponsorship

Publication date: July 11, 2018

If you’re a citizen or permanent resident of Canada, you may be able to sponsor a spouse or relative to immigrate to Canada.

To apply to sponsor a spouse or relative, you must sign an agreement with the federal government and provide proof that you can:

  1. Meet basic needs like food, clothing and shelter for yourself and your family
  2. Support your sponsored relative financially
  3. Make sure your sponsored relative won’t need to ask for financial help from the government

Your agreement makes you legally responsible to support your spouse or relative for a set period of time. Typically, agreements stay in effect for 3 – 20 years, even if there are changes to your situations, such as:

  • Your relative is granted Canadian citizenship
  • Your relationship ends (i.e. divorce or separation)
  • You lose or change your job
  • You attend school

If your sponsored spouse or relative receives social assistance from B.C. during the period of your agreement, it’s considered a sponsorship debt and you must pay back the amount they received.

Pay sponsorship debt

If your sponsored spouse or relative has received social assistance from B.C., find out how you can pay back the amount they received.

Report fraud

You can anonymously report sponsorship fraud if you know or suspect a person isn't complying with the laws.

Toll-free: 1-877-815-2363, Option 6

Contact information

Contact Citizen Immigration Canada with your questions about sponsoring a spouse or relative.

905 803-7392