Canada Family Visa 2023 – How To Apply

Canadian citizens and permanent residents can sponsor certain relatives from other countries to immigrate to Canada as permanent residents through the country’s Family Sponsorship Program. The program’s goals include reuniting families separated by immigration and helping new immigrants adjust to life in Canada. That is to say, people who are Canadian citizens or permanent residents can expect that their applications for a Canada family visa will be prioritized by the IRCC. 

So, if you’re a Canadian permanent resident with a family member(s) who live outside Canada, you can learn how to sponsor your relative’s immigration with this guide we’ve put together. 

How family sponsorship works

First of all, you’ll need to ensure that both you and the relative you want to sponsor are both eligible for the program. To be eligible as a sponsor, you must be: 

  • At least 18 years old
  • A Canadian citizen or permanent resident
  • Able to financially support your relative and provide their basic needs for a certain period of time – usually several years

To be eligible for sponsorship, the relative or family member must be any of the following: 

  • Your spouse or common-law partner – must be at least 18 years old
  • Your dependent child(ren) – must be under 22 years old
  • Your orphaned sibling, niece, or nephew – must be under 22 years old
  • Your parents 
  • Grandparents 

Related: 8 Canada immigration pathways you might want to check out

Once you’ve determined that you and your relative are eligible for a Canada family visa, you’ll need to send two applications to IRCC (Ministry of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada).  One of them will be your application to be a sponsor and the other will be your relative’s application for permanent residence. You can sponsor multiple relatives to immigrate to Canada but each of them must be eligible. And you’ll need to apply for each person separately.

If you’re living in Quebec, you’ll apply to the province’s Ministry of Immigration, Francization, and Integration (MIFI). This is because Quebec manages its own immigration programs and processes.

Note that these applications can only be made online via the government’s website. You’ll also need to ensure that both applications are made at the same time. 

You’ll receive an application number and acknowledgment receipt if your application was correctly made. Then the IRRC will proceed to assess you and your relative’s eligibility before approving or refusing your application.

Related: Live and work in Atlantic Canada

How to apply to be a sponsor

Step 1: 

For spouse and dependent child sponsorship

To sponsor your spouse/partner or child, download the application package. It contains PDF forms that you and the individual you’d like to sponsor must fill out. You’ll find checklists and guides to help you do so correctly.

For parent or grandparent sponsorship

To sponsor your parent or grandparent, you must first fill out and submit an Interest to Sponsor form. It’s usually available for a few weeks only; and was last available from October 13th to November 3rd, 2020. If your submission is selected, you’ll receive an invitation to apply.

Step 2:

For spouse and dependent child sponsorship

Now, it’s time for your spouse or the child you’re sponsoring to create a permanent residence online application portal account. This is where they can apply to be sponsored i.e. apply for permanent residence by filling out the digital forms they’ll find there. 

For parent or grandparent sponsorship

If you’re invited to apply, download and fill out the PDF forms that you’ll be shown. The parent or grandparent you’re sponsoring will also need to create a permanent residence online application portal account and fill out the digital forms as indicated. 

Step 3:

Pay the application processing, Right of Permanent Residence, and biometric fees.

Step 4:

Submit your application. You may be asked to send in additional during the processing of your application. Ensure that you check the status of your Canada family visa application and that your information is always up to date.

How much does family sponsorship cost?

The application fee to sponsor your child(ren) is $150 CAD per child. It costs $1080 CAD if you’re sponsoring your spouse, parents, or grandparents. There’s also the biometric fee to consider. It costs $85 CAD per person and $170 CAD for families applying together.

Some of the sponsorship options, parent and grandparent sponsorship, for instance, will also require you to provide proof of a minimum annual income. This proof will show that you meet the income requirement for the 3 years preceding your application. The income requirement for sponsoring 2 parents or grandparents in 2022 was $32,898, $32,270, and $41,007 for 2021, 2020, and 2019 respectively. 

There is typically no minimum income requirement to sponsor your spouse or dependent child. It’s only required if:

  • you’re sponsoring a dependent child who has a dependent child of their own, or
  • you’re sponsoring a spouse whose dependent child has a dependent child of their own.


Not every permanent resident or Canadian citizen is eligible to sponsor their relative’s immigration. People who are receiving government support, are detained, or have failed to repay an immigration loan cannot participate in the family sponsorship program. On the brighter side, immigrants who migrate through the family sponsorship program are free to live and work anywhere in Canada.

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