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PROFESSIONALS
CANADA | USA
INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS
CANADA | USA
INVESTORS
CANADA | USA
EXECUTIVE TRANSFERS
& OTHER WORK PERMITS

CANADA | USA | INTERNATIONAL
FAMILY REUNIFICATION
CANADA | USA
RETENTION OF PERMANENT
RESIDENT STATUS

CANADA | USA
CITIZENSHIP / NATURALIZATION
CANADA | USA

Canadian citizens and permanent residents may sponsor close relatives for permanent resident status in Canada under the "Family Class".

Spouses, common-law partners and same-sex partners may be sponsored by their spouse/partner in Canada. Dependent children may be sponsored by their parents. Canada no longer has a "Fiancé" category.

There is in general no distinction between Canadian citizens and permanent residents in terms of ability to sponsor a relative - unlike in the U.S. where the distinction is very relevant. However, the sponsor must normally be residing in Canada and must meet certain eligibility criteria. Canadian citizens currently residing abroad (not permanent residents) may sponsor spouses/partners and children to Canada, if they can demonstrate their intention is to return to Canada together with their spouse/partner and/or children once permanent resident status is achieved.

Family Class applications for spouses and dependent children are typically processed in 7 - 9 months.. If the relative is already in Canada it may be possible to process the application entirely from within Canada. If applying under the Inside Canada process, there is currently a pilot project allowing for an interim open work permit while the process is underway.

Parents and grandparents, and in limited circumstances other relatives, may also be sponsored for permanent residence under the Family Class. There is an annual quota for parents and grandparents and for the first time a lottery system (which did not work particularly well) was initiated in 2017. Expressions of Interest must be filed in January each year to have a chance of being selected to proceed with the sponsorship under the new lottery system. For those who are eligible sponsors but did not get selected in the lottery, the so-called "SuperVisa" option for long term visitor status in Canada for parents and grandparents may be an option.

An important possible alternative from several provinces are "Provincial Nominee Programs" (PNPs) with a family reunification component. These programs tend to have an economic component requiring sufficient demonstrated financial support or in some cases a job offer in order to qualify. These PNPs can often be a relatively quick solution for more distant relatives who do not fall within the Family Class.

For more information about the options and approach that might best fit your circumstances, please visit our Getting Started page and register and complete our free on-line questionnaire.













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