Family sponsorship is widely recognized as one of Canada’s premier pathways to acquiring permanent residency. Notably, India stands as the primary contributor to new permanent residents, with China closely following as the second-largest source of Canada’s immigration intake. Impressively, a substantial 20.6% of new residents from India have chosen Canada through family sponsorship programs.

After the Second World War, Canada welcomed immigrants to strengthen its economy. Additionally, it has brought families together on humanitarian and compassionate grounds. The country’s immigration system is managed by the Department of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada or IRCC. This blog post aims to deliver an overview of the family sponsorship process, offering a step-by-step guide that helps applicants navigate the complexities of the immigration system with confidence. 

Understanding Family Sponsorship

Family sponsorship for Canada is one powerful way to reunite with your loved ones. It’s important to note that your loved ones must be at least 18 years old to be eligible for sponsorship and fall into one of the following categories: 

Remember, once the IRCC has obtained your PR immigration application, it issues an Acknowledgment of Receipt (AOR) confirming the creation of your application file. Such AOR is considered a confirmation of your application process. In addition, you may encounter the term “AOR date,” which stands as an abbreviation for Acknowledgement of Receipt, a formal statement indicating your application has been received by Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada and is being processed. AOR also showcases the starting point from which the intended processing time of 6 months commences.

Guidelines for Family Sponsorship in Canadian Immigration

The family sponsorship process can be complex; here are some of the steps that you must consider to navigate the challenges of family sponsorship: 

  • Make Sure to Check the Eligibility Criteria: 
  1. Your spouse, partner, or dependent child must be at least 18 years old. 
  2. You must be a Canadian citizen, a permanent resident of Canada, or a person registered in Canada as an Indian under the Canadian Indian Act as applied. (When you are a Canadian citizen living outside Canada, in such cases, you are required to demonstrate your intention to reside in Canada once the individuals you sponsor achieve permanent residency status). 
  3. You must demonstrate the ability to support the sponsored family members financially. 
  • Gathering Essential Documents

Once you understand the eligibility requirements, the next step is to navigate the application process. Ensure you have gathered all the required documents for both the sponsor and the sponsored family members. It is also important to note that your documents must be accurate and up-to-date. Remember, the submission of false documents can lead to the rejection of your application. Therefore, it’s crucial to offer trustworthy and precise documents that result in a successful application process. 

  • Submitting the Documents 

Fill out the appropriate sponsorship application package and pay the necessary processing fees. The next step is to mail the application to the appropriate immigration office. Such a process might take a few days, so waiting for confirmation of receipt is essential. Remember, the process may take a few days, depending on the postal service and processing times of the immigration office.

  • Hiring a Lawyer 

As mentioned, family sponsorship is not always a straightforward process, and sometimes, the sponsors might require the help of a lawyer. It’s crucial to choose a lawyer with a strong track record in family sponsorship cases and who is well-versed in Canadian immigration law. Doing so can significantly increase the likelihood of a successful outcome for your application.

  • Understanding the Conditions of Sponsorship

It’s important to understand that sponsoring a family member for Canadian immigration involves specific responsibilities. For instance, you must ensure that the sponsored family members do not require financial assistance from the government. The sponsorship agreement also has duration requirements, which vary depending on the relationship with the sponsored individual. Knowing these conditions and being prepared to fulfill them is essential to the sponsorship process.


Family sponsorship is a noble pathway that enables Canadian citizens and permanent residents to bring their loved ones to Canada. While the process can seem daunting due to its complexity and lengthy processing times, following a step-by-step approach and seeking professional assistance can make it manageable. By understanding the eligibility criteria, gathering the necessary documents, correctly submitting the application, and preparing for your family members’ arrival, you can navigate the family sponsorship process more confidently. Selecting a lawyer with a strong track record in family sponsorship cases is recommended. Speak with immigration specialists such as those at Kurzfeld Law Firm and receive personalized guidance tailored to your situation to ensure a smooth and successful immigration process.