Checklist for Newcomers

We understand that there are many things you need to plan ahead for prior to moving here. That’s why we’ve created a helpful checklist that you can use as a resource to get ready and make the transition a little easier.


Arrange for medical insurance.
Your provincial government-sponsored medical plan will not be active for the first 90 days you’re in Canada. To cover yourself until then, consider purchasing Visitors to Canada Insurance.
Fill any prescriptions.
You may want to bring a six-month supply of medications. Brands may be different in Canada and prices could be more expensive if you’re paying out-of-pocket. Be sure to review the list of items you are allowed to bring into Canada
Transfer funds to your Canadian bank account.
To enter Canada, you may have to show you have the required funds to support your family. This is easier if the funds are already in a Canadian bank account in your name.
Check the amount of money you will be bringing.
If you are bringing in CAD 10,000  or more, you must report it to Canada Border Services Agency—whether it’s in Canadian dollars (cash, cheques, etc.) or the equivalent in your country’s currency.
Gather essential documents
To enter Canada, these are some of the documents you’ll need to present: – A Canadian immigrant visa (if applicable) and Confirmation of Permanent Residence for you and each family member travelling with you – A valid passport or other travel document for you and each family member travelling with you – Two (2) copies of a detailed list of all the personal or household items you are bringing with you -Two (2) copies of a list of items that are arriving later and their monetary value
Other documents you may need include:
-marriage certificates -driver’s licence -adoption, separation or divorce papers -birth certificates -letters of reference from former employers -school records, diplomas or degrees for each family member traveling with you -a list of your educational and professional qualifications and job experience for your résumé -immunization records for your children Make photocopies of all these types of documents, in case the originals get lost. Be sure to keep the photocopies in a separate place from the originals.
Visit the official website of your new city. Learn about the area, job and housing markets, schools, recreation and more. Arrange your accommodation
Have your phone number roamed for international usage


Use ArriveCAN for a faster border  experience
When you arrive at the airport in Canada, you will see signs in both English and French to direct you. Follow the signs that read Arrivals and Customs (also known as the Immigration area). When you are at Customs, there will be lines for Canadian citizens and non-Canadian citizens. Make sure you get in the appropriate line. You will be asked to report to an Immigration Officer for an Immigration interview and PR card processing.
The immigration officer will ask you for a physical address in Canada to which they can mail your Permanent Residency card. If you have a Canadian address available (either your own, a family member or trusted friend) you can provide this to them, and they will then mail the card to you at that address. If you do not have a Canadian address available, they will provide you with a form to complete and send to them once it is available. They will not send the cards to you outside of Canada. If you do not receive your Permanent Resident card before you need to return to your home country, you will need to apply for a Permanent Resident Travel Document for your next entry to Canada.


Register a local SIM card number
Apply for a Social Insurance Number (SIN)as one of the top priorities on your to-do list when you arrive in Canada. It is a nine-digit number required to work in Canada, file income tax, or access government benefits and programs. Your SIN is unique and can be used as an identifier by government agencies.
Apply for  Health Care Coverage for you and all members of your family. Most of the health cards application can be filed online with effective 3 months after landing.
Make an appointment with the bank where you plan to do your banking. If you have already transferred money to your new bank, drop by to update information, open new credit card for new comers and, if necessary, to get advice on managing your money
New residents that have a valid driver’s licence from another country, province or state can use their existing licence no longer than 60 to 90 days (depending on which Canadian province you reside in).If you would like to continue driving after the aforementioned time period expires, all provinces and territories require drivers to obtain a valid Canadian driver’s licence.
Register your children for school All children living in Canada are entitled to a free elementary and secondary school education. Contact your local school to begin the registration process. You’ll need to provide your address, your child’s birth certificate and proof of their immunizations. Some schools will test your child’s math and English language skills to see if extra support would be helpful.

Canadian Citizenship

If you are considering applying for Canadian citizenship, it is safe to assume you are aware of, or have explored, some of the benefits and privileges that will become available to you. Some of these benefits are:

  • Better protection of your status in Canada. You will no longer be susceptible to things like deportation or a revoking of your citizenship, unless you are found to be in breach of certain circumstances prescribed by the United Nations and Canada.
  • You will be able to exercise suffrage (i.e. vote) in Canadian political affairs
  • Any children you may happen to have outside Canada after you have become a Canadian citizen will still be considered Canadian citizens at birth

Citizenship Requirements for Adults

To qualify for applying for a Canadian citizenship you must:

  • Be 18 years of age or over;
  • Be a permanent resident with no unfulfilled conditions relating to your status as a permanent resident;
  • Have been physically present in Canada for at least 1095 days in the five years immediately before the date of your application;
  • Have met your tax filing obligations under the Income Tax Act for three taxation years that fall fully or partially within the five years immediately before the date of your application;
  • Have an adequate knowledge of one of Canada’s official languages (if between 18-54 years old at the time of the application);
  • Demonstrate, in one of Canada’s official languages, that you have an adequate knowledge of Canada and of the responsibilities and privileges of citizenship (if between 18-54 years old at the time of the application);

Furthermore, you must not be:

  • Prohibited under section 22 of the Citizenship Act; and
  • Under a removal order and are not the subject of a declaration by the Governor in Council made pursuant to section 20 of the Citizenship Act.

Requirements for Applying for your Child’s Citizenship

Children who are permanent residents can become Canadian citizens by:

  • Applying at the same time as their parents, or after at least one of their parents has become a Canadian citizen, or
  • Applying once they meet the residence requirements, regardless of the intentions or citizenships of their parents.

The requirement that you apply at the same time as your child, or have already become a citizen has been repealed. As of June 19, 2017, minors can qualify on their own without the need to have a Canadian parent.

To qualify for citizenship as a minor, your child must:

  • Be under the age of 18 at the time of the application;
  • Be a permanent resident with no unfulfilled conditions relating to their status as a permanent resident;
  • Have been physically present in Canada for at least 1095 days in the five years immediately before the date of your application;

Furthermore, they must not be:

  • Prohibited under section 22 of the Citizenship Act; and
  • Under a removal order and are not the subject of a declaration by the Governor in Council made pursuant to section 20 of the Citizenship Act.

Citizenship Language Requirements

Canada has two official languages—English and French. If you are between 18-54 years old at the time of the application, to become a citizen you must show that you have adequate knowledge of one of these languages. In general, this means you can:

  • Take part in short, everyday conversations about common topics;
  • Understand simple instructions, questions and directions;
  • Use basic grammar, including simple structures and tenses; and
  • Show that you know enough common words and phrases to answer questions and express yourself.
  • Proof of achievement for the Canadian Level Benchmark 4 or higher.

Impact of a Criminal Record on your Citizenship

If you have a criminal record, are facing criminal charges or have been ordered to leave Canada, you may not be eligible for citizenship. If you are on probation or are charged with a crime and waiting for a trial, Gerami Law PC would be glad to meet with you to discuss your case, and explain your rights and options.

You cannot become a citizen if you:

  • Have been convicted of an indictable (criminal) offence or an offence under the Citizenship Act in the three years before you apply,
  • Are currently charged with an offence under the Citizenship Act,
  • Are in prison, on parole or on probation,
  • Are serving a sentence outside Canada,
  • Are under a removal order (Canadian officials have ordered you to leave Canada),
  • Are being investigated for, are charged with, or have been convicted of a war crime or a crime against humanity, or
  • Have had your Canadian citizenship taken away because of fraud in the past ten years
  • Have been convicted of terrorism, high treason, treason, or spying offences while you were a permanent resident.

Time in prison or on parole does not count as time you have lived in Canada. Time on probation also does not count if you were convicted of a crime.

Other Federal Economic Program

However, the federal government operates a variety of other economic class immigrants for skilled immigrants and entrepreneurs. These options include:

  • Atlantic Immigration Program: For those who wish to settle in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, or Newfoundland and Labrador.
  • Caregivers Programs: For those who wish to immigrate to Canada as caregivers.
  • Hong Kong: Canada offers immigration programs to skilled workers from Hong Kong.
  • Agri-Food Immigration Pilot: For agri-food professionals who wish to gain permanent residence.
  • Start-up Visa Program: For those with an innovative business idea that is endorsed by a participating Canadian organization.
  • Self-Employed Persons Program: For self-employed persons working in an eligible field.

Atlantic Immigration Program


The Atlantic Immigration Program is an employer-driven program that facilitates the hiring of foreign nationals. All principal applicants arriving in Canada under the program must have a job offer from a designated employer and an individualized settlement plan for themselves and their family.

Once a designated employer finds a candidate who meets their employment needs and the program criteria, that employer will need to first offer them a job. Employers do not need to go through the process of obtaining a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA).

Once the candidate has accepted the job, the employer will connect the candidate with a designated settlement service provider organization for a needs assessment and to develop a settlement plan. Employers will also support the long-term integration of the new immigrant and his or her family, if applicable, so they can reach the goals of their settlement plan once they arrive in Canada.

Employers that need to fill a job vacancy quickly will have access to a temporary work permit, so that the candidate and his or her family can come to Canada as soon as possible. In order to obtain this work permit, candidates will need:

  • a valid job offer;
  • a letter from the province; and
  • a commitment to apply for permanent residence within 90 days of the temporary work permit application.

Employer designation

Employers that would like to hire skilled immigrants under the program must apply to the province(s) in order to receive designation. Employers with locations in multiple provinces will require a separate designation for each province. Employers must meet certain requirements, including a commitment to support the newcomer and his or her family as they integrate into their new life in Atlantic Canada.

Candidate Requirements

To be eligible for the AIP you must:

  • have qualifying work experience unless you are an international student that graduated from a recognized post-secondary institution in Atlantic Canada.
  • meet the educational criteria
  • meet the language criteria
  • show you have enough settlement funds. You do not need to show proof of settlement funds if you are already living and working in Canada with a valid work permit.

You can start to look for a job with a designated Atlantic Canada employer if you meet all the above criteria.

Work experience

You must have worked at least 1,560 hours in the last 5 years. 

To calculate your hours:

  • Count hours worked in full-time and part-time jobs
  • Only count paid hours of work. Do not count volunteer or unpaid hours
  • Do not count self-employed work hours
  • You can count hours worked inside Canada or abroad. You must have been legally authorized to work in Canada as a temporary resident
  • Count hours that were accumulated over a period of time of at least 12 months
  • You can count work experience you gained while you were studying as long as the work hours comply with the conditions of your study permit

The work experience needs to be under a National Occupational Classification (NOC) TEER category of 0, 1, 2, or 3.

Your work experience must include the actions in the description of your NOC, and most of the main duties of your NOC.

International graduates

International students who graduated in Canada do not need to meet the work experience requirements if they:

  • have a degree, diploma, certificate, or trade or apprenticeship certification that took at least 2 years of studies, and is from a recognized post-secondary institution in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, or Newfoundland and Labrador
  • were a full-time student during their entire studies
  • had the visa or permit they needed to work, study, or get training while they lived in Canada
  • lived in one of the Atlantic provinces for at least 16 months during the last 2 years before they graduated



Educational requirements

  • If your offer is at the NOC TEER category 0 or 1, you must have a one-year post-secondary educational credential or higher, or the equivalent outside of Canada
  • If your job offer is at the NOC TEER category 2, 3, or 4, you must have a Canadian high school diploma, or the equivalent outside of Canada.

If you studied outside of Canada you need to get an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) to confirm your studies are equivalent to the Canadian educational standards needed for your job offer. The ECA report must be less than 5 years old on the date IRCC receives your application.

Language requirements 

  • For NOC TEER category 0 or 1 job offers, you need a Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) or Niveaux de compétence linguistique canadiens (NCLC) level of 5.
  • For NOC TEER category 2, 3, or 4 job offers, you need a CLB or NCLC level of 4.

You must submit to IRCC test results obtained from a designated language testing organization. The test results must be less than 2 years old when you apply.

Settlement funds

  • If you already live in Canada and are working with a valid work permit, you do not need to show proof of funds.
  • For all other applicants, you need to show you have enough money to support yourself and your family when you get to Canada. The amount you need depends on the size of your family and the size of your family includes anyone you support who is not immigrating with you.


Other Ways to Immigrate to Atlantic Canada

The Atlantic provinces have already been active in immigration over recent years, principally through the Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs). Through these programs, the provinces have been able to welcome a wide range of skilled workers, graduates who have studied in Canada, and business immigrants such as entrepreneurs.

Each Atlantic province has at least one PNP stream aligned with the federal Express Entry system, allowing candidates in the Express Entry pool who are also eligible to immigrate through one of these streams to submit an application to immigrate to the given province.

Atlantic Canada PNP options are:

  • Nova Scotia Nominee Program (NSNP)
  • New Brunswick Provincial Nominee Program (NBPNP)
  • Newfoundland And Labrador Provincial Nominee Program (NLPNP)
  • Prince Edward Island Provincial Nominee Program (PEI PNP)


Business visitors

Business Visitors: Working Without A Work Permit

You’re a business visitor if you:

  • come to take part in international business activities without being part of the Canadian labour market
  • are visiting Canada temporarily to
  • look for ways to grow your business
  • invest
  • advance your business relationships

Business visitors usually stay in Canada for a few days or a few weeks, but are able to stay for up to 6 months.


To qualify as a business visitor to Canada, you must show that:

  • you plan to stay for less than 6 months
  • you don’t plan to enter the Canadian labour market
  • your main place of business and source of income and profits is outside Canada
  • you have documents that support your application
  • you meet Canada’s basic entry requirements, because you
    • have a valid travel document, such as a passport
    • have enough money for your stay and to return home
    • plan to leave Canada at the end of your visit
    • are not a criminal, security or health risk to Canadians

Note: If you plan to stay for more than 6 months, or plan to work in Canada, you may be considered a temporary worker and have to apply for a work permit.

Types of Activities:

There are a number of reasons why an individual may come to Canada as a business visitor, including:

  • Attending business meetings, conferences, conventions, fairs, etc;
  • Buying Canadian goods or services on behalf of a foreign entity;
  • Taking orders for goods or services;
  • Providing after-sales service, excluding hands-on work in the construction trades;
  • Being trained by a Canadian parent company for work outside of Canada; and
  • Training employees of a Canadian subsidiary of a foreign company.

What you need to enter Canada

You need one of the following:

  • a visitor visa
  • an electronic travel authorization (eTA)
  • other documents such as
    • a valid passport from your country of nationality
  • letters of support from your parent company and a letter of invitation from the Canadian host business or a Letter of Recognition from the Canada Border Services Agency
  • other documents such as warranty or service agreements, or contracts, if relevant to your visit
  • 24-hour contact details of your business host in Canada
  • proof that you have enough money for both your stay in Canada and your return home


The Self-employed Persons Program allows people to immigrate to Canada permanently as a self-employed person. If you’re interested in this program, you must:
  • have relevant experience in cultural activities or athletics and
  • be willing and able to make a significant contribution to the cultural or athletic life of Canada


Relevant experience for a self-employed person means at least 2 years of experience.The experience must be acquired in the period beginning five years before the date of the application and ending on the day a determination is made on the application. You can get more points if you have 3, 4, or 5 years of experience. At a minimum, the applicant’s experience must be:
  • for cultural activities:
  1. 2 one-year periods being self-employed in cultural activities, or
  2. 2 one-year periods participating at a world-class level in cultural activities, or
  3. a combination of a one-year period described in (a), and a one-year period described in (b)
  • for athletics:
  1. 2 one-year periods being self-employed in athletics, or
  2. 2 one-year periods participating at a world class level in athletics, or
  3. a combination of a one-year period described in (a) above, and a one-year period described in (b) above
As of March 10, 2018, the federal government is no longer accepting new applications under the farm management stream. Once approved, the application proceeds to Federal security and medical verifications followed by visa issuance with mandatory terms and conditions, within an overall processing delay of approximately 24 months.  

Quebec’s Entrepreneur Immigration Programs

The Quebec Entrepreneur Program grants qualified business owners and managers the opportunity to obtain permanent residence in Quebec if they can effectively create or acquire a business in the province. Note: The Quebec government began accepting 25 new applications under Stream One of the Quebec Entrepreneur Program on November 1, 2021. The intake period for will continue until December 31, 2022. Stream Two of the Quebec Entrepreneur Program is suspended until December 31, 2022.


Canada Start-up Visa Program (SUV)

Canada’s Start-Up Visa (SUV) allows foreign entrepreneurs to obtain permanent residence in Canada through business immigration. Owners of innovative start-ups or established foreign companies may be able to use this program to permanently relocate to Canada along with other founding partners (up to 5 partners), provided that they meet other requirements for the program.

  • Foreign nationals must get a Letter of Support or investment commitment from one of the Designated Organizations in Canada;
  • Each foreign national must own at least 10% of the shares in the startup. Foreign nationals and their Designated Organization must jointly have more than 50% of the total shares (voting rights) in the start-up venture;
  • Each applicant must meet the minimum English or French language skill at CLB level 5; and
  • Each applicant must have sufficient funds to settle in Canada (at a minimum, between $12,960 – $34,299, depending on the size of the applicant’s family).

In addition to the above, to be successful in this program, entrepreneurs should be prepared to also meet the following basic criteria:

  • Ownership of an innovative or successful business that is generating scalable and sustainable revenue or has strong market validation.
  • Access to capital fund your start-up venture, usually around $200,000 at a minimum per applicant.
  • Have highly specialized knowledge or unique experience in your field or have solid managerial experience; and
  • Have an upper-intermediate level of English and/or French language skill(s)[CLB 5]
Advantages of the Program

Below are some of the pros of the SUV program:

  • A direct pathway for permanent residence in Canada.
  • Open to all nationalities.
  • No limitations on business activities in Canada.
  • No net worth requirement or verification.
  • Allows for a partnership of 5 individuals in the same start-up (min. 10% of ownership for each partner is required); and
  • Opportunity to relocate to Canada by obtaining a work permit while the permanent residence application is processed.
Disadvantages of the Program

Below are some of the cons of the SUV program:

  • High competition to obtain support from designated organizations in Canada; thus, it can be challenging to get such support.
  • Lengthy processing times (3+ years) to obtain permanent residence.
  • High capital investments by the founding partners are often required to secure support from a designated organization.
  • An extremely well-developed, viable and scalable business model is needed with a proven track of success; and
  • Moderate risk of refusals at the permanent residence stage and/or delays due to peer reviews.



PNP Entrepreneur Programs

3.2.1 Alberta Advantage Immigration Program (AAIP) – Stream for Entrepreneurs

3.2.2 British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program (BC PNP)- Entrepreneur Immigration

3.2.3 Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program (MPNP)-Manitoba Entrepreneur Pathway

3.2.4 New Brunswick Provincial Nominee Program (NBPNP) – Business Immigration Stream

3.2.5 Newfoundland and Labrador Provincial Nominee Program (NLNP)- International Entrepreneur

3.2.6 Northwest Territories Nominee Program (NTNP)-Business Stream

3.2.7 Nova Scotia Nominee Program (NSNP)- Entrepreneur / International Graduate Entrepreneur

3.2.8 Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP)- Business Stream

3.2.9 The Prince Edward Island Provincial Nominee Program -Business Impact Stream

3.2.10 Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program (SINP)- Entrepreneur& Farm

3.2.11 Yukon Nominee Program (YNP)-Yukon Business Nominee Program


Quebec Immigrant Investor Program QIIP (Intake Paused Until April 1, 2023)

The QIIP allows investors to obtain Canadian permanent residence by investing CAD $1.2 million risk-free through an approved financial intermediary or by financing that investment.

Since 2014, it has been the only passive investor immigration program offered in Canada. The Quebec Immigrant Investor Program is passive in nature, meaning individuals are not required to establish or actively manage a business in the province.

The QIIP is on hold since Fall 2019. It had initially been put on hold until July 2020, but the moratorium was later extended until April 2023. Two primary considerations triggered the first pause:

  • the first was a significant backlog of applications, and
  • the second was concerns about how many QIIP residents might leave Quebec for other provinces.




Minimum Net Worth

A minimum of CAD $2,000,000 in legally acquired net worth, alone or with the help of their spouse or common-law partner if accompanying the applicant.  Assets such as property, bank accounts, pension funds, stocks and shares may be included.


Intend to settle in the province of Quebec.

Business or Management Experience

A minimum of two years of management experience over the course of five years prior to the submission of the candidate’s application. The experience must have been acquired in a specific enterprise (agricultural, commercial, industrial), or in a government or international agency, and in a position defined as full-time. The company does not necessarily have to be profitable. If the management experience is claimed as a professional, the company must have at least two full-time employees (excluding the candidate).

The candidate can be retired at the time of the submission of the application as long as he/she can demonstrate a recent management experience of two years within the five past years.The candidate must be able to demonstrate the planning, supervision and control of financial resources AND human resources OR material resources, under his/her authority. Experience acquired in the context of an apprenticeship, training or specialization process attested to by a diploma cannot be included.


Agreement to invest the sum of CAD $1,200,000 through an approved financial intermediary (this investment can be financed) for a period of 5 years

Selection points

Your application is reviewed according to the program’s selection conditions, including the program’s selection grid This hyperlink will open in a new window.. You are awarded points for each of the factors and criteria on the grid. You must score at least 40 out of 89 points on the grid to meet the cut-off for factors and criteria that have an elimination threshold.


Child or other dependent

What is Dependent Child Sponsorship?

The main purpose of the sponsorship of dependent children, which is offered through the Family Class sponsorship, is to enable family members who reside in different countries to be reunited and live together in Canada. More specifically, the program allows Canadian citizens and permanent residents to bring their children from abroad to Canada as permanent residents.

Dependent children, whether biological or adopted, can be sponsored to live with their parent(s) as permanent residents in Canada.

Does my Child Qualify for Sponsorship? 

To be eligible for sponsorship, children must fall under the definition of a dependant, meaning they are:

  • the biological or adopted child of a Canadian citizen or permanent resident;
  • are not married or in a common-law relationship;
  • are under the age of 22.

A child over the age of 22 may also qualify as a dependant providing, they meet the following two requirements:

  • they suffer from a physical or mental condition that prevents them from being able to support themselves;
  • they have depended on their parents for financial support since before the age of 22.

What are the Requirements for Sponsoring a Child?

As a sponsor, you will be required to sign an “undertaking” that contractually commits you to providing for your child’s basic needs, such as:

  • housing;
  • clothing;
  • food;
  • medical expenses not provided by the public health system.

The length of the undertaking for biological dependent children or those to be adopted in Canada who are under 22 years of age is 10 years or until they reach 25 years of age, whichever comes first. For dependent children over the age of 22, the duration of the undertaking is 3 years.


How does Sponsoring a Child for Immigration Work?

You will be required to go through four main steps when applying to sponsor a child:

Step 1. Obtain an application package found on the government website; it contains a guide with instructions and forms that will help you complete the process correctly.

Step 2. Pay the online application fee, which includes the processing fee for all persons included in the application, the Right of Permanent Residence Fee, the biometric fee and any other third-party fees, if applicable.

Step 3. Submit your application by following the submission instructions provided in the guide you downloaded.

Step 4. Submit the required supporting documents when prompted to do so by Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).

Spouse or Common-Law partner

Spousal Work Permit

  • Spouses and common-law partners who are in Canada may be allowed to work under the Spousal Work Permit Pilot Program, while their immigration applications are being finalized.
  • Eligible candidates must apply under the Spouse or Common-Law Partner in Canada class and make sure they maintain a valid temporary status as a visitor, student or worker.

Sponsorship Obligations

All sponsors are required to sign an undertaking to provide the sponsored person with the basic requirements from the day they enter Canada until the term of the undertaking terminates. The undertaking is a contract between the sponsor(s) and CIC that the sponsor will repay the government for any social assistance payments made to the sponsored person. Sponsors remain obligated to the undertaking agreement for the entire period of the contract, even in a change of circumstances such as marital breakdown, separation, divorce, or a financial change in circumstances. In the case of a spouse, common-law partner or conjugal partner, a sponsor is required to sign an undertaking to reimburse the federal or provincial governments from the date in which they become a permanent resident for the period of three (3) years. In the case of a dependent child under the age of 22 years, of the sponsor or the spouse, common-law partner, or conjugal partner, the obligation commences on the day that the child becomes a permanent resident of Canada for the period of 10 years or until the child reaches the age of 22 years, whichever is earlier. In the province of Quebec, the length of this undertaking is different. In the case of a dependent child over the age of 22 years, of the sponsor or the spouse, common-law partner, or conjugal partner, the obligation commences on the day that the dependent child becomes a permanent resident, for a period of three (3) years. In the case of parents and grandparents, the sponsorship obligation extends for a period of 20 years from the date in which the member of the family class becomes a permanent resident. For all other family members, the obligation is of a duration of 10 years. The Supreme Court of Canada, in its 2011 judgment of Attorney-General of Canada vs. Mavi, the court decided that while a sponsor’s obligation to reimburse the state for benefits collected by his or her relatives can be deferred in some circumstances, it cannot be wiped off the books entirely.

Sponsors living outside Canada

Canadian citizens living outside of Canada may sponsor their spouse, common-law partner, conjugal partner or dependent children without dependent children of their own, who have not been convicted of an offense causing bodily harm, provided that they are able to demonstrate that they will reside in Canada after the sponsored persons become permanent residents. Permanent residents residing abroad may not sponsor their family members from outside Canada. They must reside in Canada during the sponsorship process. Furthermore, a spouse or common-law partner in Canada may file an in-Canada application to sponsor their spouse or common-law partner if they are cohabiting in Canada; otherwise, the application must be filed through a visa office. These are areas that give rise to various complexities and challenges for sponsors.

Sponsors and sponsored persons in Quebec

Sponsor (guarantor): You can sponsor a close relative who has not been convicted of an offense causing bodily harm if you are a Canadian citizen or permanent resident living in Quebec, you are at least 18 years of age and you satisfy the prerequisites. Sponsored person (close relative): You can sponsor:
  • your spouse, common-law partner or conjugal partner
  • your dependent child
  • your father, mother, grandfather or grandmother – Additional conditions apply
  • your orphaned brother, sister, nephew, niece, grandson or granddaughter, who is under the age of 18, and not married or in a common-law relationship
  • a child you plan to adopt (international adoption).