Canada is a country that has always strived to be welcoming and inclusive, which is why it’s no surprise that Canada has one of the most generous family sponsorship programs in the world. You don’t have to be Canadian or even live in Canada in order to sponsor your loved ones for immigration. For instance, if you are an American citizen, you can still sponsor your spouse, parent, or child who isn’t a permanent resident of Canada. These types of applications take up to 10 years, though, so what other options do you have? For one, you’d want to hire an immigration attorney such as the fine folks at Battista Smith Migration Law Group who can help you to get your sister or any other family member of yours into Canada more quickly. 

Another option would be by including them on your own Express Entry profile, where they will get points for having relatives outside of Canada. If you’re unfamiliar with it, Express Entry is a program designed by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) that allows eligible candidates to seek out permanent residence in Canada using an application that sorts through points based on factors such as age, language fluency, and work experience. This makes it possible for many immigrants living in the United States to apply for Visa options more readily and sponsor their relatives at faster rates than they would otherwise be able.

This is the “family class” of immigration, and there are several types within it, such as:

People you can sponsor for permanent residence

Spouse, common-law or conjugal partner (including same-sex spouse)

An adopted child, stepchild, or child to be adopted in Canada

Parent(s), including a parent who has custody of your child, even if they don’t live with you

You will need to provide income tax slips or other proof that shows how much money they gave you to support this person. You must have financially supported this person for at least one year.

Everybody has their own story on why they want to live in Canada. For some, it’s the culture, proximity to home, or lack of violence. It is true that compared to other countries, you are more likely to be assaulted if you live in Central America, some parts of Africa, and all Middle Eastern countries except Lebanon (Source: Landmine Monitor 2014). Approximately 90% of applications are approved in Canada, but it can take up to ten years to get the final decision. This means if you were born outside of Canada, there is a chance that by the time you receive your permanent residence approval, you will have grown old enough to be considered for retirement benefits. Before immigrating to Canada, you must live in Canada for one year out of every five (unless you’re married). Once you become a permanent resident, the requirement changes and now applies to two years in every five.

If you’re a parent and your child is under the age of 18, that time spent with them physically in Canada can be counted towards your two years.

For many people, this family class is their only option for immigrating to Canada. There are no other types of permanent residency they qualify for, such as express entry, self-employed, or federal skilled worker applications. Due to these long processing times, some individuals who started their sponsorship applications before 2012 were not approved until after 2019! This means if you apply today, it will probably take at least five years before you get an answer from Immigration Canada on whether they will grant you permanent residence. If you have a Canadian spouse or common-law partner, then one different option is to live in Canada while she works on her sponsorship application. Canada will allow you to stay in the country as a visitor, but you cannot work or study unless you have a student visa. After being married for two years and living together continuously, she can start applying for permanent residence through spouse sponsorship. If she’s already a Canadian citizen, she can sponsor you immediately. If she is a permanent resident, then it will take up to three years from the date of your marriage before her application is approved.

There are many ways that family members from all over the world try to immigrate to Canada each year. The most extreme way was when someone flew their child halfway across the world by plane to be able to claim custody and bring them home with them. In this case, both the child and parent would have to apply separately. Most people will choose to be sponsored by a family member, but there are other options available to you if this option fails.

Canada has always been a country that welcomes immigrants from all over the world who wish to embrace its culture and way of life, so why not take advantage of that? You just have to be patient since it may take up to ten years to approve your application. After all, you’re contributing towards Canada’s population growth and diversity-and who doesn’t want a little more of that in their country?

What makes Canada so great is its celebration of multiculturalism. It isn’t just a phrase they use at citizenship ceremonies once someone passes their test. There really is something for everyone here. You can attend an event almost any night of the week celebrating different cultures from every corner of the world. I used to help organize events for my university students when my town had festivals with food tents thrown by people from India, China, Vietnam, and Europe. I would be stuffing my face with dumplings, bao buns (basically a mini burger), or barbecue meats dipped in the sweet sauce while sipping some bubble tea! Not to mention it’s equally as exhilarating trying all the different languages being spoken during these events.

It sounds pretty great, right? Well, you can have this excitement every day for the rest of your life because Canada is truly one of the greatest places on earth.