Sponsoring an Extended Family Member to Immigrate

Sponsoring an Extended Family Member to Immigrate

22nd May 2018 Comments Off on Sponsoring an Extended Family Member to Immigrate

Last updated on August 10th, 2018

It is generally well known that Canadian citizens and permanent residents can sponsor their spouses, common-law partners, children, parents and/or grand-parents to immigrate to Canada.

What is less well-known is that in certain circumstances it is also possible for a Canadian citizen or permanent resident to sponsor an extended family member to immigrate.

The “Lonely Canadian” Category

Under a program that is generally referred to as the “Lonely Canadian Program” or the “Other Relative Program” a Canadian citizen or permanent resident can sponsor one adult son or daughter, brother, sister, uncle, aunt, niece or nephew to immigrate to Canada.  If that extended family member is married or has children, the person being sponsored can bring their immediate family with them to Canada. As well, the person being sponsored has to be related to the sponsor by blood.

In order to sponsor such a relative, however, the Canadian or permanent resident must show that they do not have a spouse, common-law partner, child, parent or grandparent or child who is either a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident, or who is a foreigner that can be sponsored.  For example, if a Canadian citizen is married they cannot sponsor their uncle to immigrate.  The program is designed to favour persons who do not have relations in Canada and have no possibility to sponsor immediate family.

The normal rules of sponsorship apply, and the Canadian sponsor would need to enter into an undertaking with the Government of Canada wherein they would commit to being financially responsible for their relative for a period of 10 years after they immigrate.

Ability to Sponsor a Parent

One issue that frequently arises in the Lonely Canadian Program is whether a Canadian can sponsor an extended relative to immigrate to Canada if that Canadian has a living parent or grandparent but is likely unable to sponsor them. 

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