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Episode 68 Family Class Sponsorship: Reuniting Loved Ones

Podcast posted on by Evelyn Ackah in Family Class and Podcast

Episode 68 Family Class Sponsorship: Reuniting Loved Ones

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On the Ask Canada Immigration Lawyer Evelyn Ackah podcast, Calgary immigration lawyer Evelyn Ackah discusses reuniting loved ones in Canada through family class sponsorship.

Family class sponsorship is a program in Canadian immigration that allows Canadian citizens and permanent residents to sponsor their family members for permanent residency in Canada. The program aims to reunite families by providing a pathway for spouses, common-law partners, conjugal partners, dependent children, parents, and grandparents to join their Canadian family members in Canada.


    During the podcast, Evelyn Ackah provides an overview of family class sponsorship and how Ackah Business Immigration Law offers assistance with family sponsorship and other immigration matters:

    • The spousal sponsorship category allows spouses, common-law partners, and same-sex partners to come to Canada and be together.
    • The process for sponsoring a spouse outside of Canada requires extensive paperwork, evidence of the relationship, and can take up to two years.
    • Spouses already in Canada as visitors can apply for sponsorship from within the country, including a work permit application for the spouse.
    • Sponsoring children or adopted children is also possible under the family class category.
    • Financial requirements must be met when sponsoring children, but there is no low income cutoff for spousal sponsorship.
    • Sponsoring parents is a challenging stream with limited openings and often requires utilizing the super visa option.
    • Sponsoring siblings has specific requirements and is more difficult than in the past.
    • Hiring a professional to handle the family sponsorship application is recommended to avoid delays and refusals.

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    About Evelyn Ackah

    Evelyn Ackah is the Founder and Managing Lawyer at Ackah Business Immigration Law. With offices in Calgary, Toronto and Vancouver, we work with individuals and business owners from all over the world who want to cross borders seamlessly. For more information on immigration to Canada or the United States, Ask Evelyn Ackah at Ackah Business Immigration Law today at (403) 452‑9515 or email Evelyn directly at contact@ackahlaw.com.

    The Ask Canada Immigration Lawyer Evelyn Ackah podcast by Calgary Immigration Lawyer Evelyn Ackah was named #1 Best Canada Immigration Podcast in 2022 by Feedspot.



    Evelyn Ackah:

    Good day, everyone. It's Evelyn Ackah from Ackah Business Immigration Law. Thank you so much for joining us today on our LinkedIn Live. As well, this will be re-broadcast on our Ask Canada Immigration Lawyer Evelyn Ackah podcast. Today, we get to speak about reuniting loved ones through family sponsorship, and it's one of our favorite areas. And one of the few truly personal immigration areas that we do at Ackah Business Immigration Law is we help spouses reunite with their spouse overseas, or their common law partner, or same-sex partner to come to Canada so they can be together.

    So just want to discuss kind of a few details about the spousal sponsorship category before we talk about other family members. So let's say you go overseas and you meet this wonderful person, and you fall into relationship and fall in love, and you get married and you decide you want to help bring them to Canada because you don't want to be separated any longer, this family sponsorship for spousals is the category for you. And if your spouse is out of Canada, there are different processes than if the spouse is with you in Canada.

    So the out of Canada sponsorship process requires a lot of forms, a lot of paperwork, a lot of evidence about the relationship, as well as even the fact that you're married, you still need to provide 20 or more pictures, evidence of your courtship. The government wants to know that this relationship is legitimate, and valid, and bonafides. So those processes of sponsoring your spouse, and one thing that Canada is really great about is they recognize married couples that are same sex as well as common law couples that are same sex. There's even a conjugal category for family sponsorship as well as the regular married class for heterosexual marriages.

    And so in that case, you should know the process could take a year to two years. And that is sometimes the struggle for spouses, is to be a part for that long is a challenge. And this is for cases of people who are visa exempt, or sorry, that are visa required, I should say, and they're not permitted to enter Canada without a visa. They can't come to Canada in the interim if they're married and they're doing the spousal sponsorship. Because the government knows your intention is not to be temporary, you need to wait until the entire process is finished, which I know is difficult.

    The other option we have for family sponsorship when it comes to spouses as well is if the application is submitted from inside Canada. And this category is for people where the spouse is already with them in the country as a visitor and they now want to do the spousal sponsorship. So this is great if the spouse is legal in Canada as a visitor, you can apply for the PR application for them. And we also always include a work permit application so that they can obtain a work permit in Canada under the open spousal work permit. It usually will take maybe six months. But at least after six months, generally speaking, once the sponsor is approved as a sponsor, the spouse can get a work permit and can work in Canada and contribute to the household. It takes a lot of stress off and is something that is a benefit that the government has created in the last five, six years. So that is generally the spousal common law conjugal category.

    Another family class sponsorship relates to bringing children. Let's say you've adopted a child overseas, you can also sponsor that child because they fit in the family class category to come to Canada. If you are sponsoring a spouse that has children already, you need to know that there actually is a low income cutoff requirement. There's a requirement based on how big the family members are, how big the family unit is, that you have to be able to show that you can afford to financially take care of them, because that truly is what sponsorship is about.

    With the spousal, there's no real low income cutoff because the government has been focused on reunifying families and couples, especially during COVID. And just before then, that's been the real focus, is making it faster. So there is no LICO, there's no low income cutoff for that category. But if you have children and there are children involved in the application, then there is a low income cutoff and you must meet the financial requirements that you've committed to. Normally for spouses, it's a three-year minimum requirement that you're obligated to take care of that spouse. And for children, it's up to 10 years. And so it's really, really important that you're able to be financially stable in order to qualify as a sponsor.

    The other category that many people are always interested in is sponsoring parents. This is one of the most challenging streams because it's basically a lottery. There's no guarantee. Just the fact that you can afford to bring your parents doesn't mean you'll be allowed to bring them. You need to know when the government is opening up the stream. And I have to tell you for the last few years, it fills up in like two minutes. And then we have to wait again for another six to eight months and it fills up again. So this is one of the hardest ones, is to bring your parents as permanent residents with you to Canada. Many people are utilizing the super visa option right now as a way to bring their family members to Canada in the interim so the parents can be here to help and get to know their grandchildren, et cetera. But it will take much longer to get them permanent residents because of the nature of the parental sponsorship program.

    We also get asked quite honestly, regularly if you can sponsor your siblings. And in the past this was an easier stream, to be able to bring your siblings to Canada. Now, it's very difficult and there're very specific requirements around who you can sponsor. They have to be of under a certain age, they have to almost be orphaned, there has to be no other family members there back home. So it's not an easy category to bring siblings. And you certainly can't bring cousins or nieces under the sponsorship unless you've adopted them and you can show that they've been adopted legally.

    So I'm hoping that this information shows you that it's not easy but it's not impossible. It's very important I think you work with a professional. We're happy to help your Ackah Business Immigration Law with family sponsorship. The hardest thing for us is when somebody has tried this application on their own to bring their loved one to Canada, and it takes six months to a year and the application comes back refused because things are missing or it's incomplete. And you've just lost six months to a year because you did not hire a professional to do it right the first time.

    So I'm hoping that this will allow you to consider using us if you need any immigration support on family sponsorships or any other corporate immigration matters, we're here to assist you. Thank you so much for joining us on our LinkedIn Live and on our podcast. Please do share our recordings with your friends, family, and colleagues, and please sign up for all of our social media and give us a five-star review. Thanks so much. Take care.

    Evelyn L. Ackah, BA, LL.B.

    Founder/Managing Lawyer

    Ms. Ackah is passionate about immigration law because it focuses on people and relationships, which are at the core of her personal values. Starting her legal career as a corporate/commercial ...

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