Last Updated on April 9, 2021
China is the second-most important source of new Canadian permanent residents who come through family sponsorship programs, reveals data from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada.
In 2019, China provided Canada with 10,555 new permanent residents through these programs.
Border restrictions and bans on all but essential international travel hampered the arrival of immigrants to Canada last year.
But China still retained its number two spot on the list of top sources of new permanent residents to Canada through family sponsorship programs in the first six months of 2020, the most recent period for which figures are available.
The number of Chinese who came to Canada under family sponsorship programs in the first six months of last year was only 2,930, or about 57.7 per cent less than the 6,935 who made the move in the comparable period in 2019.
India is the top source of new permanent residents to Canada through family sponsorship programs, with 17,660 arriving in 2019 and another 4,140 in the first six months of last year.
But China still remains ahead of most other countries as a source of new permanent residents to Canada through these programs.
China provided almost twice as many new permanent residents through family sponsorship programs in 2019 as did the United States, which provided 5,515, and 18.9 per cent more than the next country on that list, the Philippines. That year, 8,875 Filipinos made Canada their home through these programs.
In 2019, China provided almost 11.6 per cent of the 91,310 new permanent residents who came to Canada through family sponsorship programs.
In the first six months of last year, the Asian giant’s share of the 24,795 new permanent residents to Canada to arrive using those programs nudged up to 11.8 per cent.
Rising from a low of 5,775 in 2015, China became an increasingly important source of new Canadian residents through family sponsorship programs over the next two years. In 2016, China provided 9,020 new permanent Canadian residents through these programs and then, in 2017, that number grew to 11,170.
Since then, the number of new permanent residents from China under these programs has sagged somewhat, easing to 10,160 in 2018 before bouncing back up somewhat to 10,555 in 2019.
With Covid-19 vaccines and therapies holding the promise of an end to the global pandemic, immigration is expected to pick up again this year and family sponsorships, one of the fastest and most popular ways to gain permanent residence in Canada, are expected to boom.
That will provide opportunities for many Chinese citizens to immigrate to Canada and gain permanent residence through family sponsorship programs.
Under these programs, a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident of Canada, aged 18 or more can sponsor certain family members to become Canadian permanent residents.
With that permanent residence, those family members are able to live, study and work in Canada.
Sponsors Are Financially Responsible For Relatives
The sponsor assumes all financial responsible for their relative once he or she arrives in Canada.
To be a sponsor, the Canadian citizen or permanent resident must:
- sign a sponsorship agreement with the relative to be sponsored that commits the sponsor to provide financial support for the relative, if necessary. This agreement also says the person becoming a permanent resident will make every effort to support him or herself;
- provide financial support for a spouse, common-law or conjugal partner for three years from the date they become a permanent resident, and;
- provide financial support for a dependent child for 10 years, or until the child turns 25, whichever comes first.
Relatives who can be sponsored include:
- spouse – (restrictions apply)
- common-law partner – (restrictions apply)
- conjugal partner – (restrictions apply)
- dependent children
- parents – (Additional conditions apply)
- grandparents – (Additional conditions apply)
- brothers or sisters, nephews or nieces, granddaughters or grandsons who are orphaned, under 18 years of age and not married or in a common-law relationship
- another relative of any age or relationship but only under specific conditions
- accompanying relatives of the above (for example, spouse, partner and dependent children).
Spouses and common-law partners who come to Canada under the sponsorship programs are allowed to work under the Spousal Work Permit Pilot Program.
Spouses Can Work In Canada Under Sponsorship Programs
The program is designed to allow spouses and partners to work while their immigration applications are being finalized.
Eligible candidates must be in Canada and in the process of being sponsored for permanent residence under the spouse or common-law partner class. Candidates must also have valid temporary status as a visitor, student or worker.
Under the sponsorship programs, sponsors ink a contract with Canada’s immigration authorities to 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 years.
In the case of a child under the age of 19 years, of the sponsor or the spouse, common-law partner, or conjugal partner, the obligation starts on the day that the child becomes a permanent resident of Canada for a period of 10 years or until the child reaches the age of 25 years.
In the case of a dependent child over the age of 19 years, the obligation starts on the day that the dependent child becomes a permanent resident, for a period of three 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.