Last Updated on February 4, 2021
India is the most important source of new permanent residents that come to Canada through family sponsorship programs, reveals data from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada.
In 2019, India was the top country on a list of countries throughout the world that provided Canada with new permanent residents through these programs with 17,660 Indians being sponsored by family and coming to Canada that year.
Even as the Covid-19 pandemic raged throughout the world, India continued to hold that top spot through the first six months of 2020, the latest period for which figures are available.
Border restrictions and bans on all but essential international travel did hamper the arrival of immigrants to Canada last year.
The number of Indians who came to Canada under family sponsorship programs in the first six months of last year was only 4,140, or about 57.4 per cent less than the 9720 who made the move in the comparable period in 2019.
But India still remains far ahead of other countries as a source of new permanent residents to Canada through these family sponsorship programs.
In the first six months of last year, India provided almost 41.3 per cent more newcomers to Canada under these programs than did the second-most important source, China, which provided 2,930, and 80.4 per cent more than the Philippines’ 2,295.
In 2019, India provided 19.3 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 country’s share of the 24,795 new permanent residents to Canada to arrive using those programs fell to 16.7 per cent.
Until the arrival of the Covid-19 pandemic, India was an increasingly important source of new permanent residents to Canada through family sponsorship programs, rising steadily and almost doubling from 9,410 in 2015 to 17,660 in 2019.
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Family sponsorships, one of the fastest and most popular ways to gain permanent residence in Canada, are expected to boom again as international travel restrictions ease up later this year.
As the borders loosen up with the worldwide distribution of Covid-19 vaccines and economies recover from the financial impact of the pandemic, the family sponsorship class of immigration programs promises to provide great opportunities for foreign nationals who want to make Canada their home.
Under family sponsorship 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 responsibility 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 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.