Canada Family Sponsorship Immigration Numbers Drop In April But Up On 2022

Canada Spousal Immigration Surged In 2023
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The latest data from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) shows the number of new Canada permanent residents through family sponsorship programs fell for the fourth consecutive month in April.

Since welcoming 19,240 relatives to Canada in December last year under family sponsorship programs, there has been a gradual drop every single month.

In January, 12,705 came to Canada under family sponsorships and that fell to only 11,090 in February and again to 9,925 in March.

In April, Canada welcomed 11,595 fewer relatives as new permanent residents than the high set in December.

Despite that downward trend, the number of new permanent residents through family sponsorship programs is still up so far this year because of the relatively strong start to the year.

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In the first four months of this year, 41,370 new permanent residents came to Canada under family sponsorships, up 17.9 per cent or 6,283 new permanent residents compared to the same period last year.

Since it is Canada’s most populous province, Ontario has also seen the greatest number of new permanent residents through family sponsorships so far this year with 20,650 newcomers arriving under those programs.

But the other provinces and territories also attracted of new permanent residents through family sponsorship programs during that period, including:

Based on the current level of immigration through family sponsorships in the first four months of this year, Canada could welcome 124,110 such newcomers by the end of this year if the trend continues.

Family Sponsorships Poised To End Year Up 52.4%

That would be a level of family sponsorship immigration 52.4 per cent higher than last year when 81,430 new permanent residents settled in Canada through these programs.

In the first four months of this year compared to the same period last year, family sponsorships only declined in popularity in Nunavut where they fell by 50 per cent.

Elsewhere in Canada, family sponsorships grew most in popularity in the Atlantic Canadian province of New Brunswick, where they rose by 56.7 per cent during that time period compared to the same period last year, and in the Yukon which saw a 50 per cent growth in new permanent residents through family sponsorships.

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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.

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).

Sponsored Spouses Can Work In Canada Under Family Sponsorship Programs

Spouses and common-law partners who come to Canada under the sponsorship programs are allowed to work under the Spousal Work Permit Pilot Program.

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.

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Colin Singer
Colin Singer is an international acclaimed Canadian immigration lawyer and founder of featured on Wikipedia. Colin Singer is also founding director of the Canadian Citizenship & Immigration Resource Center (CCIRC) Inc. He served as an Associate Editor of ‘Immigration Law Reporter’, the pre-eminent immigration law publication in Canada. He previously served as an executive member of the Canadian Bar Association’s Quebec and National Immigration Law Sections and is currently a member of the Canadian Chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association. Colin has twice appeared as an expert witness before Canada’s House of Commons Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration. He is frequently recognized as a recommended authority at national conferences sponsored by government and non-government organizations on matters affecting Canada’s immigration and human resource industries. Since 2009, Colin has been a Governor of the Quebec Bar Foundation a non-profit organization committed to the advancement of the profession, and became a lifetime member in 2018.