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Canadian Immigration: Family Sponsorship Presented by: Rathika Vasavithasan & Swathi Sekhar Parkdale Community Legal Services 1266 Queen Street West 416-531-2411,

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Presentation on theme: "Canadian Immigration: Family Sponsorship Presented by: Rathika Vasavithasan & Swathi Sekhar Parkdale Community Legal Services 1266 Queen Street West 416-531-2411,"— Presentation transcript:

1 Canadian Immigration: Family Sponsorship Presented by: Rathika Vasavithasan & Swathi Sekhar Parkdale Community Legal Services 1266 Queen Street West 416-531-2411, ext. 260/258

2 Overview of Presentation 1. Who can sponsor? 2. Who can be sponsored? 3. How to prove a relationship 4. Inadmissibility: medical, security, criminal 5. Financial Issues: undertaking and fees 6. Processing times 7. What if my application is refused? 8. Where can I get more help and information?

3 Who Can Sponsor?  Canadian citizen or permanent resident  Must live in or intend to reside in Canada  18 years or older  Financially eligible Minimum necessary income Cannot be in receipt of social assistance for a reason other than disability

4 Financial Eligibility: Low Income Cut- offs (LICO) SIZE OF THE FAMILY UNIT MINIMUM NECESSARY INCOME 1 PERSON (THE SPONSOR)$ 22, 171 2 PERSONS$27, 601 3 PERSONS$33,933 4 PERSONS$41, 198 5 PERSONS$46,7272 6 PERSONS$52,699 7 PERSONS$58,673 More than 7 PERSONS, for each additional person add: $5,974

5 Financial Eligibility: Exceptions  You do not have to meet the minimum income requirements if you are sponsoring: A spouse, common-law partner or conjugal partner who has no dependent children A spouse, common-law partner or conjugal partner who has a dependent child who has no dependent children A dependent child who has no dependent children A person under 18 who you intend to adopt in Canada  BUT you still cannot be receiving social assistance (unless it is ODSP)

6 Other Eligibility Requirements  Cannot be in detention or subject to a removal order  Cannot have been convicted of a sexual offence or a Criminal Code offence against any of your relatives or family members  Cannot be in default of any previous undertaking (more later)  Cannot be an un-discharged bankrupt

7 Who Can be Sponsored?  Partner: spouse, common-law or conjugal  Dependant child  Parents and grandparents  Family member of a sponsored person, such as dependant child of spouse or parent

8 Who Can be Sponsored? (2)  But sometimes also: Orphaned brothers, sisters, nieces, nephews, and grandchildren who are unmarried and under 18 Children under 18 that you plan to adopt If no close family in Canada, and you don’t have any relatives abroad whom you can sponsor as members of the family class, then you can sponsor one relative regardless of age (e.g. siblings, etc.)

9 Sponsoring Your Partner: Spouse  Spouse = married according to the law in the country where the marriage took place. Must also be valid under Canadian law  E.g. same-sex partners can be sponsored as spouses if their marriage was legally recognized in the country where it took place

10 Sponsoring your Partner: Common-Law  Common-law = lived together for an continuous 12 month period in a relationship that is like a marriage (depend on each other, permanent, exclusive)  Short absences are okay (e.g. business trips)  Need evidence that you have combined your households

11 Sponsoring your Partner: Conjugal  Conjugal = marriage-like relationship for at least one year but you have been unable to live together due to exceptional circumstances  In most cases not able to marry partner

12 Sponsoring Your Dependent Child  Biological or legally adopted child  Under 22 and without a spouse or common- law partner  If your child is over 22 they must: Be attending post-secondary school full-time since before the age of 22 and dependent financially on a parent Be unable to provide for themselves due to a physical or mental disability

13 Genuine Relationship  If sponsoring a spouse, a common-law or conjugal partner, or an adopted child, you must show: (a) that the relationship is genuine; and (b) that you did not enter into it ONLY for immigration purposes

14 How to Prove a Marriage is Genuine  A marriage certificate  Other documents include: pictures, letters of support, proof of communication (copies of letters, emails, telephone records, etc.)  A marriage interview CIC may interview both of you separately to test whether your relationship is genuine

15 How to Prove a Relationship: Child  Birth certificates  Other documents include: Official documents (baptismal records, school records, hospital registries, old passports) Photographs and sworn statements from non- family members  DNA testing- conclusive, but a last resort  If you receive a request for DNA testing, seek legal advice  CIC may also interview you and your child

16 Medical Inadmissibility  All relatives who you sponsor have to take medical examinations  They may be medically inadmissible if they have a condition that: (a) is likely to be a danger to public health; (b) is likely to be a danger to public safety; (c) might reasonably be expected to cause excessive demand on health or social services BUT…

17 “Excessive Demand” Exception  Excessive demand does not apply to spouse, common-law partner or dependent child of a sponsor  However, the “excessive demand” can still affect your ability to sponsor parents and grandparents as they tend to have more health issues

18 Inadmissibility: Security Risk & Criminality  All sponsored persons have to undergo security checks  A person may be inadmissible on grounds of security, human rights violations, serious criminality or organized criminality  A person may also be inadmissible on the grounds of misrepresentation.

19 Financial Issues: Sponsorship Undertaking  As a sponsor, you sign an undertaking swearing that you can provide for your relative for: 3 years for spouses 10 years for children OR until they reach 25 10 years for everyone else  The undertaking means that you will pay any social assistance they receive during that time

20 Financial Issues: Fees  Sponsorship Application: $75  Principal Applicant (adult): $475  Principal Applicant (under 22 and “single”): $75  A family member of the principal applicant: over 22 or under 22 years of age and is married or in a common-law relationship: $550 under 22 and is not married or in a common-law relationship: $150

21 Fees (2)  Right of Permanent Residence Fee - $490 Does not need to be paid when the sponsorship is filed but must be paid before the visa is issued overseas Does not need to be paid by a dependant child of the principal applicant or sponsor, a child to be adopted, or an orphaned brother, sister, niece, nephew, or grandchild or by protected persons/Convention refugees

22 Processing Times  Applications vary depending on type of application and country submitted  Generally the time period is from 1 to 2 or more years: parents – much longer  List of processing times online: information/times/index.asp

23 Special Rules for Refugees  If you are found to be a “protected person” in Canada and you apply for permanent residence, you SHOULD include your spouse, common-law partner, and dependent children in your application  If you do not include them you will be unable to sponsor them later

24 Special Rules for Refugees (2)  These family members can be processed at the same time as you if you include them on your application  Your family members can also apply within one year of you receiving permanent residence as family members of a protected person (the “one year window”)  If they miss this time period, you have to sponsor them using the regular application

25 What if My Application is Refused?  If your sponsorship application is turned down, you could get a lawyer who can take your case to the Immigration Appeal Division to argue against the refusal  You have 30 days from the time you received the negative decision to appeal

26 Where Can I Go for Legal Advice?  Parkdale Community Legal Services Open for intake:  Mondays 2–6pm,  Tuesdays 2–7pm,  Thursdays 2–7pm, and  Fridays 10–1pm and 2–5pm. Tamil and Tibetan mini clinics:  Mondays 2–6pm Law reform and campaigns: Drop the Fee, Family Reunification

27 Where Can I Get More Information?  Community Legal Education Ontario (CLEO) Plain language information in various languages:  Citizenship & Immigration Canada Application guides and forms:  Canadian Council for Refugees Problems with family reunification:

28 Thank You!

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