Jamaica Gleaner
Published: Tuesday | February 19, 2013
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Seeking Canadian sponsorship
Dear Miss Powell,

I have many relatives in Canada. Can they sponsor me to live in Canada? I am 21 years old and will be finishing university in June. Thanks in advance for your response.- NB

Dear NB

A relative in Canada may be able to sponsor you to become a permanent resident of Canada if both your relative and you are able to meet certain requirements. An application may be submitted under the Family Class through Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC).

The person sponsoring a relative must be 18 years or older and able to meet certain income requirements to prove that he or she is able to support the person being sponsored and their dependants, if any, for a period of three to 10 years.

Your relative may not be able to sponsor you if he or she:

1. Received government assistance for reasons other than disability;

2. Defaulted on a court order for child or spousal support;

3. Is in prison;

4. Declared bankruptcy and has not been discharged;

5. Defaulted on immigration loan or missed payments;

6. Defaulted on a sponsorship agreement to provide support in the past.

Who can be sponsored?

1. Spouse or common-law partner;

2. Brothers, sisters, nieces, nephews, grandchildren who are orphaned under 18 years old and not married or in a common law relationship;

3. Accompanying spouse and dependants of eligible relatives.

If your sponsor has no other living relative in Canada or no other close relative who may be sponsored, then he or she will be able to sponsor you regardless of your relationship or your age. For example, your cousin may sponsor you if he or she does not have a spouse or any other close relative who could be sponsored under the family class.

You indicated that you will be graduating from university soon, so if your relative is ineligible to sponsor you, you should consider making an application under the Federal Skilled Worker Class.


Once your relative has been approved as a sponsor, you will need to be able to satisfy the CIC that you are not a security risk and that you are healthy. You will be required to do both criminal and medical background checks in order to qualify.

If you have doubts or concerns about your eligibility and admissibility, I would recommend that you consult with a lawyer to assess whether you and your relative qualify and what immigration options are available to you based on your particular situation.

Deidre S. Powell is a lawyer, mediator, and notary public who is a member of the Jamaican and Ontario, Canada, bars, with office located in Ottawa, Ontario. Her areas of practice are in immigration, real estate, personal injury, family, commercial and administration of estates. Submit your questions and comments to Email: info@deidrepowell.com Subject line: Immigration. Tel: 613.695.8777 Fax: 613.695.8778.

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