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CANADA: FAMILY VISAS

Under the Canadian Family Visa categories, close and extended family members are encouraged to reunite with their loved ones in Canada, through various different federal and provincial programs.

With a strong reunification policy and many advantages including excellent schooling options, subsidised health care and employment benefits, Canada remains a destination of choice for families seeking to reunite in a peaceful and thriving country.

Family reunification is a vital component of Canada's immigration agenda. The Spousal visa allows applicants married to a Canadian citizen or permanent resident the unique opportunity to be sponsored along with their dependent children. The applicant and their spouse must be married and show the genuine and continuing nature of the relationship and intend to live together in Canada, upon approval.

Spouse visa:
A Canadian citizen, or a permanent resident who is living in Canada may be eligible to sponsor their spouse (same or opposite sex) and any dependent children for permanent residence in Canada. An application for sponsorship can be made for a spouse or partner who is living either inside or outside Canada.

Spousal Visa Basic Requirements:
A sponsor must be a Canadian citizen, or a permanent resident living in Canada and be at least 18 years of age. A sponsor is also required to agree to provide financial support for their spouse for three (3) years and any dependent children for up to ten (10) years. Those who have previously sponsored relatives to come to Canada may need to satisfy additional requirements to be eligible to sponsor their spouse.

A spouse must be legally married to their sponsor, in either a same-sex or opposite-sex marriage, that is legally valid and recognized by both Canadian law and the law of the country where the marriage occurred. Both the sponsor and the spouse are required to meet additional requirements to apply for permanent residence and must undergo health and character checks. Sponsored spouses or partners must now live together in a legitimate relationship with their sponsor for two years from the day they receive permanent residence status in Canada, if they have been married for two years or less and have no children with their sponsor.

Spousal Visa Entitlements:
A spouse, and any dependent children, who is granted permanent residence under the Family Class will have the right to live, work and study in Canada indefinitely. Permanent residents can access Canada's unique government-funded health care, subsidized education, language training programs and assistance for finding employment. Additional benefits of Canadian permanent residence include eligibility for Canada Pension Plan Benefits, Old Age Security and Guaranteed Income Supplement and the option to participate in retirement plans such as Registered Retirement Savings Plans (RRSP). Together with the many freedoms associated with permanent residence is the ability to apply for Canadian citizenship.

Common law partner visa:
Under the Common-Law Partner visa, Canadian citizens and permanent residents who are living in Canada can apply to sponsor their common-law partner and eligible dependent children. This visa allows the opportunity to be sponsored for applicants who have been residing with their qualifying Canadian partners for a period of 1 year or more in an ongoing relationship. Applicants and their partner need to be in a genuine and continuing relationship and intend to live together in Canada.

The Canadian partner must be willing to live in Canada with the applicant once the visa is granted, and must be capable of supporting the applicant without accessing public funds. Once granted, the common-law partner will be given permanent residence and the right to join their sponsoring partner in Canada.

Common-Law Partner Visa Basic Requirements:
To apply for the Common-Law Partner visa, applicants must provide evidence of an ongoing and genuine relationship and have resided together at a common address for at least 1 year, with a Canadian citizen or permanent resident living in Canada. Both same-sex and opposite sex couples are eligible for this visa. The sponsor must also sign an undertaking to provide for all of the applicant's basic needs for a period of 3 years from the partner's arrival to Canada. In addition, all common-law partners must undergo health and character checks prior to their arrival.

Common-Law Partner Visa Entitlements:
A common-law partner who is granted permanent residence under the Family Class will have the right to live, work and study in Canada indefinitely. Permanent residents can access Canada's unique government-funded health care, subsidized education, language training programs and assistance for finding employment. Additional benefits of Canadian permanent residence include eligibility for Canada Pension Plan Benefits, Old Age Security and Guaranteed Income Supplement and the option to participate in retirement plans such as Registered Retirement Savings Plans (RRSP). Together with the many freedoms associated with permanent residence is the ability to apply for Canadian citizenship.

Conjugal partner visa:
The Conjugal Partner visa seeks to allow the reunification of partners separated by war, persecution or other legal barriers which prohibit the continued cohabitation of the applicant with their Canadian partners. Under the Conjugal Partner visa, Canadian citizens or permanent residents who are living in Canada can apply to sponsor their conjugal partners and dependent children.

This versatile visa allows the sponsorship of applicants who have been maintaining an ongoing relationship with their Canadian partner, but who have not been able to reside together at a common address with their Canadian partner for a period of at least 1 year. Once granted, the conjugal partner will be given permanent residence and the right to join their sponsoring partner in Canada.

Conjugal Partner Visa Basic Requirements:
In order to apply for the Conjugal Partner visa, applicants must show an ongoing and genuine relationship for at least 1 year, with a Canadian citizen or permanent resident living in Canada. Applicants must also have combined their affairs to the extent possible with their Canadian partner and show that cohabitation was not possible due to reasons outside their control. Both same-sex and opposite-sex couples are eligible for this visa. The Canadian sponsor must also sign an undertaking to provide for of all of the partner's basic needs for the duration of 3 years from the partner's arrival to Canada. In addition, all conjugal partners will be required to undergo health and character checks prior to their arrival in Canada.

Conjugal Partner Visa Entitlements:
A Conjugal Partner who is granted permanent residence under the Family Class will have the right to live, work and study in Canada indefinitely. Permanent residents can access Canada's unique government-funded health care, subsidized education, language training programs and assistance for finding employment. Additional benefits of Canadian permanent residence include eligibility for Canada Pension Plan Benefits, Old Age Security and Guaranteed Income Supplement and the option to participate in retirement plans such as Registered Retirement Savings Plans (RRSP). Together with the many freedoms associated with permanent residence is the ability to apply for Canadian citizenship.

Parental and Grandparental visa:
Extended families are encouraged in Canada! Under the Family Visa category, the Parental and Grandparental visa, Canadian citizens and permanent residents who are living in Canada can apply to sponsor their parents and grandparents.

Applicants are required to show their relationship with their Canadian children and grandchildren. The Canadian sponsor(s) must also be willing to live in Canada with the applicant(s) and must be capable of supporting them financially without accessing public funds. Once granted, the applicant(s) will be given permanent residence and the right to join their Canadian children and grandchildren in Canada.

Parental & Grandparental Visa Basic Requirements:
In order to apply for the Parental and Grandparental visa, applicants must have children or grandchildren who are Canadian citizens or permanent residents living in Canada, who are willing to sponsor them, and who are able to provide evidence of sufficient income. The sponsor(s) must also sign an undertaking to provide for all of the applicant(s) basic needs for the duration of 20 years from the date the applicant(s) arrives in Canada. As such, the applicant must show that their sponsor(s) meet the required income levels so as to be able to provide for their needs during the undertaking period. In addition, all applicants are required to undergo health and character checks prior to their arrival.

Parental & Grandparental Visa Entitlements:
A Parent or Grandparent who is granted permanent residence under the Family Class will have the right to live, work and study in Canada indefinitely. Permanent residents can access Canada's unique government-funded health care, subsidized education, language training programs and assistance for finding employment. Additional benefits of Canadian permanent residence include eligibility for Canada Pension Plan Benefits, Old Age Security and Guaranteed Income Supplement and the option to participate in retirement plans such as Registered Retirement Savings Plans (RRSP). Together with the many freedoms associated with permanent residence is the ability to apply for Canadian citizenship.

Remaining Relative Visa:
As part of the family reunification policy, Citizenship and Immigration Canada seeks to reunite families in Canada. For Canadians with no immediate family relatives in Canada or abroad, the Remaining Relative Visa allows Canadian citizens and permanent residents the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to sponsor an extended relative from abroad.

The Remaining Relative visa allows Canadian citizens and permanent residents living in Canada to sponsor one relative regardless of age or relationship, if the Canadian sponsor does not have any relatives who are Canadian citizens or permanent residents or any other relative who may be sponsored under the family category. Once granted, the remaining relative(s) will be given permanent residence and the right to join their sponsor in Canada.

Remaining Relative Visa Basic Requirements:
To apply for the Remaining Relative visa, the applicant must have an extended relative who is either a Canadian citizen or permanent resident living in Canada and who has no living close family relatives. The Canadian relative must be willing to sponsor the remaining relative and provide evidence of sufficient income. The sponsor must also sign an undertaking to provide for all of the applicant's needs for a specified period of time. As such, the applicant must show that their Canadian sponsor meets the income requirements to provide for their essential needs during the period of the undertaking. In addition, all applicants must meet the required visa requirements including health and character prior to their arrival to Canada.

Remaining Relative Visa Entitlements
A Remaining Relative who is granted permanent residence under the Family Class will have the right to live, work and study in Canada indefinitely. Permanent residents can access Canada's unique government-funded health care, subsidized education, language training programs and assistance for finding employment. Additional benefits of Canadian permanent residence include eligibility for Canada Pension Plan Benefits, Old Age Security and Guaranteed Income Supplement and the option to participate in retirement plans such as Registered Retirement Savings Plans (RRSP). Together with the many freedoms associated with permanent residence is the ability to apply for Canadian citizenship.

Family – Based Provincial Nominee visa
Under the Family-Based Provincial Nominee visa, Canadian citizens and permanent residents who are living in certain Canadian provinces can apply to sponsor their family members to live and work in Canada. The Family-Based Provincial Nominee visa allows Canadian citizens and permanent residents living in Canada to sponsor their relatives to a designated Canadian province. These currently include, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Saskatchewan and Prince Edward Island.

Once granted, the applicants will be given permanent residence and the right to join their sponsor in Canada.
Family-Based Provincial Nominee Visa Basic Requirements
For the Family Based Provincial Nominee visa, applicants must meet specific requirements as set out below. All applicants are required to provide evidence of having a close family relative willing to provide support and assistance for the sponsorship, possess adequate English or French language skills and possess the required settlement funds.

Under the Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program(MPNP) - Family Support visa, applicants must be between the ages of 21 to 49, have completed post-secondary education of at least one academic year and received a diploma or certificate, and have at least two years of full-time work experience within the past five years.
Under the Newfoundland & Labrador Provincial Nominee Program(NPNP) - Family Connection visa, applicants must be between the ages of 18 to 49, must have completed post-secondary education, training, or apprenticeship of at least one year in length that has resulted in a diploma, a certificate or a degree, and have at least one year of work experience. They must also have a full-time, permanent job offer from a local employer.
Under the New Brunswick Skilled Worker (NBPNP) - Family Support visa, applicants must have close family relatives in New Brunswick and satisfy the employment, language, experience, age, and adaptability requirements.
Under the Nova Scotia Nominee Program (NSNP) - Non-Dependent Child of Nova Scotia Nominees visa, applicants must be the non-dependent children of immigrants who were nominated under the Nova Scotia Nominee Program (NSNP). In addition, under the Nova Scotia Family Business Worker Stream family-owned businesses can hire close relatives who have skills that cannot be found locally.
Under the Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program (SINP) - Family Members visa, applicants must be between 18 - 49 years old, have completed the requisite educational requirements, and have a full-time, permanent job offer from a Saskatchewan Employer

Family-Based Provincial Nominee Visa Entitlements
A Family-Based Provincial Nominee who is granted permanent residence under the Family Class will have the right to live, work and study in Canada indefinitely. Permanent residents can access Canada's unique government-funded health care, subsidized education, language training programs and assistance for finding employment. Additional benefits of Canadian permanent residence include eligibility for Canada Pension Plan Benefits, Old Age Security and Guaranteed Income Supplement and the option to participate in retirement plans such as Registered Retirement Savings Plans (RRSP).

Dependent Child(ren) Visa:
As part of Canada's aim to foster family reunification, the Dependent Children visa allows Canadian citizens and permanent residents who are living in Canada to apply to sponsor their or their partner's dependent or adopted children.

Sponsors must be able to show that their children are still dependent upon them and/or the various requirements relating to the adoption of the children have been met. Once granted, dependent children will be given permanent residence and the right to join their sponsoring parent(s) in Canada.

Dependent Child(ren) Visa Basic Requirements:
In order to apply for the Dependant Child(ren) visa, prospective sponsor(s) must show that the child they are sponsoring are financially dependent on them and in most cases continuously enrolled and in full-time studies at accredited educational institutions. Alternatively, they must be children who have been adopted or are in the process of being adopted. The sponsor parent must sign an undertaking to provide for the dependent child (ren)'s needs for the relevant period.

Dependent Child(ren) Visa Entitlements:
Any dependent children, who are granted permanent residence under the Family Class, will have the right to live, work and study in Canada indefinitely.
Permanent residents can access Canada's unique government-funded health care, subsidized education, language training programs and assistance for finding employment. Additional benefits of Canadian permanent residence include eligibility for Canada Pension Plan Benefits, Old Age Security and Guaranteed Income Supplement and the option to participate in retirement plans such as Registered Retirement Savings Plans (RRSP). Together with the many freedoms associated with permanent residence is the ability to apply for Canadian citizenship.

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