Quebec Family Sponsorship

Eligibility Criteria for Quebec Family Sponsorship

The Quebec Family Sponsorship program is designed to allow Canadian citizens and permanent residents residing in Quebec to sponsor their relatives to become permanent residents of Canada. However, not all relationships are eligible for sponsorship, and both the sponsor and the sponsored relative must meet certain criteria set out by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) and the Ministère de l’Immigration, de la Francisation et de l’Intégration (MIFI) in Quebec.

For someone to be eligible to sponsor a relative, they must:

  • Be at least 18 years of age.
  • Be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident living in Quebec.
  • Prove that they have sufficient income to support the sponsored relative(s) by meeting or exceeding the minimum necessary income, which varies depending on the number of family members being sponsored and the size of the sponsor’s family unit.
  • Agree to enter into an undertaking with the Quebec government, which is a binding promise to provide financial support for the basic needs of the sponsored relative(s) for a certain period of time. This period of time varies depending on the relationship to the sponsored individual.

The relatives that can be sponsored include:

  • Spouse, common-law partner, or conjugal partner.
  • Dependent children, including adopted children.
  • Parents and grandparents, subject to additional conditions and potential entry through a lottery system due to high demand.
  • Brothers, sisters, nephews, nieces, or grandchildren who are orphaned, under the age of 18, and not married or in a common-law relationship.
  • Any other relative, regardless of age or relationship, if the sponsor does not have any relatives who are Canadian citizens or permanent residents or any other relative who could be sponsored under the family class sponsorship. This part of the program is very limited and subject to specific conditions.

Additionally, the sponsored relative must be admissible to Canada, meaning they must not be inadmissible on the basis of criminality, security issues, or health grounds. They also need to undergo a medical examination and criminal background check as part of the application process.

Prospective sponsors should note that the eligibility to sponsor a relative does not guarantee approval, as each application is assessed on its individual merits according to the specific requirements and guidelines issued by IRCC and MIFI. Therefore, understanding these criteria and ensuring both sponsor and sponsored relative meet qualifications is the first critical step towards a successful family sponsorship application.

Application Process for Sponsoring Relatives in Quebec

To commence the process of sponsoring relatives to Quebec, prospective sponsors must first ensure they meet the eligibility criteria detailed above. Following this, the application process involves several steps that must be carefully followed to increase the likelihood of success. The process is twofold, involving both federal and provincial procedures.

The first step is to gather all the necessary documentation required by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) for the federal portion of the sponsorship application. This includes but is not limited to:

  • Completed application forms for both the sponsor and the sponsored relative
  • Proof of status in Canada for the sponsor
  • Proof of relationship to the sponsored relative (e.g., marriage certificate, birth certificate)
  • Financial evidence that the sponsor meets the minimum necessary income
  • Police certificates and clearances
  • Medical examination results for the sponsored relative

Once the federal application package is complete, it can be submitted to IRCC. The sponsorship application will first be assessed to determine if the sponsor is eligible. If the sponsor is approved, the application will then be forwarded for assessment of the sponsored relative’s eligibility for immigration to Canada.

Concurrently with the submission to IRCC, the sponsor must apply to the Ministère de l’Immigration, de la Francisation et de l’Intégration (MIFI) for a Quebec Selection Certificate (Certificat de sélection du Québec, or CSQ). The CSQ is a document issued by the province of Quebec to signify that the sponsored relative has been selected to settle in Quebec. The application for the CSQ will require:

  • A valid application file number from the IRCC submission
  • Payment of the processing fee for the CSQ
  • Forms and documentation as requested by MIFI

The requirements for the CSQ include providing proof of the sponsored relative’s ability to financially support themselves and, depending on their relationship to the sponsor, their intention to reside in Quebec.

After a CSQ is issued by MIFI, the sponsored relative’s application will continue to be processed by IRCC, which will include a thorough assessment of admissibility criteria, such as security and health. Should IRCC approve the application, the sponsored relative will be issued a permanent resident visa.

Throughout the application process, communication will be critical. Sponsors and sponsored relatives must be ready to provide additional information or documents if requested by either IRCC or MIFI. Delays or rejections can occur if the applications are incomplete or if the information provided does not satisfy immigration requirements.

It’s important to note that processing times can vary significantly based on several factors, including the volume of applications received and the complexity of individual cases. Therefore, sponsors and sponsored relatives should plan accordingly and expect the process to take considerable time.

During the waiting period, staying informed of any changes in immigration laws and procedures can be beneficial. Sponsors should also remain financially stable, as they will be required to support the sponsored relative financially when they arrive in Quebec.

After the sponsored relative arrives in Quebec and receives permanent resident status, both the sponsor and the sponsored individual must fulfill their obligations under the terms of the sponsorship agreement. Meeting these conditions is not only necessary for the stability of the sponsored relative but also a legal requirement for the sponsor.

Rights and Responsibilities of Sponsors and Sponsored Family Members

The framework of Quebec family sponsorship revolves around a precise set of responsibilities for the sponsor and rights for the sponsored family members, as well as some obligations for the newcomers once they arrive in Quebec.

Sponsors are tasked with a number of duties, which include, but are not limited to:

  • Providing financial support to cover the basic needs of the sponsored relative including food, clothing, shelter, and healthcare not covered by public health insurance for the duration of the undertaking period. The length of this period depends on the familial relationship to the sponsored individual.
  • Ensuring that the sponsored relative does not need to apply for social assistance (welfare benefits) during the undertaking period.
  • Informing the immigration authorities of any changes to their situation, for instance, a change in address, family status, or financial situation.

For the sponsored family members, once they arrive in Canada, they have the right to:

  • Receive the same level of support and care as previously detailed to the sponsor.
  • Access to education, healthcare and other social services in line with permanent residents.
  • Work anywhere and change employment without the need for sponsorship or special authorization.
  • Seek protection under Canadian law and Quebec provincial law.

However, sponsored family members also have responsibilities upon arriving in Quebec:

  • They must make every effort to become self-sufficient within a reasonable period of time.
  • They should comply with Canadian provincial and federal laws.
  • It is encouraged for them to participate in courses offered by Quebec to facilitate their francisation, or adoption of French language and integration into Quebec society.

Fulfilling these obligations is crucial for maintaining the sponsorship. Failure to do so can result in legal consequences for the sponsor including financial repercussions. Sponsored relatives who do not abide by the conditions of their permanent residency could also face issues, potentially affecting their status in Canada.

Both parties must enter into the sponsorship agreement with a clear understanding of these stipulations to ensure they hold up their end of the contract. Following the rules not only contributes to family reunification but also fortifies the integrity of Canada’s immigration system.