The family class sponsorship program offers a pathway for Canadian citizens and permanent residents to bring their children from abroad for immigration to Canada as permanent residents. Whether your child is your biological child or adopted, you can sponsor them to join you in Canada and enjoy the benefits of family reunification.

To sponsor your child for immigration to Canada, it is important to meet the following eligibility criteria:

In order to qualify as a dependent child, your child must meet the following criteria:

In some exceptional cases, a child over the age of 22 may still qualify as a dependent if they meet two specific requirements:

Throughout the sponsorship process, it is important for dependent children to remain unmarried and not enter into a common-law relationship. Divorce, widowhood, annulment of marriage, or the termination of a common-law relationship after the initial application is received will not affect their status as a dependent child.

Parent-Child Relationship and Dependent Child Age Lock-In

When it comes to sponsoring a dependent child for immigration to Canada, the parent-child relationship is crucial. A dependent child can be a biological child or an adopted child of the parent.

The term “biological child” encompasses various scenarios:

Proof of a biological relationship can be established through documents such as birth certificates or baptismal certificates. In the case of assisted human reproduction technologies, additional authorized evidence may be required to demonstrate the parent-child relationship.

If a child is born from a surrogacy agreement in a foreign country and is legally considered the child of the sponsor, spouse, or partner in that country, the child may be considered a “biological child” if there is also a genetic parent-child relationship.

Age Lock-In of Dependent Children

The age of a dependent child is determined at the time of receipt of the principal applicant’s complete permanent residence application. Once the application is deemed complete, the child’s age is “locked in.” Even if the child turns 22 during the processing of the application, they will continue to be considered a dependent child as long as they remain unmarried and not in a common-law relationship until permanent residence is confirmed.

Custody Issues

Sponsors who wish to sponsor a child subject to custody orders must provide proof that they have the authority to remove the child from the foreign country where they currently reside. This typically involves obtaining written consent from the parent or guardian overseas.

If the other parent or legal guardian is unwilling to provide consent, a court order may be acceptable. In cases where no consent is provided by the other parent or legal guardian, the burden is on the applicant to demonstrate sole custody of the dependent child and verify that the other parent or legal guardian does not have custody or any objections to the child’s removal from the foreign country.

When parents share custody, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) requires written confirmation from the other parent, stating that they have no objection to the child being processed for permanent residence in Canada.

These requirements ensure compliance with custodial orders and foreign laws. In Canada, the best interest of the child is the primary consideration in custody matters. Therefore, IRCC officers exercise discretion and carefully evaluate the circumstances of each case when deciding whether to process an application to sponsor a dependent child without written confirmation of no objection from the other parent.

If you are considering sponsoring your child for immigration to Canada, Brace Law can provide you with expert guidance and assistance. Our team is experienced in family class sponsorships and can help you navigate the process successfully. To get started, contact Brace Law at 905-815-6555 or email We offer consultations and services in multiple languages, including English, Italian, Albanian, Arabic, Punjabi, Farsi, Hindi, Malayalam, Tamil, and Urdu. Trust Brace Law for reliable and affordable legal support in making your family reunification dreams a reality.