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Episode 71: Family Reunification Made Easy: Family Program In Canada

Podcast posted on by Evelyn Ackah in Family Class and Podcast

Episode 71: Family Reunification Made Easy: Family Program In Canada

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Calgary immigration lawyer Evelyn Ackah discusses family reunification in Canada through family immigration programs. On the Ask Canada Immigration Lawyer Evelyn Ackah podcast, Evelyn discusses the options and requirements for family reunification in Canada.

Family reunification programs are for Canadian citizens and permanent residents to sponsor their family members for permanent residency in Canada. In this podcast episode, Evelyn Ackah discusses Ackah Law can help you determine if you are eligible for family reunification and advise you on the best family immigration options for your family.


    During the podcast, Evelyn Ackah provides an overview of family reunification programs and how Ackah Business Immigration Law offers assistance with family sponsorship and other immigration matters:

    • Spousal sponsorship: This is the most common type of family sponsorship in Canada. There is no income requirement for the sponsor, but the spouse must undergo police checks and medical exams. The application process can take up to 2 years.
    • Parent and grandparent sponsorship: This is a more difficult type of sponsorship because it is based on a lottery system. The sponsor must have a minimum income of $50,000 to $80,000 and the parents or grandparents must undergo police checks and medical exams. The application process can take up to 5 years.
    • Super visa: This is a long-term visitor visa that allows parents or grandparents to stay in Canada for up to 10 years. The sponsor must have a minimum income of $30,000 and the parents or grandparents must undergo police checks and medical exams.
    • Sponsorship of orphaned siblings: This is a rare type of sponsorship that is only available if the sibling is an orphan and has no other family members in the home country. The sponsor must have a minimum income of $30,000 and the sibling must undergo police checks and medical exams.
    • Other family sponsorship options: In the past, there were more family sponsorship options available, but these have been limited in recent years.

    About Evelyn Ackah

    Evelyn Ackah is the Founder and Managing Lawyer at Ackah Business Immigration Law. With offices in Calgary, Toronto and Vancouver, we work with individuals and business owners from all over the world who want to cross borders seamlessly. For more information on immigration to Canada or the United States, Ask Evelyn Ackah at Ackah Business Immigration Law today at (403) 452‑9515 or email Evelyn directly at contact@ackahlaw.com.

    The Ask Canada Immigration Lawyer Evelyn Ackah podcast by Calgary Immigration Lawyer Evelyn Ackah was named #1 Best Canada Immigration Podcast in 2022 by Feedspot.



    Hello, this is Evelyn Ackah on our Ackah Law LinkedIn Live and our Ask Canada Immigration Lawyer, Evelyn Ackah Podcast. Today we get to talk about the family reunification programs with Canadian immigration. We get asked a lot from our clients as to how they can bring their family members to Canada to join them. And so this, even though we do lots of corporate immigration at Ackah Law, we also do a significant amount of family sponsorship applications. So today on our LinkedIn Live, I'm going to review some of the options and categories so that you understand better how it is that you can be reunited with those that you love that are out of the country. The first and most common application we do here at Ackah Law is the sponsorship application for spouses, whether they're common law or they are married or they're same-sex common law or married in Canada, we do a number of these files that allow people who are separated but may be married or common law to be able to move to Canada.

    These processes usually take a year to two years if everything is going smoothly and we have to really prove the relationships are legitimate, they're bonafides and that this is a true marriage or common law status based on love as opposed to some other reason. So once we can prove that, we do the application fully and then we're able to submit it, and as I said, it's taking about a year to two years depending on the country that people are coming from. What's so great about the family sponsorship for spouses is the government has really been focusing on ways to bring their spouses together. They're focusing on reunification because it's very difficult to be separated when you're married to somebody. You can't come to Canada as a visitor if you're married. So the government knows if you're married, your intention is to come as a permanent resident and so they will not give you a visitor visa once they know you're married or have a long-term common law relationship.

    So the spousal sponsorship is critical and it's important that you do it right because the delays if you do it wrong, basically you've lost a year of time before you get everything back again. So it's really important to do it right with a professional that knows what they're doing so you can be reunited with your loved one as quickly as possible. A part of the process for sponsorship always requires police checks and medicals to make sure that there's nothing that may make them inadmissible to Canada. And then you also, with the spousal sponsorship, what's good is you don't actually have to prove you have a certain amount of income. There is no low income cutoff when it comes to spousal applications, and so that's a good thing unless there are other dependents coming. If children are coming, then you do need to have a certain amount of income to qualify to sponsor the entire family unit.

    So that is the first category. The one that we do the most is the spousal common law sponsorship to Canada. There are two different places or ways that people can come in. If the spouse is in Canada already, you can do an in Canada application and then you're able to get a work permit for your spouse usually within six months if we submit it at the same time we do the PR application. The other option is to do the application from outside Canada with the intention of moving to Canada once the permanent residence is done. And that one does not give the spouse an open spousal work permit because they enter Canada as workers, they're able to work upon entry because they have the permanent residence already.

    Another type of sponsorship we do for family reunification is the parent and grandparent category. This is one that is based on a lottery and it's very difficult to get. It could take people anywhere from three to five years to get selected for this category. So it's not fast. The government of Canada is really limiting the numbers of people that can qualify for the parent and grandparent sponsorship because of course if you come as an immigrant, you would love to be with your family and to bring them, but they are also not necessarily working people. So the government is looking focused first on young professionals that are able to work and benefit our pension plan and our tax structure. So when they are choosing to limit the PR options for parents and grandparents because they know that essentially they're not going to be working, contributing from a financial or tax perspective.

    So this one is harder, this one has a financial requirement for the sponsor, the child that wants to sponsor their parent, and if the child already has children and a spouse and then they want to bring both parents, they need to have a certain amount of income to be able to show that they can support the parents when they get here as permanent residents. So that one is based on looking at anywhere from 50 to $80,000 annual salary to prove that you can support the parents that are coming as your dependents.

    And as I said, this process isn't fast because it is based on a lottery, so you can get ready, but the government through the year might open the gates once or twice a year. And our experience is it gets filled up within two minutes, so it's not really feasible. But a lot of times people also will try to bring their parents while they're waiting to be permanent residents under the super visa category. This is the category that you can bring your parents as long-term visitors. They can stay in Canada and it can be extended two years and then another two years and up to eight or 10 years, so they can be with you while you're waiting to try to qualify for the permanent residence. The only downside to this is they do not get medical coverage in Canada, so the cost for benefits, medical benefits is quite high the older your parents are. And so you'll be incurring those fees as well as being able to show you can support them.

    Another category for sponsorship is maybe if there's only one orphan child left and you can sponsor a brother or a sister, a sibling, if there's nobody else left in the home country and they are basically orphans, the parents have died and there are no extended family and all the siblings are out of the country. That's one of the categories you can use to sponsor a sibling. In the past, there used to be many more options for sponsorship of family members, but it's been very, very limited over the years, and so that one is one that is a challenge.

    We do them sometimes, but we have to be able to show that basically there's like one last family member left alone and they meet all the criteria and then their siblings can sponsor them to Canada. So these are the main categories for family programs for unification in Canada. If you have any questions at all and you'd like to learn more to see if you're eligible to sponsor your family member to Canada, give us a call at the number below and we'd love to set up a discovery call to see how we can help you to make this decision before you get started. Let us help you do it right. Thank you so much for joining us today. Take care. Bye-bye.

    Evelyn L. Ackah, BA, LL.B.

    Founder/Managing Lawyer

    Ms. Ackah is passionate about immigration law because it focuses on people and relationships, which are at the core of her personal values. Starting her legal career as a corporate/commercial ...

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    "Thank you for all your help with our spousal PR application. Your help reviewing the documents was greatly appreciated - I won't hesitate to recommend you in the future."


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