Can a Canadian citizen sponsor a non-family member?

Can a Canadian citizen sponsor a non-family member?

Many Canadian Permanent Residents or Citizens want to bring their siblings or non-family members to Canada.

There are several requirements for the one who wants to sponsor and the sibling being sponsored.

You can only sponsor relatives like a brother, sister, aunt or uncle in very specific situations. They need to meet the criteria below and find out which programs they may be eligible to apply for.

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There are 2 options for who you can sponsor:

Orphaned brother, sister, nephew, niece or grandchild

You can sponsor an orphaned brother, sister, nephew, niece or grandchild only if they meet all of these conditions:

  • they’re related to you by blood or adoption
  • both their mother and father passed away
  • they’re under 18 years of age
  • they’re single (not married or in a common-law or conjugal relationship)

You can’t sponsor your brother, sister, nephew, niece or grandchild if:

  • one of their parents is still alive
  • no one knows where their parents are
  • their parents abandoned them
  • someone else other than their parents is taking care of them while one or both their parents are alive
  • their parent is in jail or otherwise detained

Other relative

You may sponsor one relative, related by blood or adoption, of any age, if you meet all of these conditions:

You (the person who wants to sponsor your relative) don’t have a living relative you could sponsor instead, such as a:

  • spouse
  • common-law partner
  • conjugal partner
  • son or daughter
  • parent
  • grandparent
  • orphaned brother or sister
  • orphaned nephew or niece
  • orphaned grandchild

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You (the potential sponsor) don’t have any relatives (aunt or uncle or any of the relatives listed above), who is a:

  • Canadian citizen
  • permanent resident
  • registered Indian under the Indian Act

If the relative you want to sponsor has a spouse, partner, or dependent children who will come with them to Canada, you must include them on the same sponsorship application.

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Who you can’t sponsor?

A Canadian immigration officer will decide if you can enter Canada when you:

  • apply for a visa or an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) or
  • when you arrive at a port of entry.

You can’t sponsor a non-family member.


You can’t sponsor someone who is inadmissible to Canada. This means they’re not allowed to come to Canada. There are different reasons why you may not be able to sponsor a relative if you:

  • are in prison
  • have not paid your alimony or child support payments
  • have declared bankruptcy and haven’t been released from it yet
  • got social assistance for reasons other than being disabled
  • didn’t pay back an immigration loan, made late payments or missed payments
  • sponsored another relative in the past and didn’t meet the terms of the sponsorship agreement were convicted of a violent crime, any offense against a relative or any sexual offense, depending on details of the case, such as:
  1. the type of offense
  2. how long ago it was
  3. whether a record suspension was issued (formerly called “pardons” in Canada)-PTC News