Blog

Ask a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant: Sponsoring Family Members

Frequently Asked Questions: How do I bring my sister, brother, niece, nephew, friend, etc. to come live in Canada?

When it comes to sponsoring people to come to live in Canada permanently, there are rules about what kinds of family members can be sponsored. If you are a permanent resident of Canada or a Canadian citizen, you can usually sponsor the following people:
  • Your spouse or partner and their dependent children (under the age of 22)
  • Your dependent children (under the age of 22)
  • Your adopted child (under the age of 22)
  • Your dependent child over the age of 22 if they can’t financially support themselves because they have a mental or physical condition and they have depended on you for financial support since before they turned 22
  • Your orphaned sibling who is under the age of 18 and not married/common law
  • Your parents
  • Your grandparents

If you do not have any family members living inside or outside of Canada who fit any of the above descriptions and you do not have any other relatives living in Canada already, you may be able to sponsor a different family member such as an adult sibling, aunt, uncle, niece or nephew. But if you have even one family member who fits the above descriptions anywhere in the world or a different relative who already lives in Canada, you are not able to use this exception.

So if your family member or friend does not fit into any of the categories above, how can they come to Canada? Depending on how long they want to stay in Canada, they may want to consider coming as a visitor (temporary resident visa), an international student (study permit), a temporary worker (work permit), or apply to immigrate permanently through Express Entry or one of the various Provincial Nominee Programs.


Aimee Jensen is a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (RCIC) at KCR Community Resources. To learn more about her reduced cost services for low-income families, including parent and grandparent sponsorship applications, please contact Aimee at ac.rcknull@noitargimmi or 250.763.8008.

Information on this blog is not immigration advice and is for informational uses only. To get specialized immigration advice on your situation and unique circumstances, you should contact a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (RCIC) or Immigration Lawyer.

Ask a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant: Sponsoring Parents/Grandparents

Update January 14, 2019: On Friday, IRCC announced that the online Interest to Sponsor Form will open on January 28th at noon EST (9:00 am PST). Information on how to prepare before the Interest to Sponsor system opens can be found at IRCC’s updated website.

Don’t forget, the online system is first come, first served, so make sure to be ready to fill out your form on January 28th at noon EST (9:00 am PST)!


Frequently Asked Questions: How do I sponsor my parents or grandparents to come to Canada? When can I submit an application?

It would take a much longer article to explain all of the rules and steps in sponsoring your parents or grandparents to immigrate to Canada but one of the first important parts of the process to know is that before you can submit your full application, you have to first receive an invitation from the Canadian government to sponsor your parent or grandparent. But how do you receive an invitation from the Canadian government?

Good question!

Over the last few years, Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has been frequently changing its application process for sponsoring parents and grandparents. In August 2018, IRCC announced it was changing the system again. IRCC announced that it would be using a first come, first served online system where people could submit an online “Interest to Sponsor” form and the first 20,000 people to submit their Interest to Sponsor form online will receive an invitation to submit a full sponsorship application. This is different from the past year, where people who submitted an Interest to Sponsor Form were randomly selected in a lottery system to submit their sponsorship application.

If you want to be one of the first 20,000 people to submit an Interest to Sponsor Form and receive the invitation to apply, when does the online system open? IRCC has not announced a date yet, but Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussein did say “at the beginning of the year”. This would be similar to previous years, where applications would start to be accepted in January and would stop being accepted sometime in February.

To stay the most up to date on when the online Interest to Sponsor Form website will open, I would suggest checking these Government of Canada websites on a weekly, if not daily basis, to see if a date has been announced yet:

IRCC’s Newsroom (lists news releases, speeches, and media information from Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada)

IRCC’s page on Sponsoring Parents or Grandparents about Interest to Sponsor Form (currently has 2018 information and has not been updated yet)

In addition to making sure you submit your Interest to Sponsor Form early enough to get an invitation to apply to sponsor your parents or grandparents, there are several other important rules and restrictions to know about planning to apply to the Parent and Grandparent Sponsorship program. We would be happy to set up an initial consultation to go over some of the other important considerations when it comes to sponsoring a parent or grandparent to come to Canada.


Aimee Jensen is a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (RCIC) at KCR Community Resources. To learn more about her reduced cost services for low-income families, including parent and grandparent sponsorship applications, please contact Aimee at ac.rcknull@noitargimmi or 250.763.8008.

Information on this blog is not immigration advice and is for informational uses only. To get specialized immigration advice on your situation and unique circumstances, you should contact a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (RCIC) or Immigration Lawyer.

GivingTuesday Stories: The Language of Friendship

KCR Presents GivingTuesday Stories: A series of heart-warming stories and a glance at our different programs we offer.


Today Amate greeted me with a gentle hug and a smile. She laughed about me standing outside in the snow waiting for her last week. We took a bus to Peter’s Independent Grocer. I haven’t been on a bus in about 25 years and had to remember how to sit so that I wouldn’t get tossed around. We both purchased a few things and as she was looking for the right amount of money to pay for, she couldn’t find enough at first and was going to put it back. A man behind me gave the cashier $5 and then did not want the change given back to him. She did find the right change in her wallet, but the man would not take his money back. I thanked him as I’m not sure she understood what had happened. When we said goodbye, she gave me another hug.


Today, we went to Safeway and Amate practiced speaking English with the prices. I learned a couple more words in her language, some I KCR Community Resources - Mentorship Programdon’t remember now as the sounds are so different from anything I have heard before. I’ll just keep practicing myself.

Then, on the way back to KCR, she spotted a small table on the sidewalk outside the main entrance and asked about. I said that I didn’t know and she replied “Garbage.” We both had such a good laugh.


Today we walked to the library and I asked her for words in her language for things like leaf and colours. We then spent some time looking at magazines, mostly for the pictures, but she was practicing reading the words. She seemed to enjoy herself. Then, on the walk back to KCR, I pointed to the sun and said how beautiful it was today and she replied with “Yes. Amate happy.”


Donate Now to KCR to help keep these programs running.

GivingTuesday Stories: I Feel like I can do anything

KCR Presents GivingTuesday Stories: A series of heart-warming stories and a glance at our different programs we offer.


The Family Friend Program is a mentorship program for isolated single mothers with young children. Volunteers are trained and matched with single moms for friendship, support, and resources. Volunteers and Participants find this program meaningful and fulfilling.

A Family Friend Mentor shares her experience supporting a single mom:
“I feel as though I’m the only real adult in her life that doesn’t want something from her and the only adult that’s backing her up in her pursuits. There’s so much that she’s going through that I could relate to years ago when I was a single mom. The perceptions from others don’t really change when it comes to single moms. It really upsets me how people want to push you down when you’re trying to get out. KCR Community Resources - Family Friend ProgramI’ve told her that the opinions of others is irrelevant to who she wants to become. They make her nothing less than tougher and stronger. I was truly grateful to have been there for her and to say, “You got it!”.

It has been an extremely rewarding and educational experience mentoring single moms. Not only have I been able to assist them with parenting tips, community resources and personal items, I have gained an increase in patience, empathy, listening skills, and a greater knowledge of vulnerability.”



A single mom shares her thoughts on The Family Friend Program:
“I don’t have many mom friends, so it’s nice to have someone to talk to about being a parent. It is a great stress reliever to know there are people who genuinely care about you and the needs of your child. The social interaction alone, I feel, makes me a better mom.

Since joining The Family Friend Program, I have more time, I have more hope and support with my goals, more ideas and resources and more confidence. It feels good knowing I have someone in my corner cheering me on! I feel like I can do anything.”



Donate Now to KCR to help keep these programs running.

GivingTuesday Stories: Support for those in Need

KCR Presents GivingTuesday Stories: A series of heart-warming stories and a glance at our different programs we offer.


The Crisis Line offers non-judgemental, confidential emotional support and crisis intervention. A caller communicated that they felt that their life was not worth living, and feeling hopeless, and they wanted to die. The Crisis Line Worker on shift remained calm and assessed safety and provided comfort and support to this individual in a safe environment, which was positively received by the caller.

Later on, the caller called back to say, “I need to thank you more. You have no idea how much you saved me tonight. I will forever be grateful.”

I’ve asked one of my volunteers, “Why do you volunteer?”.. their response:
“I volunteer with the Crisis Line to help people achieve their individual goals and to provide support for those who may have no one else to turn to. Since I began volunteering, I have become much more confident in helping others and I have gained an appreciation for how strong and resilient our community can become when we all work together.”


Donate Now to KCR to help keep these programs running.

GivingTuesday Stories: Worth the Wait

KCR Presents GivingTuesday Stories: A series of heart-warming stories and a glance at our different programs we offer.


After three long years of waiting for a domestic adoption placement and not knowing if it would ever happen for them, we were excited to be Adoption Centre of BCable to call an Okanagan family with the news that they had been chosen by a birth mother. Their reaction upon receiving a call from the agency was shock and sheer joy. After they finished wiping the happy tears off the floor they arrived at the hospital to meet their son. They were able to take him home that afternoon and begin their parenting journey. They can’t wait to celebrate their first Christmas as a family.

Donate Now to KCR to help keep these programs running.

GivingTuesday Stories: Your Generosity has left me Speechless…

KCR Presents GivingTuesday Stories: A series of heart-warming stories and a glance at our different programs we offer.


A single mom shares the impact her Sponsor’s generosity had on her family as part of the Sponsor a Family Program. From her words, we can learn that the act of giving goes way beyond the “stuff.” KCR Community Resources - Sponsor a FamilyIt demonstrates that our community cares and that messaging contributes to the long-term health and success of families.

“For the last month I have been trying to find the words to thank you properly for your incredible kindness but your generosity has left me speechless. Every last gift has been such a blessing in our lives…

My daughter cares for her baby as if it were a real darling infant, making her the most empathetic big sister and entertaining co-pilot on our adventures together out and about while we care for both wee ones! Her baby has had diaper changes on change tables and has already received her first shots from a real nurse <3

My eldest son wears his new sweater and swears that yellow striped shirt was made just for him as he has just been prescribed glasses, he is looking rather dapper- I didn’t think he could possibly get any cuter but he breaks his mama’s heart with his kind and gentle soul every day.

My baby boy adores his rides in the carrier and his knit pants are an imperative part of his riding outfit. He also insists on wearing his onesies all the time, I don’t know what makes them his favorite, as he is so young, but I swear it is because I know they were given in love.

I myself am proud to be considered a good mom, with the amazing gifts you so graciously gave me you allowed me the means to be a great mom. I have been cooking up a storm and my new cookware and it cuts cleaning time in half. My new vacuum might be my soul mate! LOL! You have truly filled our home and bellies with joy and laughter. This definitely feels like the easiest winter we have had thus far. Snacks and feasts have been plentiful and this heater has kept our house warm and cozy and is a much-coveted spot after bath time. I thank you from the bottom of my heart. Your contribution to our lives has felt truly uplifting and life-altering. Sending health and happiness from our home to yours, from my grateful heart and soul.”


Donate Now to KCR to help keep these programs running.

GivingTuesday Stories: Hitting the Reset Button on your Career

KCR Presents GivingTuesday Stories: A series of heart-warming stories and a glance at our different programs we offer.


One of the participants entering our Job Readiness employment program had recently moved to Kelowna for health reasons and to be with family. He was diagnosed with cancer 2 years ago and was KCR Employment Services - Job Search Imagefinishing his treatments during the program. He had previously been in high-end sales and marketing roles, and unfortunately, his health issues forced him to stop that type of work. As a result, he came into the program with low self-esteem, but upon working through the career exploration and networking stages of the program, he identified part-time seasonal work in the wine industry as his goal.

He was a joy to have in the classroom, as he had outstanding interpersonal skills and was very caring and patient with other participants. He also had an extremely positive outlook, which, along with the support of staff, helped encourage him to pursue his intended career. He had a great experience networking with local winemakers, and by the last week of class, had already found a career!

Donate Now to KCR to help keep these programs running.

GivingTuesday Stories: Age Doesn’t Matter – Lourdes & Chelsea

KCR Presents GivingTuesday Stories: A series of heart-warming stories and a glance at our different programs we offer.


Lourdes moved to Kelowna from the Philippines in 2001. She is now 78, active in her church and very independent, but wanted more support to GivingTuesday Stories: Age Doesn't Matter - Lourdes & Chelseahelp navigate the Canadian culture and assist her with using technology to communicate with her family abroad. Lourdes was particularly interested in learning how to play the guitar like her granddaughter. Only able to formally complete grade six back in the Philippines, she worried about her ability to learn new things at her age. Through the support of KCR Community Resources, a connection was made with Chelsea.

At twenty, Chelsea and Lourdes are years apart in age but have built a bond based on a shared interest in music and their culture that transcends the fifty-year gap. “I call her Manang Lourdes. It is a term of respect for an older person. I never really had a grandmother growing up and she plays some of that role. I have been teaching her the basics of the ukulele; it is smaller and easier to hold. We have GivingTuesday Stories: Age Doesn't Matter - Lourdes & Chelseabeen learning how to play songs and even sang at the Christmas party here last year. Although I grew up in Canada, I have made trips to the Philippines. Lourdes’s family is from a city near where mine is from. It has helped us connect.”

Chelsea has also experienced powerful lessons from her relationship with Lourdes; lessons which will no doubt contribute to her prospective career as a nurse. “It has fueled my passion to help people, to show care, and give back. Meeting Lourdes has helped me to get out of my comfort zone and given me the gift of appreciating the things in my own life. I now better understand the value of support and the challenge of loneliness.”

Lourdes echoed the enjoyment she has found in the connection with Chelsea. “It was important to be able to learn, to play.” She praised her GivingTuesday Stories: Age Doesn't Matter - Lourdes & Chelseayoung friend, “Chelsea is so honest, giving, and intelligent – she is my good Samaritan. I think of her like my granddaughter. She is somebody to talk to, to ask questions of…I am so proud of her. I hope I can go to her graduation.”

These two women meet every week; their connection now extends beyond the ukulele lessons that brought them together initially. Coffee dates and the occasional lunch have been added and on the day we met, Chelsea had organized a surprise for Manang Lourdes – a cake to celebrate her birthday. Both want the relationship to continue and are confident that the heart connection they have developed will carry on into the future.


Donate Now to KCR to help keep these programs running.
Translate »