ARCHIVED – Public Policy to facilitate the immigration of certain sponsored foreign nationals excluded under paragraph 117(9)(d) or 125(1)(d) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations


When a person applies to become a permanent resident, they are required to declare all of their family members (spouse, common-law partner, dependent children, dependent child of a dependent child), even if they are not accompanying the principal applicant to Canada. In most cases, they also need to be examined. This is so that Departmental officials have all relevant information to make a decision on a permanent residence application and can ensure that these family members would not make the principal applicant ineligible or inadmissible.

Currently, the consequence for failing to have a non-accompanying family member examined is a lifetime bar on being able to sponsor that family member, as per paragraphs 117(9)(d) and 125(1)(d) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (the Regulations). These regulations were put in place to encourage full disclosure by immigration applicants, to enhance the overall integrity of Family Class immigration, and to protect the health, safety and security of Canadians.

Public Policy Considerations

Stakeholders and the House of Commons Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration, have expressed concerns related to the disproportionate impact of the lifetime bar, particularly on children. In order to address these concerns, a two-year pilot project is being implemented, via a public policy. This public policy will facilitate the immigration into Canada of certain foreign nationals applying in the Family Class or the Spouse or Common-Law Partner in Canada class and whose sponsor applied for, and obtained permanent resident status as a Convention refugee or a person in similar circumstances, as a protected person or who were sponsored as a spouse, a common-law partner, a conjugal partner or a dependent child.

These foreign nationals will be exempted from paragraph 117(9)(d) or 125(1)(d) of the Regulations.

This group was selected in order to address the most vulnerable populations impacted by the sponsorship bar, while minimizing program integrity risk. The program integrity risk is reduced by the fact that these family members would not have been subject to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (the Act) provisions on excessive demand on health or social services and in most cases they would not have been subject to any income requirements. These family members would have had limited impact on the success of the sponsors application.

The public policy does not allow the sponsorship of family members who, based on their relationship to their sponsor, would have made that person ineligible to immigrate to Canada in the program under which they applied.

Proceeding with a two-year pilot project will allow the Department to monitor and assess the number of cases, the types of situations that come forward, and to ensure no significant issues arise.

As such, I hereby establish that, pursuant to my authority under section 25.2 of the Act, there are public policy considerations that justify the granting of an exemption from the application of paragraph 117(9)(d) or 125(1)(d) of the Regulations to foreign nationals who meet the conditions (eligibility requirements) listed below.

Conditions (Eligibility Requirements)

Based on public policy considerations, delegated officers may grant an exemption from the provisions of the Act listed below to a foreign national who meet all of the following conditions (eligibility requirements):

Provisions of the Regulations for which an exemption may be granted:

All admissibility provisions and other eligibility requirements not exempted above are applicable.

Fees: Where applicable, the standard fees for processing applications in the Family Class or the Spouse or Common-law Partner in Canada Class must be paid.

Dependent children have to meet the definition of a dependent child, as set out in section 2 of the Regulations, at the time their application for permanent residence is received by the Department.

For the applicants whose sponsor resides in the province of Quebec, the requirement to have a sponsor who has given a sponsorship undertaking to the Government of Quebec continues to apply.

Start Date and End Date: This public policy takes effect on September 9, 2019, and ends on September 9, 2021. The public policy applies to the following: applications that were pending on May 31, 2019; applications received between May 31, 2019 and September 9, 2021; and, applications that were pending reconsideration between May 31, 2019 and September 9, 2021.

As with all public policies, this public policy may be cancelled at any time.


Ahmed Hussen

Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship

Dated at Ottawa, July 5, 2019

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