Applications under family classes: Final decisions on sponsor eligibility

This section contains policy, procedures and guidance used by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada staff. It is posted on the Department’s website as a courtesy to stakeholders.

If a sponsor is found eligible or is found ineligible but indicated in Part 1, Q.1 of the IMM 1344 that they want to proceed with the application – CPC-M will:

  • send a letter to the sponsor advising of the decision
  • process all fees
  • record the sponsorship eligibility decision in GCMS
  • send the application forms and supporting documents to the responsible processing office

If the visa office refuses the application for permanent residence, the sponsor has the right of appeal.

If a sponsor is found ineligible and indicated in Part 1, Q.1 of the IMM 1344 that they want to withdraw the sponsorship application, CPC-M:

  • sends a letter to the sponsor advising that they were found to be ineligible
  • processes a refund of all fees except the sponsorship processing fee.
  • records the sponsorship eligibility decision in GCMS
  • closes the file– as per R119, an officer shall not make a decision on a family class application for permanent residence where the sponsor withdraws their sponsorship application

In such cases, the sponsor has no right of appeal.

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Sponsors who do not meet the minimum necessary income requirement: Application sent to processing office

When the processing office receives an application from a family member whose sponsor is required to meet the income test but the financial test is not met, CPC-M will enter a detailed explanation in GCMS Notes. The officer will also have the Financial Evaluation form (IMM 1283E (PDF, 1.24 MB)) detailing the sponsor's financial situation. If a sponsor does not fall under one of the categories described in R133(4), refuse the application.

Sponsors of dependent children and of spouses, common-law partners or conjugal partners (unless they have dependent children who have dependent children of their own) do not have to meet financial requirements. However, they cannot be in receipt of social assistance for a reason other than a disability, or they are ineligible to sponsor [R133(1)(k)]. Sponsors must satisfy an officer that they will be able to provide for the basic necessities of the sponsored applicants so that the applicants will not require social assistance.

Applicants may be refused for financial reasons under A39 if there is evidence that they are unable or unwilling to support themselves and their dependent children, and the sponsor appears unable to provide for their care and support. Officers should take into consideration the sponsor’s financial situation and willingness to assist, as well as the financial status or employment prospects of the applicant, if applicable.

Misrepresentation by sponsors

A permanent resident sponsor who misrepresents a material fact on their application to sponsor or, where applicable, on their original application for permanent residence may be found inadmissible and lose their status as a permanent resident.

If they are removed from Canada, they remain inadmissible for a period of 5 years from the date of removal [A40(2)].

A sponsor who misrepresents a material fact on their application to sponsor may be liable for a fine or imprisonment [A128].

A sponsored relative who is the subject of a report under section 40 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) is inadmissible to Canada for a period of 5 years from either of the following dates:

  • date of the misrepresentation if the person is outside Canada
  • date removal was enforced if the person was within Canada

A final determination on an application for permanent residence cannot be made if a permanent resident sponsor or co-signer is the subject of an A44(1) report for being inadmissible to Canada [R136].

Persons who declared they were unmarried when they were processed for permanent residence may get married before they become a permanent resident and then attempt to sponsor their spouse. Similarly, persons who became permanent residents as unmarried dependent children may attempt to sponsor a person with whom they lived in a common-law relationship before they became a permanent resident. In such cases, the sponsor may be reported under A44(1) for misrepresenting a material fact [A40(1)(a)]. In addition, the original sponsor of a family member who misrepresented their marital status may be reported under A44(1).

If an officer suspects that a sponsor may be subject to an A44(1) report for this or other reasons, they should provide details to the case processing centre. The case processing centre will do all of the following:

  • determine if the sponsor is reportable and, if so, refer the case to an in-Canada IRCC office for determination of whether an A44(1) report can be written
  • inform the processing office of the name of the IRCC office responsible for the investigation and deciding on a course of action
  • provide the results of the investigation to the processing office

During an investigation of a sponsor, processing offices should:

  • suspend processing of the application
  • inform the applicant of the reason for the delay
  • enter details in GCMS notes to indicate a delay in processing

When there are criminal charges against a sponsor and final disposition of those charges is pending, do not schedule the applicant for an appointment to be issued a confirmation of permanent residence (COPR). Processing can resume upon receipt of official notification indicating that there was no conviction.

Sponsors who were adopted

An adopted child cannot later sponsor a birth parent. A full adoption severs a child’s legal relationship to their birth parents [R3(2)]. A full adoption also has the effect of severing ties to other members of the biological family (brothers, sisters, grandparents, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, cousins, etc.).

In the case of an adoption by a step-parent to jointly become the parent of the child of their spouse or partner, the relationship between the child and the remaining biological or legal parent does not have to be severed.

Officers at the case processing centre should try to verify that sponsors submitting an IMM 1344 form (PDF, 589 KB) for relatives are not in this situation.

Officers should inform the case processing centre if a child who was adopted outside Canada has sponsored a birth parent. Case processing centre staff should tell the sponsors they are ineligible, as the biological family members of an adopted person do not qualify as members of the family class.

Revocation of adoption

Foreign or provincial/territorial authorities may revoke foreign adoptions. An adoption revocation is a court decree that voids the adoption order. After the adoption is revoked, the child assumes the status they had before the adoption.

If an officer is satisfied that revocation was not undertaken to facilitate the sponsorship of a biological family member under the family class, the sponsorship may proceed. The sponsor must provide a copy of the court decree revoking the adoption. If a visa officer believes that the reason for revocation was to allow sponsorship of a biological family member under the family class, the officer should request additional information and, if necessary, conduct investigations /interviews as required to determine if it was a revocation of convenience [R133(5)]. In some jurisdictions, an adoption cannot be revoked. Check with the visa office responsible for the country in which the adoption took place to determine whether revocation is possible.

Withdrawal of sponsorship

A family class sponsorship case can be closed by the case processing centre without a final decision being made when either of the following is the case:

  • The sponsor is found to be ineligible to be a sponsor, and they have indicated in Part 1, Question 1, of the IMM 1344 form that their choice is to withdraw the sponsorship application.
  • The sponsor requests to withdraw the sponsorship.

The case processing centre must enter information in GCMS stating that the case has been closed. When no decision has been made regarding issuance of a permanent resident visa, the sponsor has no right of appeal.

When a sponsor withdraws the application, the case processing centre will refund both of the following:

  • Right of Permanent Residence Fee (RPRF), if it has been paid
  • Permanent Resident Application Fee, if processing of the application for permanent residence has not already begun
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