Guide 3998 - Sponsorship of adopted children and other relatives
Table of Contents
This is not a legal document. For legal information, refer to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and Regulations or the Citizenship Act and Regulations, as applicable.
This publication is available in alternative formats upon request.
This application package has:
- an instruction guide, and
- the forms you need to fill out.
The instruction guide:
- has information you must know before you submit your application, and
- explains how to fill out the forms and gather your supporting documents.
Read the instruction guide completely and then fill out each of the applicable forms.
The forms are designed with questions that will help the processing of your application.
Symbols used in this guide
This guide uses these symbols to draw your attention to important information:
Important information that you need to know to avoid delays or other problems.
Where to get more information.
Tips that will help you with this application.
Before you apply
Sponsorship under the Family Class
The Canadian government allows citizens and permanent residents of Canada to sponsor members of the family class, but it requires that arriving immigrants receive care and support from their sponsors.
Members of the family class include a sponsor’s spouse, common-law partner or conjugal partner; a dependent child of the sponsor; the sponsor’s mother or father; a person the sponsor intends to adopt; and other relatives of the sponsor as defined by regulation.
Principal applicant’s specific instructions
If you are reading this guide, it means that you already completed an application for permanent residence and that your sponsor’s request to bring you to Canada was accepted.
However, additional forms and supporting documents must be completed and provided to the Canadian visa office for your country in order to finalize your application for permanent residence. To gather supporting documents, refer to the Appendix A - Document Checklist, which you can find in Visa office specific instructions.
Who may use this application package?
This application is for children that are adopted or to be adopted and persons who wish to be re-united with close family members in Canada. In order to use this application package, you must, with respect to the sponsor, be
- a child they adopted outside Canada or intends to adopt in Canada,
- their sibling, nephew, niece, grandchild, and be an orphan, under the age of 18 and not a spouse or common-law partner,
- their relative, regardless of your age, if the sponsor does not have a spouse, common-law partner, conjugal partner, child, parent, sibling, grandparent, uncle, aunt, nephew or niece, who is a Canadian citizen, Indian or permanent resident or whose application for permanent residence in Canada they could sponsor.
Note: If you became a permanent resident of Canada sometime in the past but have subsequently left the country and have since been living outside Canada, you may not have lost your permanent resident status. If you have not lost your permanent resident status, you may not be sponsored. For further information on re-entry of permanent residents to Canada, see the guide Applying for a Travel Document on our website.
What does it mean to be sponsored
The enclosed instructions and forms are sent to the principal applicant (you) by the sponsor (a Canadian citizen or permanent resident) who wishes to support the application for immigration to Canada of a person (you) as a member of the family class.
The sponsor agrees to sign a contract (the sponsorship undertaking) by which they promise to provide, for a specific number of years, coverage of your basic requirements and those of your dependants, such as:
- personal requirements
- household supplies
- dental care
- eye care, and
- other health care not provided by public health
Note: It is important that you familiarize yourself with the contents of this guide before you complete the forms and send them to the visa office indicated on the correspondence included with your application package.
Adopted children and orphaned relatives
A permanent resident visa cannot be issued to a child as a member of the family class if that child is the adopted child of the sponsor or an orphaned brother, sister, nephew or niece of the sponsor as described earlier in this guide unless the adoptive parents/the sponsor demonstrate they have obtained information concerning the medical condition of the child. In doing so, the government ensures that the child’s best interests are protected.
If you are a child who was adopted by the sponsor, whom the sponsor intends to adopt in Canada, or who is the sponsor’s orphaned brother, sister, nephew or niece, the sponsor must complete and submit a Medical Condition Statement (PDF, 64.67KB) if they have not already done so with their sponsorship application.
Do you intend to reside in Quebec?
Under the Canada-Quebec Accord on Immigration, Quebec establishes its own immigration requirements and selects foreign nationals who will adapt well to living in Quebec. If you intend to come to Canada as a Quebec-selected skilled worker, you must first contact the Ministère de l’Immigration, de la Diversité et de l’Inclusion (MIDI) (in French only).
You may also consult the Quebec-selected skilled workers page for more information.
Do I need a passport or travel document?
You must have a valid passport or travel documents. If any of the documents are to expire soon, you should renew them and provide copies of the new passport or travel document to the office processing your application.
Diplomatic, official, service or public affairs passports cannot be used to immigrate to Canada. You must have a valid regular or private passport when you arrive.
Note: The validity of your visa may be affected by the validity of your passport.
How long is a permanent resident visa valid?
A permanent resident visa is issued for a period not exceeding the earliest expiry date of the following documents:
- your medical results or
- your passport.
Important information: Permanent resident visas cannot be extended once issued. If applicants do not use the visas within their validity period, they must re-apply for immigration to Canada. Their sponsor will have to submit a new sponsorship application and pay new processing fees.
Selection criteria, requirements and other information for applicants can sometimes change. Please note that:
- Applications will be processed according to the rules and regulations in effect at the time the application is made. Rules and regulations may change at any time.
Our Immigration and citizenship page contains the latest news, selection criteria updates and applications links. Check periodically for updated information.
Step 1. Gather Documents
What documents are required?
Use the appropriate visa office Document Checklist, which you can find in Visa office specific instructions to assist you in gathering the necessary documentation.
Important information: If you do not provide all the requested information or documents, the processing of your application could be delayed.
If you and your family members are 18 years of age and older and aren’t permanent residents or Canadian citizens, you must provide a valid police certificate for any country other than Canada in which you spent 6 or more months in a row since the age of 18.
Note: You do not need to provide a police certificate from a country if you or your family members were under 18 years of age the entire time you lived in that country.
If the original certificate isn’t in English or French, you must get an accredited translator to translate it. You must include both the police certificate and the original copy of the translation.
We’ll also do our own background checks to see if there are reasons why you or your family members may not be admissible to Canada.
For specific and up-to-date information, see our guide on where to get a police certificate.
Generally, persons with a criminal conviction are not admitted into Canada. However, if a prescribed period has passed after they have completed their sentence or committed an offence and during which they were not convicted of a subsequent offence, they may be deemed to have been rehabilitated.
If they are not deemed to have been rehabilitated, they may, under special circumstances, be eligible to apply for rehabilitation.
Convictions / offences outside Canada
If you were convicted of or committed a criminal offence outside Canada, you may overcome this criminal inadmissibility
- by applying for rehabilitation, or
- you may be deemed to have been rehabilitated if at least ten years have passed since you completed the sentence imposed upon you, or since you committed the offence, if the offence is one that would, in Canada, be an indictable offence punishable by a maximum term of imprisonment of less than ten years.
If the offence is one that would, in Canada, be prosecuted summarily, and if you were convicted for two (2) or more such offences, the period for rehabilitation is at least five (5) years after the sentences imposed were served or are to be served.
Convictions / offences in Canada
If you have a criminal conviction in Canada, you must seek a record suspension (formerly a pardon) from the Parole Board of Canada (PBC) before you will be admissible to Canada.
Note: Do not complete the forms in this guide until you have received your record suspension.
You can request a Record Suspension Application Guide or additional information from:
Parole Board of Canada
Clemency and Record Suspension Division
410 Laurier Avenue West
Telephone: 1-800-874-2652 (Callers in Canada and the United States only)
(The instructional guide and application forms can be downloaded from the website)
In order to be considered for a record suspension under the Criminal Records Act, a specified period of time must pass after the end of the sentence imposed. The sentence may have been payment of a fine, period of probation, or imprisonment.
Note: Once you have a copy of the record suspension, send a photocopy to a Canadian visa office or Citizenship and Immigration Centre. If you are travelling to Canada carry a copy of the record suspension with you.
If you have had two (2) or more summary convictions in Canada, you may no longer be inadmissible if:
- at least five (5) years have passed since all sentences imposed were served or to be served,
- you have had no other convictions.
Important information: See Table 1 – Eligibility for Rehabilitation for a summary of the type of offences and length of rehabilitation periods.
You must undergo and pass a medical examination in order to come to Canada. To pass the medical examination you must not have a condition that:
- is a danger to public health or safety
- would cause excessive demand on health or social services in Canada.
Examples of “excessive demand” include ongoing hospitalization or institutional care for a physical or mental illness.
About the medical examination
The medical examination includes but is not limited to:
- a complete physical examination for all family members;
- chest X-ray and a radiologist’s report for everyone aged 11 years and over;
- blood test for everyone aged 15 years or over;
- urinalysis for everyone aged 5 years or over;
- Syphilis and HIV screening tests for everyone aged 15 years and over.
Information on medical instructions will be provided to you by the visa office (See Visa office specific instructions).
Your own doctor cannot do the medical examination. You will have to see a physician on Canada’s list of panel physicians.
Note: The physician is only responsible for conducting a medical examination; they cannot give you any advice on the immigration process.
The medical examination results are valid for 12 months from the date the medical evaluation is completed. If you are not admitted as a permanent resident during this time, you may have to undergo another medical examination.
You are responsible for paying all costs related to the medical examination.
Biometric (fingerprints and photo) requirements
You and your family members may need to appear in person to have their fingerprints and photograph (biometric information) taken at a biometric collection service point.
Canadian citizens and existing permanent residents of Canada are exempt from giving biometrics.
If you are applying as a member of the family class and are legally in Canada when you apply, you are currently exempt from giving biometrics. Your accompanying overseas dependents may need to give their biometrics.
Note: If you are physically present in Canada and choose to have your application as a Spouse or Common Law Partner processed overseas, you are not exempt from the biometric requirement.
Find out if you need to give biometrics.
If you have to give biometrics, you can give them after you:
- pay for and submit your application and biometric fees, and
- get a biometric instruction letter (BIL) which will direct you to a list of biometric collection service points you may choose from
You must bring the BIL with you to the biometric collection service point to give your biometrics.
We encourage you to give your biometrics as soon as possible after getting the BIL. We will start processing your application after we get your biometrics.
How often will I have to give my biometrics?
You will need to pay for and then give your biometrics, even if you gave biometrics in the past to support a visitor visa, study or work permit application, or a different permanent resident application.
Where do I give my biometrics?
You can go to one of these official biometric collection service points to give your biometrics. If it’s an option at your service point, we encourage you to make an appointment in advance.
Biometric Collection Service Points
- Visa Application Centres (VACs) worldwide
- You can give your biometrics at any VAC. It doesn’t need to be the VAC in your country of residence.
- VACs also offer other services in local languages.
- Application Support Centers (ASCs) in the United States and overseas territories
- You must already be legally in the United States or an overseas territory of the United States to go to an ASC.
- You can only go to an ASC if you’ve received your biometric instruction letter (BIL) from us.
- No other services are offered (only biometrics collection). You cannot submit your application at an ASC.
You cannot give your biometrics at a Canadian Port of Entry if you are applying for permanent residence.
See the list of biometric collection service points.
Applicants under the age of 18
A clear and legible photocopy of one of the following:
- applicant’s birth certificate (showing the applicant’s name, date of birth, place of birth and the names of the parents or adoptive parents)
- legal documentation proving guardianship, if the applicant has a legal guardian.
Translation of documents
You must submit the following for any document that is not in English or French, unless otherwise stated on your document checklist:
- the English or French translation; and
- an affidavit from the person who completed the translation (see below for details); and
- a certified copy of the original document.
Important information: Translations must not be done by the applicants themselves nor by an applicant’s parent, guardian, sibling, spouse, common-law partner, conjugal partner, grandparent, child, aunt, uncle, niece, nephew or first cousin.
Translators who are certified in Canada don’t need to supply an affidavit. A certified translator will provide both a certified translation and certified copies of the original documents.
An affidavit is a document on which the translator has sworn, in the presence of a person authorized to administer oaths in the country where the translator is living, that the contents of their translation are a true translation and representation of the contents of the original document.
The affidavit must be sworn in the presence of:
- a notary public
- a commissioner of oaths
- a commissioner of taking affidavits
Authority to certify varies by province and territory. Consult your local provincial or territorial authorities.
Outside of Canada:
- a notary public
Authority to administer oaths varies by country. Consult your local authorities.
Certified true copies
To have a photocopy of a document certified, an authorized person must (as described below) compare the original document to the photocopy and must print the following on the photocopy:
- “I certify that this is a true copy of the original document”,
- the name of the original document,
- the date of the certification,
- their name,
- their official position or title, and
- their signature.
Who can certify copies?
Only authorized people
Important information: Certifying of copies must not be done by the applicants themselves nor by an applicant’s parent, guardian, sibling, spouse, common-law partner, conjugal partner, grandparent, child, aunt, uncle, niece, nephew or first cousin.
Persons authorized to certify copies include the following:
- a notary public
- a commissioner of oaths
- a commissioner of taking affidavits
Authority to certify varies by province and territory. Check with your local provincial or territorial authorities to learn who has the authority to certify.
- a notary public
Authority to certify international documents varies by country. Check with your local authorities to learn who has the authority to certify in your country.
Step 2. Complete the Application
Filling out the application
The following are the forms that must be filled out and submitted:
Important information: It is a serious offence to give false or misleading information on these forms. The information you provide on your application is subject to verification.
Be complete and accurate
Complete all sections. If a section does not apply to you, write “Not Applicable” or “NA”. If your application is incomplete it may be returned to you and this will delay the processing of your application.
If you need more space for any section, print out an additional page containing the appropriate section, complete it and submit it along with your application.
Additional Family Information (IMM 5406)
This form must be completed by:
- You, as the principal applicant,
- Your spouse or common-law partner (whether accompanying you to Canada or not), and
- Your dependent children aged 18 or over (whether accompanying you to Canada or not).
Write the personal details for:
- If you are married and you were physically present at the marriage, indicate “married – physically present” in the marital status box
- If you are married and you were not physically present at the marriage, indicate “married – not physically present” in the marital status box
- your spouse or common-law partner, (if applicable)
- If you are married and your spouse was physically present at the marriage, indicate “married – physically present” in the marital status box
- If you are married and your spouse was not physically present at the marriage, indicate “married – not physically present” in the marital status box
- your mother, and
- your father.
Write the personal details for your children. It is very important that you list all of your children (even if they are already permanent residents or citizens of Canada). This includes:
- married children,
- adopted children,
- children of your spouse(step-children) or common-law partner,
- any of your children who have been adopted by others,
- any of your children who are in the custody of an ex-spouse, former common-law partner or other guardian.
You must answer all questions. If any sections do not apply to you, answer “N/A”.
Write personal details about your:
- half-brother(s) and half-sister(s),
- step-brother(s) and step-sister(s).
After carefully reading the statements contained in this section, sign and date the declaration.
Use of a Representative (IMM 5476)
Who may use this form?
Complete this form only if you:
- are appointing a representative;
- have to update contact information for your previously appointed representative; or
- are cancelling a representative’s appointment.
If you have dependent children aged 18 years or older, they are required to complete their own copy of this form if a representative is also conducting business on their behalf.
Who is a representative?
A representative is someone who provides advice, consultation, or guidance to you at any stage of the application process, or in a proceeding and, if you appoint them as your representative by filling out this form, has your permission to conduct business on your behalf with Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) and the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA).
You are not obliged to hire a representative. We treat everyone equally, whether they use the service of a representative or not.
When you appoint a representative:
- you also authorize IRCC and CBSA to share information from your case file with this person in place of you. Please note the representative will receive all correspondence from IRCC or the CBSA, not the applicant;
- your application will not be given special attention nor can you expect faster processing or a more favourable outcome;
- the representative is authorized to represent you only on citizenship or immigration matters related to the application you submit with this form; and
- you can appoint only one (1) representative for each application you submit.
Important information: You must notify IRCC if your representative’s contact information changes, or if you change your representative, or cancel the appointment of your representative. For more information on updating IRCC with your representative’s information, please see below section - Notify IRCC about any changes.
There are two (2) types of representatives.
Uncompensated representatives do not charge fees or receive any other form of consideration or compensation for providing advice or services to represent you before IRCC or the CBSA.
Uncompensated representatives include:
- friends and family members who do not, and will not, charge a fee or receive any other consideration for their advice and services;
- organizations that do not, and will not, charge a fee or receive any other consideration for providing citizenship or immigration advice or assistance (such as a non-governmental or religious organization);
- consultants, lawyers and Quebec notaries, and students-at-law under their supervision, who do not, and will not, charge a fee or receive any other consideration to represent you.
Note: You do not have to pay someone for them to be your representative. IRCC will conduct business with an uncompensated representative if an applicant appoints them on their behalf.
Compensated representatives charge a fee or receive some other form of consideration in exchange for the representation that they provide.
It is important to know that anyone who represents or advises you for payment - or offers to do so - in connection with IRCC proceedings or applications is breaking the law unless they are an authorized representative or they have a specific agreement or arrangement with the Government of Canada that allows them to represent or advise you. This applies to advice or consultation which happens before or after a citizenship or an immigration application is made or a proceeding begins.
IRCC will only conduct business with compensated representatives who are in good standing with their designated regulatory body. For more information see - Find out if your representative is authorized.
Note: If a representative is being paid or compensated by someone other than you, the representative is still considered to be a compensated representative.
Authorized representatives are:
- consultants who are members in good standing of the Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council (ICCRC);
- lawyers and paralegals who are members in good standing of a Canadian provincial or territorial law society and students-at-law under their supervision;
- notaries who are members in good standing of the Chambre des notaires du Québec and students-at-law under their supervision.
If you appoint a compensated representative who is not a member in good standing of one of these designated bodies, your application will be returned. Learn about using a representative.
General Application Information
Appoint a representative
- Check box to indicate if you are appointing a representative to represent you with your application process. Complete sections A, B and D.
Cancel a representative
- Check box to indicate if you are canceling a representative. Complete sections A, C and D; and
- Check both boxes and complete all sections if you are cancelling a representative and appointing a new one at the same time.
Section A – Applicant Information
- Question 1
Write your last name (surname or family name) and given name(s).
- Question 2
Write your date of birth.
- Question 3
If you have already submitted your application, write:
- the name of the office where the application was submitted; and
- the type of application you have submitted.
- Question 4
Write your IRCC’s Identification (ID) or Unique Client Identifier (UCI) number (if known). If you have not dealt with IRCC since 1973, you will not have a UCI or a Client ID.
Section B – Appointment of Representative
- Question 5
Write your representative’s full name.
If your representative is a member of the Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council (ICCRC), a law society or the Chambre des notaires du Québec, print their name as it appears on the organization’s membership list.
- Question 6
Check one box to indicate if your representative is uncompensated or compensated.If your representative is compensated, write the membership ID number of:
- the Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council (ICCRC); or
- a Canadian provincial or territorial law society; or
- the Chambre des notaires du Québec.
- Question 7
Write your representative’s contact information.
If you are appointing a student-at-law to represent you, include their supervising lawyer’s information including their membership ID.
Note: By indicating your representative’s e-mail address, you are hereby authorizing IRCC to transmit your file and personal information to this specific e-mail address.
- Question 8
To accept responsibility for conducting business on your behalf, your representative must:
- sign the declaration; and
- date the declaration.
Section C – Cancel the Appointment of a Representative
- Question 9
Fill in this section if you wish to cancel the appointment of a representative. Write the representative’s full name.
Complete all sections of the form if you wish to both cancel a representative and appoint a new one.
Section D – Your Declaration
- Question 10
By signing, you authorize IRCC to complete your request for yourself and your dependent children under 18 years of age.
For sponsorship application, your spouse or common-law partner does not have to complete a separate request. If your spouse or common-law partner is included in this request, they must sign in the box provided.
Release of information to other individuals
To authorize IRCC to release information from your case file to someone other than a representative, you will need to complete the form Authority to Release Personal Information to a Designated Individual (IMM 5475) (PDF, 593.57KB). The form is also available from Canadian embassies, high commissions and consulates abroad.
The person you designate under that form (IMM 5475) will be able to obtain information on your case file, such as the status of your application. However, they will not be able to conduct business on your behalf with IRCC.
Where to submit the form
Immigration and citizenship applicants
If you have not yet submitted your immigration or citizenship application:
Send this form along with your application to the office listed in the guide of your application.
If you have already submitted your immigration or citizenship application:
You may use this Web form to upload the IMM 5476.
If you know which IRCC office is processing your immigration or citizenship application, send the completed form to the office mailing address. Consult IRCC office mailing addresses.
Notify IRCC about any changes
You must let IRCC know if any information changes regarding the person you authorized to represent you on your application.
Step 3: Mail the application
Follow the instructions below to determine where to submit your application.
- Put the completed forms, supporting documents required for your sponsor in a 23 cm x 30.5 cm (9″ x 12″) envelope.
- Send your completed application to:
(Your Postal Code)
Sponsorship: (Type of sponsorship)
Case Processing Centre - Sydney
P.O. Box 9500
If you’re sending the application using a courier service instead of by mail
Application for spouses, common-law partners or conjugal partners currently living outside Canada and all dependent child sponsorships:
Sponsorship: (Type of sponsorship)
Case Processing Centre - Sydney
49 Dorchester Street
Submit the document checklist
Make sure you use and submit the Document Checklist along with your application forms and supporting documents.
Sign the form
The application must be signed and dated before it is submitted.
If you are:
- 18 years of age or older, sign and date in the boxes provided at the bottom of the page,
- less than 18 years of age, your form must be signed by one of your parents or legal guardian.
Note: If your application is not signed and dated, it will be returned to you.
Submit the application form
When submitting your application, to ensure your encoded data is captured, you must include the last page or pages which contain your unique barcodes. See the image below:
Note: This page is only available when you complete your application electronically (on a computer).
What happens next
The visa office will process your application and decide if a visa may be issued to you and your family members. The visa office may require:
- an interview,
- additional information, and
- documentation before it can make a decision about your application.
If you are asked to provide additional documents
The visa office will send you a written request.
Note: It is in your interest to comply as quickly as possible. If the visa office does not receive the additional information or documents within three months of the date of the request, your application may be refused.
If you need to be interviewed
The visa office will notify you in writing in advance of the date, time and location of the interview as well as of the documents to bring with you.
If you have to meet other requirements such as;
- additional medical tests, or
- provide more current or additional information needed for background checks,
It could take considerably longer to reach a decision about your application.
Note: Visit our website or contact your sponsor for additional information on processing times.
If you and your sponsor meet all immigration requirements
the visa office will:
- request you to submit passports and
- issue permanent resident visas to you and your family members accompanying you to Canada.
You must then arrive in Canada either with or before your family members, and within the validity period of the visas.
If you or your sponsor do not meet all immigration requirements
- your application will be refused, and
- you will receive a letter outlining the reasons for the refusal.
Note: Your sponsor will also receive a copy of the refusal letter and will be informed of their right to appeal the decision to the Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB).
If your sponsor chooses to withdraw the sponsorship in the event they fail to meet the sponsorship requirements
We will return your complete application (including supporting documents) to your sponsor.
Note: Your sponsor will be repaid all processing fees except the sponsorship fee of $75. Your application for permanent residence will not be processed.
What you should expect at the interview?
You, your spouse or common-law partner and dependent children may be asked to come to the interview. The visa officer may ask, among others, about your:
- relationship to the sponsor
- reasons for emigrating
- plans and preparations
- your health
- your financial situation
- past difficulties with the law
Note: There may also be questions to determine your ability to settle successfully in Canada.
What you can do to help processing
There are certain things you can do to help make sure your application is processed as fast as possible:
- send all documents and information we have asked for with your application
- pay your application and biometric fees (if required)
- provide your biometrics as soon as possible (if required)
- tell us if your contact information changes, including:
- mailing address
- telephone numbers
- facsimile number (fax)
- e-mail address
Things that delay processing
The following may delay processing:
- unclear photocopies of documents
- verification of your information and documents
- a medical condition that may need more tests or consultations
- a criminal or security problem
- consultation is needed with other offices in Canada and abroad
Permanent resident status
If your application is successful, you and your family members will receive permanent resident visas. You will become permanent residents of Canada when you move to Canada within the validity of your visa(s). Some conditions will apply:
- You will remain a permanent resident until you become a Canadian citizen, as long as you spend at least two years of each five-year period in Canada.
- You may leave and re-enter Canada as often as you wish.
Permanent residents may leave and re-enter Canada as often as they wish to settle their affairs or to travel. But, at the time the re-enter Canada, they must prove that they have been physically present for at least 730 days within five years, starting from the day they became permanent residents.
If you have been a permanent resident, for 5 years or more
Then you must have accumulated 730 days of physical presence in Canada within the 5 years preceding the date you re-enter
If you have been a permanent resident, for less than 5 years
Then you must either have accumulated 730 days or will be able to have the required physical presence within 5 years.
Note: Permanent residents outside Canada may also meet the residency obligations if certain conditions apply.
Rights as a permanent resident
As permanent residents, you and your family members will have the right to:
- live, study and work in Canada for as long as you remain permanent residents
- access most social benefits accorded to Canadian citizens (see “Limitations”)
- apply for Canadian citizenship, and if granted, apply for a Canadian passport once you have been a legal permanent resident for three of the four previous years
Obligations as permanent resident
As permanent residents, you will also have the same legal obligations as Canadians, such as paying taxes and respecting all federal, provincial, and municipal laws.
There are a few limitations on permanent residents:
- You cannot vote in certain elections.
- You may be ineligible for certain jobs requiring high-level security clearances.
If you or any of your family members commit a serious crime, you or your family members may be stripped of permanent resident status and deported from Canada.
The Permanent Resident Card
All new permanent residents will be issued a card as part of the process. Cards will be mailed to your home address soon after you become a permanent resident. For more information, visit Get a permanent resident card.
For more information
Current processing times
Processing time can change. You can obtain current processing times on our website.
Updating your contact information
While your application is in process, you must tell us if you change your address, email address, or telephone number. Use the Change your address tool to give us your new contact information.
Note: If your personal situation changes (for example change of marital status, birth of a child, or you wish to withdraw your sponsorship, etc.) after you have submitted your application, you must notify us in writing. For more information, consult After you apply: get next steps – Sponsor your other eligible relatives.
Checking application status
The person you are sponsoring can receive instant email updates and more detailed, up-to-date case status on their permanent resident application by creating an online account. Find out how.
In Canada and the United States
You may Contact Us or go online to see the current status of your application:
- Click on Check application status, and
- follow the instructions provided.
To obtain details on how to remove your application status information from the Internet, visit the “Frequently Asked Questions” (FAQ) section.
Outside Canada and the United States
Contact the Canadian embassy, high commission or consulate responsible for your region.
Protecting your information
Your personal information is:
- available to IRCC and the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) employees who need to see it to provide the services to you, and
- not disclosed to other organizations except as permitted under the provisions of the Privacy Act or the Citizenship Regulations.
For more information. For more information about the protection of your data, visit the Help Centre.
Quality Assurance Program
Our quality assurance program randomly chooses applications for a special review. If chosen, we will ask you to attend an interview with an IRCC official to:
- verify that the documentation and any other information you submitted is accurate,
- verify that your application has been completed properly.
Note: We will notify you in writing if your application is chosen.
For more information about the programs offered by IRCC, visit Immigration and Citizenship.
Eligibility for rehabilitation
This section gives a summary of the type of offences and length of rehabilitation periods.
If you were convicted of an offence outside Canada that, if committed in Canada, would be an indictable offence punishable by a maximum term of imprisonment of less than ten years:
- You are deemed rehabilitated: at least ten years after completion of the sentence imposed.
- You are eligible to apply for rehabilitation: five (5) years after completion of the sentence imposed.
If you committed an offence outside Canada that, if committed in Canada, would be an indictable offence punishable by a maximum term of imprisonment of less than ten years:
- You are deemed rehabilitated: at least ten years after commission of the offence.
- You are eligible to apply for rehabilitation: five (5) years after commission of the offence.
If you were convicted of an offence or you committed an offence outside Canada that, if committed in Canada, would be punishable by a maximum term of imprisonment of ten years or more:
- You are deemed rehabilitated: not applicable.
- You are eligible to apply for rehabilitation: five (5) years from completion of the sentence or commission of the offence.
If you were convicted for two (2) or more offences outside Canada that, if committed in Canada, would constitute summary conviction offences:
- You are deemed rehabilitated: at least five (5) years after the sentences imposed were served or to be served.
- You are eligible to apply for rehabilitation: not applicable.
Note: To be deemed rehabilitated, the person must not have committed or been convicted of any other indictable offence.
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