Sponsor your relatives: How to apply

There are two stages in the process for your eligible relatives to become permanent residents.

  1. You apply to sponsor your relatives.
  2. Your family members must apply for permanent residence.

You must send both your sponsorship application and the permanent residence application for your relatives at the same time.

To apply as a sponsor, you must be at least 18 years of age and a:

  • Canadian citizen or
  • person registered in Canada as an Indian under the Canadian Indian Act or
  • permanent resident of Canada

We’ll process your application to sponsor and write you to tell you if we approve your application.

How to apply

You must now apply online

As of September 23, 2022, it is now mandatory to apply online. 

If you can’t apply online, and require accommodations, including for a disability, you can ask for the application in another format (paper, braille or large print). 

The instruction guide (IMM 5196) is being updated and has been temporarily removed. It will be available in the fall.

Use the new form instructions to help you fill out the application forms.

1. Apply to sponsor

You need a Document Checklist — Sponsor [IMM 5287] (PDF, 821.91 KB) 

  • Use your checklist to make sure you include all the forms and documents you need.
  • Upload the checklist with your online application

Your visa office may also require additional documents.

  • Choose the visa office that serves your area.
  • If you are not sure which one to use, see our list of countries and which offices serve them.
  • Upload the visa office instructions and any additional documents with your online application.
Visa office instructions

The documents below have more detailed information for each visa office.

The sponsor must

The person you’re sponsoring (principal applicant) will

  • upload them to their online application
  • electronically sign for the entire application, including those of any other family members

2. Steps for the sponsored person (or if under 18, their guardian or you on their behalf)

Sign in or create a Permanent residence online application portal account (opens in a new tab).

Fill out these digital forms online

  • Generic Application Form for Canada (IMM 0008) 
  • Schedule A – Background/Declaration (IMM 5669)  
  • Additional Family Information (IMM 5406)

The person who fills the forms will also need to upload the sponsor’s completed and signed forms.

Using an immigration representative

If you’re a representative, find out how you can create an account and submit applications on behalf of your clients.

If you want to appoint someone to do business with us on your behalf, you must

An immigration representative (an immigration consultant or lawyer) can give you advice and help you with your application for a fee. But they can’t

  • open a portal account on your behalf
  • electronically sign the application for you
  • sign into the portal using your username and password

A representative can fill out forms and communicate with us on your behalf through their own account. They can also

  • help you prepare the documents you need to upload
  • answer questions about the forms

After you read the declaration, you must be the one who types your name. This is the legal requirement for your application to be considered “signed,” according to Canada’s immigration law.

Photo specifications

You need one photo for each person on your application.

Follow the instructions in the online application to scan and upload both sides of the photo.

Technical issues

If you’re having technical issues with the permanent residence online application portal, contact us using the web form

  • under type of application/enquiry, choose technical difficulties from the drop-down menu
  • in the text box, specify that you’re applying under the Parents and Grandparents Program to make sure you get a fast response
  • upload screenshots from your account that show us
    • the page where you’re having problems
    • the error message(s) you get

If you need to upload a number of images, find out how to combine them into 1 document.

Get fingerprints and photo taken

If you’re between 14 and 79 years old, you may need to give your fingerprints and photo (biometrics).

Find out if you need to give your biometrics

  • The biometric fee must be paid when the application is submitted. Otherwise you may experience delays.
  • Get this done as soon as you get the letter from us that tells you to give biometrics.
  • You have 30 days to do this from the date on the letter.

Temporary changes to biometrics

Book your biometric appointment as soon as you can to avoid processing delays.

If you can’t book an appointment by the deadline on your biometric instruction letter, there may be measures in place to help you.

Pay fees online

Find out how to pay fees.

Submit the online application

Before you submit the application, make sure you:

  • answer all questions
  • electronically sign your application (type your full name exactly as shown on your passport)
  • include your processing fee receipt
  • upload all the supporting documents
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