While hosting the Entertainment part of the Philippine Pavilion at the Heritage Festival this weekend, a kababayan from Grande Prairie approached me and asked about sponsoring an adult sister for permanent residence to Canada. She then opened her tablet and showed me Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada’s website which provides the following information:
“Whom may I sponsor using this application package? You can use this application package to sponsor:
– a child whom you adopted outside Canada and you were a Canadian citizen or permanent resident living in Canada at the time the adoption took place, or a child whom you intend to adopt in Canada. Consult the Appendix A.
– your brother or sister, nephew or niece, grandson or granddaughter, if he or she is an orphan, under 18 years of age and not married or in a common-law relationship;
– any other person, regardless of age, with whom you have a family relationship if you do not have a spouse, common-law partner, conjugal partner, son, daughter, mother, father, brother, sister, grandfather, grandmother, uncle, aunt, niece or nephew who is a Canadian citizen, a registered Indian, a permanent resident or whom you may sponsor as a member of the family class.”
She asked if her sister qualifies even if she is not a minor. Because if you were to understand what’s written on the website it seems that “any other person” in the 3rd option does not include the 2nd option, which includes brothers and sisters, but only those under 18 years of age. The way this is written implies that “brother or sister”, and “any other person” are mutually exclusive. It seems like point #2 puts restrictions on the sister (and brother, niece, nephew options) and the third point doesn’t explicitly lift them.
I’m impressed that she took the time to get all the information to check if she can sponsor her sister under the Family Class.
We are always reminded by speakers during our immigration seminars that it is absolutely critical to always read what the law says before relying on the IRCC website. Please don’t get me wrong, the website can be helpful, but the content is simply IRCC’s interpretation, which can sometimes be confusing and at times even be patently incorrect.
What I’m saying is that the website is NOT the law.
I told her that she seemed to be confusing the use of a particular application package for multiple different kinds of Family Class sponsorships, including the “adopted child” type, “orphaned relative” type or the “lonely Canadian type.” The citation is talking about three totally different classes of sponsorable relatives.
Going back to the first principles, the list of relatives eligible for sponsorship in the Family Class is found in s.117 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (http://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/regulations/sor-2002-227/page-27.html#h-71).
There are EIGHT different classes of relatives who are sponsorable. The comprehensive list is as follows:
117 (1) A foreign national is a member of the family class if, with respect to a sponsor, the foreign national is:
• (a) the sponsor’s spouse, common-law partner or conjugal partner;
• (b) a dependent child of the sponsor;
• (c) the sponsor’s mother or father;
• (d) the mother or father of the sponsor’s mother or father;
• (e) [Repealed, SOR/2005-61, s. 3]
• (f) a person whose parents are deceased, who is under 18 years of age, who is not a spouse or common-law partner and who is
o (i) a child of the sponsor’s mother or father,
o (ii) a child of a child of the sponsor’s mother or father, or
o (iii) a child of the sponsor’s child;
• (g) a person under 18 years of age whom the sponsor intends to adopt in Canada if
o (i) the adoption is not being entered into primarily for the purpose of acquiring any status or privilege under the Act,
o (ii) where the adoption is an international adoption and the country in which the person resides and their province of intended destination are parties to the Hague Convention on Adoption, the competent authority of the country and of the province have approved the adoption in writing as conforming to that Convention, and
o (iii) where the adoption is an international adoption and either the country in which the person resides or the person’s province of intended destination is not a party to the Hague Convention on Adoption
(A) the person has been placed for adoption in the country in which they reside or is otherwise legally available in that country for adoption and there is no evidence that the intended adoption is for the purpose of child trafficking or undue gain within the meaning of the Hague Convention on Adoption, and
(B) the competent authority of the person’s province of intended destination has stated in writing that it does not object to the adoption; or
• (h) a relative of the sponsor, regardless of age, if the sponsor does not have a spouse, a common-law partner, a conjugal partner, a child, a mother or father, a relative who is a child of that mother or father, a relative who is a child of a child of that mother or father, a mother or father of that mother or father or a relative who is a child of the mother or father of that mother or father
o (i) who is a Canadian citizen, Indian or permanent resident, or
o (ii) whose application to enter and remain in Canada as a permanent resident the sponsor may otherwise sponsor.
As you can see from the above list, s.117(1)(f) refers to orphaned relatives being sponsorable in certain circumstances. It also refers, totally separately, to any other relative, regardless of age, if the sponsor has NO relatives in the given list who are either PRs or citizens, or otherwise sponsorable from outside Canada.
I assume that her sister is over the age of 18 and is not adopted by the sponsor. This means that the only way she could potentially qualify for sponsorship is under s.117(1)(h).
I forgot to ask the sister in Canada (Sponsor) if she has a spouse, a common-law partner, a conjugal partner, a child, a parent, a sibling, a niece/nephew, a grandparent, or an aunt/uncle who is either a PR or a Canadian citizen, or who is otherwise eligible for sponsorship from abroad. Such situations are rare, but they do sometimes occur. If the answer is yes, then the adult sister is not sponsorable under this subsection. If however the answer is no, then she is sponsorable according to the criteria in s.117(1)(h).
Source: Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations