Whose parents or grandparents can I sponsor and what is co-signing all about?
First of all, understand that you CANNOT sponsor your in-laws. In other words, you CANNOT sponsor the following people:
- Your spouse’s parents
- Your spouse’s grandparents
- Nor can you sponsor any person who is deemed inadmissible to Canada.
If I can’t sponsor my spouse’s parents or grandparents, is there any other way I can help?
Yes there is. You can co-sign your in-laws’ application. This means the sponsor will be your spouse who will sponsor their parents and/or grandparents and you will be a co-signer to that application, pledging to help support them. But you cannot directly sponsor them.
In order to co-sign a sponsorship application, your spouse will have to meet the requirements (including the financial ones) for a sponsor of parents and/or grandparents in order to successfully sponsor them.
However, IRCC may take into account your combined income in assessing your spouse’s sponsorship of their parents or grandparents.
Additionally, you the co-signer, will be liable for any obligations arising from your spouse’s sponsorship. In other words, if your spouse is unable to pay back any debts with social support etc. that their parents or grandparents incur, then you as co-signer will be equally liable for those debts.
As co-signer you will also be responsible in general for supporting your spouse’s parents or grandparents in Canada.
Finally, a co-signer must meet the same eligibility requirements as a sponsor.
Who Can I Sponsor to Come to Canada?
Now let’s review who you can actually sponsor under this program. You can sponsor the following people (under parental and grandparents’ sponsorship):
- Your own biological parents
- Your own adoptive parents
- Your own biological grandparents
- Your own adoptive grandparents
- Your brothers or sisters if they are dependants
- They must be under 22 years of age AND not have a spouse or partner. OR
- If they are 22 or older they must have been financially dependent on their parents since before they were 22 AND have a mental or physical disability that prevents them from being self-supporting.
- Your half-brothers and half-sisters if they are dependents as defined directly above.
Please keep in mind that the above-listed people must be eligible to come to Canada. This includes doing the following:
- Providing all the forms listed below
- Providing Medical Exam results
- Providing Police Reports
- Providing Biometrics.
The potentially tricky aspect here is Medical Exams, especially in the case of grandparents. As IRCC mentions in their guide to sponsorships of parents and grandparents, some medical conditions may delay the processing of a sponsorship application due to the need for further tests and consultations.