Thu | Feb 22, 2018

Immigration Corner | Thinking of Canada

Published:Tuesday | July 26, 2016 | 12:00 AM

Dear Miss Powell,

My sister is a Canadian citizen and she would like to sponsor me and my 13-year-old brother to go to Canada to live. How can she sponsor us? I'm working, but my little brother is in high school.

- A.M.


Dear A.M.,

A Canadian citizen or permanent resident can sponsor her siblings to become permanent residents of Canada if all the parties are able to satisfy certain requirements as outlined under the Canadian Immigration and Refugee Protection Act ( IRPA).

Your sister will first need to ensure that she qualifies to be a sponsor. She cannot be receiving social assistance, be in prison, or bankrupt. She must be able to satisfy other requirements depending on the details of your application.

In the case of your 13-year-old brother, there is a special provision made for persons who are orphans, single, and under the age of 18. So if both of your parents are deceased and your brother is dependent on your sister for support, she can make a special application to sponsor your brother.


It appears that you are over 18 years old and, therefore, the rules are different. The only way your sister can sponsor you is if she is single and has no other relative living in Canada. That is, your sister will need to prove that she does not have children, grandparents, aunts, uncles, nieces, or nephews in Canada.

If you and your brother do not qualify under the above, then your other options would be to apply for a study permit for your brother. This may be an expensive route as your brother will need to pay tuition as an international student and meet the financial requirements.

If you have a minimum of one year's work experience in a trade or as a professional, you may not need your sister to sponsor you as you could apply under the Federal Skilled Trades or Federal Skilled Worker category via the Express Entry System. I have written several articles about this topic, which can be found online.

You should also note that you will be required to undergo criminal and medical checks before your application is approved.

The answer above is based on the limited information that you have provided. Therefore, I recommend that you consult with an immigration lawyer who will be able to guide you based on the details of your case.

- Deidre S. Powell is a lawyer, mediator and notary public who is a member of the Jamaican and Ontario, Canada bars. Her areas of practice are in immigration, commercial, personal injury, real estate, family and administration of estates. She is on the roster of mediators for Ottawa, Toronto, and the Dispute Resolution Foundation of Jamaica. Submit your questions and comments to email: Subject line: Immigration or call 613.695.8777/ 876.922.4092.