Thu | May 24, 2018

I would prefer to live in Toronto

Published:Tuesday | September 4, 2012 | 12:00 AM
Deidre S. Powell

Dear Miss Powell,

My father resides in Montreal. He said I should go ahead and prepare the papers so that he can file for me. I am a little confused about where he should submit the application as I want to live in Toronto. Can he file for me? What is the process? I don't speak French and I am worried that the language barrier may become an issue when I submit the application. Please advise. Thank you.

- B.B.

Dear B.B.,

Your father would need to submit his application in the province where he resides, in this case, Quebec. The sponsoring of a child is a two-step process. First, your father has to meet the requirements set by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) to sponsor a dependent child. Second, you will need to meet the usual medical and security requirements. In order for your father to sponsor you, he would need to complete the necessary sponsorship application and submit documents based on his financial circumstances the past 12 months. He must demonstrate that he is able to support you financially. You will need to complete and submit an application for a selection certificate form, which your father will need to submit with his application.

The application requires that your father undertake to be responsible for you financially and that you will not become a financial burden to the State. He will need to be evaluated to see if he has the financial ability to take on this responsibility. If you have a dependent child, ensure that the child's information is also submitted in the application.

Your father's application will only be successful if it is able to satisfy the minimum table requirements, based on the number of persons residing with him, or for whom he is responsible. This table is updated from time to time. Other requirements are that he should not be receiving social assistance, unless for reason of disability, nor should he have recently been declared bankrupt, have a criminal record, or defaulted on child support payments pursuant to a court order.

If your father is not financially capable of sponsoring you on his own, he may also have a co-sponsor. The key is that your sponsor or co-sponsors must prove that they can provide for their own family, as well as you.

Eligibility requirements

Since your father lives in the province of Quebec, he would need to meet Quebec's eligibility requirements for sponsors. He will need to satisfy the Ministère de l'immigration et des Communautés culturelles (MICC) that he is able to provide for you. He would need to commit to a contractual agreement with the Province of Quebec. This means that if you turn to the government for financial assistance or special allowances such as housing, assistance with paying for glasses, dental care or hearing aids, or if you happen to need assistance from the government, then your father would be legally required to reimburse the government for those expenses.

Once your father satisfies the requirements to be a sponsor, the next step is to ensure your eligibility.

You did not state your age, however, you should note that Quebec does not make provisions for people to sponsor independent, adult children. However, you father can still sponsor you if you meet certain criteria. You can be sponsored if you are under 22, and you are not married, or have a common-law spouse. If you are more than 22 years old and you are a full-time student, unmarried, and do not have a common-law spouse, then you would be eligible for sponsorship.

You will also need to pass the medical, criminal, and security verifications.

While your father is obliged to submit his application in the province in which he resides, you will not be required to reside in Quebec indefinitely. If you are over 22 years of age, your father will be responsible for you as your sponsor for a minimum of three years, even if you leave Quebec.

You may request, complete, and submit English application forms. However, since English and French are the two official languages of Canada, you may find that learning French will help you to obtain employment, no matter where in Canada you end up living. It will be easier for you to integrate and obtain employment if you speak French. So it is a good idea to begin learning right away.

Best of luck!

Deidre S. Powell is a lawyer, mediator, and notary public who is a member of the Jamaican and Ontario, Canada bars, with main office located in Ottawa, Ontario. Her areas of practice are immigration, real estate, commercial, personal injury, family, and administration of estates. Email: Subject: Immigration.