Sat | Oct 16, 2021

Immigration Corner | Sponsorship or express entry

Published:Tuesday | March 26, 2019 | 12:11 AM
Deidre Powell
Deidre Powell

Dear Ms Powell

I have a boyfriend in Canada and we are trying to find out the best way for me to move to Canada. Can you please let us know our options? Thanks in advance.


Dear HA,

There are many options for individuals who would like to move to Canada. I will highlight two of the most popular options for couples. There is the family sponsorship option and the other popular option is via the express entry system. You should consider meeting with an authorised immigration lawyer to help you determine the best route for you, based on the facts of your case. I will highlight the main requirements under each programme to help you to be able to start the discussion with your boyfriend and your lawyer.


Canadian citizens and permanent residents can sponsor their family members to come to Canada under the Family Class. To apply under the family class you must be able to demonstrate that you are married or have been in a serious committed relationship or common law relationship for a minimum of one year or twelve consecutive months. Also, there are some basic requirements for both you and your partner. Your partner must be over 18 years old and able to demonstrate that he is willing and able to take care of you. He will be required to provide an undertaking to the Canadian government to be responsible for your basic needs. He will be required to sign an undertaking that you will not need government assistance for a number of years. Essentially, he will need to sign an undertaking to be responsible for you and that you will not become a financial burden on the government of Canada.

Your boyfriend will need to prove that he is not married and not in a common-law relationship with someone else; has not sponsored anyone else within the last five years; has not been declared bankrupt and not discharged; not defaulted on a court ordered child support payment; not receiving social assistance, unless for reason of disability; does not have a criminal record.

Express Entry

You may be able to qualify for 'self-sponsorship' under the express entry system. The express entry system is a tool utilised by Immigration Refugee and Citizenship Canada to accept applications from individuals who are able to qualify under programmes such as Federal Skilled Trade, the Federal Skilled Worker, some Provincial Nominee Programmes and the Canadian Experienced Class.

Under this system you will assessed based on your age, work experience, skills, education, language and other factors. You will also need to show that you have enough funds for you and your children, if applicable. Individuals who qualify will be accepted into a pool and given points based on the above basic requirements. The government of Canada then selects individuals based on their scores on a monthly basis to invite them to apply for permanent residence and submit proof of their credentials and background.

The above information is not exhaustive, but should be used as a guide to continue the discussion with your boyfriend and your lawyer.

Deidre S. Powell is a lawyer, mediator and notary public who is a member of the Jamaican and Ontario, Canada bars, office located in Ottawa, Ontario. Her areas of practice are: immigration, real estate, commercial, personal injury, family and administration of estates. Email: Subject: Immigration Tel: 613.695.8777: Twitter: deidrespowell Facebook : jamaicanlawyer