If you are a Canadian citizen or new immigrant you could sponsor your relatives under the Family Class Program to help them migrate to Canada. Unfortunately, a friend does not fall under the “family class” category.
The individuals you are eligible to sponsor are your:
If you want to sponsor someone who does not fit under any of these categories, you cannot legally sponsor them under the Family Class Program you are legally not allowed/permitted to sponsor him or her. Although you are not eligible to sponsor your friend to Canada for permanent residency, you can send them a letter of Invitation to Apply (ITA) for a Visitor Visa.
A visitor visa, also known as a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV), is a visa that you need if you wish to come to Canada. A temporary resident visa allows the visitor to come to Canada on a temporary basis. For example, some travellers come to Canada for tourism purposes while others come either for business, work or just to study in Canada. To be able to study, work or just travel to Canada as a tourist you need to apply for a temporary resident visa.
In order for you, a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, to invite a person on a temporary basis, you can send them an invitation letter to increase their chances to migrate to Canada.
A Letter of Invitation is a letter that states:
Remember an invitation letter does not guarantee approval for your application, but only improves the chances of a successful application.
The people who are eligible to apply for a visitor visa come from non-visa exempt countries. An example of some non-visa exempt countries (in which you will be required to obtain a visa when entering Canada) is Afghanistan, Bosnia-Herzegovina, China, Egypt, India, and Kazakhstan, etc.
A full list of non-visa exempt countries can be found on the Canadian government website.
Some of the visa exempt countries include Australia, Belgium, and Britain. This means if you are exempt, you don’t need to apply for the visitor visa or temporary resident visa. The list of visa exempt countries can also be found on the Canadian government website.
If you have family or friend that comes from a visa exempt country, they only have to apply for an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA).
The eTA is mandatory for everyone who comes from visa exempt countries. come from visa exempt countries as of November 2016. The purpose of an eTA is to make the airport process more efficient and reduce waiting times at the airport.
Before, when you travelled to Canada you would be questioned at a Canadian port of entry to see if you have any inadmissibility issues. If you were found inadmissible to Canada, then you were simply returned back home or detained.
If you are a Permanent Resident of Canada or a Canadian citizen, you are eligible to sponsor your spouse to Canada. You will need to provide strong documentation with respect to the genuineness of your relationship.
You can file an inland or overseas spousal sponsorship application. Depending on your circumstances, you should consider the differences of both applications, so that you can determine which option best suits your circumstances.
If you have been living together in a conjugal relationship for at least one year in an ongoing 12-month period (you are allowed short absences for business travel or family reasons) then you may be eligible to sponsor your common-law partner.
Conjugal Partner Sponsorship category is for partners, either of the opposite sex or same sex, in situations beyond their control that keep them from living together. These relationships count as common-law partners or spouses.
A conjugal relationship is more than a physical relationship. It means you depend on each other, there is some permanence to the relationship, and there is the same level of commitment as a marriage or a common-law partnership.
Another option is the Parent and Grandparent sponsorship. You may be able to sponsor your parents and grandparents to become a permanent resident if you’re at least 18 years old and a:
Dependent children may be eligible to come to Canada in order to reside with their parent(s). You may also be eligible to sponsor your brother, sister, niece grandchildren etc.
Want to know more about Canadian visa application? Click here.