Can you Bring your Brother and Sister to Canada?

By Omer Khayyam – Immigration Lawyer in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

How can I bring my brother and/or sister to Canada?

This is a very common question I have received many times in the past month. The answer, like much in immigration, is simple yet complicated.

What people are really asking is if there is an easy way for their brothers and sisters to immigrate. And in most cases, the answer is no. But there are some ways brothers and sisters can come to Canada.

There are no family class sponsorships for brothers and sisters who are over married, 18 and not disabled. If someone is single and under 18 they may be able to immigrate. The only family class categories for immigration are:

  • parents & grandparents (and their dependent children),
  • spouses (including common-law & conjugal partners),
  • dependent biological children must be under 22 years of age and single OR financially dependent on their parents since before the age of 22 and is unable to financially support themselves due to physical or mentally disability,
  • adopted children (under 18 or over 18, if an adoption relationship existed before 18),
  • guardianship of abandoned children in countries where adoption is not recognized by Canada,
  • orphaned relatives such as half-brothers/sisters, step-brothers/sisters, nieces, nephews and grandchildren that are under 18 and single,
  • any relative of any age if the Canadian sponsor has no family in Canada who is a permanent resident or Canadian citizen, and no one else alive they can sponsor

Documentation proving and demonstrating the authenticity of the relationship is extremely important and is examined thoroughly by visa officers for any sign of fraud.

The logic for Canada’s family immigration rules is the average Canadian family consists of parents and children and maybe grandparents. It does not include maternal and paternal relatives, aunts, uncles, cousins, second cousins and third cousins as many new immigrant families do. The average family for a Canadian citizen as a norm has extended family and distant relatives living overseas so the same family size rationale applies to new Canadian. Thus, family reunification is limited then to “immediate family” and not extended family.

So in brief, brothers and sisters can immigrate in the family class in these scenarios:

  • brothers/sisters are under 22 years of age or with a disability are sponsored by parents, if their parents have obtained at least permanent residency status,
  • siblings who have been orphaned and are under 22 years of age can be sponsored,
  • if you live in Canada with zero family, then you can sponsor your brother/sister/any relative of any age

If you qualify in these three scenarios, then contact Omer Khayyam in Saskatoon for more information and to begin the process.

Like all foreign nationals, siblings can also immigrate on their own merit: through Canada’s economic classes (including Express Entry and Provincial nominee programs), Study Permits (see here) and Work Permits.

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