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Q & A: Assisted Relatives

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Q. In the case that I am the principal applicant, does it help if my wife’s sister is a PR?

Answer: The legislation does not specify that the relative of an accompanying spouse may allow the associated assisted relative bonus for the principal applicant. Previously, most visa offices have typically granted such points, however, in the case that the spouse of the applicant meets the definition of an assisted relative.

An Operational Memorandum which was distributed to visa offices several months ago notifying officers that the principal applicant may not be entitled to points as an assisted relative in the case that a spouse had a relative in Canada. Adherence to this policy seems to vary from office to office.

[Comment: Applicants should be careful in the assessment of their own cases to consider the policies of the visa office to which the application is to be submitted when the points for an assisted relative are necessary to qualify. Such policies may be determined from application kits, or communications with the visa office.

In the case that a spouse’s close relative is a permanent resident or citizen of Canada, but points are not awarded in this factor, consideration of such may be possible under personal suitability.]

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