Which family members can I bring with me to Canada once I receive permanent residence?

Vimal Sivakumar
Published: May 6, 2024

Foreign nationals who receive permanent residence (PR) in Canada can bring qualifying dependent family members with them to Canada.

It is important, however, to distinguish that this is different from the family members that a Canadian permanent resident is eligible to sponsor after they immigrate to Canada. More information on sponsoring family members to come to Canada is available below.

For a Canadian permanent resident to bring their family member(s) with them to Canada, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) clarifies that the family member(s) must have been “processed for permanent residence as … dependents” of the principal applicants.

Note: In all of the situations below, IRCC clarifies that the dependents of a Canadian permanent resident cannot arrive in Canada before the principal applicant. Instead, the dependents must arrive with or after the principal applicant.

Discover if You Are Eligible for Canadian Immigration

The list of eligible family members that qualify as dependents includes:

  • A spouse or common-law partner
  • A dependent child
  • The dependent child of a spouse or common-law partner
  • The dependent child of a dependent child

Generally speaking, in all of the above contexts, a dependent child is someone who is under 22 years of age and does not have a spouse or partner. However, according to IRCC, children aged 22 or older also qualify as dependents if they “have depended on their parents for financial support since before they were 22” and “can’t financially support themselves because of a mental or physical condition.”

Learn more about who qualifies as a dependent child here, as this may change depending on the age lock-in date for the specific program a candidate is applying to.

Who cannot come with me to Canada when I receive PR?

On the other hand, IRCC lists the following family members as those who are ineligible to come to Canada alongside someone who just received PR:

  • Parents
  • Grandparents
  • Siblings (Brother or Sister)
  • Uncle/Aunt
  • Niece/Nephew
  • Other relatives

Sponsoring your family as a Canadian permanent resident

After arriving here, permanent residents may be able to sponsor different members of their families to join them in Canada. Again, the distinction between this and the above is that sponsorship occurs after the principal applicant arrives in Canada.

Additionally, this process varies depending on whether the applicant is sponsoring a spouse or common-law partner, a dependent child or a parent/grandparent.

In fact, depending on who is being sponsored, the Canadian permanent resident (the sponsor) may have several options for sponsoring a loved one to come to Canada. Broken down by the individual being sponsored, the following dedicated web pages can provide more information relevant to each specific situation.

Spouse or Common Law Partner

Child or Other Dependent

Parents or Grandparents

Discover if You Are Eligible for Canadian Immigration

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