June 3, 2008
Can an Adopted Child Sponsor her Natural Parents?
Q. I enjoy reading your section in 24 Hours every week. I have a question regarding immigration. I have a niece who is 17 years old and is a Canadian citizen, but her parents and two younger brothers live in India. What I would like to know is whether she can sponsor her parents, once she turns 18 years, considering that she would still be studying and will have no income. Or, whether she has to wait till she starts working and has an income of her own, before she could sponsor or she can start the process showing her parents’ income? Thank you.
A. This is an interesting question. It is not clear in your description how your niece aged 17 became a Canadian citizen while her whole family is still in India without Canadian Immigration Status. Was she adopted by a Canadian citizen? If so, her natural parents and brothers would cease to be her parents and brothers in law and cannot be sponsored.
Assuming she was not adopted and her natural parents are still her parents in law there are two main options. The safest is that she works for one year as she must meet the income requirements for 12 months prior to submitting the sponsorship application. Or she can look into the possibility of making a special application exempting her from the income requirements (not easy). Her parents’ income is irrelevant in this type of application. As I have written previously, the sponsorship of parents, especially in India, is taking anywhere from 3-5 years for the government to process. Thank you for your question and good luck!