Yes. Canada has well-oiled immigration programs that support family reunification. However, Canada’s approach to family reunification tends to be more restrictive. It only gives room for citizens and permanent residents to sponsor spouses or common-law partners, dependent children, parents, and grandparents.

That is, you are only allowed to sponsor brothers, sisters, nephews, nieces, or grandchildren if they are orphaned or mentally and physically challenged.

What is Chain Migration?

Chain migration refers to a situation where migrants from a particular place follow other migrants to a particular destination. When it comes to immigration policies in North America, “chain migration” refers to the fact that Canadian immigration offers citizens and permanent residents the platform to sponsor family members from their home countries. It is often also referred to as “family reunification”.

According to reports, Canada’s immigration system has been more welcoming in recent years, but it is still very much economic-based. In 2019 alone, Canada took in 341,180 permanent residents, compared to 321,055 the previous year.

To further break it down, 58% were economic immigrants and their accompanying immediate families; 27% were family class; 15% were either resettled refugees or protected persons or were in the humanitarian and other categories.

Although Canada accepts over 250,000 new immigrants each year, all immigrants regardless of class and programs are first expected to meet certain entrance requirements. Immigration to Canada tends to begin with a complete application for permanent resident status. Canadian immigration laws evaluate permanent residence visa applications in four main categories.

How Does The Canadian Immigration Process Work?

According to reports, Canada accepts new permanent residents under four primary categories. These categories include;

  1. Family Class

This Canadian Immigration category is primarily for immigrants who have close relatives in Canada who have promised to provide financial help. If you are a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident of Canada, you can sponsor spouses, partners, and children to join other family members already residing in Canada.

Under this category, legal permanent residents can apply to sponsor their relatives, who are also expected to apply for permanent residency. Also note that the country recognizes same-sex couples for this immigration category, even if they are not legally married, the couple will only be expected to show considerable proof of a long-standing relationship.

  1. Economic Immigrants

Canada’s economic immigration process is renowned globally as a model for other countries. This program includes skilled workers, those with Canadian experience, and those qualifying under one of the business categories.

Also note that the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) provides an electronic system called Express Entry that is leveraged to manage applications for permanent residence under certain economic programs.

  • Skilled Worker Class: This economic program is mainly for individuals who want to become permanent residents because they have the requisite skills and work experience in a specific skilled trade.

Applicants under this program are eligible as permanent residents because they can settle in Canada and take part in the economy. The skilled worker category includes workers and people who boast of occupational skills, education, and experience that are termed desirable in the Canadian labor market.

  • Canadian Experience Class: This economic immigration program caters to the needs of immigrants who are already in Canada, and who presently have temporary status but are seeking ways to apply for permanent residency.

Have it in mind that individuals who have stayed in Canada for some time, including temporary foreign workers or foreign students, and who have good English and/or French language abilities, which are skilled workers, and have aligned to the ways things are done in Canada, may qualify to become permanent residents under the Canadian Experience Class.

  • Business Class: This economic immigration program is mainly for Entrepreneurs, Self-Employed immigrants, and Investors who have substantial funds, skills, and experience required to do business while in Canada.
  1. Humanitarian and Compassionate Applicants

Canada also offers permanent residency to a small number of people for other reasons. These include properly defined humanitarian and compassionate grounds. These are exceptional cases assessed on a case-by-case basis. Note that some of the common factors taken into consideration include:

  • Settlement in Canada,
  • Family ties,
  • The best interest of children, and
  • Consequences of not granting the request.

According to reports, officials consider numerous factors when deciding on cases, such as applicants’ connections to Canada and the circumstances they have to contend with if not admitted.

  1. Refugee Class

This immigration category is for immigrants who need protection and are unable or afraid to return to their home country and intend to live in Canada.

Note there are two main types of resettled refugees: government-assisted and privately sponsored. Government-assisted refugees are referred by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees depending on their location and vulnerability, and they benefit from government assistance during their transition.

Meanwhile, privately sponsored refugees, who represent more than half of resettled refugees in 2020, are sponsored in Canada by government-approved citizens and organizations that take up legal and financial responsibility for them.


Canada’s immigration system is noted as a premium leader and offers numerous opportunities for anyone interested in coming to Canada. It is a very highly regulated immigration system that features some of the world’s strictest visitor-visa requirements. Also, note that it has a notable chain migration program that allows residents to sponsor loved ones to join them in Canada.