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Family Reunification & One-Year Window

Photo by UNHCR / B. Diab

Photo by UNHCR / B. Diab

Photo by UNHCR / M. Maguire

Photo by UNHCR / M. Maguire

Photo by UNHCR / R. Arnold

Photo by UNHCR / R. Arnold

Photo by UNHCR / A. Coseac

Photo by UNHCR / A. Coseac

If your immediate family members (spouse or common-law partner, dependent children, and children of dependent children) were not able to accompany you to Canada when you were being sponsored, you may be able to bring them to Canada under the One-Year Window provision.

The One-Year Window (OYW) provision can assist with family reunification under certain circumstances. It permits resettled refugees in Canada to identify immediate family members who are abroad for resettlement, within one year of their arrival in Canada. Family members identified under the OYW are processed as dependants of the principle application (i.e.: you) and will therefore not need to meet the refugee definition on their own. However, all dependents including those who are still overseas and who qualify for the OYW must meet the other requirements such as the admissibility criteria.

Visa officers will also examine an OYW application to ensure that adequate settlement support is in place. Sponsors commit to providing support for all members of the family even those who were listed as non-accompanying family members when the application was submitted. This means that sponsors are responsible for supporting all family members, even those who arrive later under One-Year Window.

Sponsors’ Responsibilities:

When someone that you sponsored to come to Canada as a privately sponsored refugee would like to initiate an OYW application, your group will be notified of the non-accompanying family member’s application to ensure that you are still able and willing to provide settlement support. Under the sponsorship agreement and the settlement plan, sponsors are responsible for providing support to all members of a family for the duration of the sponsorship, regardless of the time of their arrival, unless the refugee in Canada is able to provide adequately for their family.

If you are sponsoring under the Agreement of a Sponsorship Agreement Holder, you will require an additional spot (allocation) for the dependent that is to be sponsored under the OYW.