My child was born in Canada, can I just stay in Canada?

Canada is one of the few countries that will give automatic citizenship to your child if they were born here, even if you are not a Canadian citizen. But just because your child was born here does not mean that you can automatically stay in the country and become a Canadian citizen.

In most cases, if you don't already have permanent residency or a Canadian citizenship,  even if  your child was born here, you will have to return to your country of origin with your child.

If you wish to become a Canadian citizen, there are legal ways to attain residency with a Canadian-born child.

You can:

Applying for Permanent Residence

You must follow the application process to obtain a permanent residence and if you qualify, you can then apply for citizenship.

If you are not a Canadian permanent resident, you may still be able to remain in Canada for some time with the child:

  • As a temporary resident.
  • As a visitor.
  • As a student or worker, provided that you qualify.
Once your child is old enough, they will be able to return on their own to study, live and work in Canada. This may still restrict you as the birth parent(s), because the parental sponsorship category has many requirements that need to be met.

You can check the Government of Canada website for updates on when the parental sponsorship application program closes and reopens for submissions.

Sponsoring Parents 

Your child can sponsor both you and your spouse, and grandparents to come to Canada once they turn 18-years-old.

To sponsor a relative you must be living in Canada and be either:

  • A Canadian citizen.
  • Registered in Canada as an Indian under the Canadian Indian Act.
  • A permanent resident of Canada.
To sponsor parents and grandparents to come to Canada as a permanent resident, you must:

  • Support them financially.
  • Make sure they don’t need social assistance from the government.
  • Provide for your own essential needs and those of your parents’ and grandparents’ and their dependants.

8 Steps to Sponsoring Parents

1. Find out if you’re Eligible
First, find out if you’re eligible to sponsor your parents. If you live in Quebec, you’ll need to meet Quebec immigration sponsorship requirements. See more information on sponsorship eligibility in our How do I Sponsor Parents, Grandparents, Adopted Children and Other Relatives? page.

2. Tell the Government
Tell the government you want to sponsor a parent by submitting an online interest to sponsor form. If you miss the deadline for the year to show interest, you can also apply for a Super Visa.

3. Potential Sponsorship Selection
The government reviews all submissions and removes any duplicates. Then they randomly select potential sponsors and invite them to submit a complete application.

4. Find out if you’re Selected
The government will email you if you were randomly selected as a sponsor and invite you to apply. They will also post the selected confirmation numbers on their website. Everyone who submits an interest to sponsor form gets a confirmation number.

5. Invitation to Apply
If you’re invited to apply, you have until the deadline specified in your invitation to fill out the forms and apply to sponsor your parents. If you miss the deadline, you will have to wait until the following year to apply. There are over 10 forms that you will need to fill out as part of the application package.

6. Check Processing Times
Find out how long it will take them to process your application for family sponsorship with the Immigration and Citizenship Canada’s processing times online tool.  

7. After you Apply
Learn what happens after you apply for family sponsorship by visiting the After you Apply page on the government website.

8. Prepare for Arrival
Read more on what you will need to prepare for your family member’s arrival  like Bringing their Belogings, on .

Rights and Privileges of a Canadian-Born Child

A child born in Canada is a Canadian citizen and is entitled to:

  • Live in Canada or travel to Canada at any time without a visa.
  • Receive free health care benefits, education and social benefits.
But you are not entitled to healthcare to cover the costs of your child's birth. Choosing to have a child in Canada as a visitor can be quite expensive. Since you are not a Canadian resident, you will have to pay for all the bills associated with the birth of your child out of your own pocket.

For More Information

  • See if you may be a Citizen - A quick reference guide to see when you qualify for automatic citizenship and when you don’t from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada. 
  • Do you Want to Sponsor your Family? - This factsheet has information on your legal rights when sponsoring your family from Community Legal Education Ontario (CLEO) .
  • Insurance Finder - A list of insurance providers organized by insurance type. From the OmbudService for Life & Health Insurance (OLHI).
Last updated: July 6, 2022 4006310