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The wording changed on Find out if you’re eligible to sponsor relatives perhaps in 2015 or so (I checked in the Internet Archive) and I do not comprehend the new one at all. First of all, I checked the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (S.C. 2001, c. 27) and all it says is the unhelpful

12 (1) A foreign national may be selected as a member of the family class on the basis of their relationship as the spouse, common-law partner, child, parent or other prescribed family member of a Canadian citizen or permanent resident.

Second, now I absolutely do not understand what rule governs the immigration of siblings as this page now only talks of them in negative:

You may sponsor one relative, related by blood or adoption, of any age if you meet all of the conditions, including:

you don't have a living relative you could sponsor instead, such as a:

brother or sister

Now, I have a brother who is above 18 and my parents and still alive but they don't want to immigrate while my brother just might. I am a Canadian citizen. So what's the rule now...? More importantly, what's the source of the rule, surely not this confusing webpage?

There's http://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/regulations/SOR-2002-227/page-23.html#h-69 also but I can't make heads or tails of it.

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  • I think you can. Based on the website, if you didn't have a close relative that could be sponsored, you could sponsor a more distant relative like a cousin. Because your brother is included in the list as a close relative, it's allowed. I don't feel secure enough about this to make it an answer.
    – mkennedy
    May 22, 2017 at 18:39

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There's an art to reading Canada law that I don't really possess, but I'm pretty sure this is correct. From the web page you reference [link updated 2022-02-28] you can always sponsor a relative if they are:

  • (a) a spouse or partner

  • (b) a dependent child

  • (c) a parent

  • (d) a grandparent

  • (f) an orphaned child who is a sibling, niece or nephew or grandchild

  • (g) a legitimately adopted child

Paragraph (h) allows you to sponsor another relative under certain conditions. It starts with a big list of relatives:

  • spouse or partner

  • child

  • parent

  • grandparent

  • sibling

  • uncle or aunt

  • niece or nephew

You may sponsor any blood relative if the following conditions are met:

  • (1) you have no relative in the big list who already has a right to live in Canada, and

  • (2) there is no relative you could sponsor under paragraphs (a)-(g) instead, and

  • (3a) the relative you want to sponsor is in the big list, or

  • (3b) the relative you want to sponsor is not in the big list and you have no relatives on the big list you could sponsor instead.

If you have living parents sponsoring your brother fails to qualify at (2). If you didn't you could sponsor your brother at (3a) but couldn't sponsor, say, your third cousin (because you have a brother).

This info-ad from a law firm specifically about sponsoring a brother matches that understanding. If you have parents you could sponsor you can't sponsor a brother:

The following conditions are also need to be in place:

  • The parents of the sponsor are deceased (dead)
  • The siblings are under 18 years of age

If the siblings are 18 years old or more they still can be sponsored if the sponsor is a lonely person (he/she does not have a spouse, a common-law partner, a conjugal partner, a mother or father, or any close relatives in Canada or who could be sponsored to Canada).

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