If you’re a Canadian citizen or permanent resident with a spouse, common-law partner, or conjugal partner outside Canada, you have the right to sponsor them to join you in Canada as permanent residents.
Spousal Sponsorship Requirements
To qualify as a sponsor for your spouse, common-law partner, or conjugal partner, you must meet the following requirements set by the IRCC:
- Prove that you can provide for the basic needs of your partner
- Show that you’re not getting social assistance unless it’s for disability
- Be 18 years and above
- Be a permanent resident, a Canadian citizen, or registered as an Indian under the Canadian Indian Act. Note that:
- You can’t be a sponsor if you’re a permanent resident residing outside Canada
- You can be a sponsor if you’re a Canadian citizen living outside Canada, but you have to prove that you plan to move back to Canada if your partner/spouse is granted permanent residence
- If you’re sponsoring a spouse with a depended child who has a dependent child or children of their own, you have to meet the minimum LICO requirements to prove that you can support them financially
- When completing your application, you must sign the undertaking and sponsorship agreement. As the sponsor, you sign the undertaking promising that:
- You’ll provide financial assistance to your partner or spouse for three years even if your relationship ends
- You’ll pay back any provisional social aid offered to the sponsored partner/spouse within the undertaking period(3yrs)
The sponsorship agreement is an agreement signed by the sponsor and the person being sponsored. It’s an agreement that:
- The sponsor will cater to the basic needs of the sponsored person
- The spouse or partner you sponsor will do their best to provide for themselves and their family members
- If you reside in Quebec, there are Quebec’s immigration and sponsorship requirements that you must meet to become a sponsor. The province of Quebec also assesses your finances and requires you to sign an additional undertaking with the province.
- Prove that the relationship you’re having with the person you want to sponsor is real:
- Spouse: Prove you’re legally married and be at least 18yrs of age
- Common-law partner: must be at least 18 years of age and have lived together continuously for at least one year – provide proof of your common-law relationship
- Conjugal partner: at least 18yrs of age and have been in a relationship for at least 1yr. You have to prove that you couldn’t live together as common-law partners or get married.
The following might render you ineligible to sponsor your partner or spouse:
- You were convicted of a violent criminal offence, sexual crime, or any offence against your family members within or outside Canada
- If you’ve been a permanent resident for less than five years and you were sponsored by a spouse or partner
- You’re still accountable for another partner or spouse that you sponsored (3-year undertaking agreement)
- Have been issued a Removal Order
- Are currently convicted
- Failed to repay an immigration loan or make legally bound family support payments
- Was unable to provide basic and financial needs when you sponsored someone else
- Declared bankruptcy
How to Apply for Spousal Sponsorship
- Confirm Eligibility
Check the minimum eligibility requirements for both you and the spouse or partner that you want to sponsor. Make sure you’re eligible to apply for spousal sponsorship before proceeding.
2. Get the Application Package
Acquire the most recent spousal sponsorship package and complete filling the forms. The application package consists of:
- Forms for the sponsor (sponsorship request) and the partner or spouse (permanent residence application) being sponsored to fill out
- A document checklist to ensure that you and the person you want to sponsor attach all the required documents
- An instruction guide to help you and the person you wish to sponsor complete the spousal sponsorship forms
3. Submit Sponsorship Application
After filling the forms, attaching all the required documents, thoroughly reviewing them, and making the necessary payments, submit both the sponsorship request and permanent residence application together through the given mailing instructions or via courier services.
4. Provide Additional Information
Once IRCC receives your sponsorship application, they may request more information from the spouse/partner during processing. This includes medical examinations, police certificates, and biometrics.
Spousal Sponsorship Processing Time
The current processing time of the spousal sponsorship application is 12 months.
Spousal Sponsorship Checklist
- Make sure you are eligible to be a sponsor and the person you want to sponsor is also eligible
- Ensure you have the necessary documents and any other proof required to prove your relationship
- Make sure you pay the right fees and through the correct channels
- Complete the sponsorship forms as stipulated and send them to IRCC together
Spousal Sponsorship Cost
|Type of Fee||Amount in $CAN|
|Spouse/Partner Sponsorship Fee||75|
|Applicant’s Processing Fee||475|
|Spouse/Partner Right of Permanent Residence||490|
|Include a spouse’s/Partner’s Dependent Child||150 per child|
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