The spousal sponsorship program is part of Family class immigration. Under this program, a Canadian Citizen or Permanent resident may sponsor a spouse or common-law partner for Canadian Permanent residency. The Canadian government allows citizen and permanent resident of Canada to sponsor members of the family class, but it required that arriving immigrants receive care and support from their sponsors.
In Order to receive a visa through this immigration program both parties sponsor and sponsor must be able to prove their relationship and should be under one of the three categories;
Means that Sponsor and sponsored person are legally married and have a legal document to support their claim
- Common Law Partner
Common-law relationship both parties should live together continuously for at least 1 year excluding brief absence of business or family reasons
- Conjugal Partner
A conjugal partner is a foreign national residing outside Canada who is in a conjugal relationship with a sponsor for at least 1 year but could not live with the sponsor as a couple.
You can become a sponsor if you are:
- at least 18 years old
- a Canadian citizen, a person registered in Canada as an Indian under the Canadian Indian Act or a permanent resident living in Canada:
- If you are a Canadian citizen living outside Canada, you must show that you plan to live in Canada when your sponsored relative(s) become(s) a permanent resident.
- You can’t sponsor someone if you are a permanent resident living outside Canada.
- able to prove that you are not receiving social assistance for reasons other than a disability, and;
- can provide for the basic needs of any person you are sponsoring (and in some limited situations, that you meet the low-income cut-off).
Note: There is no low-income cut-off (LICO) for a spouse, partner or dependent child sponsorships.
You can’t be a sponsor if you:
- have failed to pay:
- an immigration loan
- a performance bond
- family support payments
- have failed to provide for the basic needs of a previously-sponsored relative who received social assistance
- are under a removal order
- are in a penitentiary, jail, reformatory or prison
- receive social assistance for a reason other than a disability
- are still going through the process of bankruptcy (undischarged bankruptcy)
- were sponsored by a spouse or partner and you became a permanent resident less than five years ago
- sponsored a previous spouse or partner and three years have not passed since this person became a permanent resident
- have already applied to sponsor your current spouse, partner or child and a decision on your application hasn’t been made yet
- were convicted of a violent or sexual offense, or an offense that caused bodily harm to a relative—or you attempted or threatened to commit any of these offenses
You can sponsor a:
- Spouse, common-law partner or conjugal partner
You can sponsor your spouse, common-law partner or conjugal partner if:
- they are at least 18 years old
- your relationship is genuine (real) and wasn’t entered into just to get permanent resident status in Canada
If your spouse or common-law partner is applying in the Spouse or Common-law Partner in Canada class, they must already co-habit (live) with you in Canada.
Important: A conjugal partner is, in relation to a sponsor, a foreign national residing outside Canada who has been in a conjugal relationship with the sponsor for at least one year. A foreign national residing inside Canada cannot be sponsored as a conjugal partner.
- Dependent child
- If you’re sponsoring a spouse or partner, any dependent children should be listed on their application forms. If you are sponsoring one or more dependent child(ren) as the principal applicant(s), you must submit a complete set of application forms and documents for each child.
Note: Canadian citizens can’t be sponsored. If you have a child who was born after you became a Canadian citizen, or your child was born in Canada, they might be a Canadian citizen.
- There are two parts to the spousal sponsorship application
- The Canadian or Permanent resident applies to sponsor his or her spouse or common-law partner; and
- The spouse or common-law partner apply for a Permanent residence
- The outland sponsorship route is generally chosen when the sponsored person is living outside Canada. However, it is possible for a spouse or common-law partner living in Canada to apply through the outland program. This option may permit the sponsored person to travel in and out of Canada throughout the application process but it’s always discretion of Canadian immigration authority to decide whether the sponsored person may re-enter Canada or not.Outland application is processed through the visa office that serves the applicant’s country of Origin or where they have resided legally for at least one year. In the case of spousal and common-law partner sponsorships, IRCC committed to issuing visas as quickly as possible in order to rapidly reunite families. This is especially true for outland application as they are already together.
- Inland sponsorship category, the foreign spouse/common-law partner must have legally entered in Canada. If the sponsored person already has a work or study permit, he or she may continue to work or study as long as the permit is valid.The inland application generally takes longer as compared to the Outland, however, the person being sponsored through the inland program may be eligible to get an open work permit while his or her application is being processed. If there is a need for an interview than IRCC will notify in writing of the date, time and location of the interview and all documents which are required.