Sponsoring Your Spouse or Partner for Permanent Resident Status in Canada

Canadian Immigration Entry Graphic

Who can sponsor a spouse/ partner?
In order to sponsor your spouse, you must be at least 18 years of age and a Canadian citizen or permanent resident. If you are a Canadian citizen, you must be living in Canada or be able to show proof that you intend to live in Canada once your spouse’s permanent resident status is granted.  Canadian permanent residents living outside of Canada cannot sponsor their spouse.

Who can be sponsored as a spouse/ partner?
You may sponsor your husband or wife where a legal marriage has taken place. You may sponsor your common-law partner who you have lived with for at least one year. It is also possible to sponsor a conjugal partner who you were unable to legally marry due to certain reasons such as religion, sexual orientation or due to the fact that you were apart as result of immigration barriers.

Can you include dependent children in the application?
You may include your dependent children in the sponsorship application. You may also include your spouse’s dependent children in the sponsorship application as well.

What else is required?
Although sponsors are required to submit their income and employment information, there is no minimum income threshold that needs to be met when sponsoring your spouse or partner. However, you cannot sponsor a spouse if you yourself were sponsored to become a permanent resident within the past 5 years. Your spouse must also undergo and pass a medical exam and he/she cannot have a criminal record. Additionally, you must convince the immigration officer that you are in a genuine relationship with your spouse.

What is the sponsorship process?
The spousal sponsorship process involves a number of forms that must be completed properly and submitted along with all the required supporting documents. It is very important to pay attention to the details in the forms and submit all of the required supporting documents to avoid refusal or delay of your application. After submitting the application package, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) will contact the applicant and ask for further documents and in some cases, ask him/ her to attend an interview. Once your application is reviewed, a decision will be made either to approve or refuse the application.