Spousal sponsorship program paves the way for spouses and partners of Canadian citizens and permanent residents to immigrate to Canada. Sponsorship requirements and process depend on many factors. We provide an overview of how to bring a wife, husband, or common-law partner to Canada.
Spousal sponsorship application requirements vary depending on the type of relationship. There are three (3) categories:
A spouse includes a husband or wife to whom a sponsor is legally married. They may live in or outside of Canada. Therefore, sponsorship outside Canada is a possible option.
Common-law partners are the ones who are not legally married. The key is that a couple must have been living together for at least one (1) year, continuously and without any long periods apart. Either can leave another just for a short and temporary period and only for family, work or business reasons. Common-law of Candian permanent residents can only reside in Canada, therefore, inland sponsorship would be an option.
As compared to a marriage or a common-law partnership, a sponsor can not marry or live together with the conjugal partner because of the barriers beyond their control. Such a reason could well be the immigration barrier, religious, sexual orientation, war, etc. Still, for a conjugal relationship, a significant degree of attachment for at least one year must be proved. Conjugal person can only reside outside Canada, separately from Canadian citizen or permanent resident.
A sponsored person is called a principal applicant in a sponsorship application, and must meet the following eligibility requirements:
A sponsor must meet certain eligibility requirements of age, status in Canada, and financial sufficiency:
Even if all the above eligibility requirements for sponsorship are met, the existence of any of the following conditions makes a person ineligible:
If a sponsor lives in Quebec , he or she must meet Quebec’s immigration sponsorship requirements after Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship (IRCC) approves him or her eligible. Persons living in Quebec must sign an undertaking with the province of Quebec. The Quebec ministry in charge of immigration will assess an income then.
There are two types of Canada sponsorship applications.
If a person to be sponsored is residing in Canada, then a sponsorship inside Canada under the Spouse or Common-Law Partner in Canada Class will be the right option (i.e., an inland application).
If a husband or wife is living outside Canada, then a sponsorship outside Canada under the Family Class will be the right type of application (i.e., an outland application).
Even if a sponsored person lives in Canada, the right to make an outland application (instead of inland) is still an option if:
Read more about common mistakes when sponsoring husband or wife and how to avoid refusal here. It answers FAQ about sponsorship.