Sponsor Your Spouse to Canada
Canadian spousal sponsorship is how a Canadian citizen or permanent resident can sponsor their partner to come to Canada and live permanently.
What is family class sponsorship?
Canada offers sponsorship programs for permanent residents or citizens of Canada that wish to bring their loved ones to Canada. These programs allow certain family members to become permanent residents of Canada.
One of the most popular streams of Canadian immigration, family sponsorship programs makes it easy for citizens and permanent residents to bring their spouse and immediate family members to Canada with reduced processing times because Canada knows that family should never be put on hold.
How Long Does it Take to Sponsor Your Spouse in Canada?
Sponsorship applications take approximately 12 months to process from start to finish. They are typically not processed much faster than 12 months but they can take longer, depending on the nature of your case.
If you have a complicated case, or the visa office requires additional proof of your relationship, this will delay the processing of your case and it will take longer.
The best way to ensure your sponsorship application is processed as quickly as possible is to make sure it is done right the first time.
The lawyers and legal professionals at Hadson have helped thousands of spousal sponsorship applications.
Find out how Hadson can help bring your loved ones to Canada by taking our free online assessment.
Who can I sponsor to come to Canada?
Spouse, Common-law, or Conjugal Partner
You may be eligible to sponsor your spouse, common-law, or conjugal partner for Canadian permanent residence, whether they are living in Canada with a valid temporary visa or residing abroad.
Applicants who are living in Canada may also qualify for an open work permit, giving couples the chance to relieve some of their financial burdens. A spousal open work permit gives sponsored individuals the ability to work in Canada while their sponsorship application is being processed.
Since Canada recognizes common-law partnerships, you may be eligible to apply for spousal sponsorship if you and your partner are not married but have been living together for a period of at least one year.
Parent or Grandparent Sponsorship
Canada’s commitment to family reunification extends to parents and grandparents of Canadian citizens and permanent residents through the parent and grandparent sponsorship program. In order to sponsor a parent or grandparent, citizens and permanent residents will be required to demonstrate that they can financially support their family by meeting the Minimum Necessary Income (MNI) for the size of their family unit.
They must also agree to financially support their sponsored family members if needed.
Sponsors who are unable to permanently support their parent or grandparent may be eligible for a Super Visa, a long term, multiple-entry visa for parents and grandparents of Canadian citizens and permanent residents.
Child or Other Dependant Sponsorship
If you are immigrating to Canada, you can choose to include your children as accompanying dependents on your application for permanent residence. However, if you choose not to include them, or are otherwise unable to do so, they may still be able to join you in Canada later.
Canada’s child sponsorship program allows Canadian citizens and permanent residents to sponsor their biological or adopted children under the age of 22 for permanent residence, as long as they are unmarried and have no children of their own.
A child over the age of 22 may be considered a dependent if they suffer from a physical or mental condition that prevents them from being able to support themselves.
Orphaned brother, sister, nephew, niece, or grandchild
In some specific instances, Canadian citizens or Permanent Residents may be eligible to sponsor their orphaned brother, sister, nephew, niece, or grandchild to come to Canada.
To sponsor your orphaned relative, they must be unmarried, under 18 years old, and related to you by blood or adoption.
Other relatives (under exceptional circumstances as a “Lonely Canadian”)
In some rare circumstances, Canadian citizens or Permanent Residents may be eligible to sponsor one extended relative to come to Canada. To sponsor a relative that falls outside of Canada’s current Family Class definition, sponsors must be considered a “Lonely Canadian”. This means the sponsor has no spouse, common-law partner, child, parent, or grandparent.
What are the Requirements to Sponsor Your Spouse in Canada?
You may be eligible to sponsor your spouse or common-law partner if you are a Canadian citizen or permanent resident and meet the following conditions:
- Are at least 18 years old
- Live in Canada, or planning to return to Canada once your spouse or partner becomes a permanent resident of Canada
- Are able and willing to provide for the basic financial needs of your spouse or partner for three years
If you are married and looking into sponsoring your husband or wife, immigration officers will expect to see the following evidence:
- Relationship Information and Sponsorship Evaluation questionnaire
- Marriage certificate (see common-law if you are not married)
- Wedding invitations and photos
- Birth certificates or adoption records for any children you and your spouse have together
- Proof of registration of marriage with a government authority
And at least two of the following documents:
- Proof that you and your spouse own property together
- Shared bank accounts,
- Utility bills with both of your names,
- Copies of government-issued IDs,
- Car insurance,
- Pay stubs or tax forms that show that you live at the same address
The government processing fees to sponsor your spouse in Canada are listed below. If you are sponsoring your spouse and they have dependent children, then an additional $150 payment will be required for each child included in the application.
Sponsorship fee $75
Principal applicant processing fee $475
Right of permanent residence fee $500
If the sponsor resides in Quebec or intends to reside in Quebec upon the issuance of permanent residence, an additional fee of $289 CAD will need to be paid in addition to the fees mentioned above.
Unlike most other forms of Canadian sponsorship, you do not need to demonstrate a minimum amount of income to sponsor a spouse. However, whenever you sponsor a family member to Canada, you must sign an undertaking, in which you promise to provide financial support for the basic needs of your sponsored family member.
The length of the undertaking depends on the category of sponsorship. For spousal sponsorship (including spouses and common-law or conjugal partners), the length of the undertaking is 3 years from the day the sponsored individual becomes a PR.
In order to be eligible for spousal sponsorship of any kind, you need to prove that your relationship is legitimate. There are several factors that are taken into consideration by immigration officers, depending on the nature of your relationship.
Visa officers will consider a range of items to determine if your relationship is genuine. Some of the items they will consider are more traditional, like photos of your wedding that show members or your family there. Others can be more unique to the cultural practices of the region. If your relationship is unconventional, providing additional evidence of the genuineness of your relationship is recommended. Letters of explanation can also help a visa officer understand why your relationship might not have all the same indicators as a more traditional marriage from your cultural background.
Be advised that marriage ceremonies that are conducted over the internet are not accepted for Canadian immigration purposes.
Your spouse can come to Canada while you are waiting for approval but there is no special visa for applicants awaiting a decision on their sponsorship application.
Some spousal sponsorship applicants may encounter difficulties applying for a temporary visa if they have an application for permanent residence already in process.
Applicants applying for a temporary residence visa must satisfy the visa officer assigned to their case they will leave at the end of the validity of the visa. Having an application for permanent residence can create doubt in the visa officer’s mind that the applicant intends to leave at the end of their visa.
For this reason, applicants may want to apply for a temporary visa and then once together in Canada, submit under the inland sponsorship category.
The spouse being sponsored can then transition from their temporary status in Canada to an open work permit that would allow them to work for any employer while their application is processing.
No. Simply marrying a Canadian does not automatically give the spouse Canadian permanent residence. Once you are married or in a common-law relationship, you can then apply for a spousal sponsorship.
Only after the application for spousal sponsorship is approved, will the married spouse become a Canadian permanent resident.
There is no limit to the number of eligible family members a Canadian permanent resident or citizen can sponsor. However, applicants must submit separate applications for each eligible family member sponsored.
Canada does not offer a program to sponsor your boyfriend or girlfriend to come to Canada. You must be common-law partners or married to sponsor your boyfriend or girlfriend to come to Canada.
In very specific circumstances, Canadian permanent residents and citizens may be eligible to sponsor their conjugal partner.