Spousal Sponsorship

Canada understands the importance and value of family life and therefore offers various sponsorship programs to unite families. If you are a Canadian Citizen or permanent resident, you can sponsor your spouse (including common-law or conjugal partner) and your dependent children. However, both the sponsor and the sponsored person must meet certain requirements to qualify.

To be eligible to sponsor your spouse or dependent, you must meet the following requirements:

  • Be of 18 years or older
  • Be a Canadian citizen, a permanent resident
  • Financially support your spouse
  • Reside in Canada or intend to live in Canada after your spouse is granted permanent residency

In addition, following requirements must be met to sponsor your spouse:

  • Spouses must be legally married to the sponsor.
  • Common law partners must have been living with the sponsor for at least 12 consecutive months in a marriage-like relationship.
  • Conjugal partners must have been in a relationship with the sponsor for at least 1 year and must be unable to either live with or marry their sponsor because of significant legal and immigration reasons (i.e.: where same sex relationships are illegal, conjugal partners would be unable to marry or live together).

In the case of a dependent child, a son or daughter is considered ‘dependent’ if they are under the age of 22 and do not have a spouse or common law partner. Children over the age of 22 may still qualify as dependents if they are financially dependent on a parent due to a physical or mental condition and they have depended on their parent for financial assistance before reaching the age of 22. The children must be either adopted or have been blood relation with the sponsor.

To apply for spousal sponsorship in Canada, there are two options:

  • Submit an “In-Canada” spousal sponsorship for spouses present in Canada
  • Submit an “overseas” spousal sponsorship for spouses who are outside Canada

Both applications have different requirements, processing times and associated rights and limitations. It is imperative to act wisely and therefore recommended that you obtain some legal advice to determine which application is right for your particular situation.

Looking to sponsor your spouse, dependent, common-law or conjugal partner to Canada? We can help!