Spousal Sponsorship

Spousal Sponsorship

There are two types of applications for Spouse and Common-Law Sponsorship
  • Outside Canada Spousal Sponsorship: your application will be processed through the visa office in the sponsored spouse's country of citizenship or where they legally reside (if outside Canada). If you and your Spouse/Common-law partner live together in Canada, you can still apply under this category. Applying under this category will make you eligible to Appeal a refusal to the Immigration Appeal Division.
  • Inside Canada Spousal Sponsorship (Spouse or Common-Law in-Canada category): your application will be processed in Canada and you and your sponsor MUST live together. The person being sponsored MUST have temporary status in Canada as a worker, student, or visitor. The person being sponsored may be eligible for an Open Work Permit.
You can sponsor the following persons and dependent children (21 or younger) for Canadian Permanent Residence
  • Spouse (husband, wife, partner- marriage must be legally recognized)
  • Common-law Partner (person you are living with but not married to for at least 12 consecutive months)
  • Conjugal Partner (if your partner does not qualify under the Spouse or Common-Law category but you are in a committed relationship equal to that of a marriage for at least 1 year. There must be extenuating circumstances why you cannot live together)

Canada recognizes same-sex marriages and partners and are eligible to apply under these 3 categories.

To be eligible to be a Sponsor
  • You must be a Canadian Citizen, or Permanent Resident (living in Canada)
  • You must be 18 years of age or older
  • You cannot be in prison, bankrupt, under a removal order, or charged with a serious offence
  • You, yourself, cannot have been sponsored to Canada as a spouse within the last 5 years.
  • You cannot have committed a violent crime against a family member.
To be eligible to be sponsored
  • You must be at least 18 years of age
  • You must not be too closely related by blood to the Sponsor
  • You must not be criminally inadmissible
Requirements that must be met in order to qualify for Sponsorship under the 3 categories
  • Your relationship is genuine (real) and was not entered into primarily for the purpose of acquiring Permanent Residence. This can be proven Inside Canada through cohabitation records (utilities, insurance, lease, title, bank accounts) as well as communication (chat and phone records) from Outside Canada.
  • If your spouse or common-law partner is applying in the Spouse or Common-law Partner "In Canada class", he or she must cohabit (live) with you in Canada
Humanitarian and compassionate considerations

25 (1) Subject to subsection (1.2), the Minister must, on request of a foreign national in Canada who applies for permanent resident status and who is inadmissible — other than under section 34, 35 or 37 (terrorism, organized crime or human rights violations) — or who does not meet the requirements of this Act, and may, on request of a foreign national outside Canada — other than a foreign national who is inadmissible under section 34, 35 or 37 — who applies for a permanent resident visa, examine the circumstances concerning the foreign national and may grant the foreign national permanent resident status or an exemption from any applicable criteria or obligations of this Act if the Minister is of the opinion that it is justified by humanitarian and compassionate considerations relating to the foreign national, taking into account the best interests of a child directly affected.


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