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If you’re a Canadian citizen or permanent resident with a spouse, common-law partner, or conjugal partner outside Canada, you have the right to sponsor them to join you in Canada as permanent residents.

Spousal Sponsorship Requirements:

To qualify as a sponsor for your spouse, common-law partner, or conjugal partner, you must meet the following requirements set by the IRCC:

  • Prove that you can provide for the basic needs of your partner

  • Show that you’re not getting social assistance unless it’s for disability

  • Be 18 years and above

  • Be a permanent resident, a Canadian citizen, or registered as an Indian under the Canadian Indian Act. Note that:

    • You can’t be a sponsor if you’re a permanent resident residing outside Canada

    • You can be a sponsor if you’re a Canadian citizen living outside Canada, but you have to prove that you plan to move back to Canada if your partner/spouse is granted permanent residence

  • If you’re sponsoring a spouse with a depended child who has a dependent child or children of their own, you have to meet the minimum LICO requirements to prove that you can support them financially

  • When completing your application, you must sign the undertaking and sponsorship agreement. As the sponsor, you sign the undertaking promising that:

    • You’ll provide financial assistance to your partner or spouse for three years even if your relationship ends

    • You’ll pay back any provisional social aid offered to the sponsored partner/spouse within the undertaking period(3yrs)

The sponsorship agreement is an agreement signed by the sponsor and the person being sponsored. It’s an agreement that:

  • The sponsor will cater to the basic needs of the sponsored person

  • The spouse or partner you sponsor will do their best to provide for themselves and their family members

  • If you reside in Quebec, there are Quebec’s immigration and sponsorship requirements that you must meet to become a sponsor. The province of Quebec also assesses your finances and requires you to sign an additional undertaking with the province.

  • Prove that the relationship you’re having with the person you want to sponsor is real:

    • Spouse: Prove you’re legally married and be at least 18yrs of age

    • Common-law partner: must be at least 18 years of age and have lived together continuously for at least one year – provide proof of your common-law relationship

    • Conjugal partner: at least 18yrs of age and have been in a relationship for at least 1yr. You have to prove that you couldn’t live together as common-law partners or get married.

The following might render you ineligible to sponsor your partner or spouse:

  • You were convicted of a violent criminal offence, sexual crime, or any offence against your family members within or outside Canada

  • If you’ve been a permanent resident for less than five years and you were sponsored by a spouse or partner

  • You’re still accountable for another partner or spouse that you sponsored (3-year undertaking agreement)

  • Have been issued a Removal Order

  • Are currently convicted

  • Failed to repay an immigration loan or make legally bound family support payments

  • Was unable to provide basic and financial needs when you sponsored someone else

  • Declared bankruptcy

How to Apply for Spousal Sponsorship Visa

1.   Confirm Eligibility

Check the minimum eligibility requirements for both you and the spouse or partner that you want to sponsor. Make sure you’re eligible to apply for spousal sponsorship before proceeding.

2.   Get the Application Package

Acquire the most recent spousal sponsorship package and complete filling the forms. The application package consists of:

  • Forms for the sponsor (sponsorship request) and the partner or spouse (permanent residence application) being sponsored to fill out

  • A document checklist to ensure that you and the person you want to sponsor attach all the required documents

  • An instruction guide to help you and the person you wish to sponsor complete the spousal sponsorship forms


3.   Submit Sponsorship Application

After filling the forms, attaching all the required documents, thoroughly reviewing them, and making the necessary payments, submit both the sponsorship request and permanent residence application together through the given mailing instructions or via courier services.

4.   Provide Additional Information

Once IRCC receives your sponsorship application, they may request more information from the spouse/partner during processing. This includes medical examinations, police certificates, and biometrics.

Spousal Sponsorship Processing Time

The current processing time of the spousal sponsorship application is 12 months.

Spousal Sponsorship Checklist

  • Make sure you are eligible to be a sponsor and the person you want to sponsor is also eligible

  • Ensure you have the necessary documents and any other proof required to prove your relationship

  • Make sure you pay the right fees and through the correct channels

  • Complete the sponsorship forms as stipulated and send them to IRCC together

Supporting Letter for Sponsorship

When writing letters of support or personal statements for the purpose of sponsoring your spouse or common law partner, there a number of things you should include. Writing a personal statement is your chance to "connect the dots" for the officer and an opportunity to demonstrate the genuineness of your relationship. These tips will help you build a solid letter that will increase the chances for your success while helping you fill in the blanks you draw while you attempt to complete this often underrated task.

Though Citizenship and Immigration Canada does not directly ask for this in the document checklist, the onus is on the applicant to prove their case. If you choose to omit information because you find it unnecessary or obvious, the officer will not consider it. Remember, officers, consider the information presented and do not fill in the blanks for you or consider arguments for you that you have not considered yourself. Sponsorship applications are one instance where less is not more.



  1. A strong intro with the basic facts of your relationship, sort of like an overview of what you will be discussing in your letter. The "who, what, where, when and how" of your relationship.

  2. Begin describing how your relationship began. How did you meet? When was your first date? How did it go?

  3. How did you maintain contact? Did you speak often on the phone, spend a lot of time physically together or did you communicate by email or chat? How often would you communicate?

  4. Describe how the relationship flourished. Think of occasions you spent together and some memorable moments that are of note in your relationship.

  5. Be specific with the dates and times of things you have done together. If you travelled together, where and when? How was the trip? If you went on interesting dates like to a sports game or the theatre, what did you see? When and where was it? How did you enjoy your time together?

  6. Describe each other. What do you like most about your spouse or partner? How do their qualities mesh with your own? Why are they special to you?

  7. Describe your spouse or partner gets along with your family and friends. When did they meet, how was your spouse or partner received? Did they get along well with your family and friends? Describe these instances in detail.

  8. How did you know your spouse or partner was the one? If applicable, who proposed to whom? How did that happen? When did you start living together? Do you enjoy living together?

  9. If applicable, how was the wedding ceremony? Where was it held? Who was in attendance? Describe how this was one of the most memorable occasions for you.

  10. Describe your future plans together.

If you are able to answer these questions and support with documentation, the officer will not have to think twice about the genuineness of your relationship.

How We Can Help

Image by Mon Petit Chou Photography


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