What is spousal sponsorship program?
Spousal sponsorship in Canada is a process in which a Canadian citizen or permanent resident sponsors the spouse, common law partner, or conjugal partner wishing to move to Canada. We realize how essential it is for families to be together in Canada. As a result, applications for spousal sponsorship are given high consideration.
If you are planning to sponsor your spouse, common-law partner, or conjugal partner to Canada and have questions such as how to bring them to Canada or what are the stages of the process, this page will answer all your questions regarding spousal sponsorship application in Canada:
If you are a Canadian citizen or permanent resident and satisfy the eligibility criteria, you may be able to sponsor your spouse, conjugal partner, or common-law partner:
- You must be at least 18 years old
- If you live in Canada or intend to return once your spouse or partner becomes a permanent resident of Canada
- You are able and willing to provide for the basic financial needs of your spouse or partner for three years. That means the sponsor must sign an undertaking, promising to give financial support for the basic needs of their spouse or partner and dependent children.
- Ensure that the sponsor qualifies under Canadian immigration law
You must sign a three-year Sponsorship Agreement that requires you to financially assist your partner for 3 years starting on the date when your partner is given permanent residency. Even if you and your spouse decide to part ways, you still have to fulfill this responsibility.
When you apply for spousal sponsorship in Canada, you don’t usually need to demonstrate a certain income. While this isn’t always the case, a sponsor may be required to establish that they have the funds to support themselves, their loved ones, and their partner’s family.
Room and board, clothing, utilities, personal things like shampoo and toothpaste, petrol, household goods, dental treatment, and any medical care not supplied not covered by public health services are all included. For instance, if one of the partners has a dependent child, the sponsor must show that they have enough money to meet their essential needs.
To sponsor your partner and their family, you may need a better credit history, more significant debt, or a higher income. If your partner is the one being sponsored, they cannot sign the Sponsorship Agreement with you to pool funds for the benefit of meeting financial requirements. Also, if you are under a removal order or are receiving social assistance for a reason other than a disability, you cannot be a sponsor.
As a result, unlike other forms of family sponsorship in Canada, pooling resources to satisfy the Minimum Necessary Income standards is not considered for spousal support.
Also, please note that as a sponsor, you will be financially responsible for the person you sponsored for three years after the he/she becomes a permanent resident.
How to apply for a spousal sponsorship in Canada?
The kind of sponsorship application you need to submit will determine the steps you must take. To begin the application process, you must first determine which of the following applies to you:
Spousal sponsorship inside Canada (inland):
You should apply under the Spouse or Common-Law Partner in Canada Class (Inland) if:
- You are now residing in Canada with your sponsor.
- You are legally permitted to be in Canada.
- You’d like to work in Canada while your work permit application is being processed;
Even if your spouse or common-law partner doesn’t have legal status in Canada, they may be eligible to apply under this stream and remain in the country while the application is being handled. Nevertheless, the applicant must avoid traveling outside of Canada while processing the application. Briefly, to qualify for the Inland sponsorship category, the foreign spouse or partner must have temporary resident status in Canada, which can be as a worker, student, or visitor.
Spousal sponsorship outside Canada (outland)
You should apply under the Family Class (Outland) sponsorship option if:
- The applicant is your spouse/common-law partner who resides outside of Canada.
- You are presently residing in Canada with your sponsor, but you do not intend to do so for the length of the application process.
The disadvantage of choosing this option is that living with your spouse may be challenging until your application is approved. On the other hand, your spouse may apply for a temporary visa to visit Canada until their outland sponsorship application is reviewed.
Who is the principal applicant?
The principal applicant is a family member when a family applies for permanent residence together. The main applicant is the spouse or partner if the primary goal of the application is to sponsor them for permanent residence in Canada. The principal applicant is the dependent child if the primary objective of the application is to support a dependent child for permanent residence in Canada.
Spousal sponsorship processing times:
A sponsorship application might take up to a year to complete from beginning to end. On average, you may expect a 12-month processing time, but it may take longer depending on the circumstances. Your application will take longer to complete if you have a complex case or the visa office seeks extra documentation of your relationship.
The costs for sponsoring your spouse, conjugal partner, or common-law partner in Canada are below. When you are sponsoring your spouse, marital partner, or common-law partner and they have dependent children, you must pay an extra $150 for each child listed on the form.
- Sponsorship fee $75
- The principal applicant processing fee is $475
- Right of permanent residence fee $500
- Biometrics: $85
An extra charge of CAD 289 must be paid on top of the preceding expenses if the sponsor is located in Quebec or plans to do so after receiving their permanent resident card.
How to speed up the sponsorship process?
The easiest method to guarantee that your sponsorship application is handled promptly is to ensure that it is completed the first time correctly. Experts at Can adapt Consulting managed thousands of spousal sponsorship applications. Take our free online evaluation to see how we can assist you in bringing your family members to Canada.
Spousal sponsorship checklist:
Following is a list of the supporting documents required to sponsor a spouse for immigration to Canada. A certified translation into English or French is required for all accompanying papers if they were not initially written in one of these languages on all immigration applications.
The following list should only be used as a guide since it misses the level of detail necessary to enable you to finish an application package on its own. Always get the advice of a qualified professional before taking any action based on the information provided here.
Other required forms & documents
- Form IMM 0008, Generic Application Form for Canada, to be completed by the partner (the principal applicant who is seeking to immigrate to Canada)
- Form IMM 1344, Application to Sponsor, Sponsorship Agreement and Undertaking, to be signed by the sponsor and the partner
- Form IMM 1283, Financial Evaluation, to be signed by the sponsor
- Form IMM 5406, Additional Family Information, to be completed by the principal applicant and all adult children
- Form IMM 5476, Use of Representative, if the application itself or any part was completed by a third party such as a Canadian immigration lawyer or consultant.
- Form IMM 5532, Relationship Information and Sponsorship Evaluation, to be completed by both the sponsor and principal applicant
- Form IMM 5533, Document Checklist for Spouse (Including Dependent Children)
- Form IMM 5534, Document Checklist for Dependent Child
- Form IMM 5589, Document Checklist for Common-Law Partner (Including Dependent Children)
- Form IMM 5629, Document Checklist for Conjugal Partner (Including Dependent Children)
- Form IMM 5669, Schedule A – Background/Declaration (the partner and all members of the partner’s family who are at least 18 years of age must sign separate copies of this form)
- Copy of application fee receipt
- Medical Condition Statement: the results of a medical examination conducted by a doctor approved by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (no longer required upfront)
- Photocopy of both sides of the sponsor’s Permanent Resident Card or other proof of permanent residence, if the sponsor is not a Canadian citizen; or a copy of the sponsor’s proof of Canadian citizenship (such as a citizenship certificate, birth certificate or passport)
- Photocopy of your marriage certificate if your sponsorship is based on a legal marriage.
- Proof of the termination of any previous marriages through divorce, annulment or death
- Sponsor’s Notice of Assessment for the most recent tax year
- Letter from your employer stating the sponsor’s period of service, salary and working hours, with the employer’s original signature (not a copy) if the sponsor is employed; or evidence of business or self-employment income over the past 12 months
- Photocopy of every page of the partner’s passport
- Proof of partner’s immigration status in Canada, if the partner is applying from Canada (inland sponsorship)
- Photocopy of both sides of the partner’s U.S. Alien Registration Card, if applicable.
- Documentary proof of common-law or conjugal relationship, if applicable (please see below for examples)
- Photographs of your wedding or common-law partnership ceremony
- Two passport-style photos of the partner
There may be more documents needed depending on the specifics of the situation. As a result, local and Canadian diplomatic missions may have different criteria.
Police certifications from any country where the spouse has resided for at least six months since 18 are required for Quebec spousal sponsorship. Depending on the sponsor’s financial situation, the co-signer may additionally be required to send copies of various supporting papers to the sponsor.
Upon linking your application to an online account, specific papers may be submitted electronically, such as the Schedule A Declaration. Instead of submitting it immediately, applicants may wait 30 days after attaching their online account before submitting a valid Schedule A to the Global Case Management System, which will accept it (GCMS).
Candidates who do not register an online account within 7 days will get an email or letter from CPC-M requesting a paper copy of the document, which must be returned within 30 days of the date of the letter. Failure to provide a Schedule with A record may result in Immigration Canada rejecting the application owing to non-compliance.
Documentation that may be necessary to bring dependent children into Canada is not included on this list. In 2022, old forms will be obsolete, including Form IMM 5481, Sponsorship Evaluation, and Form IMM 5485, Spouse/Common-Law Partner Questionnaire.
For more detailed information on spouse sponsorship paperwork and process, you can visit the official Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) Spousal Sponsorship Guide 5525 following this link.