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Spousal Sponsorship:  Husband, Wife, Common-law partner

Processing times on average are between 8 to 12 months, depending on the visa office responsible for processing the application.  Some larger visa offices such as the USA can process applications as fast as 4 to 6 months.

All applications for both Inland and Outland Sponsorship are submitted online. Once an application is deemed to be complete with all required forms and documents, and the sponsor is eligible, the application is forwarded then forwarded to the responsible visa office for further processing. Incomplete applications are returned 3 months later.

There are two types of applications for Spouse and Common-Law Sponsorship

  • Outland 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 at the Immigration Appeal Division (IAD).

  • Inland Sponsorship (Spouse or Common-Law in-Canada category): your application will be processed in Canada and you and your sponsor MUST live together at the time of aplying and during the process. The  sponsored partner may also be eligible for an Open Work Permit, if they have valid status in Canada.  For individuals that do not have valid status, they are still able to be sponsored for PR via a special public policy, or by using H&C inside the application (in cases where they have been issued a removal order by CBSA).  Inland sponsorship does not have rights to appeal if it is refused.

 * Important information on Refused Spousal Sponsorship applications

You can sponsor the following persons and their dependent children (21 or younger) for Canadian Permanent Residence

  • Spouse:  husband, wife, partner via marriage (proxy marriages are not permitted)

  • Common-law Partner:  person you are living with for at least 12 months continuously

  • 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 one year. There must be extenuating circumstances why you cannot live together- job location, studying abroad, inability to obtain visa to Canada are NOT good enough reasons.

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


Spouses who have a Criminal Record or Criminal Charge

Read more here on Criminal Inadmissibility

Spouses with a 5 year ban to Canada due to Misrepresentation

Read more here on Misrepresentation Inadmissibility

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 (if a permanent resident) or charged with a serious offence

  • You, yourself, cannot have been sponsored to Canada as a spouse within the last 5 years.

To be eligible to be sponsored by a Sponsor

  • You must be at least 18 years of age

  • You must not be too closely related by blood to the Sponsor

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

  • 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 


Requirements AFTER sponsorship

  • The sponsor is financially responsible for the person sponsored for three years after the sponsored person becomes a permanent resident.

  • Individuals who come to Canada as spouses are themselves barred from sponsoring a spouse in turn for five years after receiving Canadian permanent residence.

Spousal Sponsorship, Sponsor Spouse, Sponsor Common-law




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