CANADA Spousal Sponsorship as a subsection of Family Sponsorship category, allows Canadian citizens and permanent residents sponsoring their spouse, common-law partner (including same-sex partner) or dependent children to immigrate to Canada. 

Canada strongly supports keeping families together whenever possible. As such, the processing of Family Class applications is given the highest priority at Canadian Visa Offices. There is no requirements on academic qualifications, work experience, language skills, income requirement for the eligibility to sponsor their spouse.


Who is eligible to sponsor their spouse, partner or child 

  • Sponsor must be a Canadian citizen, a permanent resident of Canada, or a person registered in Canada as an Indian under the Canadian Indian Act 
  • If the sponsor is a Canadian citizen living outside Canada, he/she must show that he/she plans to live in Canada when the persons he/she want to sponsor become permanent residents
  • Can’t sponsor someone if the sponsor is a permanent resident living outside Canada
  • Sponsor should be at least 18 years old 
  • For sponsors who live outside Quebec 
  • The sponsor must promise to financially take care of the persons he/she is sponsoring for a period of time. We call this promise an undertaking. 
  • The undertaking commits the sponsor to: 
  • providing financial support for his/her sponsored family members, starting when they become permanent residents 
  • repaying any provincial social assistance his/her sponsored family members get during that time 


Who can’t sponsor their spouse, partner or child 

  • Sponsor is less than 18 years old 
  • The sponsor won’t live in Canada when the persons he/she wants to sponsor become permanent residents 
  • were sponsored by a spouse or partner and the sponsor became a permanent resident less than 5 years ago 
  • are still financially responsible for a previous spouse or partner that he/she sponsored. This means he/she is still bound by the 3 year undertaking to take care of this person. 
  • are in jail, prison, or a penitentiary 
  • didn’t pay back: an immigration loan / a performance bond / court-ordered family support payment such as alimony or child support 
  • declared bankruptcy and are not discharged 
  • receive social assistance for a reason other than a disability 
  • were convicted of attempting, threatening to commit or committing a violent criminal offence, any offence against a relative or any sexual offence inside or outside Canada 


Who can be sponsored 

The sponsor can sponsor his/her spouse, common-law partner, conjugal partner or dependent children. 


The spouse can be either sex and must be: 

  • legally married to the sponsor 
  • at least 18 years old 

Common-law partner 

The sponsor and partner need to give proof of their common-law relationship. 

  • isn’t legally married to you 
  • can be either sex 
  • at least 18 years old 
  • has been living with the sponsor for at least 12 consecutive months, meaning have been living together continuously for 1 year in a conjugal relationship, without any long periods apart 

Conjugal partner

The sponsor and partner need to give proof that they could not live together or get married in conjugal partner’s country (for example, proof of refused long-term stays in each other’s country). 

  • isn’t legally married to you or in a common-law relationship with the sponsor 
  • can be either sex 
  • is at least 18 years old 
  • has been in a relationship with the sponsor for at least 1 year 
  • lives outside Canada 
  • can’t live with you in their country of residence or marry you because of significant legal and immigration reasons such as 
  • their marital status (for example, they’re still married to someone else in a country where divorce isn’t possible) 
  • their sexual orientation (for example, you are in a same-sex relationship, and same-sex relationships are not accepted, or same-sex marriage is illegal where they live), 
  • persecution (for example, your relationship is between different religious groups which is not accepted and they may be punished legally or socially) 


Same-sex marriages 

A Canadian citizen or a permanent resident may sponsor their same-sex partner as a spouse, as long as the marriage is legally recognized under both the laws of the place where it occurred and under Canadian law, and they meet the respective requirements. Canadian citizens and permanent residents can apply to sponsor their same-sex partner as a spouse if they were married in Canada and issued a marriage certificate by a Canadian province or territory on or after the following dates: 

  • British Columbia (July 8, 2003) 
  • Manitoba (September 16, 2004) 
  • New Brunswick (July 4, 2005) 
  • Newfoundland (December 21, 2004) 
  • Nova Scotia (September 24, 2004) 
  • Ontario (June 10, 2003) 
  • Québec (March 19, 2004) 
  • Saskatchewan (November 5, 2004) 
  • Yukon (July 14, 2004) 
  • All other provinces or territories (July 20, 2005) 

The onus is on the sponsor and applicant to provide information to IRCC confirming that their same-sex marriage was legally recognized when and where it occurred. 


Dependent children 

Children qualify as dependents if they meet both of these requirements: 

  • they’re under 22 years old 
  • they don’t have a spouse or common law partner 

Children 22 years old or older qualify as dependents if they meet both of these requirements: 

  • they are unable to financially support themselves because of a mental or physical condition 
  • they have depended on their parents for financial support since before the age of 22 

If they qualify as a dependent child, the sponsor can sponsor his/her own child, his/her spouse or partner and their child 


How to apply 

To apply to sponsor your spouse, partner or child, there are 2 applications: 

  1. You must apply to become a sponsor. 
  2. Your spouse, partner or child must apply for permanent residence. 



  • Sponsor your spouse or partner: $1040 
    • Sponsorship fee ($75), principal applicant processing fee ($475) and right of permanent residence fee ($490) 
  • Sponsor a dependent child: $150 (per child) 
    • Sponsorship fee ($75) and processing fee ($75) 
  • Include any dependent child: $150 (per child) 
  • Include any dependent child on an application with your spouse or partner 
    Processing fee ($150) 


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