Spousal Sponsorship

Basic Summary:
The Family Class immigration category allows Canadian citizens or permanent residents help their spouse (and dependent children), obtain Permanent Residency in Canada. Since 2015 the Canadian government has renewed its commitment to reuniting couples, and these Family Class applications are given high priority.

Spousal Sposorship allows a husband or wife to assist their spouse in immigrating to Canada. Sponsors and Applicants must meet certain criteria, and Sponsors must be financially responsible for their spouse for a period of three years.

In addition to establishing a genuine relationship (“membership in the class”), to qualify both the sponsor and the applicant (and dependent children) must be approved based on the following criteria.

The Sponsor

◼︎ Have Permanent Residency, Canadian citizenship, or First Nations status
◼︎ Be at least 18 years old
◼︎ Live or plan to live in Canada (depending on status)
◼︎ Meet Quebec’s conditions to be a sponsor if applicable

You generally can’t (some exceptions apply) be a sponsor if you:

◼︎ Were sponsored and became a permanent resident less than five years ago
◼︎ Sponsored a previous spouse or partner less than three years ago
◼︎ Defaulted of a previous sponsorship undertaking, an immigration loan, a performance bond or family support payments
◼︎ Have an undischarged bankruptcy
◼︎ Receive social assistance (doesn’t include EI) for reasons other than disability
◼︎ Convicted of committing, attempting, or threating an offence that was violent or sexual upon a relative
◼︎ Are under a removal order, in a penitentiary, jail, reformatory or prison

The Applicant

Must meet the general requirements for all Permanent Residency applicants.

Outland Sponsorship
An Outland Application is generally used when the applicant is outside of Canada. Outland applicants can also be inside Canada, if travel out of Canada is required during the application process. Processing occurs at a visa office outside Canada.

Inland Sponsorship
The other option is the Inland route where the applicant is in Canada (possibly without legal status). The applicant may be eligible for an Open Work Permit during the application process.

Sponsor’s Duties

If permanent residence is granted the Sponsor must:

◼︎ Be financially responsible for the applicant for three years; if the applicant receives social assistance, the sponsor will be required to reimburse the government

See also: