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Spousal / Common-Law Sponsorship

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Spousal / Common-Law Sponsorship

Spousal / Common-Law Sponsorship

Canada is one of the perfect countries to settle with family and enjoy the quality life. The family sponsored visas are the key feature of the Canada immigration, which allow the permanent residents and citizens in Canada to sponsor their eligible family members including spouse, parents, grandparents, dependent children, etc. for Canada permanent residency.

What is Canadian Spousal Sponsorship?

Spousal Sponsorship Program is a subsection of the Family Class immigration category and allows the Canadian permanent residents and citizens to sponsor their spouse or Common-law-partner to obtain Permanent Residency in Canada.

However, both the sponsors (i.e. Canadian Permanent residents and citizens) and the foreign national (the sponsored person) must be:

  • authorized by IRCC (Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada) in order to do the same
  • able to support their partner financially

In order to receive a visa through this immigration program, the sponsor must be related to the sponsored person as a:

  • Spouse
  • Common-law Partner
  • Conjugal Partner

Types of Sponsorship

The Spousal Sponsorship Program has two types – Outland Sponsorship and Inland Sponsorship

  1. Outland Sponsorship

The Outland sponsorship route is usually chosen when the sponsored person is living outside Canada. The outland applications are generally received and processed at the visa office in applicant’s home country or where they have resided legally for at least one year. However, it is possible for a spouse/common-law partner living in Canada to apply through the Outland program as well.

  1. Inland Sponsorship

Inland pathway is the other option available to apply for Spousal Sponsorship program. Inland Sponsorship is the situation where both the partners are together in Canada and the foreign spouse/common-law partner being sponsored has the temporary status in Canada, i.e. visitor, worker student, etc. A person being sponsored for Spousal Sponsorship Visa may also eligible to apply for an Open Work Permit to work in Canada, while the sponsorship application is being processed.


Eligibility Criteria to be a Sponsor

In order to sponsor their spouse or Common-law-partner, the applicant must

  • be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident;
  • be at least 18 years or above;
  • demonstrate that he/she is not getting any social assistance (apart from disability if any);
  • be able to demonstrate that he/she can provide basic needs to the sponsored person, i.e. his/her spouse or partner; and
  • fulfill Quebec’s conditions for sponsorship (If the sponsor is residing in Quebec province of Canada) 

Application processing time

Canada gives highest priority to the processing of Family Class applications, therefore IRCC aims to process applications submitted through the Spousal Sponsorship Program within 12 months.