How to apply for Spousal Visa to Canada

If you have plans to bring your spouse or partner to Canada, you will need to apply for a Spousal Visa.

You can obtain a spousal visa to Canada as a Canadian Citizen or Permanent Resident. That is, you can sponsor your partner who lives in another country to come to Canada to live permanently. This is because family is very important and the Canadian government encourages anyone who wishes to bring their partner over to do so. As a result, application for spousal sponsorship is free and open to all citizens and residents of Canada.

Undoubtedly, Canada is one of the best countries in the world you can comfortably settle down with your family. You can have the opportunity to enjoy diverse benefits, including child education, good standard of living and medical care, etc. Once you obtain your permanent residence in Canada, the next step is to get your spouse and family across to the country. Well, it is not difficult to achieve if you have all your documents available and follow the right process.

This article will explain everything you need to know about a spousal visa to Canada, common-law partner and conjugal partner.

What is a spousal visa to Canada?

A spousal visa to Canada offers the right opportunity for the citizens of Canada and permanent residents to sponsor their spouse and other family members to Canada. Once you become a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, you can always sponsor any family member to come over to Canada. They can also become permanent residents of Canada if they follow the right program. As the case may be, tons of people have come to Canada through spousal visas. The right path to follow in bringing your spouse to Canada is through the Spousal Sponsorship visa program.

Besides, the spousal sponsorship program is a sub-category of the family sponsorship program in Canada. it offers the opportunity for all Canadian citizens as well as permanent residents to sponsor their spouse, common-law partner or conjugal partner to Canada to become permanent residents. Also, all spousal sponsorship programs that you obtain for your spousal visa to Canada must be certified by the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).

Who is eligible to sponsor their spouse or partner to Canada under the spousal sponsorship program?

Under the Canadian spousal sponsorship program, everyone can sponsor their spouse, conjugal partner or common-law partner to Canada so far they are Canadian citizens or permanent residents.

However, even though all Canadian citizens or permanent residents are eligible to sponsor their spouse or partner to Canada under the spousal sponsorship program, only some categories of people are eligible to apply for the program and they are:

If you fall under the categories of people above, you can sponsor your spouse or partner to Canada under the spousal sponsorship of the immigration program.

In addition, you must fulfil the following criteria. That is, you must:

  • Be at least 18 years
  • Live in Canada or planning to return to Canada once your spouse or partner becomes a permanent resident
  • Be willing to make available the basic financial needs of your spouse or partner for three years.
  • Have a clean police record or must have not to be charged with any serious offence.
  • Have not been invited to Canada as a sponsored spouse within the span of the last 5 years.

How long does it take to apply for a spousal visa to Canada?

It takes around 12 months to start and finish the spousal sponsorship applications. Usually, spousal visa processing time does not take place before 12 months; rather, they can be longer, pending on the nature of your case. That is, if your case is not straightforward which may lead to the visa officer requesting additional information, the process may take a longer time to achieve. But to make the application process faster, you have to start as quickly as possible.

How much does it cost to apply for a spousal visa to Canada?

Here is the outline of the processing fee to sponsor your spouse, conjugal partner or common-law partner to Canada:

  • Sponsorship fee – $75
  • Principal applicant processing fee – $475
  • Right of permanent residence fee – $500
  • Biometrics – $85
  • Total – $1,135

Note that if you are sponsoring your spouse, conjugal partner or common-law partner to Canada and they have dependent children, it means that you will pay an additional cost of $150 for each child. In addition, if you, as the sponsor, reside in Quebec or have the intention to reside in Quebec upon the issuance of permanent residence, you will pay an additional $289.

What is common-law sponsorship?

Under Canadian immigration law, a common-law relationship is on the same pedestal as conventional marriages. Thus, for your relationship to fall under common-law sponsorship, you must prove that you have lived together with your partner for a year or longer in a marriage-like relationship.

What is conjugal sponsorship?

Under certain conditions where you cannot marry or live with your partner as common-law, you may be eligible to sponsor a conjugal partner. For this to take place, you must have been in a conjugal relationship for at least one year, although unable to live together or get married for reasons beyond your control.

What is my responsibility as one applying for a spousal visa to Canada?

If you are sponsoring a spouse or partner to Canada, you must fulfil the basic needs of your partner or spouse for three years. This includes their everyday (food, clothing, shelter and other needs for daily living) and health needs (dental care, eye care, and other health needs that are not covered by public health services). In addition, it is your financial obligation to ensure that they do not require any financial help from the government or social assistance. However, in a situation that happens, you must make sure to pay back everything before the law will allow you to sponsor another eligible family member.

Moreover, your financial obligation to your spouse or partner will keep being effective even if:

  • your sponsored spouse or partner becomes a Canadian citizen
  • the relationship with your spouse or partner ends
  • your spouse or partner moves to another country or province
  • you experience financial problems in the process

 Do I need a job to apply for a spousal visa to Canada?

You do not need a job to sponsor your spouse or partner to come to Canada. That is, there is no minimum income level necessary for a spousal visa to Canada. What is more important is the fulfilment of your financial obligation. Because the immigration officer will assess your financial strength before granting you the right to apply, you will need to provide a level of proof of how to sponsor your spouse or partner in Canada.

In the same way, your spouse or partner does not need a job offer in Canada to be eligible for a spousal visa to Canada. They also do not need any proof of English or French language proficiency before coming to Canada. But that will be necessary when they are applying for Canadian citizenship or permanent residency.

What documents do I need to submit a spousal visa application?

When you are applying to sponsor your spouse, you will need to submit the following:

  • Duly completed application forms
  • Proof of status in Canada
  • Identity documents
  • Marriage certificate
  • Digital photo
  • Police Certificate and Clearances from all countries your spouse has lived in for six months or longer past the age of 18
  • Medical certificate for your spouse
  • Relationship Information and Sponsorship Evaluation questionnaire
  • Proof of payment for applicable government fees
  •  Wedding invitations and photos
  • Proof of registration of marriage with a government authority
  • Birth certificates or adoption records for any children you and your spouse have together

In addition to the above, you must provide at least two of the following documents:

  • Proof that you and your spouse own property together
  • Shared bank accounts
  • Copies of government-issued IDs
  • Pay stubs or tax forms that show that you live at the same address
  • Car insurance
  • Utility bills with both of your names

If my spouse, conjugal partner, or common-law partner has a serious medical issue, can they still come over?

As long as the medical condition is not contagious or poses a danger to public health or safety, there may not be any issues with your applying for a spousal visa to Canada for them.

Equally important, there are three kinds of medical conditions. They are excessive demand on health or social services, danger to public health, and danger to public safety. Medical condition for extreme demand does not apply to spouses or common-law partners.

Do I need an interview for a spousal visa to Canada?

It is typically rare to request an immigration interview. Having said that, immigration interviews may take place when there is a lack of documents supporting the relationships, the information on the forms is not the same on the documents, age and religious difference, the time between meeting your spouse and marriage is unusually short, or little or no cohabitation.

Can my spousal visa application to Canada be rejected?

Yes, if you did not satisfy the judgement of the immigration officer, they will likely reject your application.

Is there an option for me to reapply if my initial application was refused?

If your spousal visa application to Canada was refused, you have the option to re-apply. Yet, it is necessary to tackle the reason for the refusal of your application with new information or documentation.

Can I cancel my spousal visa application to Canada?

You have the option to cancel your spousal visa application at any time before your spouse becomes a permanent resident of Canada.


Applying for a spousal visa to Canada is one of the things you can do to keep your family together. Ensure you meet all the requirements to enable you easily cross your family across to Canada.