Spousal Sponsorship in Canada Guide – Inside and Outside

Learn how to sponsor your spouse to become a permanent resident of Canada.

Spousal sponsorship in Canada is an important aspect of Canadian immigration in which thousands of people apply under this category each year. As a permanent resident or Canadian citizen, you can sponsor your spouse to live, visit or work in Canada as long as you are qualified to apply for sponsorship.

You can also sponsor your spouse to become a permanent resident in Canada. They are the various benchmark for someone who wants to sponsor and the spouse being sponsored.

Spousal Sponsorship Requirements in Canada

Before you can sponsor your spouse or partner, you need to check if:

  • you are 18 years and above
  • you are a Canadian citizen or permanent resident
  • Canadian citizens living abroad must indicate to IRCC and you plan to live in Canada with your partner once he or she becomes a permanent resident.
  •  Also,you must show that you are not receiving any support service from the government unless you are disabled.
  • You can provide for the financial assistance of the sponsored person.

You are required to sign a (3) three-year Sponsorship Agreement that requires you to render full financial aid to your partner for three years.

Requirement for your Spouse or Partner

There are some requirement spouse or partner who wish to immigrate must fulfil

Spouse must exhibit an honest relationship, as sponsorship application will be rejected if otherwise.

In addition, spouse with criminal records in his or her country will be rejected.

Types of Spousal Sponsorship  

Below are the (3) three types of spousal sponsorship recognized in Canada

  • Marital partner
  • Common-law partner and
  • Conjugal partner

Marital partner

They are married couples and the marriage must be valid under the Canadian law.

They must submit a documentary evidence, which includes a marriage certificate

Common-law partner

A common-law partner is someone you are not officially married to but you are already living together normally for at least twelve month.

Evidence can be in form of rental agreement, shared bills, Evidence of joint bank account, affidavits from people with personal knowledge that your relationship is genuine.

Conjugal partner

A conjugal bliss partner is a relationship in which couples cannot live together due to a situation beyond their control.

There is no evidence that show your commitment in the relationship. They only want to see interpersonal ties that you are in a serious relationship.

Spousal sponsorship Application to Canada

Below are four basic steps to follow for a successful application

Step1: To apply to sponsor your partner, you need to submit two applications

  • The sponsorship application and
  • Permanent residence application

Step 2: Get Immigration Refugee and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) application package, which consists of spouse sponsorship Canada checklist for you and your spouse.

In addition, you need to fill the forms of you and your spouse and make you follow the instruction guide.

Step 3: Pay necessary fees on Immigration Refugee and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) website. Fees includes processing fees, Right of permanent residence fee, and biometrics fee.

Step 4: Mail the two applications to IRCC for processing. You need to confirm the email address before you send the applications.

Two Stages in Spousal Sponsorship Approval

Spousal sponsorship approval has two stages, which are the first stage spousal approval, and the second stage spousal approval.

First stage spousal sponsorship approval

During the first stage of the sponsorship approval, a permanent resident or citizen of Canada must begin by putting in an application as a sponsor.

The application will focus on whether you are fit to sponsor your spouse.

As a sponsor, you must be able to take care of your spouse with basic needs such as food, clothing, and health care services.

Sponsors will receive an acknowledgement letter are eligible.

Second stage spousal sponsorship approval

The second stage is the application for permanent residence. The office of the IRCC proceeds to the next stage if a sponsor meets the requirements.

Thus, to make a sponsorship application, the whole application package containing sponsorship application and application for permanent residence must be submitted together.

The IRCC asks for biometrics and medical reports from the foreign spouse. You are required to send them within 30 days. They may also ask for more information or call you for an interview at any time.

You can track and update your application status online until the Immigration Refugee and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) makes a decision on your application.

Finally, IRCC will send you instructions about steps the foreign spouse needs to take to become a permanent resident.

Inland spousal sponsorship in Canada

Inland sponsorship are for spouse living in Canada whom you want to sponsor for permanent residence.

One of the benefits of inland spousal sponsorship is that your partner may qualify for an open work permit that allows your spouse work in Canada.

Outland spousal sponsorship in Canada

Outland spousal sponsorship are for spouse who is not residing in Canada.

The major disadvantage here is that you do not get to spend time with your partner until the approval for permanent residency.

Sponsoring Spouse to Quebec Province

As a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, you may decide to sponsor your spouse who desire to immigrate to Quebec.

Those who wish to immigrate to Quebec must go through a process that requires filling an application form with the IRCC and MIFI.

Additionally, you need to send specific completed forms, supporting documents and the required processing fees to IRCC.

Furthermore, you will need to include the sponsored person’s application for permanent residence along with supporting documents and the required fees.

Once you satisfy the requirement by IRCC, you will need to file an application for an undertaking with the MIFI.

The signed undertaking is a contract that binds you as a sponsor to your spouse and the Quebec Government.

In addition, you will need to download the forms from the MIFI website to fill out, attach supporting documents and the required fees.

If the Ministry of Immigration Francization and Integration (MIFI) approve your application, they will forward it directly to the IRCC office.

Spouse must meet the health, criminality, and security checks

It is important to note that your spouse must meet the health, criminality, and security requirements for IRCC to grant them permanent residence.

IRCC normally accepts forms with photocopies of signatures. However, you may need to provide the original copies of your forms.

Remember to check for a signature block on each form and sign.

If your signatures are not in the right place, they will return your application without processing it.

Use the last page of the spouse checklist to help you make you sign in the appropriate space.

Once you are in Quebec, you can benefit from the service offered by MIFI which include information sessions assistance from an immigration officer.

It takes approximately 12 months for the IRCC to process spousal sponsorship applications, which undergoes, review.

Anyone wishing to sponsor their spouse or partner must ensure that they must be Canadian citizens or permanent residents above the age of 18.

How to show proof of Financial Ability?

To prove that you intend to live in Quebec and you have the financial ability to do so, you can

  • provide a financial report from your bank indicating that you have sufficient funds to support yourself
  •  You can also indicate in the letter explanation the steps your spouse intend to take to find a job quickly.
  •  Provide information on your educational qualification and work experience with reference to the current job offer in Quebec.

Several factors may prevent you from sponsoring your spouse or partner. Note that you cannot be a sponsor if you have criminal records

  • you are still financially responsible for a former spouse and you are still bound by your three-year undertaking,
  • Your partner must meet some criterial such as being over 18 years of age, security and medical reports.

Finally, note that all forms used by the Quebec government are in French only, so arrange for help to fill them if you are not fluent in that language.

Two-year “Legitimate Relationship” requirement

If your relationship is more than two years old and you have no children, you will only be given conditional permanent residence at first.

This restriction applies regardless of whether the sponsored individual is a spouse. If conditional permanent residence applies to you.

In addition, you need to live with your partner in a conjugal relationship for at least two years to obtain conditional permanent residence,

If they discovers that you did not actually live with your partner for two years, they can revoke the permanent residence status of your spouse.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can my spouse work in Canada with pending inland spousal sponsorship applications?

If your partner is living in Canada with a valid work permit, they can continue to work without disturbance.

Do I need to meet the minimum necessary income to sponsor my spouse?

No, you do not need to demonstrate a minimum amount of income to sponsor your spouse

How long will it take to process my spousal sponsorship application?

They give Spousal sponsorship applications within one year.

Can my spouse work in Canada with pending outland spousal sponsorship applications?

If your spouse is not living in Canada, they may apply for a regular work permit.

How much does it cost to sponsor your spouse to Canada?

The government processing fees to sponsor your spouse to Canada is about $1135.

If you are sponsoring your spouse and you have dependent children, then need to pay an additional $150 for each child.