Spousal Sponsorship

Home Spousal Sponsorship


One of the objectives of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (the Act) is to see that families are reunited in Canada. The Family Class category is for applicants who have a close relative who is not a Canadian Citizen or Permanent Resident of Canada. A family class can be defined as a class of persons who may become permanent residents on the basis of the requirements provided under the Act. Members of the family class include:

  • Spouse, common-law or conjugal partner;
  • Dependent children including children adopted overseas;
  • Father or mother;
  • Grandfather or grandmother;
  • Orphan under age 18, if sibling, niece or nephew, or grandchild of the sponsor;
  • Child under age 18 to be adopted in Canada;
  • A relative, if there is no member of the family class who is a Canadian citizen, Indian or permanent resident or who could be sponsored.

The family class category seeks to promote family reunification rather than national economic goals. Citizenship and Immigration Canada is of the opinion that the support of the sponsors assists new immigrants in achieving self-reliance and expediting their contribution to their Canadian community.

Sponsors and Co-Sponsors

Sponsors assume a legal obligation to help the Foreign National being sponsored and therefore, may have to meet certain income requirements set out by the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.

The Sponsor and any Co-Sponsor are responsible for providing the essential needs for the person being sponsored and their dependents for a period of three to ten years after their relative’s arrival in Canada. Should the Canadian Sponsor fail to support the Foreign National, and the Foreign National receives social assistance, the Authorities may take legal recourse.

Co-Sponsors become necessary when a single individual cannot meet the minimum financial requirements. Married and common-law partners who are Canadian Permanent Residents or Canadian citizens may be Co-Sponsors. Co-Sponsors assume the same obligations and responsibilities as the sponsor, and must also sign the application forms for sponsorship.

Sponsorship Obligations: The undertaking shall be given to the minister or if the sponsor lives in a province which has criteria regarding such undertaking, then to the competent authority of such province (Only in Quebec). The undertaking is a binding contract between sponsors and the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration. Sponsors (and co-signers) promise to provide the sponsored person with basic requirements from the day they enter Canada until the end of the specified period of the undertaking. The undertaking for a spouse, common-law partner or conjugal partner is 3 years from the date of becoming a permanent resident.

Who is not eligible to sponsor?

You may not be eligible to be a sponsor if you:

  • Did not meet the terms of a sponsorship agreement in the past,
  • Did not pay alimony or child support even though a court ordered it,
  • Get social assistance for reasons other than being disabled,
  • were convicted of
    • √ an offence of a sexual nature,
    • √ a violent crime,
    • √ an offence against a relative that resulted in bodily harm or
    • √ an attempt or threat to commit any such offences, depending on the details of the case,
      such as
    • √ the type of offence,
    • √ how long ago it occurred and
    • √ whether a record suspension was issued
  • were sponsored as a spouse, common-law or conjugal partner in the past and became a permanent resident of Canada less than five years ago
  • did not pay back an immigration loan, made late payments or missed payments,
  • are in prison or
  • Have declared bankruptcy which has yet to be discharged.


The Spousal Sponsorship program is an important subsection of the Family Class immigration category. Under this program, a Canadian citizen or permanent resident may sponsor a spouse or common-law partner and dependent children for Canadian permanent residence.

Both the Canadian citizen or permanent resident and the foreign national must be approved by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) in order for the sponsored person to receive a visa.

In order to receive a visa through this immigration program, the sponsor and sponsored person must prove that their relationship qualifies under any one of following three categories:

  • Spouse
  • Common-law Partner
  • Conjugal Partner
  • Dependent Children (Both Natural and Adoptive)

Canada recognizes same-sex marriage, and same-sex partners may be eligible to apply under any of the above categories, provided they meet all eligibility requirements.

Inland sponsorship is when the couple is together in Canada and the foreign spouse/common-law partner has temporary status in Canada, either as a worker, student, or visitor. However, the person being sponsored may be eligible for an Open Work Permit, allowing him or her to work for any employer in Canada while the sponsorship application is being processed.

If a permanent resident sponsor misrepresents a material fact on their application to sponsor, it could result in the sponsored relative being found inadmissible and the permanent resident sponsor could be removed from Canada and be found inadmissible for a period of 2 years from the date of removal. If a Canadian citizen sponsor misrepresents a material fact on their application to sponsor, they could face penalties.

What documents are required for Spousal sponsorship or check your spousal Eligibility?

Our experts will help you with preparing your application and a complete list of the documents required for the PR Card renewal.

Call us at 905-461-2424 or Write us at info@iccimmigration.ca