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All You Need to Know about Spousal Sponsorship in Canada

July 30, 2020BY Faisal Mustafa

Canada has always been a dream destination for families to live in. The country is one of the most developed countries in the world and safe and peaceful. On top of that, the government has never disappointed families that want to acquire permanent residency in the country.

The Canadian government is committed to keeping families together through spousal sponsorship programs. With spousal sponsorship, partners can obtain permanent residency within 12 months processing period.

Types of Spousal Sponsorship Program in Canada

There are 3 distinct types of spousal sponsorship in Canada. These are:

1. Common-law partners

Under this situation, marriage is not necessary to sponsor your partner. Instead, you have to show that you have been living together for a minimum of 01 years. Any travelling or distantly apart period will not affect the eligibility provided.

You can prove that you have successfully spent at least one year living together under the same roof. Moreover, you can use joint accounts, joint residential loans, and others to prove your common-law relationship to the IRCC for the spousal sponsorship.

2. Inland spousal sponsorship

You can apply for it if you and your partner are staying together in Canada. This spousal sponsorship program also allows the applicant to apply for the spousal open work permit in Canada. Meanwhile, you can manage your finances while IRCC processes your spousal sponsorship application.

3. Outland spousal sponsorship

You can also sponsor your spouse while he/she is living abroad. Under this spousal sponsorship program, a partner, living in Canada, can apply for sponsoring his/her spouse who is living in another country.

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Requirements for Sponsoring Your Spouse

To apply for spousal sponsorship, both the partners will have to be at least 18 years old. Moreover, they must prove their relationship as genuine and long-term. In addition to these, there are different criteria for different types of spouse relationship.

Same-sex partners

The spousal sponsorship requirements for same-sex spouses follow the same rules as opposite-sex partners. All you need to show is a legal marriage certificate from the province or state you got married in. If you got married outside Canada, you need a legal marriage certificate as well, which will prove the legality of your marriage in that country.

Common-law partners

As mentioned earlier, to apply under common-law spousal sponsorship, you will have to live together with your partner for at least a year. While applying, you will have to provide joint accounts information, joint utility bills, joint financial records, etc. as proof.

Conjugal partners

Conjugal partners are partners who could not live together in one country. You are eligible to apply spousal sponsorship as conjugal partners if your relationship is at least one year old. Also, you will have to provide evidence that you could not live with your spouse due to unavoidable circumstances.

Inland and outland partners

To qualify as an inland partner, the spouse must have a study permit, work permit or visitor’s visa. To be eligible for spousal sponsorship as outland partners, the partners must have a relationship of at least one year. The spouse can travel around, but the application process will go through the visa office of the origin country.

How to Apply for Spousal Sponsorship

There are 4 simple steps in applying for the spousal sponsorship. These are as follows-

Step 1: The application package

The application package is a bundle of some essential things you need to apply for a spousal sponsorship. These are:

  • The required documents for you and your spouse
  • The forms you and your spouse will have to fill up
  • The instruction guides

Make sure you fill out the forms accurately with care. Also, you need to have all the original copies of your documents in one place.

Step 2: Paying the fees

The total cost of the application can start from CAD 1050. This cost includes the processing fee, the right of permanent residence fee and the biometrics fee.

You can pay the fee online and provide the receipt while applying. Sometimes, you may need a medical exam certificate and police clearance as well. These will increase the total cost of the spousal sponsorship application.

Step 3: Submitting the application

Once all the documents are ready, forms have been filled, and fees have been paid, you can submit the application through courier or online using regular email. The overall process will take 12 months to complete. However, your spousal sponsorship application may be rejected or returned if it is incomplete.

Step 4: Providing additional information

You might also be asked to provide additional information and documents. For instance, the authority may ask you to send a medical exam report or police clearance certificate. Besides, you will have to update about you and your spouse’s circumstances if anything changes.

For example, you and your spouse may adopt a child or even get separated or divorced. The authority must be informed in these cases.

Things that Can Affect Spousal Sponsorship Decision

If the following conditions apply to you, your spousal sponsorship application may be denied until a final decision on these situations is made.

  • Your citizenship application is on the process.
  • You have an order of removal against your name.
  • You did not respect your residency conditions and failed to meet them.
  • You violated human or international rights and deemed inadmissible by IRCC for criminal activities.
  • You committed a crime that is punishable by a maximum of 10 years imprisonment.
  • You did not meet the spousal sponsorship requirements.

Obligations You Need to Fulfill as A Sponsor

By agreeing to be a sponsor of your spouse, you sign an agreement to provide financial support for every basic need of your spouse. You are promising to provide food, clothing, shelter, medical care and other facilities to your spouse.

The spousal sponsorship agreement legally binds you to be responsible for your spouse. This means that you must take care of your partner, even if the circumstance changes.

For example, you will have to provide financial support, even if your spouse acquires Canadian citizenship or you and your spouse get divorced. Even though you have emotionally accepted to take care of your spouse, it ensures legal binding in supporting your spouse.


Spousal sponsorship eases the way to getting permanent residency or citizenship in Canada. Many people choose this procedure to shift and live in Canada permanently. Despite the long processing time and legal systems, no one should choose any illegal means in getting citizenship through spousal sponsorship in Canada.

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    Frequently Asked Question

    To get permanent residency, you have to live for at least three years in Canada. You also need some other documents to apply for Citizenship.

    In generally takes six months to get the citizenship after taking the Citizenship Test and Interview.

    People aged between 18 to 54 have to take the citizenship test and Interview.

    Oath taking ceremony generally takes 45 to 60 mins to complete. However, the time may vary upon the number of applicants and citizens.

    Yes, any Citizen who is a Canadain Citizen can renounce his citizenship status if he wants. He may apply for renouncing the citizenship under certain conditions.

    The answer is yes. You can again apply to resume your Citizenship status though you have renounced it once.

    The total fees for applying for Citizenship in Canada is CAN $ 630. Among the prices, $530 is for processing fee, and $100 is for the right of  Citizenship fee. But for minors aged under 18, the processing fee is $100.