All you Need to Know: Spousal Sponsorship in Canada

Spouse Sponsorship Canada

If you’re a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident, you can sponsor your spouse, conjugal partner or common law partner to live, study and work in Canada under the Spousal Sponsorship program. To be eligible under this program, you need to fulfill certain spouse sponsorship Canada requirements. Keep on reading to learn about these guidelines.

Eligibility criteria

You should be 18 years of age or more to be eligible to sponsor your spouse, partner or children. Additionally, you’ll have to prove that you can provide for food, lodging, and clothing for yourself and your family, and can support them financially to ensure they don’t have to ask for help from the government. Additionally, the sponsored person will receive a visa when both, they and the sponsor, obtain approval from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).

Citizens who don’t live in Canada will have to prove that they’ll start living in the country once the sponsored person becomes a permanent resident.

Definitions of spouse, common-law partner and conjugal partner under the program


Married couples as recognized by the law of the land. If the union took place in Canada, the sponsor would need to produce a Certificate of Marriage from the province where the marriage took place. For marriages that took place outside Canada, the union must be eligible as required by the law of the country and the Canadian federal law. Same-sex partners who married in Canada can participate in the program; however, those who entered into a union outside of Canada will have to prove their relationship to file an application

Common-law Partner

Partners who have been living together continuously for a year or more and are in a sexual relationship without getting married are eligible to participate in the program. Exception to a year rule of living together includes brief period of absences tending to business or family obligations

Conjugal partner

A sponsored person is identified as a conjugal partner if they have either of the following situations:

  • When immigration barriers or other legal restrictions related to divorce or same-sex marriage prevent the applicants from qualifying as common law partners/spouse
  • The sponsor and the sponsored have had a mutually dependent relationship for a year or more. Under this provision, both the applicants will have to prove their commitment towards each other including emotional ties and intimacy. They’ll also have to prove their financial closeness, which may include joint ownership of assets.


Knowing the spouse sponsorship Canada requirements helps you avoid hassles when sponsoring a spouse. It is also imperative that you consult your immigration lawyer and work together to create a watertight case. Don’t be afraid to ask questions about any clauses or conditions that you don’t understand to ensure you comply with all the legal norms.


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