Spousal Sponsorships

Spousal Sponsorships

As per new guidelines, effective on October 25, 2012 sponsored spouses or partners must live together in a legitimate relationship with their sponsor for two years from the day they receive permanent residence status in Canada.

If you are a spouse or partner being sponsored to come to Canada, this applies to you if:

  • You are being sponsored by a permanent resident or Canadian citizen
  • You have been in a relationship for two years or less with your sponsor
  • You have no children in common
The Basic Requirements:
  • You have to be 18 years of age or older when you sponsoring a spouse.
  • You have to be a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident
  • You either have to reside in Canada or intend to reside in Canada when the sponsored person comes to Canada.
  • Sponsor must sign a 3 year sponsorship agreement with the Canadian Government to financially support the spouse or partner
To be a Sponsor

You and the sponsored relative must sign a sponsorship agreement that commits you to provide financial support for your relative, if necessary. This agreement also says the person becoming a permanent resident will make every effort to support her or himself.

  • You must provide financial support for a spouse, common-law or conjugal partner for three years from the date they become a permanent resident
  • You must provide financial support for a dependent child for 10 years, or until the child turns 25, whichever comes first
To be a sponsor
  • You and the sponsored relative must sign a sponsorship agreement that commits you to provide financial support for your relative if necessary. This agreement also states that the person becoming a permanent resident will make every effort to support themselves. Dependent children under age 22 do not have to sign this agreement
  • You must promise to provide financial support for the relative and any other eligible relatives accompanying them for a period of three to ten years, depending on their age and relationship to you. This time period begins on the date they become a permanent resident
You may not be eligible to be a sponsor if you:
  • failed to provide financial support you agreed to when you signed a sponsorship agreement to sponsor another relative in the past
  • defaulted on a court-ordered support order, such as alimony or child support
  • receive government financial assistance for reasons other than a disability
  • were convicted of an offence of a sexual nature, a violent criminal offence, an offence against a relative that results in bodily harm or an attempt to threat
  • defaulted on an immigration loan—late or missed payments
  • are in prison or
  • have declared bankruptcy and have not been released from it yet
In-land Spousal Sponsorship

In a normal sponsorship application a sponsor will remain in Canada while the person they are sponsoring will wait in their home country until their application is approved and their visa issued before they can come to Canada. An exception to this rule is the in-land spousal sponsorship category. Under this category it is possible for a Canadian permanent resident or citizen to sponsor their spouse or common-law partner while they are both in Canada. To qualify, the sponsored spouse must either have legal status in Canada, such as a visitor visa, study permit, or work permit; or they may be out of status provided they are not under a removal order.

Five-year Sponsorship Bar for persons who were sponsored to come to Canada as a spouse or partner

On March 2, 2012, changes to the eligibility requirements for sponsors came into force. These changes bar a previously-sponsored spouse or partner, from sponsoring a new spouse or partner within five years of becoming a permanent resident, even if the sponsor acquired citizenship during that period. Other members of the family class will not be affected by the regulatory changes.

Relationships those are not eligible

You cannot be sponsored as a spouse, a common-law partner or a conjugal partner if:

  • you are under 16 years of age
  • you (or your sponsor) were married to someone else at the time of your marriage
  • you have lived apart from your sponsor for at least one year and either you (or your sponsor) are the common-law or conjugal partner of another person
  • your sponsor immigrated to Canada and, at the time they applied for permanent residence, you were a family member who should have been examined to see if you met immigration requirements, but you were not examined or
  • your sponsor previously sponsored another spouse, common-law partner or conjugal partner, and three years have not passed since that person became a permanent resident
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