Spousal and Common Law Partner Sponsorship




Sponsoring Family to Canada

Citizenship and Immigration Canada goal is to reunite close family members to Canada through the Family Class. Under the Family Class Canadian Citizens and Permanent Residents can sponsor their spouse, common-law or conjugal partner, dependent children and parents or grandparents. Citizenship and Immigration Canada gives Family Class applications highest priority because Canada highly supports in keeping families together.

Spousal Sponsorship

Spousal Sponsorship program is a subsection of the Family class that allows Canadian Citizens and Permanent Residents to sponsor their spouse or common-law partner to obtain permanent residency in Canada. Under the spousal sponsorship program both the Canadian Citizen or Permanent Resident also known as the sponsor and the foreign national known as the sponsored person must meet the requirements under Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) for the sponsored person to get visa for Canada. To get this visa through the immigration program, the sponsor and sponsored person have to demonstrate that their relationship falls under of three categories:

  • Spouse
  • Common-law Partner
  • Conjugal Partner

Canada recognizes same-sex marriage and same-sex partners therefore you can apply under any of the three above mentioned categories as long as you meet eligibility criteria for spouse or common law partner see below:

The requirements you need to meet as the sponsor include:

  • Being 18 years of age as the sponsor
  • Must be Canadian Citizen or Permanent Resident of Canada as the sponsor
  • You cannot be in prison, bankrupt, under removal order or charged with serious offence as the sponsor
  • You cannot have been sponsored to Canada as spouse within the last 5 years as the sponsor

The requirements you need to meet as the sponsored person include:

  • You must be at least 16 years of age as the sponsored person
  • You cannot be closely related by blood to the sponsor as the sponsored person

Requirements for the nature of the relationship:

As the applicant you need to provide evidence to prove the relationship between the sponsor and the sponsored person qualifies under the following categories:


As the sponsor and sponsored person you need to be legally married, this can demonstrated by providing a certificate of marriage. If you were married in Canada you can provide certificate of marriage from the province or territory in which the marriage took place. If you got married outside of Canada you must meet federal law of Canada and meet the law of the country in which your marriage took place.

Same-sex partners are also eligible to apply for sponsorship if they got married in Canada by including their marriage certificate with their application. If you got married outside of Canada y

This means that the Sponsor and the Sponsored Person are legally married. For those married within Canada, a Certificate of Marriage from the province or territory where the marriage took place will show that the marriage is valid. Note that same-sex marriages performed within Canada are valid for spousal sponsorship. If the marriage took place outside of Canada, it must be valid under the law of the country where it took place as well as under Canadian federal law. Same-sex marriages that took place outside of Canada are not valid for spousal sponsorship, but an application can be made under either the common-law partner or conjugal partner categories if such a relationship can be proven.

Common-Law Partner:

To fall under the Common-Law relationship, the sponsor and the sponsored person must have lived together continuously for at least one year (this can exclude brief absences for family or business reasons)

Conjugal Partner:

Conjugal partners are individuals of either same-sex or opposite sex that cannot qualify under common-law partners or as spouses due to exceptional circumstances. These individuals cannot be together due to either immigration barriers, legal restrictions that prohibit divorce or same-sex relationships. As conjugal partners your commitment level should be same as either marriage or common-law partners for at least one year. To prove your relationship is genuine you need to demonstrate emotional ties and intimacy, financial closeness, this can be shown through ownership of assets or mutual financial support, anything that shows you have put efforts to spend time together and reunite.

Should submit Overseas or Inland Sponsorship Application?

Overseas sponsorship applications are used when the sponsored person is living outside of Canada. If you have submitted an overseas sponsorship application you are still able in Canada and travel back and forth throughout the application process. Overseas applications are processed through the visa office based on the applicants’ country of citizenship or where they have resided legally for at least one year. Processing times can range from 8-36 months depending on the country of citizenship. For example, processing time for Albania is 9 months while for Afghanistan is 36 months. Remember these are approximate times, so it can be longer or shorter than what is posted on the government website. You can check cic.gc.ca for latest updated processing times.

Inland sponsorship application is for couples who are inside of Canada and like to remain in Canada until they get a decision on their sponsorship application. When submitting an inland sponsorship application the foreign applicant has temporary status in Canada, either as a worker, student or visitor. Inland sponsorship applications take usually longer to process then overseas application. But the advantage to submitting an inland sponsorship application you are eligible to apply for an Open Work Permit. The Open Work Permit allows the sponsored person to work for any employer in Canada while the sponsorship application is being sponsored. If your inland sponsorship application is refused the sponsored person has to immediately exit Canada upon expiration of the temporary stay. While your inland sponsorship application is in processing and you as the sponsored person plans to exit Canada there is no guarantee that you will be allowed re-entry into Canada, especially if the person requires a Visitor Visa. It is recommended to remain in Canada until you get a decision on your application to avoid problems with your application.

Your responsibilities as the Sponsor

When Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) grants permanent residence under the spousal sponsorship category there are certain conditions the sponsor needs to meet. The sponsor is financially responsible for the sponsored person for three years after he/she become permanent resident of Canada. If you the sponsored person gets divorced from the sponsor the sponsored person is banned for five years after receiving permanent residence to sponsor another spouse. Once the sponsored arrives in Canada he/she must live with their spouse/partner for two years or face the possibility of having their PR revoked. The only time exceptions are made for the sponsored person is when they can prove they have suffered abuse or neglect from their spouse.

Contact Akrami & Associates

If you like to sponsor your spouse or partner to Canada but are unsure if you meet the eligibility criteria then contact us today at 416-477-2545. The representative will assess your situation and determine the best immigration route for you and your family.

With Akrami & Associates there is always a way!!