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How to Sponsor Your Spouse, Common-Law Partner or Dependent Child to Canada


How to Sponsor Your Spouse, Common-Law Partner or Dependent Child to Canada

How to Become a Sponsor in Canada

You can become a sponsor in Canada if you are:

  • A Canadian citizen;
  • At least 18 years of age; and
  • Live in Canada


Can You Sponsor Someone in Canada If You Do Not Live in Canada?

It is not possible to sponsor someone to live in Canada if you are not living in the country at the time. Even if you are a permanent resident of Canada, you must be in the country when you sponsor someone.

You must also prove that you qualify as a sponsor by showing you can provide for:

  • yourself
  • your spouse/partner; and
  • your dependents and/or
  • you spouse’s dependents


When Can You Not Sponsor Someone in Canada?

You cannot apply to be a sponsor in Canada if you:

  • Receive social assistance (this does not include social disability);
  • Have sponsored someone else within 3 years of becoming a permanent resident in Canada;
  • Have defaulted on an immigration loan or performance bond;
  • Have not paid alimony or child support (if applicable);
  • Have been convicted of a crime;
  • Were sponsored yourself and became a permanent resident of Canada less than 5 years ago;
  • Are in a jail, reformatory, prison; or
  • Are under a removal order


Who Can You Sponsor to Live in Canada?

You can sponsor your:

  • Spouse;
  • Common-law partner;
  • Conjugal partner
  • Dependent child

Depending on who you sponsor, the documents you need to apply with may change:

  • If you sponsor your conjugal partner or dependent child, you can apply for Family Class; and
  • If you sponsor your spouse or common-law partner, you can apply for either Family Class or the Spouse or Common-Law Partner Class.


How long are you responsible for the spouse you sponsor in Canada?

Length of time you are responsible for the person you sponsor
Person you sponsor Length of undertaking in all provinces (except Quebec) Length of undertaking in Quebec
Spouse, common-law partner or conjugal partner 3 years 3 years
Child under 13 years old 10 years 10 years, or until age 18 (whichever is longer)
Child 13 to 19 years old until age 22 3 years or until age 22 (whichever is longer)
Parent or grandparent 20 years 10 years
Other relative 10 years 10 years

Can spousal sponsorship be denied?

The IRCC (Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada) thoroughly investigates the legitimacy of every relationship in an effort to ensure that the applicant is not committing marriage fraud in order to immigrate to Canada. If the immigration officer is not convinced that the marriage is true, they will refuse the application and can also ban the spouse you wish to sponsor from entering Canada for five years, for misrepresentation.


What is the minimum income required to sponsor a spouse in Canada?

Family and Spousal Sponsorship Annual Income Requirement
Number of persons Minimum annual income requirement
1 person (the sponsor) $26,426
2 people $32,898
3 people $40,444
4 people $49,106
5 people $55,694
6 people $62,814
7 people $69,934
If more than 7 people, for each additional person, add $7,120

Will I be forced to leave Canada if I leave my spouse?

Being forced to leave Canada means being deported. Your spouse or partner does not have the right to have you deported. Only federal immigration authorities (such as the IRCC) can decide to deport someone.

However, if your spouse or partner intends to sponsor you for permanent resident status in Canada, and the sponsorship application is still in progress, they can withdraw the application before your permanent residence in Canada is final.


Can I stay in Canada while waiting for spousal sponsorship?

Yes. While you wait for your spousal sponsorship application to be approved, you can apply for a Canada visitor visa in the meantime.

Although it does not give you permanent residency in Canada, as a visitor, you may stay in the country for up to six months after the day you arrive. This will allow you to live in Canada with your spouse while you wait for your spousal sponsorship application to be approved.

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