Eligible Canadian citizens and permanent residents of Canada can sponsor their spouse, common-law partners, and, in some cases, conjugal partner to become Canadian permanent residents.
In many cases, the application can be processed inside or outside of Canada. Our immigration law group will advise you on your options for filing a sponsorship application.
Some spouse or common-law partner applications processed inside Canada allow the applicants to apply for an open work permit, which allows them to work in Canada while awaiting processing of the sponsorship applications.
A common-law partner is a person that you have lived with for at least 12 consecutive months in a conjugal (marriage-like) relationship, without any long periods apart.
The conjugal partner class is only available in certain, limited situations. A conjugal partner is a person living outside of Canada that you have been in a genuine relationship for at least 12 months where marriage or living together has not been possible for reasons beyond their control, such as immigration barriers, religious reasons, sexual orientation, etc.
Spousal sponsorship applications generally do not have a minimum income requirement in order to be eligible to sponsor a spouse/partner and their dependent children. If the sponsored individual has a dependent child who has dependent children of their own, you will have to meet a minimum income requirement as a sponsor. The sponsor is not eligible to sponsor if they are receiving social assistance for reasons other than disability. There are some other eligibility requirements that the sponsor must meet in order to sponsor.
In addition, the sponsor should be aware that, by agreeing to sponsor your spouse or partner, you must sign an undertaking, promising to provide financial support for the basic needs of your spouse or partner and their dependent children (if any) once they become a permanent resident of Canada. If your sponsored partner receives social assistance after they become a permanent resident, you will have to pay back what they have received during the time that you are legally responsible for them. We provide accurate information to our potential sponsorship clients on the implications of sponsoring their partner and the dependent children and on the length of their sponsorship undertaking.
If the sponsor is a Canadian citizen living outside of Canada at the time that they sponsor their spouse, partner, or dependent child, they must show that they intend to permanently live in Canada once the sponsored person becomes a permanent resident.
If you are intending to sponsor your spouse, or partner and their dependent child, you can contact us for a free initial consultation so we can advise you whether you are eligible to be a sponsor.