Canadian citizens and Permanent Residents can sponsor a spouse, common-law partner, or conjugal partner to obtain permanent residence.
The Canadian citizen or Permanent resident (the sponsor) and the foreign national (person being sponsored) must be approved by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) for the person being sponsored to obtain permanent residence.
The sponsor and the person being sponsored must prove to IRCC that the relationship falls under one of these categories:
- Spouse: legally married and at least 18 years old.
- Common-law partner: not legally married, at least 18 years old and living together for at least 12 consecutive months.
- Conjugal partners: not legally married, at least 18 years old, been in a relationship for at least 1 year, lives outside Canada and cannot live together in country of residence or marry due to significant legal and immigration reasons. Reasons such as marital status (e.g., still married to someone else in a country where divorce is not possible), sexual orientation (e.g., same sex relationships are not accepted in country of residence), persecution (e.g., relationship is between religious groups in a country where this is not accepted). Must prove living together or getting married in conjugal partner's country was not possible.
Same sex partners can apply under one of the above categories as long as they are able to meet the eligibility criteria.
- At least 18 years old.
- Canadian citizen, permanent resident or a person registered in Canada as an Indian under the Canadian Indian Act.
- If you are a Canadian citizen living abroad, you must prove you will live in Canada with the person being sponsored once they become a permanent resident.
- A permanent resident is eligible to sponsor their partner if the permanent resident resides in Canada.
- Prove social assistance is not being received for reasons other than having a disability.
- Must financially provide for the basic needs of the sponsored person
How to apply
Step 1: Get the sponsorship application and the permanent residence application forms from IRCC.
Step 2: Pay the application fees. Most times the fees include processing fees, right of permanent residence fee, and biometrics fee, all of which is paid on-line on IRCC's website.
Step 3: Submit the application via mail to IRCC.
Once application is successful
- Sponsor is financially responsible for the sponsored person for three years.
- The person being sponsored is forbidden from sponsoring someone else for five years after being sponsored for permanent residence.