Spousal Sponsorship

 

Canada is still accepting and processing family sponsorship applications. COVID UPDATE

 

       Family class immigration has been the least affected by the travel restrictions.

       Immediate family members of citizens and permanent residents are still allowed to enter the country, spousal and common-law sponsorship applications are being processed as usual, with IRCC allowing some flexibility in submitting incomplete applications.

       If youíre traveling by air, you need to follow all airline requirements and pass a health check conducted by airlines before youíre allowed to board your flight. Anyone who shows symptoms of COVID-19 will not be allowed to enter Canada by air.

       When you arrive in Canada, they will assess your health before you leave the port of entry. You must have a plan to quarantine for 14 days when you arrive in Canada. This is mandatory, even if you have no symptoms. If you donít have a plan, you should not travel to Canada.

       Only people who provide essential services, for example, truck drivers who regularly cross the border to maintain the flow of goods, are exempt from the quarantine requirements.

†††† For more updates on the Coronavirus, visit our page on the impact the Coronavirus has had on Canadian immigration.

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Family Class Sponsorship

 

Your relatives can live, study and work in Canada if they become permanent residents of Canada. You can sponsor certain relatives to come to Canada if youíre at least 18 years old and a:

       Canadian citizen or

       person registered in Canada as an Indian under the Canadian Indian Act or

       permanent resident of Canada

 

Sponsor your spouse, partner or child: about the process

 

About the process

 

If youíre eligible, you can sponsor your spouse, partner or dependent children to become permanent residents of Canada.

If you do, you must be able to:

       support them financially

       make sure they donít need social assistance from the government

 

Who is eligible to sponsor their spouse, partner or child

 

You can sponsor your spouse, partner or dependent child if:

       Youíre at least 18 years old

       Youíre a Canadian citizen, a permanent resident of Canada, or a person registered in Canada as an Indian under the Canadian Indian Act

o   If youíre a Canadian citizen living outside Canada, you must show that you plan to live in Canada when the persons you want to sponsor become permanent residents.

o   You canít sponsor someone if youíre a permanent resident living outside Canada.

       Youíre able to prove that youíre not receiving social assistance for reasons other than a disability

       you can provide for the basic needs of any persons you want to sponsor

 

If you live outside Quebec

 

To become a sponsor, you must promise to financially take care of the persons you are sponsoring for a period of time. We call this promise an undertaking.

The undertaking commits you to:

       providing financial support for your sponsored family members, starting when they become permanent residents

       repaying any provincial social assistance your sponsored family members get during that time

 

Also, you and your sponsored family members need to agree to certain responsibilities during the undertaking period. We call this the sponsorship agreement.

The sponsorship agreement means that:

       youíll provide for the basic needs of your sponsored family members

       the person you sponsor will make every effort to support themselves and their family members

When you apply, youíll have to complete and sign a form that includes the undertaking and the sponsorship agreement.

 

Income requirement

 

In most cases, there isnít an income requirement to sponsor your spouse or partner or dependent child. You only need to show that you have enough money to meet the income requirements if:

       youíre sponsoring a dependent child that has 1 or more dependent children of their own, or

       youíre sponsoring a spouse or partner that has a dependent child, and their dependent child has 1 or more children of their own.

The Financial Evaluation form instructions explain how much money youíll need and how to fill out the form.

Youíll get the form when you download your application package.

 

If you live in Quebec

 

You must meet Quebecís immigration sponsorship requirements after we approve you as a sponsor. You must sign an undertaking with the province of Quebec.

The Quebec ministry in charge of immigration will assess your income.

Who canít sponsor their spouse, partner or child

 

You canít sponsor your spouse, partner or child if:

       youíre less than 18 years old

       you wonít live in Canada when the persons you want to sponsor become permanent residents

       youíre not a Canadian citizen, a permanent resident of Canada, or a person registered in Canada as an Indian under the Canadian Indian Act

       youíre a temporary resident, that is youíre visiting, studying or working in Canada on a visa or permit

       your permanent residence application is still in process

o   You must have permanent resident status at the time you submit your sponsorship application.

       you donít have enough money to support the persons you want to sponsor (if applicable)

 

You may not be eligible to sponsor your spouse, partner if you:

       were sponsored by a spouse or partner and you became a permanent resident less than 5 years ago

       are still financially responsible for a previous spouse or partner that you sponsored. This means youíre still bound by the 3 year undertaking to take care of this person.

 

You may not be eligible to sponsor your spouse, partner or child if you:

       you have already applied to sponsor the spouse, parent or child you are currently seeking to sponsor and a decision on that application hasnít been made

       are in jail, prison, or a penitentiary

       didnít pay back:

o   an immigration loan

o   a performance bond

o   court-ordered family support payments such as alimony or child support (not applicable if you live in Quebec)

       didnít give the financial support you agreed to when you signed a sponsorship agreement to sponsor someone else in the past (not applicable if you live in Quebec)

       declared bankruptcy and are not discharged (not applicable if you live in Quebec)

       receive social assistance for a reason other than a disability

       you were convicted of attempting, threatening to commit or committing a violent criminal offence, any offence against a relative or any sexual offence inside or outside Canada

       canít legally stay in Canada and must leave the country because you received a Removal Order

 

There may be other reasons that make you ineligible to sponsor your spouse, partner or child. If we determine youíre not eligible to sponsor, weíll tell you why.

Who you can sponsor

 

You can sponsor your spousecommon-law partnerconjugal partner or dependent children.

Your spouse

Your spouse can be either sex and must be:

       legally married to you

       at least 18 years old

Your common-law partner

Your common-law partner:

       isnít legally married to you

       can be either sex

       is at least 18 years old

       has been living with you for at least 12 consecutive months, meaning youíve been living together continuously for 1 year in a conjugal relationship, without any long periods apart

o   Any time spent away from each other should have been

ß  short

ß  temporary

If you or your common-law partner choose to end the relationship, we consider the relationship to be over.

Youíll need to give proof of your common-law relationship.

Your conjugal partner

Your conjugal partner:

       isnít legally married to you or in a common-law relationship with you

       can be either sex

       is at least 18 years old

       has been in a relationship with you for at least 1 year

       lives outside Canada

       can't live with you in their country of residence or marry you because of significant legal and immigration reasons such as

o   their marital status (for example, theyíre still married to someone else in a country where divorce isnít possible)

o   their sexual orientation (for example, you are in a same-sex relationship, and same-sex relationships are not accepted, or same-sex marriage is illegal where they live),

o   persecution (for example, your relationship is between different religious groups which is not accepted and they may be punished legally or socially)

Youíll need to give proof that you could not live together or get married in your conjugal partnerís country (for example, proof of refused long-term stays in each otherís country).

Dependent children

Children qualify as dependants if they meet both of these requirements:

       theyíre under 22 years old

       they donít have a spouse or common law partner

Children 22 years old or older qualify as dependants if they meet both of these requirements:

       they are unable to financially support themselves because of a mental or physical condition

       they have depended on their parents for financial support since before the age of 22

With the exception of age, your dependent child must continue to meet these requirements until we finish processing your application.

Use our online tool to check if a child qualifies as a dependant.

If they qualify as a dependent child, you can sponsor

       your own child

o   If youíre a Canadian citizen, your child may also be a Canadian citizen, even if they werenít born in Canada. You canít sponsor your child for permanent residence if theyíre Canadian citizens already. Check if your child is already a Canadian citizen.

o   If youíre sponsoring just your child, without sponsoring your spouse or partner, youíll name your child as the principal applicant in the application. Youíll have to show that the other parent or legal guardian agrees to your child immigrating to Canada. See your checklist for what youíll need to provide.

o   If the child you want to sponsor has a child of their own (your grandchild), youíll include your grandchild as a dependant in the application.

o   If you want to sponsor your adopted child or an orphaned family member, follow the instructions to sponsor your adopted child or orphaned family member instead.

       your spouse or partner and their child

o   If youíre sponsoring your spouse or partner and a child (either their own child or a child youíve had together), youíll name your spouse or partner as the principal applicant and the child as the dependant in the application.

o   If the child you want to sponsor has a child of their own, youíll include the grandchild as a dependant in the application.

 

Eligibility of the people youíre sponsoring

To show they meet the eligibility requirements, your spouse, partner, dependent child and their dependent children (if applicable) must provide:

       all required forms and documents with their application

       any additional information we request during processing, including

o   medical exams

o   biometrics

You canít sponsor someone who is inadmissible to Canada. This means theyíre not allowed to come to Canada

 

How to apply

 

To apply to sponsor your spouse, partner or child, there are 2 applications:

1.    You must apply to become a sponsor.

2.    Your spouse, partner or child must apply for permanent residence.

Send both the sponsorship and the permanent residence applications together at the same time.

If you want to sponsor your adopted child or an orphaned family member, follow the instructions to sponsor your adopted child instead.

If you live in Quebec, find out the steps to take to sponsor your spouse, partner or child in Quebec.

There are 4 steps to sponsor your spouse, partner or child:

1.     Get the application package

The application package includes the:

       document checklist for you and the persons you want to sponsor

       forms you and the persons you want to sponsor need to fill out

       instruction guide to help you and your family members fill out the forms correctly

Read the guide carefully before you complete the application form. The sponsorship application fee for processing your application canít be refunded.

Make sure:

       youíre eligible to sponsor before you apply

       you list all your family members

       all the information on your application is true

       your application is complete

Helping your spouse, partner or child with their application?

There are certain steps you need to complete if you want to:

       prepare your family membersí application for them (this would mean that youíd be acting as their representative)

       check on their application status

You have to request permission and provide the right forms with your application.

Find out how to act as a representative or access your family membersí information.

2. Pay your application fees

In most cases, your fees will include:

       processing fees for you, the persons youíre sponsoring and their dependants

       the right of permanent residence fee

       the biometrics fee

You have to pay your fees online (opens in a new tab).

Biometrics fee

In most cases, you must pay a biometrics (fingerprints and photo) fee when you submit your application. Otherwise you may experience delays. The biometrics fee covers the cost of collecting fingerprints and a digital photo.

Third-party fees

Depending on your situation, you may need to pay third parties for:

       your medical exam

       police certificate

The instruction guide can help you understand which fees apply to you.

3. Submit your application

The mailing instructions are in the application guide.

You may use a courier service to submit your application, if you want to. Courier services will help you track your application. You can also use regular mail.

Find out how long it will take to process your application.

Weíll return your application to you if:

       itís incomplete

       fees are missing

4. Send us additional information during processing

During processing, weíll ask the person youíre sponsoring to submit their:

       biometrics

o   When the biometrics fee is paid, weíll send your family members a letter asking them to give their biometrics.

o   Your family members must show this letter when they give their biometrics.

o   They have 30 days to give their biometrics in person at their closest collection point.

 

COVID-19: Changes to biometrics requirements and collection procedures

Temporary measures have been put into place for biometrics requirements and collection procedures.

Find out what to do for your biometrics

       medical exams

       police certificates

o   You need to include police certificates when you apply.

o   You need them for the person being sponsored and each family member 18 or older (who isnít already a Canadian citizen or permanent resident).

o   Police certificates are generally valid for 1 year from the date theyíre issued.

ß  Depending on processing times, we may ask you for new certificates.

Weíll send instructions and let your family members how much time they have to send us this information.

You must tell us of any change in circumstances, such as:

       birth or adoption of children

       marriage or divorce or separation

       death of an applicant or a dependant

 

If you are approved, prepare your arrival. Welcome to Canada