How to Sponsor your Spouse to Canada

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In today’s Canada, spousal sponsorship is a very crucial component of immigration. Family reunification is a key immigration goal for Canada because it can only attract young skilled workers if they can settle with their spouses/partners, children, and dependent relatives. This is why Canada has clear and defined procedures allowing citizens or permanent residents to sponsor their family members to become permanent residents of the country. Read on for an overview of the Canadian family sponsorship procedure.


Who is eligible to sponsor?

  • You must be a citizen or permanent resident of Canada.
  • You must be at least 18 years old.
  • You do not receive any type of social aid. If you are disabled, this is the single exception.
  • You have the financial means to meet the basic necessities of the individual you’re sponsoring. This means that you must reach or surpass the Low Income Cut-Off regulations in your state.


You can sponsor your..

Spouse i.e. a person who is 18 years or older and is legally married to you, or Common-law partner i.e. a person who is not legally married to you but is 18 years or older and has been in a relationship with you for 12 months or more, or Conjugal partner i.e. a person who is not legally married but is 18 years or older, in a relationship with you for 12 months or more, and who cannot marry or cohabit with you in your native country due to significant legal or immigration reasons.

These reasons could include a ban on divorce or same-sex relationships in your country, or if your spouse is being persecuted for his or her religious beliefs.


Agreement on Spousal Sponsorship

This is the most crucial part of your sponsorship request. You formally agree and promise to financially support your sponsored partner for a period of three years from the date of permanent residency approval.


Your financial responsibility will continue even if

  • You divorce your spouse after his/her entry into Canada
  • Your spouse becomes a citizen of Canada.
  • Your financial situation deteriorates, or
  • After your spouse’s PR application was accepted, you requested to withdraw the sponsorship application.


With the submission of the sponsorship application and your spouse’s application for permanent residence in Canada, the process of spousal sponsorship may appear to be very simple. However, working with an immigration lawyer is recommended because sponsorship applications can take time to process and there can be a lot of changes—both positive and bad—that can effect the process.

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