How to Sponsor a Spouse?

To sponsor a spouse in Canada in 2023, you must:

  • Be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident.
  • Prove that you have enough financial support to take care of your spouse.
  • Provide proof of your relationship with your spouse (e.g. marriage certificate).
  • Meet the eligibility criteria set by the Canadian government.
  • Submit a complete sponsorship application to the government.
  • Pay the processing fees.
  • Attend an interview, if required.
  • Wait for the government’s decision on your application. Note: The process can take several months to a year.

What Is A Spousal Sponsorship Program?

Spousal sponsorship is a program in which a Canadian citizen or permanent resident can sponsor their spouse or common-law partner to come to Canada as a permanent resident. The sponsor must demonstrate that they can provide financial support for their spouse and meet certain eligibility requirements set by the Canadian government. The sponsored spouse must undergo medical, security and criminal background checks, and if approved, will receive a permanent resident visa and be able to live and work in Canada. The goal of the program is to reunite families and support the integration of sponsored individuals into Canadian society.

Eligibility to Sponsor Spouse in Canada or who can Sponsor their Spouse

To sponsor a spouse under the spousal sponsorship program in Canada, the sponsor must:

  • Be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident.
  • Prove that they are 18 years of age or older.
  • Meet the minimum necessary income requirements.
  • Sign an undertaking promising to provide financial support for the sponsored spouse for a set period of time, usually three years.
  • Pass security and criminal background checks.
  • Not have a history of family violence, serious criminal activity or immigration violations.

Outland Sponsorship

Outland sponsorship refers to the process of sponsoring a spouse or common-law partner who is living outside of Canada. This type of sponsorship allows the sponsored spouse to apply for permanent residency from their country of residence, rather than from within Canada.

Inland Sponsorship

Inland sponsorship refers to the process of sponsoring a spouse or common-law partner who is already living in Canada with temporary status (e.g. as a visitor, student or worker). In this type of sponsorship, the sponsored spouse can apply for permanent residency from within Canada, rather than from their country of origin.

Spousal Sponsorship Application Documents Requirements

When submitting a spousal sponsorship application, the following documents are typically required:

  • Completed sponsorship application form.
  • Proof of the sponsor’s Canadian citizenship or permanent residency.
  • Proof of the sponsor’s age (e.g. birth certificate).
  • Proof of the sponsor’s relationship with the sponsored spouse (e.g. marriage certificate).
  • Proof of financial support for the sponsored spouse (e.g. pay stubs, T4 slips, bank statements).
  • Undertaking of support form, signed by the sponsor.
  • Proof of the sponsored spouse’s identity (e.g. passport, birth certificate).
  • Police certificates for both the sponsor and the sponsored spouse.
  • Medical examination results for the sponsored spouse.
  • Sponsored spouse’s signed consent to release personal information to the government.
  • Application fee payment receipt.

Do I Need A Job To Sponsor My Spouse In Canada?

No, having a job is not a requirement to sponsor a spouse in Canada. However, the sponsor must prove that they have enough income to support their spouse and any dependents without relying on government financial assistance. This can be demonstrated through a variety of means, such as pay stubs, T4 slips, bank statements, or a letter from an employer indicating the sponsor’s annual income.

What Is The Cost To Sponsor Your Spouse To Canada?

The cost (Government fees for spousal sponsorship) could include the application fees ($75 for the sponsorship application and $475 for the permanent residence application), medical exam fees, language test fees, Biometrics $85 and the Right of Permanent Residence Fee ($500).

Does My Spouse Need To Demonstrate Language Proficiency?

No, your spouse does not need to demonstrate English or French language proficiency.

Processing time for Spouse sponsorship in Canada

How long does it take to sponsor your spouse or partner to Canada? As of 2021, the average processing time for a spousal sponsorship application is approximately 12 months. However, processing times can vary widely, and some applications may be processed more quickly, while others may take longer.

How do I submit a spousal sponsorship application?

A spousal sponsorship application can be submitted through Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) online or by mail. You will need to provide documents and other information that verify the relationship between you and your spouse, as well as proof of income and other information.


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