Sponsoring A Partner

As an eligible adult over the age of 18, permanent residents living in Canada, Canadian citizens living or planning to live in Canada, or those qualifying under the Canadian Indian Act can sponsor spouses, partners or children to live in Canada as permanent residents.

The eligibility requirements include the ability to financially care for the individuals sponsored, as well as the commitment they will not require social assistance. While Canadian citizens can apply to sponsor a spouse, partner and/or children when living outside of Canada, they have to demonstrate they are returning to Canada to live as a sponsor. There is no specific income requirement unless the sponsored dependent has one or more dependent children.

To meet these requirements, all sponsors outside of the province of Quebec must agree to an undertaking. This is a promise to the provincial or territorial government to financially support the sponsored person or people for a set amount of time and to agree to pay back any social assistance used by the sponsored family. The sponsored individual, if an adult, must also promise to support the family members to the best of their ability.

This is slightly different in Quebec, where the ministry determines the income required for the sponsorship based on the case.

Qualifying individuals can sponsor common-law partners when the couple has lived together for at least twelve months consecutively, or the same duration of a relationship with a conjugal partner if a marriage or relationship cannot occur in their country or for specific immigration or legal reasons. In Canada, the partner may be either gender.

Dependent children must be under 22 years of age and not married or have a common-law relationship with a partner or a spouse. In some cases, children over 22 may also qualify, such as children with physical or mental disabilities. Dependents include your own children, a grandchild, an adopted child, or a relative who is orphaned. It is also possible to sponsor a partner or spouse and a child of your relationship or a child of another relationship. Contact our immigration consultant in Toronto.


Some people cannot sponsor others. This includes those not living in Canada as citizens or planning to return, and permanent residents not living in the country at the time of the application. People on study permits, work visas, and those who are not approved as permanent residents, even if the process has started, cannot sponsor a spouse, partner, or child.

If you were a sponsored partner or child less than 5 years ago, or if you are currently financially responsible for a sponsored spouse or child, you cannot apply to sponsor another until the undertaking agreement is completed. In addition, those who are incarcerated, delinquent with repayment of loans, bonds, or court-ordered family support, are in bankruptcy and not discharged, or those who have been convicted or accused of a violent crime or are on social assistance (other than disability), cannot be a sponsor.


The sponsor and the individuals being sponsored need to complete the respective applications. The applications are submitted together, so it is essential to coordinate the process.

All applicants will need to complete the required paperwork provided in the application. This package includes a guide and checklist ofdocumentation as well as all instructions and required forms.

For parents sponsoring children, or for any type of assistance from the sponsor incompleting the documentation for the partner or spouse, the sponsor can act as the representative. This requires permission and additional forms.

The completed application package and all required documentation must to submitted with the required fees. This includes processing, biometric, and permanent resident fees. These fees are determined by the number of individuals sponsored. In addition, the spouse, partner or child may need to obtain a police certificate, for those over 18, and medical exams for each individual in their country of current residence.

Delays can occur if documentation is not provided, is not complete, or if the application has errors or omissions. The process is also delayed if the fees are no included or requests for additional information after submission are not completed. The biometrics request letter must be presented, and digital photographs and fingerprints completed in 30 days of receipt.

Once all documentation, information, applications, and fees are submitted, the process fee is no longer refundable. At this time, the sponsor will receive an application number, receipt, and information on the eligibility of the sponsor and the individuals being sponsored.

If both the sponsor and those being sponsored are approved for eligibility, the application can be linked to their online account. This provides a fast and effective method of determining the status, responding to requests, and helping to speed up the process.

As with all types of applications for permanent residency in Canada, any changes to the status of those being sponsored must be reported. This includes marriages, separations, or divorces, as well as births and deaths related to the application.

Upon approval of the request, the individuals immigrating to the country will need copies or original passport documents, 2 pictures, as well as any outstanding payment for the right of permanent residence fee.

Once this is received, the people being sponsored will receive a document that is called the Confirmation of Permanent Residence and a visa, if required for entry into Canada. The family members must enter Canada during the time these documents are valid. They should be aware of the importance of providing answers to all questions, including information of any money, bonds,  stocks, travellers’cheques, or money orders they are bringing into the country.

They will meet with an immigration officer upon arrival, and this will be a pre-scheduled appointment known as a landing interview. It is up to the immigration officer to make the final decision as to their ability to remain in the country as permanent residents. If they are refused, the reasons why are provided, and it is possible for the sponsor to appeal this decision if they are outside of the country.

For those approved through the interview process, the permanent resident card will be mailed to the address on file and on the letter of Confirmation of Permanent Residence. It is essential to keep all information updated to avoid problems in receiving the required permanent residency documentation.