Spousal Sponsorship

What is Spousal Sponsorship?

In Canada, a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident who wishes to sponsor their spouse, common-law or conjugal partner can do so using the spousal sponsorship. The sponsored person can become a permanent resident using the sponsorship of their spouse. The two ways this sponsorship can be done are through inland and outland sponsorship. Keep reading to see all that is involved in spousal sponsorship.

How has COVID-19 impacted spousal sponsorship?

The pandemic affected many immigration programs in Canada, but the spousal sponsorship remains a priority according to the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). The COVID-19 disruption doesn’t affect the proceeding of spousal sponsorship as far as IRCC is concerned.

What is the total number of spouses and partners welcomed by Canada each year?

Every year, Canada targets to accommodate more than 400,000 immigrants. About 60% of the number is for skilled workers, while the remaining is for other classes of immigrants. Spouses, partners, and children all sum up to 80,000 for the family class category.

Am I Eligible to sponsor?

You will be allowed to sponsor if you meet these requirements:

How has COVID-19 impacted spousal sponsorship?

A financial proof to support your spouse

Must stand alone without the support of the government social assistance

What are the requirements to sponsor in Canada?

You need to check so many things before you can be a sponsor, but most importantly, your financial capability is top on the list. You will have to sign an undertaking that shows you can provide for the sponsored person’s basic needs; food, clothing, shelter, and medical expenses.

Once you have signed the undertaking, you are responsible for the spouse, conjugal, or common-law partner for three years or until they become a permanent resident. The undertaking remains valid even if there is a decline in your financial capability.

What is the minimum income needed to sponsor your spouse or partner?

You don’t need to meet a specific income to be considered eligible to sponsor your spouse in Canada, but you need to have the following:

This provincial restriction requirement doesn’t affect you if you are being sponsored for a disability reason or you have employment insurance benefits.

How much do I need cost to sponsor my partner or spouse?

The standard fee for spousal sponsorship totaled about CAD 1,135. The sponsorship fee is about CAD 75, while the principal applicant processing fee is CAD 475. Other fees like the right of permanent residence fee and biometrics are CAD 500 and CAD 85, respectively. All these fees make up the total of the standard fee. But, if the spouse has dependent children, an extra $150 should be considered for every child during the application process. Also, for Quebec province, you will need an additional amount of CAD 289 for processing.

Who Can I Sponsor?

If you have someone you have a genuine relationship with, which you can prove with the required supporting documents, you can sponsor the person. These three categories will give you the license to sponsor a partner or spouse:

Anyone you will be sponsoring under this sponsorship must be

An adult of at least 18 years old

Medically fit and pass all the security and background checks

Then you can go ahead and be a sponsor but not until the IRCC approves the sponsorship; the sponsored person will not receive a visa.

Is it possible to sponsor a same-sex spouse or partner?

The Canadian government doesn’t disapprove of same-sex relationships or marriage. Therefore, you can use either of the above-listed three categories to check if both partners meet the eligibility requirement. If the marriage took place outside Canada, it would only be valid if the country recognizes same-sex marriage.

How do I prove that my common-law relationship is authentic?

Before you can prove the nature and duration of the relationship, you need to provide the following document:

If you can prove all these and the relationship is genuine, then the sponsorship application process will be seamless.

How Can I Apply?

Before you begin the spousal application, the first thing to check is the eligibility conditions. Then, you must submit these two applications together:

Your spouse’s permanent residence application

Your request to sponsor your partner or spouse

The process of application is done in four steps:


Check the government website, download the instructional guide and fill out the form following the instruction correctly.


Settle all the application fees, including the Biometrics fee, right of permanent residence fee, and other fees requested by the third party.


The next thing is to submit the filled application.


Submit all the documents requested in the instructional guide.

What are Outland and Inland applications in Canada?

When processing the spousal sponsorship, there are two options couples can choose from:

Outland Sponsorship

This option is chosen when the sponsored spouse lives abroad and the other sponsoring partner resides in Canada. The abroad spouse can visit the other partner during the application process but will not be considered a permanent citizen until the application is successful. But the Canadian spouse is expected to remain in Canada till the application process is completed.

The Visa office that handles this kind of application outside Canada must be the applicant’s country of origin. Or it could be the country where the applicant has been residing for the last twelve months.

Inland Sponsorship

This sponsorship application requires both partners to be residing in Canada at the time of application. The sponsored spouse must have a temporary visa as a Canadian student, visitor or worker. None of the partners should leave Canada until the application is filed and completed.

Because of the possibility of a long processing period, the foreign spouse can apply for an open work permit that allows your spouse to work till the application is approved.

Where do I submit my spousal sponsorship application?

You can either apply in Canada at a local immigration office or a visa office outside Canada. Note, however, that if it is a conjugal partner sponsorship, submission is only possible through the outside of Canada application process.

What is the average time before a sponsorship application is approved?

The general spousal application shouldn’t take more than a year to be processed.

Will I be interviewed during the spousal application process?

Well, interviews are not a general requirement for all applications. If the information provided doesn’t look credible, an interview is the best way to find out.

What could make my application be refused?

Some of the main reasons that could contribute to application denial are:


Yes, a foreign spouse can visit their sponsoring partner before the application is approved. But this doesn’t mean they have special rights because their application is being processed.

Another thing to note is the temporary visa application. Because of the pending PR application, the immigration officers might not be quick to approve a temporary one as they need to avoid giving the partner a pass to stay in the country permanently. The best bet is to apply for a temporary visa first before beginning the spouse sponsorship application.

Your spouse or common-law partner can apply for an Open work permit and work for a Canadian employer until approved permanent residence visa.

  • Before your spouse is given the open work permit, they must:
  • Be currently living in the same residence with the spouse;
  • Apply to the immigration program in charge of spouse and common-law partner sponsorship;
  • Be a temporary resident either as a student, visitor or worker; and
  • Have all that is required under the sponsorship program.

Yes, your partner can stay with you till the application is completed and provided they don’t change their legal status. If the temporary visa expires before the permanent residency, your spouse can apply for a visitor record and guarantee a longer still until the application is approved.

There is no restriction on leaving Canada when your application is in process. But it can be hard to return if you don’t have the following:

  • A valid visa or an authorization to travel, which would be provided electronically;
  • A valid travel document and passport;
  • A valid study or work permit;