Spousal Sponsorship as a way of Canadian Immigration



The Immigration system of Canada has a prime focus on Sponsorship between Spouses, further depicted by Canada’s novel goal of extending its arms to nearly 80,000 immigrants on an annual basis, as per the Immigration Levels Plan 2021-2023, leveraging its Spousal, Partner, and Children category. The majority of these applicants shall belong to the category of partners and spouses connected to permanent residents and Canadian citizens.

Owing to the onset of the pandemic spousal sponsorship applications have witnessed a stark delay in their processing times. Fortunately, the IRCC (Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada) has vouched to bring this back on track once this virus outbreak has subsided to a significant extent.

This article presents information to Canadian citizens/PRs who wish to sponsor their loved ones in order to feasibly immigrate to Canada using this scheme.

Information about the Process

PRs, as well as Canadian citizens, are eligible to conduct sponsorship of their common-law partner, spouses, or conjugal partners in order to gain PR status by immigrating to the country. However, the Canadian permanent resident or citizen, i.e. the sponsor and the foreigner who will be the sponsored person need to receive approval from the IRCC.

For this, they must depict how their personal relationships belong to either of the aforementioned criteria. One must note that same-sex relationships are legalized within the country.

  • Common-Law partner
  • Conjugal partner
  • Spouse

Sponsor Criteria

Provided the Canadian PRs and/or citizens in question are able to satisfy the conditions below, they are eligible for sponsoring their loved ones.

  • be of a minimum of 18 years of age
  • void of receiving social assistance with an exception of having a disability
  • capable of financially supporting the individual wishing to be sponsored
  • should be a PR, or a Canadian citizen or an Indian living within Canada registered as per the norms of the Canadian Indian Act. Those citizens residing abroad need to prove to the IRCC that they’ll migrate to Canada once their spouse/partner receives the sponsorship. In the case of PRs, they need to be living within the country to gain eligibility

Sponsored Person Criteria

In order to be sponsored, one must belong to either of these three group categories and should mandatorily be of a minimum of 18 years of age:

  • Common-Law Partner: In case the partner isn’t married legally to his/her sponsor, a minimum of a 12-month live-in period is compulsory to be considered for sponsorship.
  • Spouse: A legal marriage is necessary between the Canadian PR/citizen and the concerned spouse to be sponsored.
  • Conjugal Partner: Legal marriage isn’t a compulsion in this case. However, the status of a conjugal partner is levied to a person who has formed a minimum of a year-long relationship with the sponsor, lives outside the country, and hasn’t been capable of marrying said sponsor. For this, there could be a number of reasons like religious grounds, cultural differences, or legal issues.

Steps to Apply for Spousal Sponsorship

The IRCC requests for a total of two applications to be submitted simultaneously, namely the PR application as well as the Sponsorship application.

[a] Discover your eligibility to sponsor someone.

[b] Apply for the application package distributed by the IRCC.

[c] Complete payment processing of the incurred costs via the IRCC website, which would be inclusive of fees for biometrics as well as the right of PR fees.

[d] Both of the above-completed applications are to be mailed to the IRCC.

Post-Approval Responsibilities

  • The sponsors now have the official responsibility of taking care of their loved ones for a minimum of three years.
  • The ones who received sponsorship cannot sponsor any other individual/s for a minimum period of five years since their own sponsorship date.

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