Spousal Sponsorship

A Canadian citizen or permanent resident can sponsor their spouse to come to Canada and live permanently. We know how important it is for families to stay together. As a result, spousal sponsorship applications are given top priority.


If you are a Canadian citizen or permanent resident and meet the requirements for this program, you may be able to sponsor your spouse or common-law partner.

Common-law Sponsorships

Common-law relationships in Canada are treated the same as conventional marriages under immigration law. To qualify for common-law sponsorship, you must have lived together for a year or longer in a marriage-like relationship.

Conjugal relationships

They have been in a conjugal relationship with their sponsor for at least one year. Their relationship is committed and interdependent of some permanence, and their affairs have been combined to the greatest extent possible

Same-Sex Partners

Same-sex spouses or partners in Canada must follow the same sponsorship rules as opposite-sex spouses or partners. A marriage certificate from the province or territory in which you got married is required if you were married inside Canada.

Inland Spousal Sponsorship

You should apply under the Spouse or Common-Law Partner in Canada (Inland) category if:

The sponsor lives in Canada with you

And you have valid immigration status in Canada

While your application is being processed, you would like to apply for an open work permit in order to work in Canada

If your spouse or common-law partner is out of status in Canada, they may be able to submit under this stream as well while being protected by a public policy that permits them to remain in Canada until the application has been fully processed. However, this particular stream comes with the disadvantage of not being able to travel outside of Canada while the application is being processed.

Outland Spousal Sponsorship

Applicants should apply under the Family Class (Outland) sponsorship option if:

Your spouse or common-law partner (i.e. "the applicant") lives outside of Canada

Although you currently live in Canada with your sponsor, you do not plan to remain here during the application process

The downside of using this stream is that, until your application is approved, you will probably not be able to live with your spouse. During the processing of your spouse’s outland sponsorship application, your spouse can apply for a temporary visa to come to Canada.