Spousal Sponsorship


If you, a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, married a non-Canadian spouse, you can submit a sponsorship application for your spouse to have the ability to live together in Canada as a family. There are 2 types of spousal sponsorship applications: Inland and Outland. Inland application means that the person to be sponsored currently resides in Canada with the sponsor and the application will be processed from inside Canada. Inland applicants are also eligible for an open spousal work permit which allows the sponsored person to remain and work in Canada on a valid temporary status while the sponsorship application is processing. Outland application means that the person to be sponsored resides outside of Canada. These applications will be received by a processing office in Canada first, and then will be transferred to applicable visa center abroad for finalization of the application.

In order to be eligible for this class of application, the applicants must present a valid marriage certificate and ensure that the marriage is valid under the law of the country where it took place as well as under the Canadian law. Individually, the sponsor and the sponsored person must meet certain criteria in order to pass eligibility criteria:

Sponsor must be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of at least 18 years old. In case if the sponsor is a permanent resident, there is a 5-year ban that restricts them from sponsoring a spouse if the sponsor him/herself were sponsored to come to Canada under a spousal class. While there are no financial requirements for this type of sponsorship, the sponsor must be financially sustainable and not be a recipient of any social assistance from the government other than disability. If the sponsor had previous negative encounters with the law, it might affect the sponsor’s eligibility.

Sponsored Person must be legally married to the sponsor. Besides that, there are not many other requirements for the sponsored person unless there were any previous negative encounters with the law. Depending on the convictions and charges previously imposed on the sponsored person and time elapsed since completion of imposed sentenced, the sponsored person might need to apply for criminal rehabilitation or be eligible for deemed rehabilitation.


A couple is considered to be in a Common Law relationship if they had continuously resided together at the same address for at least 12 months. Besides proving joint residence, the couple also needs to prove codependency to each other and merging of their lives together by way of holding joint utility accounts or owning/renting property together. Just like inland spousal class, common law partners in Canada allow for the sponsored person to be eligible for an open spousal work permit.

In order to be eligible for this class of application, the applicants must have sufficient proof of joint residence for at least 12 months prior to submitting the application. Both, the sponsor and the sponsored person must meet the same eligibility criteria as spousal class.


This class of sponsorship applies to couples that are not able to be married to each other or cannot live together as common law partners. The couple must prove that they had been in a serious relationship of at least one year. Applicants that submit a sponsorship application under this class must prove that no other option is available to them. This class generally applies to sponsored persons who live in countries where divorce is not possible or where same-sex marriage is not recognized. Such partners may not be able to obtain long-stay visas in order to live together and meet the cohabitation requirement as common-law partners. When the option of marriage is not available, such couples could be permanently separated. In all other respects, conjugal partner couples are similar to a common-law couple or a married couple.

In order to be eligible for this class of application, the applicants must provide strong supporting documents with regard to their relationship explaining why marriage or common law class is not applicable to them. Both, the sponsor and the sponsored person must meet the same eligibility criteria as spousal class.


As a sponsor you are required to provide for the sponsored person for 3 years since their landing to Canada as a permanent resident. This means that you need to provide for their basic needs such housing and financial support. If you, the sponsor, currently reside outside Canada, you need to show intent of your return once your partner gains permanent resident status.


The processing of a sponsorship application is 12 months per IRCC processing times; however, government times are never guaranteed and are always subject to change. The government fee payable to IRCC is $1,125 CAD which is $550 processing fee $490 right of permanent residence fee and $85 biometric fee.


While there is no legal requirement to hire third party to assist with the preparation and submission of a sponsorship application, we highly encourage to take advantage of experienced professionals who can help you navigate through requirements, document collection, application process, and waive the interview portion of the sponsorship application. There are many documents that are not listed on the document checklist that can be provided in support of an application or in lieu if certain documents that the sponsor or the sponsored person are not able to provide. Our firm can assist you in submitting the strongest application for you and your partner without raising any doubts from the assessing officer if your relationship is genuine.


Encubate is a professional immigration consulting firm providing full support to individuals seeking to sponsor their family members to have the chance to be reunited together in Canada. We offer to take over the entire process that will involve minimal involvement from your end starting from collection of documents and necessary information to instructions on how and where to submit passports to obtain the permanent residence visa.


Are you interested in bringing a loved one to Canada? Want to learn about sponsoring your spouse, parents, or children? If you do not know where to look or how to start, we invite you to book an eligibility consultation with us in order to guide you on your career journey to Canada.