If you are a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, you can sponsor your spouse (husband or wife) to immigrate to Canada as permanent resident. You are a spouse if you are married to your sponsor and your marriage is legally valid.
If you were married in Canada:
- You must have a marriage certificate issued by the province or territory where the marriage took place.
If you were married outside Canada:
- The marriage must be valid under the law of the country where it took place and under Canadian law.
- A marriage performed in an embassy or consulate must comply with the law of the country where it took place, not the country of nationality of the embassy or consulate.
An application for Family Class sponsorship can be made if your spouse lives inside or outside Canada. If you sponsor your spouse to come to Canada as a permanent resident, it is your responsibility to provide for your own essential needs and those of your spouse. You are responsible for supporting your spouse when he or she arrives. As a sponsor, you must make sure your spouse does not need to seek social assistance from the government.
Requirements for Sponsoring a Spouse
The first step is for you to apply as the sponsor. Both you, as the sponsor, and your relative must meet certain requirements.
Applicants for permanent residence must go through medical, criminal and background screening. Applicants with a criminal record may not be allowed to enter Canada. People who pose a risk to Canada's security are also not allowed to enter Canada. Applicants may have to provide a certificate from police authorities in their home country.
Effective October 25, 2012, sponsored spouses or partners must now live together in a legitimate relationship with their sponsor for two years from the day they receive permanent residence status in Canada.
If you are a spouse or partner being sponsored to come to Canada, this applies to you if:
- You are being sponsored by a permanent resident or Canadian citizen
- You have been in a relationship for two years or less with your sponsor
- You have no children in common
- Your application was received on or after October 25, 2012
How to Apply for Spousal Sponsorship
You can apply for spousal sponsorship through CIC or using our certified immigration services. If you wish to avail our services, as the first step, your spouse (person being sponsored) should complete this evaluation form. Once we get the spouse information, we will determine eligibility and provide you with further information.