What is Family Sponsorship

The Spousal Sponsorship program is a part of the Family Class immigration category. It is designed to allow a Canadian citizen or permanent resident to sponsor their spouse or common-law partner for Canadian permanent residence.

Both the sponsor (Canadian citizen or permanent resident) and the sponsored person (foreign national) need to be approved by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) for the sponsored person to receive a visa.


o qualify for a visa through this program, the sponsor and sponsored person need to prove that their relationship falls within one of the following three categories:

  • Spouse
  • Common-law Partner
  • Conjugal Partner

It is important to note that same-sex marriage is recognized in Canada and same-sex partners are also eligible to apply under any of the above three categories, as long as they meet all other eligibility requirements.

The sponsor and the sponsored person must meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • They both must be at least 18 years old.
  • They must demonstrate their relationship as genuine and is not entered just to become permanent residents in Canada.
  • They must prove their intention to live together in Canada.
    Common law partners, including both opposite-and same-sex, who have been living together with another person in a marriage-like setting for more than 12 consecutive months or a period of one year, can sponsor if they meet the eligibility requirements.
  • Conjugal partner, including both opposite-and same-sex relationships, who is living outside Canada and has had a binding relationship with the sponsor for at least one year but could not live with their partner.

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