Spouse/partner sponsorship

Canada understands family reunification and its responsibility towards keeping loved ones together. Hence, Canada offers several immigration programs that allow Canadians to sponsor their family members to Canada.

The Canadian laws that regulate immigration consider keeping the families united as its top priority. Hence, this spouse/partner sponsorship class allows permanent residents (P.R.) to sponsor their spouse or partner as long as they fulfill the government laws.

The Canadian government defines the following three main categories of Spouse/Partnership relationships.

  • Spouse: The person you are legally married to in either Canada or abroad and is compliant with the laws of the country where the marriage took place. Canadian law also recognizes same-sex spouses.
  • Common-Law Partner:This category includes either a member of the opposite sex or the same sex. The only requirement is that you and your partner must have at least a year's old marital (or conjugal) relationship.
  • Conjugal Partner: A conjugal partner is a partner of either the same sex or the opposite sex in exceptional circumstances beyond their control that disallows them to qualify in the first two categories. This type of relationship is more than physical and is defined by a level of permanence and responsibility where both the individuals depend on each other.

Note that the process to sponsor family members under the above categories is relatively similar.


Any person who wants to sponsor a spouse/partner must:

  • Be at least 18 years of age and a citizen of Canada or its permanent resident.
  • Be ready to sign an agreement with the government that they are financially responsible for sponsoring any dependents for 3-years after entering as a permanent resident and upwards of 10 years or until the age of 25, whichever comes first, for the dependents.
  • Be able to prove a legal marriage in either Canada or following the laws of the country it was held in.
  • Prove a dependent relationship for a minimum of 1 year in the case of a conjugal or common-law partner.
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