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Sponsoring Your Spouse into Canada

If you’re a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident of Canada, you can bring your non-Canadian spouse or partner to Canada, where they, too can become a permanent resident.

This process is called a spousal sponsorship. This can be done whether you are residing in Canada or not, though the process is a bit different.

There are certain guidelines that you must meet as a sponsor in order to get your significant other to Canada.

Requirements to Be a Sponsor

There are stipulations that apply to the sponsor’s approval. These are:

  • Be at least 18 years old.
  • Be a resident of Canada.
  • Cannot have sponsored a spouse within the last five years.
  • Sign a financial agreement stating that they will be financially responsible for the spouse for a period of three years.
  • Not be under a removal order.
  • Not be in prison.
  • Not have been convicted of any sexual crime.
  • Not have been convicted of a violent crime that carries a punishment of more than 10 years imprisonment.
  • Not have been convicted of a crime that involves bodily harm to a relative or partner.
  • Not have defaulted on a previous sponsorship.
  • Not be in default of any court-ordered support payments.
  • Not have an undischarged bankruptcy.
  • Not be a recipient of social assistance other than for a disability.

Rules for spouse or partner

There are also requirements that those who wish to immigrate need to fulfill:

  • Demonstrate a genuine relationship. One of the things that the authorities are looking out for is a relationship that is fabricated in order to immigrate. The sponsorship application will be refused if there is any indication that the pairing isn’t genuine. Authorities will look at the length of the relationship, the compatibility between partners, and how the marriage was performed.
  • Spouse or Partner cannot be criminally inadmissible. If a prospective immigrant has been convicted of a crime in their country of origin that is also a punishable offense in Canada, they will not be allowed to receive legal immigration status. This rule applies to what may seem like minor offenses, like shoplifting or driving while impaired. There are some ways to still become a Canadian citizen, however. A convicted person could attempt to have the conviction vacated or they can be considered rehabilitated if the infraction occurred a significant amount of time ago.

Categories of Spousal sponsorship

There are three types of relationships recognized in terms of immigration:

They are:

  • A traditional marriage relationship. A marriage certificate will need to be supplied for verification.
  • A common-law partnership. A marriage-like relationship in which two adults have been living together consistently for one year or more.
  • A conjugal partnership. A marriage-like relationship in which two adults have not been able to live together for a continuous year due to circumstances out of their control.

Sometimes the process of spousal sponsorship can be confusing. You may want to find a reputable immigration lawyer to lend some guidance and answer any questions that come up.


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