Sponsor your Spouse

two hands reaching out to each other / sponsor your spouse canada

Canada values keeping families together and that is reflected in their immigration goals. If you are married with a spouse outside of Canada, you can sponsor your spouse for a work permit.  

Sponsor Your Spouse or Common Law Partner 

Fortunately, Canada doesn’t set strict requirements on the Canadian spouse. There is no minimum number of years you have to have been married nor does the sponsored spouse have to have some experience in Canada. 

However, for common law, you must live together for at least a year, present proof that you are in a good faith relationship, and declare your partner legally. 

Who Can Sponsor: 

  • Study Permit Holder
  • Work Permit Holder 
  • Permanent Resident
  • Citizen

Sponsor Eligibility Requirements:

  • Over 18 years old
  • Canadian Citizen or Indigenous person
  • Prove that no social assistance is not being received
  • Can financially provide for the sponsored person

The main thing that could disqualify you is the failure to demonstrate financial stability. You have to prove that you have enough money to support your dependents for the next three years at least. 

Sponsee Eligibility Requirements

  • Over 18 years old
  • Be in a genuine relationship with the sponsor
  • Not be inadmissible, such as being a convict, etc

Overall, the person being sponsored has to be recognised as a spouse or legal partner. Any other family member such as parent, sibling, or extended family cannot be sponsored under these conditions. In addition, medical, security, and background checks have to be passed. 

People already living in Canada as a temporary worker or as a student can be sponsored as well, but the application will require other steps and different forms (which will not be covered in this article). 

How to Apply

There are a lot of applications to fill out. Both the sponsor and the spouse being sponsored have to submit their own set of forms. 

The steps for the application process are as follows:

  1. Get your application kit – The government of Canada has compiled all the forms you’ll need according to where the sponsored spouse resides. It also includes a checklist and all the basic forms that need to be filled out.
  2. Gather your documents – For some countries, extra documents and forms are required in the sponsorship process. However, spouses and partners coming from the Philippines do not need to submit anything additional to the regular forms. 
  3. Fill out the forms – The checklist from the first step will guide you on the forms you’re required to fill out. Take your time on this step and make sure everything is accurately filled.
  4. Pay the fees – There are biometrics fees and sponsorship fees. Biometrics costs $85CAD per person while sponsorship fees can get up to $1,050CAD. The $1,050 total includes a sponsorship fee, applicant processing fee, and permanent residence fee. You can decide to opt out for the permanent residence fee, which will come to a total of $550CAD. 
  5. Double check for mistakes – Look over the checklist and then check again. Incomplete or inaccurate applications will not be reviewed and you may not even be notified.
  6. Submit your application – Make a photocopy for your own reference. Submit the application in the order of checklist, open work permit (if applicable), barcode pages, and supporting documents. 

After Applying

Processing time can vary, but currently you may have to wait at least a full year before hearing back. For any reason that may come up, you are free to contact the IRCC through your online account, through email, or physical mail. Regardless, you’ll be contacted if more information is required, there’s an update, a decision has been made, or your application has been transferred.

Sources: Spouse Sponsorship Guide on Sponsorship Help your Spouse Work in Canada

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