Under family sponsorship, Canadian Citizens and Permanent Residents can sponsor their close family members for permanent residence.
Canada has one of the most generous family reunification programs in the developed world. Canadian government is committed to keeping families together whenever possible, and prioritizes the processing of sponsorship applications.
Citizens of Canada or Permanent Residents (P.R.) can reunite with their spouse, common-law partner or conjugal partner under spousal sponsorship. Spousal sponsorship is considered the fastest and the easiest way for couples to reunite as long as they meet the requirements as laid out by the government.
Who can be invited under spousal sponsorship: (Note: same-sex marriages are recognized under Canadian law.)
- Spouse: A person you are legally married to, either in Canada or in any other country. The marriage should be valid and in accordance with the law of the country where it took place.
- Common Law Partner: You and your partner should have been living in a conjugal relationship for at least one year (12 months) continuously.
- Conjugal Partner: If you and your partner have not been able to physically live together due to exceptional circumstances beyond your control. In this case, the level of permanence and commitment between the two partners is considered.
A sponsor must
- Be a Canadian Citizen or a Permanent Resident of Canada and at least 18 years of age.
- Be willing to sign the undertaking that as a sponsor, they are financially responsible for the sponsored person for up to 3 years and in case of dependents upwards of 10 years after they enter Canada as Permanent Residents.
- Be able to show a legal marriage either in Canada or under the laws of the jurisdiction that it was carried out in.
- Be able to show evidence of a dependent relationship for a minimum of 1 year in the case of a Conjugal or Common Law Partner.
There might be additional requirements for people who have been married for less than 2 years and have no children. The Government of Canada has taken steps to prevent abuse of the system and identify any “Marriages of Convenience.”