Can I sponsor my “spouse” or relative to come to Canada?

One of the fastest pathways to becoming a permanent resident of Canada is via a family sponsorship. In this guide, we will discuss who is eligible to sponsor, who is eligible to be sponsored and the responsibilities that come with spousal sponsorships.

Can I be a sponsor?

Most adult Citizens or Permanent Residents of Canada are eligible to sponsor spouses or family members. Reasons you may be ineligible include inability to provide for your spouse’s basic needs, a prior conviction for a violent or sexual crime, current incarceration or current dependence on non-disability related social assistance.

Who can I sponsor?

Naturally, if you have a legal spouse, of either gender, who is over the age of 18, you may sponsor them. However, you may also sponsor your Common-Law Partner or Conjugal Partner. Your romantic partner will be a Common-Law Partner if they have lived with you for at least a year.

A romantic partner can qualify as a Conjugal Partner in one of two ways. In both circumstances they must be someone with whom you have been in a relationship for at least a year and who does not currently reside in Canada. Additionally, they must be unable, for some significant legal or immigration reason, to live with you in their country of residence or to marry you.

If, for instance, you and your partner have been refused long term stays in each other’s countries, or your partner has previously been married in The Philippines (where divorce is illegal), then your partner might well qualify as a Conjugal Partner, and thus be eligible for sponsorship.

As well as romantic partners, you can sponsor dependent children. These can be your own children or the children of your spouse. They must be under the age of 22 (unless they are prevented due to a physical or mental condition for supporting themselves), and neither married nor in a common law relationship. If your child meets these conditions and has a child of their own, you may also be able to sponsor your grandchild.

Spouses, partners or dependent children may meet these requirements and still be deemed inadmissible if they have committed or been convicted of a crime.

Lovers who love truly do not write down their happiness.

Anatole France - La Bûche [The Log] (November 30, 1859)