Family Visa Process in Canada: How to Sponsor Your Spouse, Partner, or Dependent Child

If you are a citizen of Canada or a permanent resident with family members who want to immigrate to the country, the Canadian immigration system allows you to sponsor them to become a permanent resident. Canada’s Family Class Sponsorship Program is designed for families to reunite, wherein any adult citizen or permanent resident can sponsor a relative to immigrate to the country.

To be eligible for immigration to Canada, the candidate seeking sponsorship should be a:

  • Spouse: Legally married in the country of origin or under Canadian law.
  • Conjugal Partner: The person should have a conjugal relationship with the sponsor for a minimum of 12 months, where the couple is not living together due to religious factors, immigration barriers, marital status or other reasons.
  • Common-law Partner: Minimum 1 year of living together uninterrupted in a conjugal relationship.
  • Dependent Child: He/she must be under 22 years of age, a child of the sponsor, or a child of his/her spouse or common-law partner. The dependent child should not have their own spouse or common-law partner.

Canada Spouse visa

The family member you are sponsoring must reside outside Canada unless living temporarily in the country under student permit or work visa.

Eligibility to Sponsor Family Visa in Canada

You might be eligible to sponsor the immigration of your spouse, partner, or dependent children if:

  • Your age is 18 years or more
  • You are a citizen or permanent resident of Canada
  • You are currently living in Canada. If you aren’t living in the country at present, you can still sponsor your family members. However, you will have to demonstrate that you will live in the country once the immigrant family members become a permanent resident
  • You and the person you are sponsoring should sign an undertaking validating that both of you understand responsibilities and obligations towards each other
  • You must sign an agreement promising that you will provide the basic requirements to the person you have sponsored

However, certain changes have been implemented in Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (CIC) since 2012. Additionally, the IRCC has also eliminated the Conditional Permanent Residence rule with regard to sponsoring spouse and partner. To know the changes, we recommend seeking help from our professional immigration consultant.

How to Apply?

There are two applications you must submit to apply for sponsoring the immigration of your spouse, partner, or dependent child to Canada. These are:

  1. Application to become a sponsor
  2. Permanent Residence application to be submitted by your spouse, partner or child

Both the applications should be submitted together to the Immigration and Citizenship Department of the Government of Canada.

There are four steps to apply for sponsoring your family members, as discussed above. These include:

  1. Get Your Sponsorship Application Package

The application package provided by the Government of Canada includes:

  • Forms that the sponsor and the person to be sponsored have to fill out
  • Document checklist to know what documents to submit
  • Instruction guide to help fill out the forms in a correct manner

Before submitting the forms, properly list all the family members you want to sponsor, and that the application is complete and all information provided on it is true. You can also choose to be a representative of the person you are sponsoring, filling out their permanent residence application form, and checking the status.

  1. Pay the Fees Online

The fees you have to pay would include:

  • Application processing fee
  • Biometrics fee
  • Right of permanent residence fee

In certain cases, you may also need to pay a fee for your medical exam and police certificate. Check the instruction guide to know what and how to pay the fees.

  1. Submit the Application

The mailing address to submit your application is provided here. You can send it via regular mail or choose a courier service to track your application. You can also check the status of your application.

  1. Provide Additional Information during Application Processing

The additional information you need to provide when your application is being processed are:

  • Biometrics: Your sponsored family members must provide biometrics within 30 days of receiving a letter asking for the same. Check the nearest collection center.
  • Medical Exams

You must also provide the details in case of changes in circumstances like birth or adopting children, death of an applicant, and marriage, divorce, or separation.

Sponsoring immigration of your spouse, partner, or child can be a complex process. It is important to have an experienced immigration consultant to help you.


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