Spousal Sponsorship: Apply for Spouse Visa in Canada

As a Canadian citizen, permanent resident or a registered Indian, you can sponsor your spouse, common-law partner or conjugal partner to immigrate to Canada. Your spouse or partner may be residing with you in Canada or can even reside overseas. The Canadian Government gives you a chance to sponsor your spouse along with dependent children if any. If you meet the eligibility criteria, you can go on to sponsor your partner. Read on to know more about how our immigration lawyers in Toronto could assist you with the CIC spousal sponsorship program.

Who can you sponsor under spousal sponsorship?
If you are over the age of 18, you can sponsor the following people under the spousal sponsorship program:

  • Inland Spousal Sponsorship: Sponsor your spouse or common law partner resides with you in Canada along with their dependent children.
  • Outland Spousal Sponsorship: Sponsor your spouse or common law partner who may be residing overseas along with their dependent children. 
  • Your dependent children.
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Your undertaking as a sponsor
As a sponsor you must meet certain obligations and sign an undertaking. The undertaking proves to the Government that you will provide basic necessities and financial support to your spouse and dependent children. This means that your spouse or children that you’re sponsoring cannot ask for financial aid from the government. Basic necessities include food, clothing and daily essentials. It also includes eye care, dental care and other health expenses that are not covered by the public health care. If your spouse does receive any social assistance, then you have to pay it back during the time you are their legal sponsor. You cannot sponsor anyone new until this amount is paid off.

The undertaking is a contract that legally binds you to take care of your spouse or common-law partner even if your situation changes. The undertaking cannot be cancelled even if:

  • The person you sponsored is now a Canadian citizen.
  • In the event of a divorce or separation
  • If you face financial problems
  • If you or your spouse move to another location or province
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In a situation where you decide to change your mind, you must write to IRCC before a final decision has been made. The withdrawal has to be approved by the government for it to get cancelled.

The length of undertaking differs from case to case. For sponsorships in all parts of Canada except for Quebec, the following holds true:

  • For sponsoring a spouse or common law partner, the length of undertaking is 3 years from the day they become a permanent resident.
  • If you sponsor a dependent child who is above the age of 22, the length of undertaking is 3 years from the day they become a permanent resident.
  • If you sponsor a dependent child below the age of 22, the length of undertaking is 10 years from the day they become a permanent resident or they turn 22 (whichever event occurs first).
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Who can become a sponsor?
If you’re applying for spousal sponsorship in Toronto or anywhere in Canada, you have to meet the following criteria:

  • Must be over 18 years of age
  • A Canadian citizen or permanent resident
  • A person registered as an Indian under the Canadian Indian Act
  • You must be living in Canada. If you live outside Canada, you must show proof that you will be in Canada when the person you sponsor becomes a permanent resident.
  • Proof that you do not receive any social benefits other than disability
  • Proof of funds proving you can provide for yourself, your spouse and any dependent children.

You cannot sponsor a spouse or common law partner if:

  • You signed an undertaking for a previous partner who is not yet a permanent resident
  • You are in default of paying a loan
  • You have declared bankruptcy
  • You did not pay child support or alimony which was court ordered
  • You were convicted of a crime which was violent or sexual in nature
  • You are in jail or prison reform
  • You are under a removal order

It is critical that you meet the right criteria and make sure you can take care of the person you are sponsoring.

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Choosing the Application Class
CIC spousal sponsorship can be applied under two different classes. You can choose yours by seeing which criteria you meet:

You can apply under Family Class if:

  • This applies to spousal sponsorship outside Canada if the person you want to sponsor lives outside Canada.
  • If the person you want to sponsor is currently in Canada but does not plan to stay in Canada while the application is being processed
  • You are appealing if the application was refused
  • You are sponsoring a conjugal partner or dependent child

You can apply under Spouse or Common-Law Partner in Canada Class if:

  • The person you wish to sponsor lives with you in Canada
  • He or she has a valid immigration status to live in Canada
  • They are qualified to apply for Open Work Permit so they can work while the application is being processed

Application Package

You must provide information about who you are sponsoring, the country that person resides in and what document you might need to submit from that country such as a passport, birth certificate, military service documents, marriage certificates etc. This checklist goes at the top as a cover letter of your application.

Gathering Documents

When submitting your documents, be sure to only submit the ones that apply to you and if IRCC requires more documentation, they will reach out. If the documents are not in English or French, you must provide a certified copy of the original document. If you have any doubts or confusions, you can contact a sponsorship immigration lawyer in Toronto to get answers.

Police Certificates

The principal applicant and each family member who is older than 18 years of age has to provide a police certificate from the current country of residence if you’ve resided there for 6 months or more. You must also provide a certificate from the country you spent most of your life since the age of 18.


The photos will be used post approval to be printed on a PR card. You must provide photos that meet certain specifications. Give us a call and we’ll help you out with the details.