Spousal and Common-law Partner Sponsorship
The person sponsored for Permanent Residence must be at least 18 years old and qualify under one of the following three categories:
The sponsor and the sponsored person are legally married. This means that the marriage is recognized under Canadian law and is valid under the laws of the country where the wedding took place.
- Common law partner
The sponsor and the sponsored person have been living together in a conjugal relationship continuously for a period of at least one year.
- Conjugal partner
- Applicants have been prevented from qualifying as spouses or common-law partners, based on immigration barriers or legal barriers, such as restrictions on same-sex relationships or divorce.
- Applicants have been in a conjugal relationship for at least a year, similar to a marriage-like relationship. The couple should be able to demonstrate that they have had exclusive and emotional ties to one and another and have made a commitment to each other.
Canada recognizes same-sex marriage. Same-sex partners may be eligible to apply under any of the three categories above, provided that they meet all eligibility requirements.
In all cases applicants have to prove that their relationship is genuine. Sponsors who have come to Canada themselves as a spouse/partner are barred from sponsoring a new spouse/partner in turn, for a period of five years after receiving permanent residence. Dependent children of the spouse/partner can be included in the sponsorship application.
In most spousal sponsorship cases the sponsored spouse/partner is living outside Canada. Applications can be processed in the visa office responsible for the sponsored person's nationality, or current country of residence. The sponsored person is eligible to apply for a visitor visa during the sponsorship application process.
When spouses or partners are already together in Canada, and the sponsored spouse/partner has valid Temporary Resident status, the application can be submitted from within Canada. A big advantage of inland sponsorship is that the sponsored person may be eligible for an Open Work Permit while the sponsorship application is being processed.
Frequently Asked Questions
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