Sponsoring a spouse

The Canadian government offers different opportunities to permanent residents and Canadian citizens to bring close relatives to Canada within its Family Class Sponsorship. The Family Class program is committed to family reunification.

There are a number of programs under the Family Class Sponsorship, including spouses and common-law partners, parents and grandparents, and dependent children.


Choosing the right sponsorship program

Bringing in parents and grandparents

You can sponsor your parents or grandparents through the Parents and Grandparents Sponsorship Program. The Government of Canada sets a specific number of applications every year. Besides, there’s also the Super Visa Program that allows parents and grandparents to come to Canada on extended multi-entry visas valid for a total of 10 years. Sponsors and persons being sponsored must meet eligibility requirements for the program.

Bringing in a spouse or common-law partner

There are a number of options available. For example, you can apply through a federal spousal sponsorship inside or outside of Canada.

Bringing in a dependent child

If you have a dependent child abroad (including adopted children), you will have an opportunity to bring your child under Canada’s Dependent Child Sponsorship Program. The dependent child must also meet the eligibility requirements. 

Reasons for Inadmissibility to Canada

Any foreign national that has been convicted of a crime that could be considered an indictable offense in Canada may be criminally inadmissible to Canada. Criminal inadmissibility can render a person ineligible for Canada spousal sponsorship, even if he or she is applying for "in Canada spousal sponsorship." Depending on the criminal offense, a person may become admissible to Canada 10 years after they finished all court-ordered sentencing including probation. At this time, the person would become eligible to be sponsored to Canada as a spouse or partner.

Examples of crimes that can result in a spouse being refused Permanent Residency in Canada include impaired driving (DUI or DWI), fraud, theft, assault, domestic violence, and possession of a controlled substance or other drug-related convictions. It is possible to petition the Canadian Government to overcome criminal inadmissibility through a process called Criminal Rehabilitation. It is also possible for a foreign national to be ineligible for immigration to Canada due to medical reasons.


Spouse/Partner Definition

A spouse is a person who is in a legal marriage in a country of origin or under Canadian law. To be considered a common-law partner, a person must be in the continued cohabitation in a conjugal relationship for at least one year.

Dependent Child Definition

A child of a spouse or common-law partner is considered dependent if she or he is under 22 and don’t have a spouse or common-law partner of their own. Children over age 22 can be dependent if their parents supported them financially before they turned 22 due to their mental or physical condition. 

Sponsor Definition

To qualify as a sponsor, a person must be at least 18 and must be a Canadian permanent resident or citizen. If he is a citizen of another country residing in another country, then he must return to Canada as soon as the sponsored individual arrives in Canada.

Sponsorship Agreement

Sponsorship Agreement assumes that a sponsor takes the obligation to financially support their family member. The Government of Canada places this requirement to ensure that the new permanent resident will not apply for government assistance. The length of the agreement will depend on the individual being sponsored. Keep in mind that this financial obligation will remain in force even if the sponsored person becomes a citizen, divorces or separates from the sponsor, or moves away from Canada.

Other Requirements

At the time of application, the sponsored individual needs to submit medical exam and police certificates (if he or she is over 18) from countries where they lived for more than six months.

Quebec Requirements

Quebec sets additional requirements for family sponsorship. So, a sponsored person needs to meet federal and provincial conditions. After applying for sponsorship, a sponsor residing in Quebec will receive an to conclude a special agreement with the Quebec government.

What if you don’t qualify as a sponsored person under the Family Sponsorship Class?

Even if you are not eligible for Family Class Sponsorship, you may be eligible to apply through the Express Entry system. There are also Provincial Nominee Programs that have their own immigration streams.

To learn more about the immigration options, get in touch with Solid Visa agents!