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What Do I Need to Know about Sponsoring My Spouse?

Spousal sponsorship is one of the most common ways for an individual to obtain legal permission to live permanently in Canada. Fortunately, processing times for spousal immigration applications are typically much faster than other types of immigration procedures. However, the speed of processing depends to a certain extent on the processing times of the Visa Office that will process the Permanent Resident Application. If you plan to sponsor a spouse, here are several things you should know:

The government makes spousal sponsorship a priority – Like many other countries around the world, the government of Canada prioritizes spousal-based immigration applications because it values family relationships. When families are together, they are more likely to be socially and economically productive.

You can sponsor a spouse, common-law partner, or conjugal partner – Canada recognizes same-sex marriage, as well as common-law partnerships and conjugal partnerships. To apply for spousal sponsorship, both individuals must satisfy a number of conditions. The sponsoring spouse or partner must be at least 18 years old (which is the age of majority in Canada). If the spouses are not legally married, they must also satisfy several other conditions based on their relationship status. For example, common law partners must be able to prove they have cohabitated for a minimum one year period of time.

You are financially responsible for your spouse – Once your spouse or partner becomes a permanent resident, you are financially obligated to support him or her for a minimum of three years after he or she is granted permanent residence.

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