Family reunification is an important part of the immigration policies of Canada. Canadian permanent residents and citizens have many pathways to bring their spouses, partners, children, parents and grandparents to Canada. Canada’s goal is to welcome around 80000 immigrants under the family sponsorship category each year.
One important part in family sponsorship is spousal sponsorship. One can sponsor their common-law partner or conjugal partner to become permanent resident in Canada.
However, if you want to sponsor your life partner, you must meet the following eligibility requirements.
- You must be above the age of 18 years
- You must be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident. If you are a Canadian citizen and living outside Canada, you must demonstrate your intend to reside in Canada with your partner, once they receive the permanent residence. If you are a permanent resident, you must be residing in Canada at the time of submitting the sponsorship application.
- You should not be receiving any social assistance unless you have a disability
- You must also demonstrate your ability to financially support your loved one in Canada.
Who can you sponsor?
To be eligible to be sponsored, a person must be at least 18 years of age and must belong to any of the following groups:
Spouse: Which means, the person is legally married to you.
Common-law partner: Which means, you are not legally married to the person, yet you two have been living together for at least 12 consecutive months.
Conjugal partner: Which means, you are not legally married to the person, but they have been in a relationship with you for at least one year. They must be residing outside Canada and you both could not marry because of a cultural, religious or legal obstacle. For example, interfaith marriages are restricted in your partner’s country.
Applying for spousal sponsorship
To sponsor your life partner, you need to submit two applications to the IRCC. One is the sponsorship application and the other is the permanent residence application. Both these applications have to be submitted together.
The steps involved are:
- Confirming that you meet the eligibility criteria to sponsor your partner
- Filling the application and paying the application fees
- Submitting the applications to the IRCC.
If the IRCC approves the application, both the applicants need to fulfill certain obligations. The sponsoring person should be financially responsible for you for at least three years. Once your partner gets permanent residence, they need to wait for at least five years for sponsoring another person for permanent residence.