Spousal Sponsorship


Family unification is an important priority for the Government of Canada, and there are a number of programs that are in place to aid and support this key Canadian value. Sadly, many people have a misunderstanding that it is not “their right” to sponsor whomever they wish, and only find out much later – years even – that this is not necessarily the case. Below are some of the categories which summarize the family categories, designed to provide you an understanding of the options available under the Canadian Immigration System.  Nadery Immigration services is here to guide you on how to leverage the programs to find the quickest and most cost-effective way to enter Canada so you can achieve your immigration goals.

The laws of Canada that govern immigration make it a main priority to ensure that families are united and as such this class allows for people who are citizens of Canada or Permanent Residents (P.R.) to sponsor their spouse or partner as long as they meet the requirements as laid out by the government. There are three (3) main categories of Spouse/Partnership relationships which are defined by the Canadian Government:

  • Spouse:Someone who you are legally married to in either Canada or in another country and are compliant with the law of the country where the marriage took place. This can also extend to a same-sex spouse as this is recognized under Canadian law.
  • Common Law Partner:This can either be a member of the opposite sex or of the same sex but what is important is that it is shown that you and your partner have been living in a conjugal relationship for at least one year (12 months) continuously.
  • Conjugal Partner:This can refer to a member of the same sex or of the opposite sex who are in exceptional circumstances beyond their control that do not allow them to qualify as a common law partner or a spouse by living together. This is a relationship that is more than physical and it is characterized by a level of permanence and commitment where the 2 individuals rely on each other.

The process to sponsor under each of the noted categories above is relatively similar for each category.


It is important to satisfy all of the requirements under this program and as such the person who wishes to sponsor a Spouse / Partner must:

  • Be a Canadian Citizen or a Permanent Resident of Canada and at least 18 years of age.
  • Be willing to sign an agreement with the government that as a sponsor they are financially responsible for the sponsored and any dependents for a period of 3 years after entering as a PRand upwards of 10 years for the dependents.
  • Be able to show a legal marriage in either Canada or under the laws of the jurisdiction that it was carried out in.
  • In the case of a Conjugal or Common Law Partner, evidence must be shown of a dependent relationship for a minimum of 1 year.

Lastly, regulations have been introduced by the Canadian Government to deter fraud in the form of “Marriages of Convenience” for people who have been married for less than 2 years and have no children. If this is you then the process remains the same but there are additional requirements where the people must remain together for a minimum of 2 years and also limits will be placed on the number of people who can be sponsored.


Qualifying under this program will make the Spouse/Partner a Permanent Resident (PR). As a Permanent Resident the Spouse/Partner can do anything that a Canadian citizen can do except vote or join the military. Additionally this will entitle the Spouse/Partner to all of the other benefits extended to all Canadians and P.R.’s. Additionally after the Spouse/Partner satisfies the residency requirements as a PR they can then apply for Canadian Citizenship.