One of the main purposes of Canada’s immigration system is to reunite families. Canada accomplishes this purpose primarily through its Spousal, Partner, and Child Immigration Sponsorship Category. Every year Canada expects to welcome roughly 80,000 immigrants through this bracket. Citizens and permanent residents of Canada may sponsor their spouse, common-law partner, or conjugal partner for permanent residency in Canada. Same-sex relationships are recognized by Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).
The eligibility criteria to sponsor your loved one is as follows:
- You must be at least 18 years old
- You are a Canadian citizen, permanent resident, or are registered as an Indian under the Canadian Indian Act. If you are a Canadian citizen currently living abroad, you will need to demonstrate to IRCC you intend to live in Canada with your partner upon them gaining permanent residence. Permanent residents looking to sponsor must reside in Canada at the time of submitting their sponsorship application.
- You must demonstrate you are not receiving social assistance unless you have a disability.
- You must show you can meet the financial needs of your loved one in Canada.
Individuals that are sponsored must be at least 18 years old and belong to one of the following categories:
- Spouse: This means your partner is legally married to you.
- Common-law partner: This means your partner is not legally married to you but has been living with you for at least 12 consecutive months.
- Conjugal partner: This means your partner is not legally married to you, has been in a relationship with you for at least one year, resides outside of Canada, and is unable to marry you due to a cultural, religious, or legal obstacle. For example, interfaith marriages are restricted in your partner’s country.
Process of filing an application:
You must submit two applications to IRCC: one for sponsorship and one for permanent residence. IRCC requests that you submit both applications at the same time.
- Step 1: Confirm you meet the eligibility criteria to sponsor.
- Step 2: Get the application package from IRCC’s website.
- Step 3: Pay all required fees on IRCC’s website. Examples of fees include processing, right of permanent residence, and biometrics fees.
- Step 4: Mail both applications together to IRCC.
Following IRCC’s approval of your application, you and your partner must meet certain requirements. For at least three years, you are financially accountable for your loved one. After obtaining permanent residency in Canada, your partner is not permitted to sponsor another individual for a period of five years.