Visa Crunch

Indian Immigrants Dominate Permanent Residence Figures In Canada’s Spouse And Partner Immigration 2021

In recent years, newcomers from India have dominated Canada’s immigration numbers for spouses and partners – but this was not always the case.

According to Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) data, as recently as 2015, more Filipino spouses and partners became permanent residents in Canada than Indians.

Every year since, Indians have dominated the figures, including in 2021, when 10,705 Indian spouses and partners became permanent residents, accounting for 17% of the total of 64,340. Candidates from the Philippines, as well as the United States and China, made up significant groups of spouse and partner permanent residents last year, but there was no doubt about which nationality led the pack.

Turn the clock back six years, and the figures paint a different picture, with the Philippines accounting for 4,370 of the 46,360 arrivals that year, or 9.4 percent. In 2022, Canada’s latest Immigration Levels Plan anticipates 80,000 permanent residence applications for spouses, partners, and children. This figure represents the vast majority of the 105,000 Family Class immigrants expected to arrive this year, with the remainder coming through the Parents and Grandparents Program. It demonstrates that there are numerous options available to Canadian citizens and permanent residents who wish to bring their families to Canada.

Spousal reunification was one of many immigration streams that saw significant delays as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Moreover, Immigration Minister Sean Fraser stated in January that the stream was among the first to return to the 12-month processing standard. Many categories, such as those for Federal Highly Skilled Workers, continue to have processing times that are far in excess of the service standard.

In the meantime the, Canada recently introduced a new application tracker for family sponsorship applicants to check the status of their immigration file. The tracker is only available for permanent residents in the spouse, partner, and dependent child categories at the time of its initial launch in February. Applicants for permanent residence in the family sponsorship categories can now check the status of their applications using this tracker.

“This new tool will allow people to easily check their application status online, and is available for spousal, partners or dependent children categories,” tweeted Fraser at the time. “We’re also working to provide a similar tracker for other programs.”

Eligibility For Sponsoring Your Spouse, Common-Law or Conjugal Partner

Sponsors must:

  • Be at least 18 years old.
  • Be a Canadian citizen, permanent resident, or a person registered in Canada as an Indian under the Canadian Indian Act.
  • Canadian citizens living outside Canada must show they plan to live in Canada when the sponsored person(s) become permanent residents.
  • Permanent residents living outside Canada cannot be sponsors.
  • Be able to prove they are not receiving social assistance for reasons other than a disability.
  • Be able to provide for the basic needs of those being sponsored.

Who Can Be Sponsored?

The person being sponsored and their family members must pass background, security and medical checks.


A spouse can be either sex and must be:

  • Legally married to the sponsor.
  • At least 18 years old.
  • Common-Law Partner

A common-law partner can be either sex and must:

  • Be not legally married to the sponsor.
  • Be at least 18 years old.
  • Have been living with the sponsor for at least 12 consecutive months in a conjugal relationship without any long periods apart.

Proof of a common-law relationship includes:

  • Shared ownership of residential property.
  • Joint leases or rental agreements.
  • Bills for shared utility accounts.
  • Important documents showing the same address, such as driver’s licenses or insurance policies.
  • Identification documents.
  • Conjugal Partner

A conjugal partner can be either sex and must:

  • Be not legally married or in a common-law relationship with the sponsor.
  • Be at least 18 years old.
  • Have been in a relationship with the sponsor for at least 1 year.
  • Live outside Canada.
  • Be not able to live with the sponsor in their country of residence or marry the sponsor because of significant legal and immigration reasons, such as marital status, sexual orientation, or persecution.

Legal Disclaimer: This article is provided for information purposes only.

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