Spousal sponsorship is possible, but it cannot be easy. Canadian immigration law dictates that you must have lived with your spouse for at least two years before applying for them to come and live in Canada. For the application to be successful, you must prove that no other options exist for bringing your partner to Canada. Spousal sponsorship Canada

Inland spousal sponsorship allows applicants to continue living in Canada while their application for permanent residence is processed. Suppose your temporary status document isn’t valid for the sponsorship processing period. In that case, you’ll need to apply for an extension or a new status document to maintain your legal status in Canada while your sponsorship application is being processed.

Spousal sponsorship applications are processed within 12 months in the majority of cases. Travelling abroad while an inland sponsorship application is being processed is permitted, but it’s not recommended because it may lead to complications that could jeopardize your application. Suppose you’re denied re-entry into Canada for whatever reason (perhaps because you overstayed on your visa). In that case, your sponsorship application could be deemed abandoned, and you would need to submit a new one.

If this happens and you’re not legally residing in Canada (perhaps because you left on an expired visa), you must submit an outland spousal sponsorship application instead.”

What is Spousal Sponsorship?

“Spousal sponsorship” is the term used to describe a Canadian citizen or permanent resident applying to bring their spouse to Canada. Spouses can be of the opposite sex or same sex, but both must be 18 years old at the time of application and have been living together for at least one year.

The sponsor must first apply for a “sponsorship certificate,” which confirms that they meet specific requirements (such as income threshold). Once issued, this document allows them to submit an application for permanent residence on behalf of their spouse via Citizenship & Immigration Canada (CIC). CIC will then assess whether there are any grounds under which your application could be denied;

if not, it will issue an approval letter that outlines how long before you can apply for entry into Canada as a permanent resident through what’s called an “Outland” application process–meaning outside of Canada–or by travelling directly through its Electronic Travel Authorization system once it became available in fall 2015

Who Can Be Sponsored in Canada?

Suppose you are a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, and your spouse or common-law partner is not eligible for any other program that allows them to come to Canada (such as the Live-in Caregiver Program). In that case, they can be sponsored by you.

To be eligible for spousal sponsorship under this category:

  • Not have received spousal support in Canada within the last five years.
  • Not be bankrupt, in prison, or charged with a serious offence.
  • Not be under a removal order if they are a Canadian permanent resident.
  • The person being sponsored cannot have dependent children at the time they apply;
  • You must be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident;
  • You must be at least 18 years old;

Suppose there is any question about whether or not the relationship between you and your spouse/common-law partner meets these criteria. In that case, both parties must have legal representation throughout their application process to protect their interests at all times.

Spousal Sponsorship in Quebec

If the Canadian sponsor resides in the province of Quebec, they must commit to a financial undertaking to support the family member they are sponsoring. The duration of the project depends on the nature of the relationship. In the case of spousal sponsorship, the sponsor must commit to financially supporting their spouse, or common-law or conjugal partner, for three years.

Spousal Open Work Permit

Applying for spousal sponsorship within Canada can be difficult on family finances if the sponsored person holds only a temporary visitor’s visa that restricts them from working in Canada. To take some of the stress out of long processing times, some applicants may be eligible to apply for a spousal open work permit while submitting their sponsorship application. This will allow applicants to work for any employer anywhere in Canada legally.

To qualify for a spousal open work permit, the sponsored applicant must hold a valid temporary visa and reside at the same address as their spouse or common-law partner while meeting all the eligibility requirements listed above.

How Long Does It Take to Process a Spousal Sponsorship Application?

The processing times for spousal sponsorship applications vary depending on the applicant’s country of origin. Suppose you are applying from outside of Canada. In that case, your application will be processed by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), who will then send it to us at IRCC’s offices in Mississauga. Once we receive your application, we will review it and make sure that everything is complete before sending it back to IRCC, along with our recommendation on whether or not they should approve your application.

This can take anywhere between two weeks to six months, depending on how busy our office is at any given time. So if there is a lot of demand for visas or if there have been delays due to weather conditions etc., processing times will be longer than usual!

However, suppose multiple applicants apply together under one set of documents (i.e., husband/wife). This considerably speeds up their approval process and ensures both parties meet all requirements before issuing approval letters.”

How Much Does it Cost to Sponsor Your Spouse?

Spouse, partner or children
Fee Quantity Price ($CAN)
Spouse, partner or children

Sponsor your spouse or partner

Sponsorship fee (), principal applicant processing fee (0) and right of permanent residence fee (5)


Sponsor your spouse or partner (without the right of permanent residence fee)

Sponsorship fee ($75) and principal applicant processing fee ($490)


Sponsor a dependent child

Sponsorship fee ($75) and processing fee ($75)

$150.00 (per child)

Include any dependent child

Include any dependent child on an application with your spouse or partner

Processing fee ($155)

$155.00 (per child)

Biometrics – per person


Biometrics – per family (2 or more people)

Maximum fee for a family of 2 or more people applying at the same time and place


Applying for spousal sponsorship through the IMM 5335 form will require time, effort and paperwork.

The application process can take up to a year and requires a lot of paperwork. In addition to the application form and supporting documents, you must prove that your spouse has been in Canada for at least 12 months before applying. You also need to submit bank statements showing that your spouse has enough money in their account to support themselves while awaiting their permanent resident status (if applicable). If they have no income during this period, additional costs may be associated with applying for spousal sponsorship; these depend on your income level and whether or not someone else is sponsoring them.

The process itself can be complex because there are many different factors involved: both parties must meet specific requirements before being eligible for sponsorship; one person cannot apply unless both parties agree on how they want things done together; if either party doesn’t want children living under their roof after getting married, then there might be additional paperwork required for them not only apply but also stay together long-term without any issues occurring later down the road when things start going downhill fast due broadly. After all, both individuals didn’t think about what could happen until it was too late!


We hope this article has helped you understand the spousal sponsorship process in Canada. If you still have questions, we encourage you to speak with an immigration lawyer or visit the immigration website for more information on the requirements and costs of sponsoring someone in Canada.


Spousal Sponsorship from Inside of Canada

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