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The Spousal Sponsorship program serves to unite family members in Canada. The spousal sponsorship program allows a citizen or permanent resident of Canada to sponsor his or her married partner. Below you will find the basic requirements and options for this program.

Immigration Canada Spouse Sponsorship Eligibility


Who can be a sponsor?

Must be a Canadian citizen or Permanent Resident​


Must be 18 years of age or older​.


Must be Self-sufficient (not be receiving social assistance)​


Must be able to support the applicant


Reside in Canada or show intent to reside in Canada once the sponsored applicant gets permanent residency of Canada successfully

Spouse Visa Canada

If the spousal sponsorship application is successful, Immigration Canada will approve a change in the partner's immigration status to permanent resident of Canada. If the partner resides abroad at the time the application is submitted, Canadian immigration authorities will issue a Canada Spouse Visa (Confirmation of Permanent Residence) to the partner, and he or she will become a permanent resident of Canada only upon entering the country.

Inside Canada (In-Country) Sponsorship Application

In-land spousal sponsorship is when the sponsorship is submitted when the couple are living together in Canada. The foreign national spouse would have already entered Canada using a visa or visa exemption. It is also possible to pursue an inland spousal sponsorship option if the principal applicant's status has lapsed.

Outside Country Sponsorship Application

The most common route for a spousal sponsorship is for the application to be made abroad. The sponsor remains in Canada while the applicant waits in his or her home country until the application is approved and the visa is issued before being allowed to come to Canada.

How long does it take to sponsor a spouse in Canada?

Sponsorship applications take approximately 12 months to process from start to finish. They are typically not processed much faster than 12 months, but they can take longer, depending on the nature of your case.

What is the Minimum Income to Sponsor a Spouse in Canada?

There is no minimum income requirement for a spousal sponsorship. In contrast to other immigration programs, a spousal sponsorship does not have a minimum income requirement unless the person you are sponsoring has a dependent child. However, under regular circumstances, the sponsor is required to submit supporting documents to establish that he or she is employed and has submitted income taxes.

Can I stay in Canada while waiting for spousal sponsorship?

You can stay in Canada while waiting for your permanent residence as long as you maintain legal status. Temporary resident status is valid for a specific period of time and you must ensure that your status as a temporary resident remains valid while you are in Canada. Once a spousal sponsorship is submitted, the Applicant is eligible for an open work permit.

What are Common Grounds for Refusal of a Spousal Sponsorship Application? 

Some common reasons for return of a spousal sponsorship application as incomplete or wholesale refusal are:

  • Failure to provide updated forms or fees.

  • Errors in information submitted.

  • Failure to provide supporting documentation and/or evidence.

  • Failure to provide sufficient evidence of the genuineness of their relationship.

How Much Does a Canada Spouse Visa Cost?

There are several Government processing fees that must be paid in order to successfully sponsor someone to Canada.

Spousal Sponsorship Fees:

  • Sponsorship Fee - $75

  • Principal Applicant Processing Fee - $475

  • Right of Permanent Resident Fee (RPRF) - $500

  • Total - $1050

  • Dependent Children - $150/child


These spouse sponsorship Canada fees can be paid online, and a copy of the payment receipt should be included with the sponsorship application.

Sponsoring a Husband to Canada vs. Sponsoring Wife to Canada

There is effectively no difference between sponsoring a wife to Canada and sponsoring a husband. The "sponsor husband to Canada" and "sponsor wife to Canada" forms and requirements are the exact same. Whether you wish to sponsor a husband to Canada, or a wife, our Canada spouse immigration lawyer is here to help. 

Can I Sponsor a Spouse While Living Outside Canada?

If you are a Canadian permanent resident living outside of Canada, you are not eligible to sponsor a partner to Canada. Only permanent residents living in Canada can sponsor a spouse to Canada. If you are a Canadian citizen living outside of Canada, spouse sponsorship is possible but you must establish the intention to live in Canada once your partner becomes a Canadian resident.

What are my ongoing obligations if I sponsor my spouse, conjugal partner, or common-law partner under spousal sponsorship?

When sponsoring a spouse, conjugal partner, or common-law partner, you are responsible for fulfilling the basic needs of your partner, including their everyday and health needs for three years.


You must make sure that your sponsored spouse, conjugal partner, or common-law partner does not require social assistance from the government before signing the undertaking agreement. If your spouse, conjugal partner, or common-law partner does require financial help from the government, you must pay back he full amount they received while you were legally responsible for them. If you do not pay back the full amount, you will not be permitted to sponsor another eligible family member until you do.


Your financial obligation will stay in effect even if:

  • your sponsored spouse, conjugal partner, or common-law partner becomes a Canadian citizen

  • your relationship ends

  • your spouse, conjugal partner, or common-law partner moves to another country or province

  • you experience financial problems

Can I leave Canada while my spousal sponsorship application is processing?

The person being sponsored may leave Canada for short periods of time while awaiting a decision on their In Canada Sponsorship application. However, as residing in Canada in the requirement for In Canada Sponsorship Class, it is risky to leave the country in the case that you are not able to re-enter. This has increasingly become a concern since the COVID-19 pandemic with the frequent implementation of travel restrictions.

Another consideration is if the sponsored spouse has applied for an open work permit and is currently on maintained status in Canada. If this is the case, they will lose their maintained status once they leave Canada and must wait until their work permit application is approved to return.

If you are a permanent resident, you must stay in Canada during the processing of a common-law sponsorship application.

Hire an Expert Spousal Sponsorship Lawyer

Let an expert Spousal Sponsorship Lawyer guide you and prepare your sponsorship application:
  • Guide you and your spouse through the immigration process from start to finish.
  • Customize your application based on your circumstances.
  • Review all documentation and supporting evidence.
  • Draft forms, letters and supporting documents.
  • Provide expert legal submissions.
  • Communicate with immigration authorities.
  • Update you on the progress of your application.
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