If you are a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident of Canada above 18 years, you can sponsor your spouse to immigrate to Canada.
Canada, Family Visa

Process to Sponsor Spouse in Canada

Last Updated on July 1, 2022 by Visa Journal

Every year, Canada welcomes thousands of family-class immigrants. The process to sponsor spouse to Canada can be confusing, don’t worry we will guide.  The spouse category is one of the most used application categories. This is because Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) allows you to sponsor your spouse to live in Canada as PR with you. 

If you are a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident of Canada above 18 years, you can sponsor your spouse/common law to immigrate to Canada. Use the inland spousal sponsorship Canada application if you already reside with a spouse within Canada. If your spouse does not live in Canada, the outland spousal sponsorship Canada application is the choice to proceed. 

Guide to sponsor spouse in Canada

Like in most other immigration applications, you have first to know the obligations required of you and the entire step-by-step process; this basic guide has information on the following;

  • Eligibility requirements
  • Sponsorship agreement
  • Steps to take when applying

Eligibility Requirements

There are some eligibility conditions that must be met. These are as follows

  1. Be at least 18 years old and above. Both the sponsor and the spouse being sponsored must fulfill this. 
  2. Sponsor must be a Canadian citizen, or registered in Canada as an Indian under the Canadian Indian Act, or  permanent resident of Canada.  
  3. Prove that you are not a recipient of social assistance for reasons other than a disability.
  4. Ensure that the spouse will not need social assistance from the Canadian Government. 

Sponsorship agreement 

This sponsorship agreement states that

  • You will provide for the basic needs of your sponsored family members
  • The person you sponsor will make every effort to support themselves and their family members

The steps to take when applying

  • The application packages

Fill in the application documents for you and the spouse you want to sponsor, following the instruction guide. Take time to read these instruction guides. Before applying, conduct due diligence by confirming whether you are eligible to be a sponsor and truthful about all your information.

Upon completing your application, check the application status of your spouse. You can act as their representative by requesting access to their information, filling out their application for them, and communicating on their behalf, or you can hire a licensed consultant to do the application for your spouse.

  • Application fees

Fees are part of applying process. The fees pay for

  • The processing fee for your application and your spouse’s application
  • The right of permanent residence fee (RPRF)
  • The biometrics fee

The processing fee is a standard charge

The right of permanent residence (RPRF) is mandatory for anyone applying for permanent residence in Canada. This spouse PR Canada fee is paid once the application is approved but you have to pay before you become a permanent resident. To avoid delays, just pay your RPRF at the time of paying your application processing fees. The biometrics fee covers the cost of taking your biometrics when you apply. Biometrics are your unique fingerprints and your digital photo. Giving Biometrics is a MUST.

  • Submit your application

What documents are needed to sponsor spouse in Canada

The actual list of documents that are submitted with the spousal sponsorship application can vary for each application. Applicants must follow the IRCC checklist. Some generic documents are as follows

  •  Passport sized photographs fulfilling the PR photo specification
  • Passport of the sponsored spouse
  • Marriage registration certificate
  • Police clearance certificate(s) for the sponsored spouse
  • Multiple IRCC forms
  • Wedding cards ( cards or scans of cards for each function)
  • Sponsor’s Canadian status document(PR card, Canadian passport)
  • Proof of shared expenses
  • Travel history documents that show stay/travel together before and after marriage
  • 10 pages of communication history. This can be call logs, whatsapp messages, etc. Must be translated if in a language other than English and French
  • Letters from friend and family confirming knowledge of relationship and marriage
  •  Sponsors employment/source of income documents
  • 10 photographs of the wedding functions

After completing the application, you submit it for processing either through mail or courier. 

If you choose to mail it through regular postal services, the correct mailing address depends on the type of application and is listed as follows; 

Application for spouses, common-law partners, or conjugal partners outside Canada and all dependent child sponsorships:

CPC Sydney

P.O. Box 9500

Sydney, NS

B1P 0H5 Or

Application for spouses or common-law partners currently living inside Canada applying under the Spouse or Common-Law Partner in Canada class:

CPC Mississauga

P.O. Box 5040, Station B

Mississauga, ON

L4Y 4H0

If you choose to use the courier option instead of mail, the correct courier address is given below:

Application for spouses, common-law partners, or conjugal partners currently living outside Canada and all dependent child sponsorships:

CPC Sydney

49 Dorchester Street

Sydney, NS

B1P 5Z2


Application for spouses or common-law partners currently living in Canada applying under the Spouse or Common-Law Partner inside Canada class:

CPC Mississauga

2 Robert Speck Parkway,

Suite 300

Mississauga, ON

L4Z 1H8

  • Sending of additional information during processing

This step usually comes up if the immigration officials ask for additional information from the spouse you are sponsoring. Additional information includes medical examinations, biometrics, and police certificates. Acquiring these documents may constitute some third-party fees depending on your circumstances. The instruction will be given and the spouse will be told how much time they have to send this information.

It is a priority to inform authorities of any changes that may happen during the entirety of the application process. These changes may include:

  • Death of the spouse applicant or their dependents
  • Divorce or marriage or separation
  • Change of address
  • Birth or adoption of any other children

Review of the spouse Visa

The review of the application takes time, and it can only be returned if it is incomplete or the fees have not been paid. Once the application assessment begins, you will get

  • An application number
  • Acknowledgment receipt

Firstly, you will be assessed whether you qualify as a sponsor. If you are approved, the authorities will be processed to assess the eligibility of the spouse(s) you wish to sponsor. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Canada processing spouse sponsorship applications

Canada is processing spousal sponsorship applications at all times. Recently there has been delay in processing due to Covid. Even during Covid peak times IRCC did not stop processing these applications.

How long is spousal sponsorship in Canada

Spousal sponsorship application can take months and at times more than a year. The average processing time can be anytime between 6 – 12 months. There are many factors that impact the processing times. To check the average processing time visit the IRCC website . At this time it is taking around 23 months for outside of Canada spousal sponsorship applications.

Do i need to be in Canada to sponsor my spouse

The location of sponsor depends on the immigrations status. Canadian citizens can be inside as well as outside of Canada when they sponsor their spouse. If they are outside Canada they must prove that they will relocate to Canada once PR is granted to spouse. Canadian permanent residents must submit spousal sponsorship application from within Canada. During the processing they may travel outside and live their as well.

Can Canadian PR sponsor spouse

Yes, Canadian PR holder can sponsor spouse. The sponsored spouse will be grated PR on finalization of application. For purpose of spousal sponsorship Canadian citizen and permanent residence are equally same.

Do you need certain income to sponsor spouse

There is no income threshold required for spousal sponsorship. As long the sponsor is not bankrupt or receiving social assistance he/she can sponsor.

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