Spousal Sponsorship in Canada: Understanding the Basics

Spousal sponsorship is a process that allows Canadian citizens or permanent residents to sponsor their foreign spouse or partner for permanent residency in Canada. The Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) manages the spousal sponsorship program, which aims to reunite families and promote social and economic integration.

In this article, we’ll discuss the key information you need to know about spousal sponsorship in Canada, including eligibility requirements, application process, financial support, medical exams, and police certificates. We’ll also provide backlinks to the official government of Canada website for more detailed information on each topic.

Spouse Sponsorship Inside Canada

Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible to sponsor a spouse or partner for permanent residency, the sponsor must be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, at least 18 years old, and not receiving social assistance (unless due to disability). The sponsored spouse or partner must also meet certain requirements, such as being admissible to Canada and not inadmissible for security, criminal, or health reasons. For a more comprehensive list of eligibility criteria, visit the IRCC website.

Can a Permanent Resident Sponsor Their Spouse or Partner?

Yes, permanent residents are also eligible to sponsor their spouse or partner for permanent residency, but there are some limitations. For instance, the sponsored spouse or partner must not be living outside Canada, and the sponsor must have lived in Canada for at least two years.

Spouse Sponsorship Inside Canada

Can a Common-Law Partner Be Sponsored for Permanent Residency?

Yes, common-law partners can also be sponsored for permanent residency, but they must have been living together in a conjugal relationship for at least one year.

Are There Any Changes to the Spousal Sponsorship Program Due to COVID-19?

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, IRCC has implemented some temporary measures to facilitate the spousal sponsorship application process, such as allowing electronic signatures and extending deadlines. For the latest updates on how COVID-19 is affecting the spousal sponsorship program, visit the IRCC website.

Application Process

The spousal sponsorship application process involves several steps, from submitting the initial application to the final decision. The process can take several months or even years, depending on various factors such as the completeness of the application and the processing times of the visa office. For a detailed explanation of the application process, visit the IRCC website.

How Long Does the Spousal Sponsorship Application Process Take?

The processing time for spousal sponsorship applications varies depending on the visa office and the completeness of the application. As of May 2023, the estimated processing time for a spousal sponsorship application submitted from within Canada is approximately 12 months. However, this can change without notice, so it’s important to regularly check the IRCC website for updates.

Financial Support

Sponsors must prove that they can provide financial support to their sponsored spouse or partner, and any dependents, for a specified period. The minimum necessary income and/or assets required depend on various factors, such as the number of people being sponsored and their location in Canada. For a detailed explanation of the financial requirements, visit the IRCC website.

Medical Exams and Police Certificates

Sponsored spouses or partners may be required to undergo a medical examination and provide police certificates from every country where they lived for more than six months since the age of 18. The medical examination aims to ensure that the sponsored person does not have a medical condition that could pose a public health risk in Canada. The police certificates aim to ensure that the sponsored person does not have a criminal record or pose a security risk in Canada. For more information on medical exams and police certificates, visit the IRCC website.


Spousal sponsorship in Canada can be a complex process, but understanding the eligibility requirements, application process,

For your Canada Visitor Visa, Spouse Sponsorship, Work Permit or Study Permit contact RS Immigration at 778-229-0796


  1. Eligibility requirements for spousal sponsorship: https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/application/application-forms-guides/guide-5525-basic-guide-sponsor-your-spouse-partner-child.html#who-can-sponsor
  2. Permanent residency for spouses and partners: https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/immigrate-canada/family-sponsorship/spouse-partner-children.html
  3. Common-law partnerships in spousal sponsorship: https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/immigrate-canada/family-sponsorship/spouse-partner-children/common-law-conjugal.html
  4. COVID-19 updates for spousal sponsorship: https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/coronavirus-covid19/immigration-applicants.html#spousal
  5. Spousal sponsorship application process: https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/application/application-forms-guides/guide-5525-basic-guide-sponsor-your-spouse-partner-child.html#step-by-step
  6. Financial requirements for spousal sponsorship: https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/application/application-forms-guides/guide-5525-basic-guide-sponsor-your-spouse-partner-child.html#financial-requirements
  7. Medical exams and police certificates for spousal sponsorship: https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/application/application-forms-guides/guide-5525-basic-guide-sponsor-your-spouse-partner-child.html#medical-criminal-security-requirements