Canadian citizens and permanent residents who are in a relationship with a foreign national, can sponsor that person to immigrate to Canada. An important requirement is that the relationship is genuine and was not entered into primarily for the purpose of acquiring Permanent Residence.

You can sponsor your spouse, common-law partner, or conjugal partner

To be eligible to sponsor a spouse, common-law, or conjugal partner to Canada, a person must be at least 18 years old and one of the following:

  • Canadian citizen
  • Person registered in Canada as an Indian under the Canadian Indian Act 
  • Permanent resident of Canada

The sponsor must demonstrate the financial ability to provide the sponsored immigrant and dependents with the necessities for daily living (food, clothing, shelter, as well as dental and eye care), if they are unable to provide for themselves.

The sponsor must have either physical residency in Canada or a demonstrated intention to reside in Canada by the time the sponsored family member lands in Canada as a permanent resident.

The sponsor must not be in prison, not bankrupt, not under a removal order (if a permanent resident), and not charged with a serious offence.

To be sponsored, a spouse must be:

  • Legally married to you
  • At least 18 years old

To be sponsored, a common-law partner must not be legally married to the sponsor, and must be:

  • At least 18 years old
  • Living with the sponsor for at least 12 consecutive months, without any long periods apart
  • In a conjugal relationship with the sponsor

To be sponsored, a conjugal partner must not be legally married or in a common-law relationship with the sponsor. They must be:

  • At least 18 years old
  • In a relationship with the sponsor for at least 1 year
  • Living outside Canada
  • Unable to live with or marry the sponsor because of significant legal and immigration reasons such as
    • Marital status (for example, they are still married to someone else in a country where divorce is not possible)
    • Sexual orientation (for example, they are in a same-sex relationship, and same-sex relationships are not accepted, or same-sex marriage is illegal where they live),
    • Persecution (for example, the relationship is between different religious groups which is not accepted, and they may be punished legally or socially)