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Spousal, Common Law Partner and Dependent Child Sponsorship

Family unity is highly valued in Canada. In fact, for this reason, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) grants applications for a Family Class with maximum urgency at its visa offices in Canada. 


To be precise, a sponsorship application gives the right to a Canadian citizen or Permanent Resident or a status Indigenous, who is recognized as such under the Indian Act, 1985, with approval by the IRCC to sponsor their spouses, common-law partners, dependent children or parents for a permanent residence in Canada.  


Spousal/common-law partners: If you live in a common-law relationship, you must have lived in the same household for a certain amount of time to be considered a spouse. You must have lived together in a marriage-like relationship for at least two years to qualify as a spouse to split assets or debts and liabilities. 


Whether living in an opposite-sex or same-sex relationship, partners must meet specific criteria to qualify for spousal sponsorship, as described in the categories below.  

Sponsor Qualifications


Common law partner: If you have been cohabiting in a conjugal relationship for a minimum of one year.  


A spouse: If you are in a legal and valid civil marriage legally recognized by Canadian law and the law of the place where the marriage took place. 


Conjugal Relationship: If there is a substantial degree of the physical and mutually dependent relationship between the two of you, the relationship has lasted for at least 12 months without marriage due to barriers such as sexual orientation and religious beliefs. 

Document Checklist for Sponsored Person  

Identity documents, travel documents, and passports   Civil status documents   Information about child(ren)   Police certificates and clearances   Photos   Medical examination   Proof of relationship to sponsor, including but not limited to   Photos of your wedding ceremony   Proof of joint ownership of residential property  Proof of joint utility accounts  Rental agreement showing both you and your sponsor as occupants of a rental property​ Vehicle insurance showing that both you and your sponsor have been declared to the insurance company as residents of the insured's address ​ Copies of government-issued documents for you and your sponsor showing the same address.  Proof of contact ​ Provide a copy of the birth certificate for each child showing the names of both parents (if applicable)   Proof of social media together

To facilitate the sponsorship application, a person who is being sponsored must provide the following information and documents: 

Sponsor Eligibility 

There are certain conditions for the sponsor to be eligible to sponsor. Notably, the sponsor undertakes the financial responsibility for the sponsored person for a certain amount of time once they land in Canada. Furthermore, the application's crucial aspect is proving your relationship's genuine nature. One should consider using solid evidence and material property to establish the authenticity of your relationship. All the information must be trustworthy and correctly reflected in the immigration forms. Background information should also be thoroughly completed.  The proper explanation must be provided to avoid negative investigation and possible consequences that will ultimately affect your future. When any discrepancies in the information provided on the immigration forms and supporting documents occur, it may lead to a request for additional information, clarification, or a straight denial of the application. In some cases, unreliable information resulting in misrepresentation or fraud may lead to consequences, including a ban from entering Canada.   If these requirements are not met, the Immigration Sponsorship application may be refused, and the applicant may appeal this decision.

Types of Spousal and Common Law Partners Sponsorship Applications 


Inland Sponsorship 

  • This type of sponsorship application applies when a couple resides in Canada. This type of sponsorship has a significant advantage for the applicants—the sponsored individual benefits by being eligible for an Open Work Permit. Hence the sponsored person can work anywhere in Canada while their sponsorship application is being processed. 

Outland Sponsorship 

  • This type of sponsorship application is applicable where the sponsored partner resides outside Canada. Outland sponsorship applications proceed through the visa office serving the applicant's country of origin or residence for the past year.

  • However, in both cases, it is important to note that individuals must meet eligibility requirements for their applications to qualify and must be admissible to Canada. For more information, please refer to the admissibility requirements discussed above. 

Children's creativity

Dependent Child Sponsorship 

  • Due to different circumstances, some families live separately from their children and in other countries. Immigration sponsorship of the dependent child program is designed to make a difference and give these families a chance to reunite in Canada. 

Your Responsibilities as a Sponsor  

When you agree to be a sponsor, you must sign an undertaking agreeing to provide money for your spouse or partner and their dependent child(ren) 's basic needs. Those basic needs include but are not limited to the following: 

  • Food, clothing, housing, and other necessities of life, and  

  • Medical needs or conditions (e.g., dental and vision care) that are not covered by public health insurance plans or programs. 


The undertaking is a legally binding guarantee of assistance. Even if your circumstances change, you must continue to provide for the applicant(s) during the undertaking term. The undertaking will remain in effect for the whole undertaking time. Your obligations under the undertaking remain despite significant changes, including but not limited to the following circumstances: 

  • The person you sponsor acquires citizenship in Canada. 

  • You separate, get divorced, or your relationship with the person you are sponsoring breaks. 

  • You or the sponsored person relocate to a different province or country. 

  • You face financial difficulties. 

To avoid unnecessary delays, complications, or any setbacks that may occur, proper legal representation is advised to ensure success in attaining immigration sponsorship for your loved ones. If you or anyone you know requires legal help to provide a smooth and timely application process, contact our legal team via or phone at (905) 370-0484 to receive the necessary help. 

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