Common Law Sponsorship
How do I sponsor a spouse, common-law or conjugal partner, or dependent child living outside of Canada?
You may be eligible to sponsor a spouse or a common-law or conjugal partner or dependent children living outside of Canada if:
- The person you want to sponsor is a member of the family class. If he or she is not, you will not to be able to sponsor them.
- You are 18 years of age or older;
- You are a Canadian citizen or permanent resident;
- You reside in Canada.
- If you are a Canadian citizen not residing in Canada, you may sponsor your spouse, common-law or conjugal partner and/or dependent children who have no dependent children of their own.
- You sign an undertaking promising to provide for the basic requirements of the person being sponsored and, if applicable, their dependent children.
- You and the person being sponsored sign an agreement that confirms that each of you understands your mutual obligations and responsibilities.
As of March 2, 2012, if you entered Canada as a sponsored spouse or partner you are not eligible to sponsor a new spouse or partner for a period of 5 years. This 5 year period starts from the day that you are granted permanent residence in Canada. This change applies to permanent residents and Canadian citizens.
You may need to provide financial support for the family members you are sponsoring depending on their age and relationship to you. If you are sponsoring other family members, you will have to prove you have an income that is at least equal to the minimum necessary income.
What is a Common-Law and Conjugal Partner?
You can sponsor a person as your common-law partner if:
- That person is of the opposite or same sex; and
- You and your partner have lived together in a conjugal relationship for a period of at least one year.
According to the application, the conjugal category is intended for partners of Canadian sponsors who would ordinarily apply as:
- Common-law partners but cannot meet the definition, that is were not able to live together continuously for one year with their sponsor; or
- Spouses, but marriage to their sponsor is usually not an available option to them, usually because of marital status or sexual orientation, combined with an immigration barrier (for example, rules preventing partner and sponsor of long stays in one another's countries).
For sponsorship purposes, a dependent child may be your own child or those of the person you are sponsoring. They must:
- Be under the age of 22 and not a spouse or common-law partner; or
- Have depended substantially on the financial support of a parent and have been continuously enrolled and in attendance as full-time students in a post secondary institution accredited by the relevant government authority since before the age of 22; or
- Have depended substantially on the financial support of a parent since before the age of 22 and unable to provide for themselves due to a medical condition.
You must pay a processing fee when you submit your application. This fee is non-refundable. If this process is successful, an immigrant visa will be approved. You must pay a Right of Permanent Residence Fee for every person 19 years old or older for the visa to be issued. The sponsored person must come to Canada before the visa expires.