Canadian citizens and permanent residents, 18 years of age and older, need to apply for Spousal Sponsorship to sponsor their foreign partner to live permanently in Canada. Recently the Canadian government has made changes to the Spousal Sponsorship application to make the process more efficient for applicants. These changes include a reduction in the number of relationship questions requested, processing your application faster, as well as no longer requiring a medical exam submitted with your application. As of September 23, 2022, applicants must also apply online for this program. Although these changes make the process of sponsoring a spouse to Canada more efficient, the application process can still be one for the most complex legal processes. Brace Law can assist you and your partner with your Spousal Sponsorship application.

There are three kinds of sponsorship applications for eligible relationships including spouse, conjugal partner and common-law partner relationships. 

To qualify as a spousal relationship, your marriage must be recognized as legal under Canadian law. This differs from a common-law partner, where you do not need to be legally married, but do need to provide evidence that your relationship is valid and that you have cohabitated together for a minimum of 12 consecutive months. Under a conjugal partner relationship application, the couple must demonstrate that they are in a committed partnership, but unable to marry or cohabitate for a one-year period due to qualifying circumstances. Upon approval of the Spousal Sponsorship application, your partners immigration status will be updated to reflect that they are a permanent resident of Canada.  

As a sponsor of one of these eligible relationships, you must demonstrate your ability to be financially responsible for the basic needs of your partner for three years after permanent residency is approved. This financial responsibility continues, even if the relationship were to end within the three-year commitment period. Basic needs consist of everyday living essentials such as shelter, food, and health care necessities. Included in the application process, the sponsor must sign a Sponsorship Agreement acknowledging this support. 

If you are sponsoring dependent children in this application process, the financial responsibility includes a three-year period of responsibility for dependents aged 22 years and over, from the day they become a permanent resident.  For dependents under the age of 22, the period of financial responsibility is either ten years from the day they become a permanent resident, or, if they turn 25 years of age within the ten-year period, financial responsibility will cease at the dependent’s 25th birthday. 

Applicants under the spouse and common-law partner relationships may also explore applying for an open work permit. This would allow the foreign partner to apply for any job position with any employer across Canada. 

If you and your partner are looking to explore options for immigrating to Canada under the Spousal Sponsorship applications, book a consultation with Brace Law. Our experienced team can help navigate you through this complex process. Consider it Handled with Brace Law. 

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