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Canada Sponsorship FAQ

Support help line: 1-866-760-2623

  • Canadian citizens and permanent residents can sponsor their immediate family and “other eligible relatives” for permanent residence in Canada.
  • There are three types of partner sponsorship:
    • spousal sponsorship – for married couples
    • common-law sponsorship – for couples currently living together
    • conjugal sponsorship – for couples prevented from marrying or living together
  • There are two ways of sponsoring your partner:
    • Inland sponsorship – your partner is already physical in Canada
    • Outland sponsorship – your partner is not yet in Canada
  • Sponsoring a child is more straight-forward whereas sponsoring your parents can is more complicated.
For further information see Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship and Canada (IRCC, formerly CIC).

I’m a Filipino woman, i came here in canada as a visitor. Last week, I got married to my Canadian boyfriend. We’ve known each other for almost 3 years, he invited me to visit him and we got a 1 year multiple entry visa. I came here last June 2019, and exited canada last December 7 and came back December 28. He proposed to me last January 1, 2020 and we got married last February 14, 2020. We’re planning to start our Spousal sponsorship but our marriage license are not still available. We called vital statistics but they told us that we might wait for months to get our marriage license since they have backlogs from last year and they are still processing marriage license from last year. Our problem now is that my Visitor visa will expire on May 15 and we only have two months to start the process but we can’t start the process because we don’t have the marriage license yet. We don’t know what to do next, tho we are planning to apply for my visitor visa extension or apply for open work permit but we’re not sure if it is the right move to do.

Submit the application with any proof of the marriage you have and include a letter saying you are waiting on the marriage license from the provincial Vital Statistics office. If you have written correspondence about the delay, include copies of that with your application.


I am a Canadian permanent resident, my spouse came to Canada and we got married , now I am in Africa (Cotonu ) to do another wedding so I can submit the two marriage certificate to the Canadian government to sponsor my spouse . cos he has a Canada visitor visa My question is , can we both come back to canada on the same day on same flight? And can I declear to the immigration at the port of entry we are both coming together from Africa and he will be staying together in my apartment for a couple of days before he travel back to Africa, or he should book a hotel?

You can travel together.

For the Port of Entry, your husband should bring proof of his return flight. If you want to really be safe he bring proof of property he owns/leases in Benin as well as proof of employment. Without proof of a return flight he may be denied entry.


My husband is Canadian. He came allover to Pakistan to marry me Dec 2014. He started my PR immigration spousal sponsorship in 2015. He is kind of short tempered man & influenced by people gossips which result our unwanted fights. Time passes… 2017 Feb finally my PR immigration got matured & i have been called for interview which my husband hides from me based on condition applied on me to sign per-neptuial agreement for entry in Canada & i was not aware since our lawyer first email to my husband residing in Canada. When things got worse shape when i got email from lawyer stating that your PR immigration sponsorship has been withdrawal upon request of your husband with CIC confirmation letter attached…. Then my family got involved & things turned better again BUT my sponsorship was cancelled. Anyhow, our relation patch up again but never to less new condition applied for he force me to pay all Canadian lawyer fees to re-apply PR immigration which i agreed to safe my marriage. Now i paid from Pakistan in $ all lawyer fees for my case to restart from the beginning. But lawyer email us filled forms to review the details if its okay for both of us…. One hidden secret disclosed….. He was married before which was never shared with me before neither this form information. Now since that day he is not talking to me at all though i am quite till date & had not discuss anything with him. But today he text me with saying to END this relation with the reason that he lost his feeling for me & can’t wait for long for me because of this PR immigration. What is my fault here? What should i do? Will Canadian will help me in this case?j I need true advise. One Canadian Citizen just cant play with my life because Pakistan cant get easy Visa even though i am legal wedded wife of him……

This is not your fault.

There is nothing you can do if he withdraws the sponsorship application or breaks up with you.

The law has since been changed to prevent things like this from happening. Unfortunately for you, it was changed right around when you lost your PR.


I’m 19 years old now and I have a boyfriend from the Philippines we’ve been in a relationship way back 2012 but we broke last 2014 but last year we started talking again and decided ta again decided to get marry next year btw Im PR here in BC, both our parents are okay with,. am I able to bring him here?

He needs to apply for a visitor visa. You cannot sponsor him unless you are married or have been living common law for at least a year.


my bf is still married in Philippines but separated already and his currently in Jeddah working, he wants to convert in Muslim so the 2 of us can get married since annulment in Philippines is taking for ever. Once we get married can I sponsor him from Jeddah to bring him to Canada?

If you marry after his marriage has been annuled, you will be able to sponsor him for permanent residence. However, if you marry while he is still married, Canada does not care what religion he is (or both of you are). Bigamy/polygamy is illegal in Canada and Canada does not recognize those marriages, even if they may be legal in Saudi Arabia.


My boyfriend lives in Poland. If he comes to Canada and we get married can he travel back to Poland to work while waiting for PR ? (he works for advertising company which doesn’t require him to be there all the time – just 3 or 4 times a year for a project). 

Yes, absolutely. This is actally what the Canadian government wants you to do.

But, in this case, you’ll want to apply for sponsorship once he’s left, as it’s officially an “outland” application this way, so he needs to be outside of the country.

That is, unless you meant travel back for work for brief periods. In that case you should go with him, as sponsored spouses on inland applications should have their sponsors with them when they travel outside of Canada.


I am a Canadian citizen who wants to marry an international student currently studying in Canada. What do I need to do to start the sponsorship process?

First, you need to marry them.

Next, you need to download the application off of IRCC’s website and gather all the documentation you need.

Then you mail that application to IRCC, along with the work or study permit application if applicable.

Then you wait 12 months. Normally. But since there’s a pandemic, who knows how long it will take.


I am a permanent resident in Canada and my boyfriend is currently an Indian citizen. Is it possible if my boyfriend comes to Canada on visit visa and I marry him in Canada I can sponsor him

Yes, that is how it works.


what documents do I need to apply for a permanent residence through spousal sponsorship

We wrote an article answering this question: what documents you need to be sponsored for permanent residence.

It’s not a short list, which is why we are just linking to the article instead of repeating the information here.


I am here now in canada and already waiting for permanent residency. I was sponsored by my mother and my status in application is single, but on country ive been im married. How can i sponsor my husband if im married before but my application is single.

That is a problem. You were supposed to declare that you were married on the sponsorship application. You should contact a lawyer or a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (RCIC) to see if you have any options.

Of course, if the marriage certificate is dated after the sponsorship application was submitted, there is no problem.


I’ve been a permanent resident for 2 years with the condition of living with my wife for 2 years. The 2 years mark was 10 days ago and she happened to leave me tooday because she said she wasn’t happy with me anymore. I wasn’t expecting, she just left while I wasn’t home. What happens on Conditional PR cases. Does it become defenitive automatically after the 2 years? And can something happen to me if I can’t get my wife back?

Sorry to hear that.

The law you are referring to has been repealed. Her PR status stopped being conditional on her living with you as of April 2017.

There are no official consequences for the spouse who sponsored the other spouse for PR.


I’m a Canadian citizen and my soon to be wife is Japanese. We’ve been together for almost a year now and we’ve visited each other in Japan and in Canada a number of times. We set to get married in August of this year. My question is that she’s only here for a few days after the wedding and then she will have to go back to Japan after. I will have to process the immigration papers while she is there. Will she be able to live with me in Canada later on while we are waiting to get her permanent residency? Or will she have to wait in Japan until the immigration says its okay?

If she is physically present in Canada when you submit the sponsorship application she can stay in Canada until there is a decision on that application. That’s what happens under normal circumstances.

Given the current situation (the pandemic) it is possible her visitor status will be automatically extended as part of a general extension. So you may have more time.


Can my girl friends cousins who are Canadian residents sponsor me to become Canadian Citizen? Or stay longer than a 6 month travel visa? We are both British Citizens. I am 32 years old. I’d like to live & work in Canada ideally.

It’s very unlikely. There are a couple provinces which allow family members to sponsor other family members if they have jobs for them, i.e. the cousin must own a business and that business must be located in one of the few provinces which still allows this. (The program has been abused a lot as you can likely imagine, so that’s why it’s no longer widespread.)

If you’re British you should just apply to immigrate through Express Entry or look for jobs. You’ll have a much easier time at the latter than most foreigners.


I am from Argentina and my boyfriend is a Canadian citizen, I do have a visitor visa as of right now and I’ve visited him before. We’re planning on getting married next time I visit him in Quebec and then apply for the spousal sponsorship. Is it possible for me to say in Canada legally (the initial 6 months of visiting and maybe apply for an extension if needed) while we apply for inland sponsorship and open work permit? And, when we get married, do I need my birth certificate translated in my country or translated in Quebec?

Yes, you can stay in Canada legally as long as the sponsorship application has been submitted before your visit status expires.

You should probably get your birth certificate translated in Argentina because the translator in Quebec will not be able to do anything but translate your birth certificate (i.e. not be able to attest that it is a birth certificate).


I’m a Canadian citizen and originally from Iraq, my bf is in Iraq. we want to get married but we are from different religions and Iraq doesn’t allow civil marriage. our financial status is not very good. what’s the best way for him to come to Canada and get married and stay in Canada?

You have three options once the pandemic restrictions are relaxed:

  • He can apply for a visitor visa – it’s approved he can come to Canada, marry you and you can sponsor him for permanent resident.
  • If he cannot get a visitor visa, you can both travel to some third country which will allow you to marry and then you can sponsor him outland.
  • The third option is the hardest from an application standpoint: you can apply for “conjugal” sponsorship, by attempting to prove that Iraq’s laws keep you from being able to marry in Iraq. (You should only try this after he has been rejected for a visitor visa to Canada.)

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