What is sponsorship by a spouse or common-law partner?

Sponsorship by a spouse or common-law partner allows a Canadian citizen or permanent resident to sponsor a spouse, common-law partner or conjugal partner to become a permanent resident of Canada. Permanent residence will allow him or her to live, work or/and study in Canada.

It is not mandatory to be civilly or religiously married to be able to sponsor. Common-law partners and conjugal partners can sponsor a person with whom they live as a couple.

Sponsorship is a process that is frequently used to marry a foreign non-resident of Canada. Contact us at 514-903-8560 to begin the process of sponsoring your spouse, common-law partner or conjugal partner.

It is possible to sponsor a person who is already in Canada, just as it is possible to sponsor a person who is abroad.

For a person already in Canada on a worker, student or visitor visa, the sponsorship application will be processed by one of the Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) offices.

For a person who is abroad, the application will be processed by the immigration office of the Canadian Embassy that covers their territory.

In order to apply for sponsorship, the Canadian citizen or permanent resident must demonstrate that they will be able to provide financially for the needs of their spouse, common-law partner or conjugal partner and that the person will not apply for social assistance from the Government of Canada or the Government of Quebec during 3 months.

Note that it is not possible to sponsor a person who is inadmissible to Canada for medical, health or security reasons.

The different stages of a sponsorship application

A permanent resident or Canadian citizen (the sponsor) who lives in Quebec (or who plans to settle there) and who wishes to sponsor their spouse, common-law partner or conjugal partner must first apply for sponsorship with the Government of Canada at Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada. The purpose of this application is to verify the sponsor’s financial capacities.

Once the sponsorship application has been accepted by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, you must submit a commitment application to the Ministère de l’Immigration, de la Francisation et de l’Intégration (MIFI). It is important to wait for the letter from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada which states that your sponsorship application is admissible. You can then submit your application for a commitment as well as the application for a Quebec Selection Certificate (CSQ) for the person to be sponsored.

Once your commitment and CSQ application have been accepted, the sponsored person will then have to apply for permanent residence at Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada.

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Documents needed to sponsor

Different documents need to be presented for sponsorship, depending on the situation. The main documents (written or translated into french or english) to be provided in a sponsorship application, for the sponsor and the sponsored person, are:

  • identity documents;
  • forms;
  • proof of finance;
  • proof of address;
  • passports;
  • marriage certificate;
  • birth certificates (or deeds);
  • marriage or death certificates;
  • national identity cards;
  • military service documents;
  • etc.

Processing times for a sponsorship application

Processing times for sponsorship applications vary depending on the time of year. Processing time begins from the moment your application is received by the department. In the summer of 2019 it took:

  • 2 months for the application for commitment and the CSQ for a sponsored spouse at the MIFI;
  • 12 months for sponsorship and permanent residence with Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, whether the non-permanent resident spouse resides in Canada or abroad. The time can be significantly shorter when the non-permanent resident spouse does not reside in Canada.

Government processing fees for a sponsorship application

Processing fees vary depending on whether they are destined to Canada or the Province of Quebec.

In the fall of 2020, for the Canadian government, the fees are $1,050, breaking down as follows:

  • $75 sponsorship fee;
  • $475 processing fee for principal applicant;
  • $500 fee for the right of permanent residence.

For the Government of Quebec, MIFI has fees of:

  • $289 for the sponsored person;
  • $116 per child.

Note that the processing fee does not include the fees of the notary or other professional who will prepare your sponsorship application.

Be represented to sponsor a spouse or common-law partner

Being represented to apply for sponsorship is an excellent idea. This avoids:

  • incorrectly completed or unsigned forms;
  • presenting an incomplete application or invalid documents;
  • making a non-compliant payment;
  • losing the application, since authorized representatives can use an application portal with the Federal Government;
  • documents or information requested by the agents not being returned in the required time frame;

For an immigration application, the persons authorized to represent a client for compensation are notaries who are members of the Chambre des notaires du Québec, lawyers and accredited immigration consultants.

The federal government allows these authorized representatives to present applications and payment via an online portal.

Contact us at 514-903-8560 to begin the process of sponsoring you spouse, common-law partner or conjugal partner.