Who can apply to sponsor your spouse, partner or children

Who can become a sponsor

You can become a sponsor if you are:

  • a Canadian citizen, a person registered in Canada as an Indian under the Canadian Indian Act or a permanent resident
  • at least 18 years old
  • living in Canada:
    • If you are a Canadian citizen living outside Canada, you must show that you plan to live in Canada when your sponsored relative becomes a permanent resident.
    • You can’t sponsor someone if you are a permanent resident living outside Canada
  • If you live in Quebec, you must also meet Quebec’s conditions to be a sponsor.
  • able to prove that you have enough income to provide basic needs for your spouse or partner’s dependent children. You must submit documents showing your financial resources for the past 12 months only if the spouse or partner you are sponsoring has a grandchild who is coming with them (see subsection 1(3) of the IRPR for more details).

You can’t be a sponsor if you:

  • were sponsored by a spouse or partner and you became a permanent resident less than five years ago
  • sponsored a previous spouse or partner and three years have not passed since this person became a permanent resident
  • are in default of a previous sponsorship undertaking, an immigration loan, a performance bond or family support payments
  • are still going through the process of bankruptcy (undischarged bankruptcy)
  • receive social assistance for a reason other than a disability
  • were convicted of a violent or sexual offence, an offence that caused bodily harm to a relative or you attempted or threatened to commit any of these offences
  • are in a penitentiary, jail, reformatory or prison
  • are under a removal order
  • have already applied to sponsor your current spouse, partner or child and a decision on your application hasn’t been made yet.

Who you can sponsor

  1. You can sponsor your spouse, common-law partner or conjugal partner if:
    • your spouse, common-law or conjugal partner is at least 18 years old
    • your relationship is genuine (real) and was not entered into primarily for the purpose of acquiring any status or privilege under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.
    If your spouse or common-law partner is applying in the Spouse or Common-law Partner in Canada class, he or she must cohabit (live) with you in Canada.
  2. You can sponsor your dependent child as long as the child meets the definition of a dependent child. If you are sponsoring more than one dependent child, you must submit a complete set of application forms and documents for each one. Applications to sponsor dependent children are processed outside Canada.

To be eligible for permanent residence, the principal applicant and any dependants must not be inadmissible to Canada.

Read more about eligibility requirements in the Complete Guide.

Sponsors living in Quebec

The province of Quebec has its own immigration rules. Find out how to sponsor someone if you live in Quebec.

After your application is received, we will send you an email or letter with instructions about how to apply to the Quebec government to become a sponsor. If Quebec approves you as a sponsor, you will get a Quebec Selection Certificate.

We encourage you to prepare your Quebec sponsorship application in advance to avoid delays.

If you need help, contact the Quebec ministry for immigration.

Complete Guide: See all eligibility requirements

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