Apply to sponsor your spouse, partner or children

Spousal sponsorship program update: Faster processing begins. New application package to come on December 15, 2016, at noon EST.

Find out about important changes we’re making to process your spousal sponsorship application within 12 months.

Does your spouse or partner want to work while they wait for their application to be processed?

If you are sponsoring your spouse or partner under the Spouse or Common-Law Partner in-Canada Class, they may be eligible for an open work permit. Find out how to apply.

There are two stages in the process to sponsor your spouse, partner or dependent children to become permanent residents.

First: As a citizen or permanent resident of Canada, you must apply to sponsor your family member.

  • The Case Processing Centre (CPC) in Canada will process your application to sponsor.
  • The CPC will write you to tell you if Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) has approved your application.

Second: Your spouse, partner, or dependent children must apply for permanent residence.

You must send both your sponsorship application and the permanent residence application for your family members at the same time.

How to apply

There are three steps to apply to sponsor your spouse, partner or children:

1. Get the application package

If your spouse or partner lives with you in Canada, use the Application for Permanent Residence in Canada—Spouse or Common-Law Partner. Note: if a child of your spouse or partner is also living with you in Canada, they may be included on the application if they meet the definition of dependent child.

If your spouse, partner or dependent child lives outside Canada, use the Application to Sponsor a Member of the Family Class.

  • If we approve you as a sponsor, the CPC will send your family member’s application to a Canadian visa office to be processed.

Read the guides for both the sponsor and the immigrant carefully before you fill out the application forms. This will help you make sure you are eligible before you apply. We will not refund the fee to process your forms if you are not eligible to be a sponsor.  

Use the instruction guide to help you fill out the application forms. Send all the documents listed in the Document Checklist. Missing information or documents can delay your application.

  • As the sponsor, you will agree in writing to support your spouse, common-law partner or conjugal partner for three years. If you sponsor a dependent child, you will commit to support the child for three to 10 years, depending on the child’s age.
  • Your spouse, partner and older dependent children must promise to try to support themselves.
  • If you sponsor any of your dependent children who will not come with your spouse or partner, you will have to fill out a separate application.
  • The people you sponsor must fill out the application for permanent residence.

The people you want to sponsor must get a medical exam. Gather the applications, supporting documents and proof that the medical exam has been done.

Note: The information you provide in your application about your family members and marital status must be true. You must tell CIC of any change in your case.

You must include all of your family members on the application. The people you sponsor must also tell us about each of their close family members.

If you are outside Canada: The people you sponsor must also tell us about each of their close family members. These family members must have a security and criminality check and a medical exam. If they do not, the sponsored person will not be able to sponsor them in the future.

2. Pay your application fees

Your application processing fees must be paid online. Include your proof of payment with your application.

The principal applicant must also pay the $490 right of permanent residence fee (RPRF) before permanent resident status can be granted.

The RPRF is the only fee that you don’t need to include with your sponsorship application. If you don’t include it, you will be asked to pay it later.

Note: These people do not have to pay the $490 right of permanent residence fee:

  • the dependent children of the person you are sponsoring,
  • a dependent child of a permanent resident or Canadian citizen, and
  • a protected persons and their family members.

Use the pay your fees tool to see how much your fees will be and how to pay them online.

3. Submit your application

Mail your completed application to the Case Processing Centre in Mississauga, Ontario.

Find out how long it will take CIC to process your application.

You can also learn about the service standards for sponsoring your family from overseas. These standards explain the level of service you can expect to get in most cases.

Where to send your application

Find out where you should send your application
Date Modified: