Spousal sponsorship program changes: Faster processing and the new application package are available now.
Find out about important changes we've made 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.
To apply to sponsor your spouse, partner or children, read the Basic Guide (IMM 5525).
Once you are approved as a sponsor, the person you are sponsoring creates an online account to continue their permanent residence application.
Find out how to apply
First, find out who can apply to become a sponsor.
We have a guide to help you apply. In the basic guide, see
When we receive your application, we’ll check your application package to make sure it’s complete.
If documents or fees are missing, we’ll send your application back to you.
If your application has all the required documents and fees, we’ll send you an email or letter telling you that we started processing your application and provide you with
- your file number; and
- more information about the next steps.
Want to find out when we get your family class sponsorship package?
Link your application to your online account
If you and the person you’re sponsoring both meet the eligibility requirements, we’ll send you, by email or mail, a request to link your application to an online account.
Find out how to link your application to your account once you create an account or sign in.
Having trouble? See the top questions about linking your application in the Help Centre.
Send us the additional documents we need
We’ll send you, through your online account, requests to submit additional documents.
You can find out more about the documents you need to send us through your online account, such as
- medical exam receipts;
- police certificates;
- the Schedule A form.
While you wait for processing: track or update your application
During processing, track your application and make sure it's up to date by
- checking the status of your application;
- updating your address or other information;
- adding or changing your representative;
- withdrawing your application.
Prepare for arrival in Canada
While you are still overseas, find pre-arrival services to help plan your life in Canada.
To prepare for arrival at the Canadian port of entry,
- find out what documents you’ll need to show border officers;
- know what information you’ll have to provide.
Once you arrive, find services and information for new immigrants to help you start your life in Canada.
Top questions about sponsoring your family
- I am sponsoring my spouse or partner who is in Canada. Can they work while their application is being processed?
- For my IRCC spousal sponsorship application, what is a common-law partner?
- How long will it take to process my spousal sponsorship application?
- What are the changes to the spousal sponsorship program?
- Am I affected by the changes made to reduce spousal sponsorship wait times?
- How can I sponsor my spouse or children?
- See all questions about this topic
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