Sponsor your spouse, partner or children

Effective December 22, 2014, eligible spouses or common-law partners have the opportunity to work in Canada while they wait for their application for permanent residence to be processed.

Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) will issue open work permits to certain spouses or common-law partners who are applying for permanent residence from inside Canada, before the approval in principle decision on their application is made.

For more information and instructions on this pilot program, please see CIC’s program delivery update.

Effective August 1, 2014, Citizenship and Immigration Canada has changed its definition of a dependent child for its immigration programs. A dependent child must be under 19 years of age, instead of the previous limit of under 22 years of age. Find out more about the change in the definition of a dependent child. New application kits, forms and fee information are now available. These new forms must be used starting August 1, 2014. Use this web tool to determine how your application may be affected.

If you are a citizen or permanent resident of Canada, you can sponsor your:

  • spouse,
  • common-law or conjugal partner, or
  • dependent children

to immigrate to Canada.

If you sponsor a family member to immigrate to Canada, you must provide proof that you can:

  • meet basic needs—such as food, clothing and shelter—for yourself and your family,
  • support your relative financially and
  • make sure your spouse or relative does not need to ask for financial help from the government.

Determine your eligibility

Find out if you are eligible to sponsor your spouse, partner or children.

If you live in Quebec, you must also meet Quebec’s conditions to be a sponsor.


The first step is to apply to be a sponsor. You must be a citizen or permanent resident of Canada, and at least 18 years old.

Check processing times

Find out how long it will take Citizenship and Immigration Canada to process your sponsorship application.

After you apply: Next steps

Learn what happens after you apply to sponsor your family.

Prepare for arrival

Find out what you need to do to prepare for your family members to arrive in Canada.

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