The Family Class allows the citizens and the permanent residents of Canada to sponsor their parents, dependent children, grandparents and common-law/conjugal partner or spouse. The spousal sponsorship program is basically a subsection of this Family Class immigration program. Under this program, a permanent resident or citizen of Canada may sponsor a common-law partner or opt for a spousal sponsorship in Canada for Canadian permanent residency.

Both the permanent resident or the citizen of Canada (the sponsor) and the foreign national (sponsored individual) should be approved by IRCC in order for the foreign national to get a visa. To get a visa via this immigration program, the sponsored person and the sponsor should prove that their relation qualifies under any of these three categories:

• Common-law Partner
• Spouse
• Conjugal Partner

N.B. – Same-sex marriage is recognized in Canada and same sex partners are eligible to apply under any of the above mentioned categories provided they meet the eligibility criteria.

Outland Sponsorship

Outland application is pursued when the sponsored partner lives outside Canada. During the application process, Outland applicants may still be in Canada & apply via the Outland program, and be permitted to travel in as well as out of the nation. Outland applications are generally processed via the visa office, which serves the applicant’s origin country or where they’ve lived at least for one year legally.

Inland Sponsorship

Another option for common-law/spousal sponsorship in Canada is Inland route. This happens when a couple stays together in Canada and the common-law partner/spouse has a temporary status in the country either as a student, visitor or a worker. The sponsored person may be eligible for common-law partner/spousal open work permit enabling him/her to work for an employer in the nation while the sponsorship application is in process.

After Sponsorship

Permanent residency granted under Spousal Sponsorship program has a few conditions, which should be met:
1. The sponsor who is a permanent resident or citizen in Canada is financially responsible for the sponsored individual for 3 years after the person sponsored gets permanent residency.
2. People who are sponsored through a Spousal Sponsorship program as spouses in Canada are barred from sponsoring any spouse for 5 years after getting a permanent residency in Canada.