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The Easy Way to Sponsor Your Spouse to Work in Canada

Family members are often separated for long periods of time with the intention of pursuing better opportunities abroad. Foreign nationals who work in Canada are likely to become permanent residents through various economic immigration programs.

The good news is that Canada is committed to keeping families together. Canadian citizens and permanent residents may sponsor their spouses or partners for immigration to Canada through the Canadian Sponsorship Immigration Program. If successful, the sponsored person obtains permanent resident status, allowing the couple to build their lives together in the Great North.

In fact, Canada plans on reuniting between 68, 000 - 98, 000 spouses, partners, and dependent children in 2021 alone.

Find out how you can sponsor your spouse to live and work in Canada below!

What You Need to Know About Canada’s Spousal Sponsorship

Sweet couple playing the snow

Canada Sponsorship Requirements

Let’s first take a look at who can sponsor their significant others to obtain permanent residency and kick start thriving careers in Canada. The most important factor is that the sponsor or principal applicant is a Canadian permanent resident or citizen. Other requirements are as follows:

  • You must be 18 years or older;
  • You must be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident;
  • You must be living in Canada and plan to live in Canada when your spouse or partner becomes a permanent resident;
  • Have enough income to provide for the basic needs of your spouse and any dependant children; and
  • prove that you are not receiving social assistance for reasons other than a disability.

Who can take the Sponsorship Route to Canada?

Spouses, common-law partners, and the conjugal partners of Canadian permanent residents and citizens as well as their dependant children (under 22) may be sponsored to live and work in Canada. They’ll either be eligible for inland sponsorship or outland sponsorship depending on their civil status and living circumstances. Find out which type of sponsorship you may qualify for in the table below.


Canada Sponsorship Type
Civil StatusDescriptionInland or Outland Sponsorship
Spouses A spouse is a partner with whom you are legally married. Both, depending on if your spouse lives in Canada or outside of Canada.
Common-law partnersA common-law partner isn’t legally married to you but has been living with you for at least 12 consecutive months. Inland Sponsorship
Conjugal partnersA conjugal partner is a person outside Canada who has had a binding relationship with you for at least one year but could not, for some reason(s), live with you. Outland Sponsorship

Note: These definitions include both opposite- and same-sex relationships.

Canada Inland Sponsorship VS Outland Sponsorship

Beautiful Asian family at their new house

Outland sponsorship and Inland sponsorship applications are submitted to different departments in Canada and processing times may vary.

Inland sponsorship is pursued when the couple is together in Canada, and the spouse/ partner has temporary resident status either as a student, visitor, or worker. The advantage of Inland sponsorship is that the sponsored person may be eligible for an open work permit which allows them to work in Canada while the permanent residency application is being processed. That means your spouse or partner can legally work in Canada for 12-months while your application is being processed.

Unlike an employer-specific work permit which requires an LMIA-document and restricts you to work for a specific Canadian employer, an open work permit allows the holder to work anywhere in Canada and for any company without any red tape.

Outland sponsorship is pursued when the sponsored person lives outside of Canada. A potential advantage to the Outland sponsorship is that in some cases the processing time may be shorter in order to reunite family members quicker.

Sponsorship application times for Canada_Infographic

Image Source: Canadian Government

How much does it cost to sponsor your spouse?

It costs approximately CAD $1,135 to sponsor your spouse or partner to immigrate to Canada. This amount only includes mandatory immigration fees:

  • CAD$75 – Sponsorship Fee
  • CAD$475 – Principal Applicant Processing Fee
  • CAD$85 – Biometrics
  • CAD$500 – Right of Permanent Residence Fee

Note: If you include a dependent child in your application you will need to pay an additional $150 per child.

To start the process of sponsoring your spouse or partner and dependent children you must apply to become a sponsor and your spouse must apply for permanent residence under the Spouse or Common-Law Partner in Canada class -both of your applications must be mailed together.

How Canadian Visa Can Help You Sponsor Your Significant Other

Young family with baby having fun on the beach

The best way to ensure your sponsorship application is processed as quickly as possible is to make sure it’s done right the first time. Canadian Visa is an immigration and visa agency situated in Vancouver, Canada. We are headed by a team of certified immigration specialists with years of experience with Canada’s Spousal Sponsorship.

Step 1: Application forms and required documents




You don’t have to search the depths of the ocean to find application forms and lists of required documents. If you create an account with Canadian Visa, you’ll get your very own user dashboard to download forms and upload documents with ease. (Note: the example above is for a student visa application).

Our friendly agents are available on live chat with information for any questions you may have regarding documents or a specific step in the process. Your documents are reviewed by our immigration specialists to ensure everything is correct and up to Canada’s standard.

Here is a sample of documents you may need for your Spousal or Partner Sponsorship application:

  • passports
  • birth certificates
  • marriage or divorce certificates
  • national identification cards
  • military service documents (for example, military booklets)
  • other civil documents

Step 2: Mail your application to the correct department

As soon as you and your partner have submitted all your documents and the immigration specialist assigned to your case has reviewed and approved your paperwork we will move forward with the next step: submitting your application to the correct processing center in either Sydney, Nova Scotia, or Mississauga, Ontario.

Our immigration specialists are members of the ICCRC which means that they can legally submit your application and liaise with the Canadian authorities on your behalf.

Step 3: Tailored advice and feedback

You can easily track your application status from your Canadian Visa dashboard and if any additional steps are required we will notify you personally. Sometimes the Canadian government may ask for your spouse’s biometrics or an in-person interview during spousal sponsorship.

What’s next?

If you are serious about sponsoring your spouse or common-law partner to work in Canada then don’t leave anything to chance. Start your journey with the help of seasoned professionals. Simply, fill in the form below and we’ll get back to you with an eligibility assessment.

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