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Family Sponsorship

Family Dinner

If you are looking to apply for spousal sponsorship inside or outside Canada, there are steps that need to be taken. Take a look at the list below to see if you are eligible to sponsor your spouse, common-law partner, conjugal partner, dependent child, or other.  ​


You can become a sponsor if you are:

  • a Canadian citizen, a person registered in Canada as an Indian under the Canadian Indian Act or a permanent resident,

  • at least 18 years old

  • living in Canada:

    • a Canadian citizen living outside Canada, you must show that you plan to live in Canada when your sponsored relative becomes a permanent resident.  (You cannot sponsor someone if you are a permanent resident living outside of Canada).

You must also be able to show that you can provide basic needs for:

  • yourself,

  • your spouse or partner,

  • your spouse or partner’s dependent child(ren) (if applicable)

  • your dependent child(ren) (if you are sponsoring only your dependent child).


Minimum income requirements:

  • In most cases, there is no low-income-cut-off (LICO) for spouse, partner or dependent child sponsorships. However, if either the spouse or partner you are sponsoring has as dependent child who has dependent children of their own; or the dependent child you are sponsoring has a dependent child of their own, you must meet a minimum LICO score, which is determined by the Canadian government each year. If you must meet LICO requirements, you must include a Financial Evaluation (IMM 1283) form with your application.


You may not be able to sponsor if you:

  • signed an undertaking for a previous spouse or partner and it hasn’t been three years since they became a permanent resident,

  • receive social assistance for a reason other than disability,

  • previously sponsored someone and did not pay back any social assistance that they received while the undertaking was in place.

  • are in default on an immigration loan or a performance bond

  • did not pay court-ordered alimony or child support

  • have declared bankruptcy which has not been discharged

  • were convicted of

    • an offence of a sexual nature

    • a violent crime

    • an offence against a relative that caused bodily harm or

    • threatened or attempted to commit any of the above offences—depending on the nature of the offence, how long ago it happened and if you received a pardon

  • were previously sponsored as a spouse, common-law or conjugal partner and became a permanent resident of Canada less than five years ago

  • are under a removal order

  • are in a penitentiary, jail, reformatory or prison

  • have already applied to sponsor your current spouse or partner and have not received a decision.

Once you have confirmed that you are eligible to sponsor, it is important to be able to provide all the supporting documentation to prove to Immigration Refugee Citizenship of Canada that your relationship is authentic and true. Please refer to the document checklist based on type or relationship and country:

Sponsoring your spouse, partner or dependent child.

Learn more about the process of sponsoring a partner or dependent, your eligibility, and how to prepare all the supporting documentation needed. Book a free 15 minute consultation with a Registered Canadian Immigration Consultant now.  
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