• Calver & Associates

Spousal Sponsorship to Canada: Requirements, Denial, Processing Time, and Program Updates

Updated: Apr 20, 2020

The spousal sponsorship program allows a Canadian citizen or permanent resident to sponsor their spouse, conjugal partner, or common-law partner for permanent residency.


There are two types of spousal sponsorship:


  1. Inland Spousal Sponsorship: the couple is already living together in Canada and the non-resident partner has valid temporary status in Canada (as a worker, student, or visitor).

  2. Outland Spousal Sponsorship: the couple is not yet living together and one partner resides in a different country.


What's the difference between a common-law relationship and a conjugal relationship?


A common-law relationship is one in which both partners have lived together in a conjugal relationship for a period of one or more years.


A conjugal relationship is one in which the common-law partners were unable to live together continuously for one year. A conjugal relationship also applies to spouses whose marriage to their sponsor is not an available option due to marital status or sexual orientation, combined with an immigration barrier.


How long do you have to live together to be considered common law in Ontario?


To be considered common law, you must have lived continuously with your partner in a marital-type relationship for at least one year.


What documents are required for spousal sponsorship?


Some of the documents required for a sponsor include: a Permanent Residency card, proof of Canadian citizenship (Canadian passport, Citizenship card, or birth certificate), and proof of your relationship to the sponsor.

Document Checklist Spousal Sponsorship

What happens if my spousal sponsorship is denied?


Spousal sponsorships are subject to denial. You may be denied if you have failed to pay an immigration loan, performance bond, or family support payments. You are also subject to refusal if you have a criminal record. If this happens, there are a number of different remedies for refusal.


How long does it take to sponsor your spouse?


You can check the IRCC processing times using the processing time calculator. These timeframes reflect cases of average (or no) complexity. As such, these should be used as an estimate of the length of time it will take to process your application, rather than a guarantee. It is also important to note that the processing time is calculated from the date your application is received by IRCC.



Our Services


Calver and Associates is a leading provider of Canadian Immigration services in Durham Region. We serve clients in Oshawa, Whitby, Ajax, and beyond. Our Registered Canadian Immigration Consultant has over 10 years of experience in Canadian Immigration law and over four years of experience serving those in the Oshawa area.


We can provide assistance with applications for both temporary and permanent residency in Canada. We handle applications for study permits, permanent residency, family class sponsorship, visitor visas, work permits, and Canadian citizenship. We also handle criminal inadmissibility cases by developing remedies for refusal.



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