Can I sponsor my spouse or partner who’s living outside Canada?

You may be able to sponsor your , , or to apply for status if you're:

  • a Canadian citizen, or
  • a permanent resident.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has a policy that allows people who are defined as Status Indians under the Indian Act to sponsor relatives and family members. This policy was created because it was left out of the law.

You must also be:

  • at least 18 years old, and
  • living in Canada, unless you're a Canadian citizen and can show that you'll live in Canada when your spouse or partner becomes a permanent resident.

There are many other rules about who can be a sponsor that apply regardless of who you want to sponsor. This includes rules about financial responsibilities and your status, for example, you cannot be a sponsor if you've been convicted of certain crimes.

This question looks at the rules that are specific to sponsoring a spouse or partner.

If you’re a protected person

If you're applying for permanent resident status after being accepted as a refugee or a in Canada, you may be able to include your spouse or common-law partner in your application.

And a protected person may be able to add their spouse or common-law partner as a dependant within a year of becoming a permanent resident.

You don't have to meet financial eligibility rules to:

  • include your partner in your application for permanent resident status, or
  • add them within a year of becoming a permanent resident.

Get help if you need it

The rules about sponsoring someone are complicated.

If you're not sure about something, get legal help. A community agency may be able to give you information or refer you to some place that can.

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