How do I sponsor my spouse or partner if they’re living outside Canada?

You may be able to sponsor your , , or who is living outside Canada for status.

You make your sponsorship application to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). IRCC decides if:

You may be able to include your spouse or partner's children in the same application. You can learn more about sponsoring a in Can I sponsor my child or my spouse or partner’s child to become a permanent resident?

List all family members

In any application for permanent residence, the person applying must list their spouse, common-law or conjugal partner, and any dependent children and their dependent children.

This means your spouse or partner must list any dependent children they have (and their dependent children, if they have any), even if those children won't be coming with them to Canada. All dependent children will have to do medical exams for IRCC to decide if those children are . Children over 18 must have a criminal background check. IRCC does this even if the children are not coming with your spouse or partner.

If the children are not listed on your application or they don't go through the examination process with IRCC, your spouse or partner:

  • might not have the right to sponsor them later
  • could be refused permanent resident status
  • could lose their permanent resident status in the future

Get help if you need it

The rules and the process for sponsoring someone are complicated.

Mistakes in an application are difficult to correct and can lead to refusal of the application or problems with immigration status. If you're not sure about something, ask for information from a community agency or get legal help.

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