1. Get the correct application package
Question & AnswerHow do I sponsor my spouse or partner if they’re living outside Canada?
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has application packages for each type of sponsorship program that include:
- the forms you and your or partner must fill out
- a checklist with documents that must be included in your application
- an instruction guide to help you fill out the forms correctly
And starting September 23, 2022, you must use the online Permanent Residence Portal to submit your sponsorship application.
You will have to fill out:
- Application to Sponsor, Sponsorship Agreement and Undertaking [IMM 1344]
- Sponsorship Evaluation and Relationship Questionnaire [IMM 5532]
Your spouse or partner will have to fill out:
- Generic Application Form for Canada [IMM 0008]
- Schedule A – Background/Declaration [IMM 5669]
- Additional Family Information [IMM 5406]
You also need the Use of a Representative (IMM 5476) form if someone is helping you complete your application and:
- they are giving you legal advice, or
- you want them to be able to communicate with IRCC and advocate on your behalf, or
- you want to help your spouse or partner complete their forms and you want to be able to communicate with IRCC on their behalf.
You might have to complete other forms. For example, you'll have to do this if:
- your spouse or partner has a from a previous relationship, and
- you don't have a custody document.
Read the instructions carefully. Some forms must be completed as fillable PDF documents and then uploaded to the portal. Other forms must be completed through the portal.
Requirements for specific countries
Depending on where your spouse or partner has lived, there might be additional forms and special instructions.
For example, if your spouse or partner has lived in more than one country, they will need to get a police certificate for the country where:
- they now live, if they've lived there 6 months or more, and
- the country or countries where they lived most of their life after the age of 18.
How to get a police certificate depends on the country you’re getting it from.
Fill out the forms carefully
If the forms are not completed with all the required information, IRCC will send the application back. They won't begin to process the application until it's complete. This is especially important if you have included a dependent child who will turn 22 soon.
If something does not apply, write “N/A” or “not applicable”. If you're not sure about something, say so. If you need more space to explain something, use another sheet of paper and attach it with your application.
IRCC checks any other information they have about you and your spouse or partner, such as information in previous applications. If there are differences, IRCC may investigate. And there's a risk that you could:
- lose your status in Canada, and
- be forced to leave.
If there's any risk that this could happen, get legal help.