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

1. Get the correct application package

You need to use the correct application package from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). The package will depend on the information you give about:

  • who you're sponsoring
  • where they live
  • what other countries you need documents from

The package includes forms, instructions, and a checklist.

IRCC sometimes changes the forms. So, it's important to make sure that you're using current versions. Both you and your or partner need to fill out forms.

Follow these steps to open and save an IRCC form in PDF format, using Adobe Acrobat Reader for both PC and Mac users. You can't open the forms on your phone or tablet.

Forms

The forms for an application to sponsor a spouse or partner always include:

You need the Use of a Representative (IMM 5476) form if someone is helping you complete your application and:

  • 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.

If you don't have an authorized legal representative, you can get a friend or to check the status of your application with IRCC. To do this, you use the Authority to Release Personal Information form.

You may 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.

Check the instructions in the guide and the checklist for your package.

Requirements for specific countries

For some countries, you'll have to submit more forms that have special instructions for getting documents. The correct package for you will give this information. It depends on where your spouse or partner lives and where you need to get documents from.

For example, your spouse or partner might live in one country and have lived in other countries. They 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.

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