4. Get a response
Question & AnswerHow do I sponsor my spouse or partner if they’re living outside Canada?
You can check processing times here.
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) will return your application if it's not complete or if you haven't paid your processing fees.
If your application is being processed, IRCC will:
- send you an application number and acknowledgment of receipt
- decide if you're eligible to be a sponsor
- decide if your or partner is eligible for permanent residence
IRCC will decide if you qualify to be a sponsor. This includes making sure you meet the rules about financial responsibilities and your status, for example, you cannot be a sponsor if you have been convicted of certain crimes.
The sponsorship application form asks you to decide what you'll do if IRCC decides that you don't qualify.
You must choose whether you'll:
- withdraw your application, or
- proceed with the application.
You’re not eligible to be a sponsor
If you say you'll withdraw the application, this means that IRCC will send you a refund of the money you paid to apply, minus $75. But you won't have the right to appeal their decision. And you'll have to re-apply if you want to try to sponsor that again.
If you say you want to proceed with your application, this means that IRCC will continue processing it. At the end of the process, they'll refuse your application. But you may be able to appeal that decision to the Immigration Appeal Division (IAD) of the .
The choice you make when you apply is important. If this is your situation, it's a good idea to get legal advice.
If you appeal a sponsorship decision
The IAD can consider or reasons that your spouse or partner's application for permanent residence should proceed. These reasons include information about the hardship for you, your spouse, and your children if you were permanently separated.
The IAD can allow the application to proceed even if they agree with IRCC that according to the rules you don't qualify to be a sponsor.
But the IAD will not consider humanitarian and compassionate reasons if the person being sponsored does not qualify as a family member. For example, this might apply if they married you, but were not legally able to because they were married before and did not have a divorce.
You’re accepted as a sponsor
If you're approved as a sponsor, IRCC will decide if your spouse or partner is eligible for permanent residence. IRCC will send your spouse or partner a letter with the application number.
After they get this letter, your spouse or partner can link their application to the online account if you're their designated representative. For more information about how to do this: https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/application/account/link-paper-online.html
Your spouse or partner will be asked to submit their:
- medical exams
- police certificates
When the biometrics fee is paid, IRCC will send your spouse or partner a letter asking them to give their biometrics. Your spouse or partner then has 30 days to give their biometrics in person at their closest collection point. They must show the letter from IRCC when they give their biometrics.
To finish processing their application, your spouse or partner will have to send IRCC:
- their passports, or photocopies of their passports
- 2 photos
- proof of payment for the right of permanent residence fee
IRCC will send your spouse or partner:
- a Confirmation of Permanent Residence that says they have been approved to become a Canadian
- a permanent resident visa, if required
Your spouse or partner must travel to Canada and meet an immigration officer at a Canadian before their documents expire. The officer will make the final decision to allow your spouse or partner enter Canada as a permanent resident.
Your spouse or partner will get a letter that says:
- why the application was refused
- how to appeal the decision, if you're sponsoring a spouse, partner from outside Canada.