I’ve applied to sponsor someone outside Canada. What happens next?

5. Get a decision

Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) can decide to do one of the following:

  • give the sponsored person outside Canada a visa to come here
  • give your or in Canada permanent resident status
  • refuse the application to sponsor and refuse the sponsored person's application for permanent residence

IRCC will send their decision in a letter. The sponsor gets a letter and so does the person who applied for permanent residence.

If IRCC refuses the sponsorship application

Sometimes when IRCC refuses the application, you may be able to appeal the decision to the Immigration Appeal Division of the Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB).

You have 30 days to start your appeal, from the time you get the letter from IRCC saying they refused the application. Often, your or will get a refusal letter before you do.

It's best to get legal advice and help with an appeal.

If you applied to sponsor your spouse or common-law partner who is living in Canada, you don't have the right to appeal to the IRB. You can ask the Federal Court to agree to review the decision. You'll need to get legal advice about your options.

If IRCC approves the application

If IRCC approves the application, they invite your relative or family member to an interview where they get a Confirmation of Permanent Residence. This is a document that says they're approved for permanent resident status.

IRCC also sends them a permanent resident visa if they need one to travel to Canada.  

These documents will have an expiry date. If a person is outside Canada, they must come here before that date and show these documents to a Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) officer when they arrive.

At the interview when your relative arrives at the , the CBSA officer looks at their documents. The CBSA officer makes the final decision about whether your relative will receive a Confirmation of permanent resident status.

The officer can decide to let the person enter Canada. Or they can refuse to let the person enter. But the sponsor has the right to appeal this decision to the Immigration Appeal Division of the IRB.

If you're sponsoring your spouse or common-law partner who's in Canada, they'll get a date for an interview at an IRCC office. The IRCC officer decides if they'll get permanent resident status.

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