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There are two different processes for sponsoring your family. One process is used for sponsoring your spouse, conjugal or common-law partner and/or dependent children. Another process is used to sponsor other eligible relatives.

Sponsoring a spouse or child
Spouse and children sponsorship are given the highest priority. Please note that ‘spouse’ under current immigration legislation includes married, conjugal, common-law partners and same sex partners. We urge you to seek legal advice if sponsoring as any of these partners. The requirements and evidence required may be confusing and cumbersome in some cases.

In a spouse sponsorship application, a Visa or Immigration officer looks at the usual eligibility factors like legal validity of the relationship, medical and police clearances and also examines the genuineness of the relationship. If the officer is not convinced that your relationship is genuine, the sponsorship application will be refused. You will then need to appeal that refusal in Canada.

Sponsoring an eligible relative
You can sponsor certain relatives if you are a citizen or permanent resident of Canada and if you are 18 years of age or older.

You may not be eligible to sponsor a relative if you:

  • failed to provide the financial support you agreed to when you signed a sponsorship agreement to sponsor another relative in the past
  • defaulted on a court-ordered support order, such as alimony or child support
  • received government financial assistance for reasons other than a disability
  • were convicted of a violent criminal offence, any offence against a relative or any sexual offence-depending on circumstances, such as the nature of the offence, how long ago it occurred and whether a pardon was issued
  • defaulted on an immigration loan-late or missed payments
  • are in prison or
  • have declared bankruptcy and have not been released from it yet.