Step-By-Step Guide To Spousal Sponsorship In Canada

Navigate the spousal sponsorship process in Canada with our comprehensive step-by-step guide. From eligibility and document preparation to submission and interviews, ensure a smooth application journey.


Canada is known for its welcoming stance on immigration, and one of the most important aspects of its immigration policy is the family reunification program. Through spousal sponsorship, Canadian citizens and permanent residents can sponsor their spouse or common-law partner to come to Canada and obtain permanent residency. This comprehensive guide will walk you through the step-by-step process of spousal sponsorship in Canada, ensuring you are well-prepared to navigate the complexities involved.


Step 1: Determine Eligibility


Before beginning the application process, it is crucial to ensure both the sponsor and the sponsored person meet the eligibility requirements.


For Sponsors:


  • Must be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident.
  • Must be at least 18 years old.
  • Must not be receiving social assistance for reasons other than disability.
  • Must be able to demonstrate the ability to financially support the sponsored spouse or partner.


For Sponsored Persons:


  • Must be the legal spouse, common-law partner, or conjugal partner of the sponsor.
  • Must be at least 18 years old.
  • Must pass background, security, and medical checks.


Step 2: Gather Necessary Documents


Collecting all required documents is a critical step in the spousal sponsorship process. These documents serve as proof of the relationship and eligibility.


Key Documents Include:


  • Proof of relationship (marriage certificate, joint bank accounts, lease agreements, photos, communication records, etc.).
  • Identification documents (passports, birth certificates, etc.).
  • Police certificates and clearances.
  • Medical exam results.
  • Financial documents proving the sponsor’s ability to support.


Step 3: Complete The Application Forms


The spousal sponsorship application involves several forms that must be completed accurately. The primary forms include:

  • IMM 1344 (Application to Sponsor, Sponsorship Agreement, and Undertaking)
  • IMM 5532 (Relationship Information and Sponsorship Evaluation)
  • IMM 5669 (Schedule A – Background/Declaration)
  • IMM 5406 (Additional Family Information)
  • IMM 5562 (Supplementary Information – Your Travels)

Ensure all forms are filled out correctly and signed where necessary. Mistakes or omissions can result in delays or rejections.


Step 4: Pay The Application Fees


There are various fees associated with the spousal sponsorship application. These include:

  • Sponsorship fee: CAD 75
  • Principal applicant processing fee: CAD 475
  • Right of Permanent Residence Fee: CAD 500
  • Biometrics fee (if applicable): CAD 85 per person

Make sure to keep the receipt as proof of payment, which needs to be included in the application package.


Step 5: Submit The Application


Once you have gathered all the documents and completed the forms, the next step is to apply. Ensure that everything is organized and that you have included all required documents and forms. It’s advisable to make copies of the entire application package for your records before sending it.


Send the complete application package to the appropriate mailing address, which is listed in the application guide provided by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).


Step 6: Wait For Application Processing


After applying, you will receive an acknowledgment of receipt from IRCC. This includes an application number which you can use to track the status of your application online.

Processing times can vary based on several factors, including the volume of applications and the specific details of your case. As of now, the average processing time is around 12 months, but it can be shorter or longer.


Step 7: Attend The Interview (If Required)


In some cases, IRCC may require an interview to verify the genuineness of the relationship. If you are called for an interview, prepare by reviewing your application and gathering additional proof of your relationship.

During the interview, be honest and provide clear, consistent answers. The interviewer’s goal is to confirm that your relationship is genuine and not entered into for immigration purposes.


Step 8: Decision And Next Steps


Once the application is processed, you will receive a decision. If approved, the sponsored spouse or partner will receive instructions on how to complete the landing process and obtain their permanent resident card.

If the application is refused, the sponsor and the sponsored person will receive an explanation for the refusal. You may have the option to appeal the decision or reapply, depending on the circumstances.



Sponsoring a spouse or partner to come to Canada is a significant and often emotional process. By following this step-by-step guide and ensuring all requirements are met, you can increase your chances of a successful application. Remember, thorough preparation and attention to detail are key to navigating the family sponsorship process smoothly. If you encounter difficulties or have specific concerns, consider consulting with an immigration lawyer or consultant to guide you through the process.