What Are The Requirements for Spouse Visa in Canada?

Canada is becoming a top choice for those looking to settle somewhere with their family. There are abundant opportunities, rich culture, and a wealth of natural resources to enjoy. Thankfully, Canada allows both natural citizens and permanent residents to sponsor someone they are in a relationship with. This sponsorship aims to enable their partner to come to Canada and have permanent residency from Canadian Immigration. Families are one of the things that Canada takes seriously, and they have tried to make it possible for families to be together. So what exactly are the requirements for a spouse visa in Canada? Well, that part can get a little more complicated. Let’s break it down piece by piece. 

What Type of Relationships are Approved for a Spouse Visa in Canada?

The spouse sponsorship program is part of the family sponsorship program. The family sponsorship program allows for the immigration of various family members including, parents, children, spouses, and even grandparents. All of the above have the opportunity to become permanent residents in Canada if they choose and qualify. 

Canada allows sponsorship for not just married couples but also for those considered common-law partners and conjugal partners. 

Legal Marriage

A spouse is applied to those legally married under both the law where they were married and Canadian law. 

Common-Law Relationships

Common-law relationships are when the partners live together in a relationship that resembles a marriage for at least 12 successive months. There are exceptions made for those who have done things like travel for business or family emergencies. This type of relationship might require you to provide more evidence than someone who has a legal marriage. Aside from living together, you must also have combined your affairs. They are likely to look for things like financial statements showing you’ve got joint accounts. 

Conjugal Partnership

Conjugal partnership for sponsorship means that you have been in a relationship with your partner for a minimum of twelve months but for a reason outside of your control, you cannot live in the same home. This can be due to immigration issues or other legal factors. 

Conjugal partnership sponsors are only allowed to apply for outland sponsorship. 

Those sponsoring also are not allowed to have sponsored another spouse in Canada in the last five years. 

Like many other sponsor programs, spouse sponsorship requires no serious crime or bankruptcy from either partner. Neither may be in prison at the time of application. 

Types of Sponsorship

There are multiple sponsorship options available, even under the spousal category. 

Inland Sponsorship

Inland sponsorship is the type you choose if both partners in the relationship already live in Canada. For example, if you’re a permanent resident and your spouse is there on a visa of some kind for work, school, or simply a visitors visa. 

Outland Sponsorship

As the name suggests, this type of sponsorship is for those where the partner being sponsored is not residing in Canada. 

This type of sponsorship can also be used if both parties are residing in Canada but need to travel while the application is still in process. 

There may be more documentation requirements for outland sponsorship than in inland sponsorship. 

Sponsorship Eligibility

There are some basic requirements to sponsor a spouse in Canada. 

First, you must be at least 18 years old or older. 

Next, you must be either a citizen of Canada or a permanent resident. Only these two categories are allowed to sponsor a spouse. 

You need to have a clean criminal record, meaning no major crimes have been committed. Nothing on your record that can be considered a serious offense. 

Also, you can’t have become a permanent resident by being a sponsored spouse of someone else in the last five years. 

You may not have received any social assistance, excluding that pertaining to a disability. 

Responsibility and Financial Requirements For Spousal Sponsorship

You will also likely have to show that you can take care of the spouse you are sponsoring. This can include taking care of their daily and health needs for the first three years. 

It’s also important to note that these responsibilities remain in place after you’ve been approved. Meaning that they are still considered your responsibility if the relationship ends, they move or become Canadian citizens. 

When Children are Involved

Another thing that can come up during a spouse sponsorship is dependent children. It’s crucial to ensure that if the spouse you are sponsoring has dependent children, they are listed on the application correctly. 

You will also need to file separate and extra paperwork for each dependent child. 

However, if the children were born in Canada, this may not be necessary. In Canada, children who are born there are considered natural Canadian citizens. 

Financial Requirements

There are no set financial requirements for sponsoring a spouse, unlike some other immigration programs. Even with that said, however, you should be aware that you are required to agree to provide their financial support. 

These are general requirements, and it should be taken into account that if you are a resident of Quebec, different conditions must be considered. 

Disqualifying Factors

Some things can disqualify you from being able to sponsor a spouse. Including those unable or who have failed to take care of a spouse or family member they have sponsored in the past. 

Those in a criminal facility like a prison or reformatory are not electable to sponsor even under the spouse sponsorship program. 

Suppose you have been receiving social assistance, not due to a disability. In that case, it may be a disqualifying factor for spouse sponsorship because, as stated previously, you need to be financially able to provide for the spouse you are sponsoring. 

If you’re already sponsoring an undecided family member, you cannot file for another sponsorship. 

Criminal acts such as violent or sexual crimes or attempted violent or sexual crimes that bring bodily injury are disqualifying factors.