ARCHIVED – How we are making important changes to bring families together

This infographic shows the how the application process is changing, in order to bring families together through the spousal sponsorship program.

Spousal sponsorship: Important changes to bring families together (PDF, 3.19MB)

Infographic of important changes to the spousal sponsorship process. Text version below
Text version: Spousal Sponsorship Changes - Bringing families together infographic

Overseas and in-Canada applications all processed within 12 months (for 80% of cases)

  1. Get new application kit. 12 month process
  2. Read basic guide. Refer to complete guide if needed, and check country specific requirements.
  3. Identify your checklist. Identify which checklist applies to your situation: spouse, common-law partner, conjugal partner or a dependent child.
  4. Fill out forms and assemble application package. Include all forms and documents required on the checklist for your situation.
  5. Mail application to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). Processing starts.
  6. Receiver letter of acknowledgement and instructions. Review instructions to create online account and link your application.
  7. Link paper application to online account if you wish. Makes it easier to receive and send information.
  8. You have 30 days to submit background information. Complete and submit Schedule A and police certificates.
  9. Medical examination: Wait to receive instructions and medical form, then do your exam
  10. Check account. Receive requests for additional information through your online account, if required.
  11. IRCC completes processing. IRCC will finish processing your application after it has all the necessary information.
  12. Decision issued: If approved, applicant receives permanent residence on visa. If refused, applicants receive letter.


  • Processing time of 26 months for in-Canada applicants and 18 months for overseas applicants (for 80% of cases).

Starting December 7, 2016:

  • Overseas and in-Canada applications all processed within 12 months (for 80% of cases).


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