Sponsor your spouse, partner or children: how to apply

How to apply

You must now apply online

As of September 23, 2022, you must apply online for this program. 

If you can’t apply online, and require accommodations, including for a disability, you can ask for the application in another format (paper, braille or large print). 

To apply to sponsor your spouse, partner or child, there are 2 applications:

  1. You must apply to become a sponsor.
  2. Your spouse, partner or child must apply for permanent residence.

If you want to sponsor your adopted child or an orphaned family member, follow the instructions to sponsor your adopted child instead.

If you live in Quebec, find out the steps to take to sponsor your spouse, partner or child in Quebec.

There are 4 steps to sponsor your spouse, partner or child:

1. Apply to sponsor

The sponsor must

  • download and complete the PDF forms in the application package
  • digitally sign, along with the person you’re sponsoring (principal applicant) 

The person you’re sponsoring (principal applicant) will

  • upload them to their online application
  • electronically sign for the entire application, including those of any other family members

Get the application package

The application package includes the:

  • document checklist for you and the persons you want to sponsor
  • forms you and the persons you want to sponsor need to fill out
  • instruction guide to help you and your family members fill out the forms correctly

Read the guide carefully before you complete the application form. The sponsorship application fee for processing your application can’t be refunded.

Helping your spouse, partner or child with their application?

There are certain steps you need to complete if you want to:

  • prepare your family members’ application for them (this would mean that you’d be acting as their representative)
  • check on their application status

You have to request permission and provide the right forms with your application.

Find out how to act as a representative or access your family members’ information.

2. Apply to be sponsored (permanent residence)

Sign in or create a Permanent residence online application portal account.

You must fill out these digital forms online

  • Generic Application Form for Canada (IMM 0008) 
  • Schedule A – Background/Declaration (IMM 5669)
  • Additional Family Information (IMM 5406)
  • Supplementary Information - Your travels (IMM 5562)

Photo specifications

You need one photo for each person on your application.

Follow the instructions in the online application to scan and upload both sides of your photo.

Technical issues

If you’re having technical issues applying, contact us using the web form

  • under type of application/enquiry, choose technical difficulties from the drop-down menu
  • in the text box, specify the program you’re applying under
  • upload screenshots from your account that show us
    • the page where you’re having problems
    • the error message(s) you get

If you need to upload a number of images, find out how to combine them into 1 document.

Working in Canada

If you already have a work permit, you can keep working as long as the permit is valid.

You may be eligible to apply for an open work permit if

  • you live in Canada with the person sponsoring you
  • you got an acknowledgement of receipt letter that says your permanent residence application is being processed

We’ll refuse your open work permit application if you submit it with your application for permanent residence in the Permanent Residence Portal.

Using an immigration representative

If you want to appoint someone to do business with us on your behalf, you must

  • complete it
  • sign it digitally or by hand and get your immigration representative to do so also
  • upload it with your application

An immigration representative (an immigration consultant or lawyer) can give you advice and help you with your application for a fee. But they can’t

  • open a portal account on your behalf
  • electronically sign the application for you
  • sign into the portal using your username and password

A representative can fill out forms and communicate with us on your behalf through their own account. They can also

  • help you prepare the documents you need to upload
  • answer questions about the forms

After you read the declaration, you must be the one who types your name. This is the legal requirement for your application to be considered “signed,” according to Canada’s immigration law.

3. Pay your application fees

Our permanent residence fees are increasing

The fees for all permanent residence applications are increasing on April 30, 2024. Find out more about how the fees are changing.

Your fingerprints and photo (biometrics)

Book your biometrics collection appointment as soon as you can to avoid processing delays. Find out how to give biometrics.

In most cases, your fees will include:

You have to pay your fees online (opens in a new tab).

Biometrics fee

In most cases, you must pay a biometrics (fingerprints and photo) fee when you submit your application. Otherwise you may experience delays. The biometrics fee covers the cost of collecting fingerprints and a digital photo.

Third-party fees

Depending on your situation, you may need to pay third parties for:

The instruction guide can help you understand which fees apply to you.

4. Send us additional information during processing

During processing, we’ll ask the person you’re sponsoring to submit their:

  • medical exams
  • police certificates
    • You need to include police certificates when you apply.
    • You need them for the person being sponsored and each family member 18 or older (who isn’t already a Canadian citizen or permanent resident).
    • Police certificates are generally valid for 1 year from the date they’re issued.
      • Depending on processing times, we may ask you for new certificates.
  • biometrics
    • When the biometrics fee is paid, we’ll send your family members a letter asking them to give their biometrics.
    • Your family members must show this letter when they give their biometrics.
    • They have 30 days to give their biometrics in person at their closest collection point.

We’ll send instructions and let your family members how much time they have to send us this information.

You must tell us of any change in circumstances, such as:

  • birth or adoption of children
  • marriage or divorce or separation
  • death of an applicant or a dependant

5. Submit your online application

Before you submit your application, make sure you:

  • answer all questions
  • electronically sign your application (type your full name exactly as shown on your passport)
  • include your processing fee receipt
  • upload all the supporting documents

If your application is incomplete, we’ll reject it. You’ll have to fix any errors and then re-submit it.

6. Get updates about your application online

If you and the person you are sponsoring meet the eligibility requirements, we will mail or email you a request to link your application to an online account.

Find out how to link your application to your account after you create an account or sign in.

Having trouble? See the top questions about linking your application in the Help Centre.

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