Sponsor your spouse, partner or child: check if you’re eligible
Who is eligible to sponsor their spouse, partner or child
You can sponsor your spouse, partner or dependent child if:
- You’re at least 18 years old
- You’re a Canadian citizen, a permanent resident of Canada, or a person registered in Canada as an Indian under the Canadian Indian Act
- If you’re a Canadian citizen living outside Canada, you must show that you plan to live in Canada when the persons you want to sponsor become permanent residents.
- You can’t sponsor someone if you’re a permanent resident living outside Canada.
- You’re able to prove that you’re not receiving social assistance for reasons other than a disability
- you can provide for the basic needs of any persons you want to sponsor
If you live outside Quebec
To become a sponsor, you must promise to financially take care of the persons you are sponsoring for a period of time. We call this promise an undertaking.
The undertaking commits you to:
- providing financial support for your sponsored family members, starting when they become permanent residents
- repaying any provincial social assistance your sponsored family members get during that time
Also, you and your sponsored family members need to agree to certain responsibilities during the undertaking period. We call this the sponsorship agreement.
The sponsorship agreement means that:
- you’ll provide for the basic needs of your sponsored family members
- the person you sponsor will make every effort to support themselves and their family members
When you apply, you’ll have to complete and sign a form that includes the undertaking and the sponsorship agreement.
In most cases, there isn’t an income requirement to sponsor your spouse or partner or dependent child. You only need to show that you have enough money to meet the income requirements if:
- you’re sponsoring a dependent child that has 1 or more dependent children of their own, or
- you’re sponsoring a spouse or partner that has a dependent child, and their dependent child has 1 or more children of their own.
The Financial Evaluation form instructions explain how much money you’ll need and how to fill out the form.
You’ll get the form when you download your application package.
If you live in Quebec
The Quebec ministry in charge of immigration will assess your income.
Who can’t sponsor their spouse, partner or child
You can’t sponsor your spouse, partner or child if:
- you’re less than 18 years old
- you won’t live in Canada when the persons you want to sponsor become permanent residents
- you’re not a Canadian citizen, a permanent resident of Canada, or a person registered in Canada as an Indian under the Canadian Indian Act
- you’re a temporary resident, that is you’re visiting, studying or working in Canada on a visa or permit
- your permanent residence application is still in process
- You must have permanent resident status at the time you submit your sponsorship application.
- you don’t have enough money to support the persons you want to sponsor (if applicable)
You may not be eligible to sponsor your spouse, partner if you:
- were sponsored by a spouse or partner and you became a permanent resident less than 5 years ago
- are still financially responsible for a previous spouse or partner that you sponsored. This means you’re still bound by the 3 year undertaking to take care of this person.
You may not be eligible to sponsor your spouse, partner or child if you:
- you have already applied to sponsor the spouse, parent or child you are currently seeking to sponsor and a decision on that application hasn’t been made
- are in jail, prison, or a penitentiary
- didn’t pay back:
- an immigration loan
- a performance bond
- court-ordered family support payments such as alimony or child support (not applicable if you live in Quebec)
- didn’t give the financial support you agreed to when you signed a sponsorship agreement to sponsor someone else in the past (not applicable if you live in Quebec)
- declared bankruptcy and are not discharged (not applicable if you live in Quebec)
- receive social assistance for a reason other than a disability
- you were convicted of attempting, threatening to commit or committing a violent criminal offence, any offence against a relative or any sexual offence inside or outside Canada
- can’t legally stay in Canada and must leave the country because you received a Removal Order
There may be other reasons that make you ineligible to sponsor your spouse, partner or child. If we determine you’re not eligible to sponsor, we’ll tell you why.
Read more about eligibility requirements in the complete instruction guide.
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