Who can apply to sponsor spouses, partners or children

Who can become a sponsor

You can become a sponsor if you are:

  • at least 18 years old
  • a Canadian citizen, a person registered in Canada as an Indian under the Canadian Indian Act or a permanent resident living in Canada:
    • if you are a Canadian citizen living outside Canada, you must show that you plan to live in Canada when your sponsored relative becomes a permanent resident
    • you can’t sponsor someone if you are a permanent resident living outside Canada
  • able to prove that you are not receiving social assistance for reasons other than a disability
  • have enough income to provide for basic needs of any grandchildren (dependent children of a dependent child) of the principal applicant

If you live in Quebec, you must also meet Quebec’s conditions to be a sponsor.

Read more about eligibility requirements in the Complete Guide.

Who can’t become a sponsor

You can’t be a sponsor if you:

  • have failed to pay:
    • an immigration loan
    • a performance bond
    • family support payments
  • have failed to provide for the basic needs of a previously-sponsored relative who received social assistance
  • are under a removal order
  • are in a penitentiary, jail, reformatory or prison
  • receive social assistance for a reason other than a disability
  • are still going through the process of bankruptcy (undischarged bankruptcy)
  • were sponsored by a spouse or partner and you became a permanent resident less than five years ago
  • sponsored a previous spouse or partner and three years have not passed since this person became a permanent resident have already applied to sponsor your current spouse, partner or child and a decision on your application hasn’t been made yet were convicted of a violent or sexual offence, or an offence that caused bodily harm to a relative—or you attempted or threatened to commit any of these offences

Who you can sponsor

You can sponsor a:

  • spouse
  • common-law partner
  • conjugal partner
  • dependent child

To be eligible for permanent residence, the principal applicant and any dependants must not be inadmissible to Canada.

Spouse, common-law partner or conjugal partner

You can sponsor your spouse, common-law partner or conjugal partner if:

  • he or she is at least 18 years old
  • your relationship is genuine (real) and wasn’t entered into just to get permanent resident status in Canada

If your spouse or common-law partner is applying in the Spouse or Common-law Partner in Canada class, he or she must co-habit (live) with you in Canada.

Dependent children

If you’re sponsoring more than one dependent child, you must submit a complete set of application forms and documents for each.

Sponsors living in Quebec

The province of Quebec has its own immigration rules. Find out how to sponsor someone if you live in Quebec.

After your application is received, we’ll send you an email or letter with instructions about how to apply to the Quebec government to become a sponsor. If Quebec approves you as a sponsor, you’ll get a Quebec Selection Certificate (Certificat de selection Québec).

We encourage you to prepare your Quebec sponsorship application in advance to avoid delays.

If you need help, contact the Quebec ministry of immigration.

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