Sponsor your spouse, partner or child: After you apply

Due to mailing delays caused by COVID-19, we’ll now return incomplete applications by email if we’ve made a digital copy. Otherwise, we’ll mail it back to you.

Be sure to check the email you gave us when you submitted if you

  • are waiting to hear about your application or
  • think there may be forms or documents missing

On this page

Processing your application

Processing time 

Check application processing times

You’ll get an acknowledgement of receipt (AOR) after we receive your application and check that it’s complete.

In line with Canada’s immigration and privacy laws

  • we may use electronic methods to help process applications and make decisions, including on your application
    • Methods could include computer analytics, automation and others.
  • we may use personal information we collect on an application and supporting documents to support electronic processing
    • This could include research, statistics, evaluating programs and policy, internal audits, compliance, risk management, developing computer analytics, strategy development and reporting.

Find out more about how we use electronic systems.

We’ll review your sponsorship application and return it to you if

  • it’s incomplete
  • fees are missing

If we begin to process your application, we’ll

  • send you an
    • application number
    • acknowledgment of receipt
  • assess your eligibility as a sponsor
  • assess if the person you’re sponsoring is eligible for permanent residence

Your spouse or partner may be able to join you in Canada sooner

After you submit a permanent residence (PR) application to sponsor your spouse or partner, they could benefit from faster processing for a visitor visa.

Your spouse or partner may be eligible for faster processing if you

Applications that need more information, for example custody documents for a child, will take longer to process.

When you receive the AOR for your spousal sponsorship application, your spouse or partner can apply for a visitor visa. If they’re eligible, their application will automatically receive faster processing. You don’t need to request it.

Your spouse or partner must still meet all of the requirements to be eligible for a visitor visa.

If your spouse or partner is approved for a visitor visa, they can apply for an open work permit when they arrive in Canada.

If we refuse you as a sponsor

If we refuse you as a sponsor, you can choose to have us continue processing the application for permanent residence for your family members.

  • If you choose to withdraw your application, you won’t get the CAN$75 sponsorship fee back. You’ll get all other fees back.
  • If you want us to continue processing, you won’t get any fees back.

If you’re approved as a sponsor

We’ll assess the eligibility of the person(s) you want to sponsor.

Your family members can link their application to their online account

When we start processing their application, we’ll send your family members a letter with their application number.

After they get this letter, they can link their application to their online account. This way, they can communicate with us quickly and securely and get updates and messages about their application online.

Find out how to create an online account and link an application.

You (the sponsor) can link their application for them if you’re handling your family members’ application and you’re designated as their representative.

See the top questions about linking an application.

The people you’re sponsoring must send us supporting documents

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.

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

Temporary changes to biometrics

Book your biometrics appointment as soon as you can to avoid processing delays.

If you can’t book an appointment by the deadline given on your biometrics instruction letter, there may be temporary measures in place to help you.

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

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

If you live in Quebec

You must do the following steps before we assess the eligibility of your family members:

If the Government of Quebec approves your undertaking application, they’ll send us the information we need to process your family members’ permanent resident application.

If we approve your family members’ permanent residence application

To finish processing their application, your spouse, partner and child, and their dependants who are immigrating to Canada with them (if applicable), will have to send us:

We’ll let them know where to send this information.

Documents your family members will get

If your family members are outside Canada

We’ll send them these documents once we finish processing their application:

Once your family members receive these documents, they can travel to Canada. Make sure to check the expiry dates on the permanent resident visa and Confirmation of Permanent Residence. Your family members must meet an officer at a Canadian port of entry before their documents expire. The officer will make the final decision to allow your family members to enter Canada as permanent residents.

Find out more about how your family members can prepare for arrival.

If your family members are inside Canada

They have to meet an immigration officer to receive their Confirmation of Permanent Residence.

We’ll send them a letter to schedule their appointment and we’ll let them know what documents to bring. The officer will make the final decision to allow your family members to stay in Canada as permanent residents.

If we refuse your family members’ permanent residence application

If we refuse their permanent residence application, we’ll let you know:

Track and update your application

During processing, track your application and make sure it’s up to date by:

Check the status of your application

If you’re a sponsor

You can use the Application Status tracker (opens in a new tab) 

Due to COVID-19, it’s taking us longer to

As the sponsor, if you want to check on the application status for your spouse, partner or child, you must first request to get access to their information.

If you’re being sponsored

You can check your application in 2 ways:

In your online account

Follow these steps:

  1. Get the application number. You’ll receive this by mail when we’ve started processing your application.
  2. Create an online account.
  3. Link your application to the account.
In the Application Status Tracker

You can also use the Application Status tracker (opens in a new tab) .

If your processing time has passed

If your application is complex, it may take us longer than normal processing times to process it.

Do not contact us about your application status if you don’t have an acknowledgement of receipt (AOR) letter.

Keep your information up to date

To avoid delays in processing, make sure your contact information and your application details are up to date.

Tell us about changes in your application, such as:

Don’t mail us changes for your contact or application information. If you do, we won’t acknowledge your request and we won’t update your application. This could lead to a delay in processing your application.

If you change your contact information, make sure you check your old contact information until we update your application.

Add or change a representative or get access to your family member’s information

Even as the sponsor, you don’t automatically get access to your family members’ information. You have to request it.

If you want to handle your spouse’s, partner’s or child’s application for them

You’ll be acting as a representative if you want to

To become a representative for your spouse, partner or child, complete, sign and save the form to appoint or change a representative. The person(s) you’re sponsoring must also sign the form, unless they’re under 18. Include the form with your application.

If you’ve already submitted your application, send it to us through our web form.

In your request, include your

Upload the form after you’ve completed all the required fields.

If you want to check on your spouse’s, partner’s or child’s application status

As the sponsor, you may want to access your family members’ information without being in charge of their application. For example, you may want to check their application status on their behalf, but not act as their representative.

To protect their privacy, they need to give us their written consent before we’ll share any of their personal information with you or give anyone access to their application information.

Find out how the persons you’re sponsoring can give you access to their information.

Withdraw your sponsorship application

You can withdraw your sponsorship application any time before the person you’re sponsoring becomes a permanent resident of Canada.

You may be able to get a refund if we haven’t started processing your application.

Use our Web form to request the withdrawal of your sponsorship application.

In your request, include your

Submit your right of permanent residence fee or request a refund

The right of permanent residence fee must be paid before the people you’re sponsoring can become permanent residents. If it wasn’t paid, we’ll contact them to explain how they can pay the right of permanent residence fee online.

You can request a refund for the right of permanent residence fee if:

Sending proof of payment or requesting a refund

Use our web form. In your request, include the following:

Don’t send the same request more than once. It’ll delay the processing of your application.

Need help?

If you need help, you can find answers to your questions in the Help Centre.

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