Sponsor your spouse, partner or child: who you can sponsor

Who you can sponsor

You can sponsor your spouse, common-law partner, conjugal partner or dependent children.

Your spouse

Your spouse can be either sex and must be:

  • legally married to you
  • at least 18 years old

Your common-law partner

Your common-law partner:

  • isn’t legally married to you
  • can be either sex
  • is at least 18 years old
  • has been living with you for at least 12 consecutive months, meaning you’ve been living together continuously for 1 year in a conjugal relationship, without any long periods apart
    • Any time spent away from each other should have been
      • short
      • temporary

If you or your common-law partner choose to end the relationship, we consider the relationship to be over.

You’ll need to give proof of your common-law relationship.

Your conjugal partner

Your conjugal partner:

  • isn’t legally married to you or in a common-law relationship with you
  • can be either sex
  • is at least 18 years old
  • has been in a relationship with you for at least 1 year
  • lives outside Canada
  • can't live with you in their country of residence or marry you because of significant legal and immigration reasons such as
    • their marital status (for example, they’re still married to someone else in a country where divorce isn’t possible)
    • their sexual orientation (for example, you are in a same-sex relationship, and same-sex relationships are not accepted, or same-sex marriage is illegal where they live),
    • persecution (for example, your relationship is between different religious groups which is not accepted and they may be punished legally or socially)

You’ll need to give proof that you could not live together or get married in your conjugal partner’s country (for example, proof of refused long-term stays in each other’s country).

Dependent children

Children qualify as dependants if they meet both of these requirements:

  • they’re under 22 years old
  • they don’t have a spouse or common law partner

Children 22 years old or older qualify as dependants if they meet both of these requirements:

  • they are unable to financially support themselves because of a mental or physical condition
  • they have depended on their parents for financial support since before the age of 22

With the exception of age, your dependent child must continue to meet these requirements until we finish processing your application.

Use our online tool to check if a child qualifies as a dependant.

If they qualify as a dependent child, you can sponsor

  • your own child
    • If you’re a Canadian citizen, your child may also be a Canadian citizen, even if they weren’t born in Canada. You can’t sponsor your child for permanent residence if they’re Canadian citizens already. Check if your child is already a Canadian citizen.
    • If you’re sponsoring just your child, without sponsoring your spouse or partner, you’ll name your child as the principal applicant in the application. You’ll have to show that the other parent or legal guardian agrees to your child immigrating to Canada. See your checklist for what you’ll need to provide.
    • If the child you want to sponsor has a child of their own (your grandchild), you’ll include your grandchild as a dependant in the application.
    • If you want to sponsor your adopted child or an orphaned family member, follow the instructions to sponsor your adopted child or orphaned family member instead.
  • your spouse or partner and their child
    • If you’re sponsoring your spouse or partner and a child (either their own child or a child you’ve had together), you’ll name your spouse or partner as the principal applicant and the child as the dependant in the application.
    • If the child you want to sponsor has a child of their own, you’ll include the grandchild as a dependant in the application.

Eligibility of the people you’re sponsoring

To show they meet the eligibility requirements, your spouse, partner, dependent child and their dependent children (if applicable) must provide:

  • all required forms and documents with their application
  • any additional information we request during processing, including

You can’t sponsor someone who is inadmissible to Canada. This means they’re not allowed to come to Canada.

Read more about eligibility requirements in the instruction guide.

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