Spousal/Common-Law Visa

Spousal/Common-Law Visa

Who can become a sponsor

You can sponsor a spouse, common-law or conjugal partner, or dependent child to immigrate to Canada if:


  • you are a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident of Canada
  • you are 18 or older

Federal Income Table, 2016


You can sponsor a spouse, common-law or conjugal partner, or dependent child to immigrate to Canada if:


Low Income Cut-Off (LICO)

Federal Income Table, 2016


You cannot be sponsored as a spouse, a common-law partner or a conjugal partner if:


  • you are under age 18
  • you (or your sponsor) were married to someone else at the time of your marriage
  • you have lived apart from your sponsor for at least one year, and either you or your sponsor are the common-law or conjugal partner of another person
  • your sponsor applied for permanent residence but did not include you on their application as someone who should be examined
  • your sponsor has sponsored another spouse, common-law partner or conjugal partner in the past, and three years have not passed since that person became a permanent resident (or five years if your application was received on or after March 2, 2012)

In addition, you must meet all criteria for the category under which you applied. See the FAQ section for more information.

Five-year sponsorship bar for people who were sponsored to come to Canada as a spouse or partner

If a spouse or partner sponsored you, you cannot sponsor a new spouse or partner within five years of becoming a permanent resident.


This rule applies even if you got your Canadian citizenship within those five years. Other members of the Family Class will not be affected by the rule change

Spouses and partners sponsored before


You are a spouse if you are married to your sponsor and your marriage is legal.


If you were married in Canada:

  • you must have a marriage certificate issued by the province or territory where the marriage took place


If you were married outside Canada

  • the marriage must be valid under the law of the country where it took place and under Canadian law, and the marriage, if performed in an embassy or consulate, must follow the law of the country where it took place, not the country the embassy or consulate represents

Common-law partner

You are a common-law partner—either of the opposite sex or the same sex—if:


  • you have been living together in a conjugal relationship for at least one year in an ongoing 12-month period (you are allowed short absences for business travel or family reasons).

You will need proof that you and your common-law partner have combined your affairs and set up a household together. This can be in the form of proof of:


  • joint bank accounts or credit cards
  • joint ownership of a home
  • joint residential leases
  • joint rental receipts
  • joint registration or payment of utilities (electricity, gas, telephone)
  • joint management of household expenses
  • joint purchases, especially of household items
  • mail addressed to either person or both people at the same address