Spouse, common-law partner or conjugal partner

Processing times on average are between 8 to 12 months, depending on the visa office responsible for processing the application. Some larger visa offices such as the USA can process applications as fast as 4 to 6 months.

All applications for both Inland and Outland Sponsorship are submitted to CPC-M in Mississauga. Once an application is deemed to be complete with all required forms and documents, and the sponsor is eligible, the application is forwarded for further processing. Incomplete applications are returned 3 months later.

There are two types of applications for Spouse and Common-Law Sponsorship

your application will be processed through the visa office in the sponsored spouse’s country of citizenship or where they legally reside (if outside Canada). If you and your Spouse/Common-law partner live together in Canada, you can still apply under this category. Applying under this category will make you eligible to Appeal a refusal. You will not have rights to appeal for an Inland Spousal Application.

your application will be processed in Canada and you and your sponsor MUST live together. The person being sponsored MUST have temporary status in Canada as a worker, student, or visitor. The person being sponsored may be eligible for an Open Work Permit.

You can sponsor the following persons and their dependent children (21 or younger) for Canadian Permanent Residence
  • Spouse (husband, wife, partner- marriage must be legally recognized)
  • Common-law Partner (person you are living with but not married to)
  • Conjugal Partner (if your partner does not qualify under the Spouse or Common-Law category but you are in a committed relationship equal to that of a marriage for at least 1 year. There must be extenuating circumstances why you cannot live together- job location, studying abroad, inability to obtain visa to Canada are NOT good enough reasons)
Spouses who have a Criminal Record or Criminal Charge

Criminal Inadmissibility – Spouses with Criminal Records or Offences

If you are a Canadian Citizen or Permanent Resident looking to sponsor your spouse for PR in Canada, special measures must be taken if they have been charged or convicted of a criminal offence in the past. The main reason being is that IRCC needs to perform a complete background check, and review all necessary documents and facts to be convinced a foreign national is not inadmissible to Canada. Even if a spouse is inadmissible, there are ways to overcome the inadmissibility. The method that is utilized to overcome an inadmissibility depends on the nature of the offence, the time that has passed, and the number of offences.


Only charged with an offense, but never convicted

Despite all charges being dropped and not receiving a conviction, the charges still must be disclosed, with all facts presented, including the relevant court documents.  Failure to present these documents upfront in the application upon submission can delay the application by 6 months. IRCC must receive all relevant information in order to perform a proper assessment.  The fact that a charge is not appearing on a Police Background Check does not absolve an individuals from providing all the necessary information.  All charges must be disclosed (even the dropped charges), otherwise there is risk of the application being refused for Misrepresentation, even if an individual is found to be not Criminally Inadmissible.  Our firm knows this first hand as individuals in this specific situation retain our firm to help overcome the Misrepresentation ban of 5 years that was issued to individuals


Only one offence that is non-serious criminality and 10 years have passed since the latter of: the offence, end of sentence, parole, community service, fine being paid.

A spousal sponsorship application can be submitted, along with written arguments and evidence requesting Deemed Rehabilitation to overcome the Criminality.


One or more offence, including serious criminality, and 5 years have passed since the latter of: the offence, end of sentence, parole, community service, fine being paid.


A spousal sponsorship application can be submitted, along with a Criminal Rehabilitation application and the corresponding fee ($200 or $1,000), with written arguments and evidence requesting Criminal Rehabilitation to overcome the Criminality.

If less than 5 years have passed or the offence occurred in Canada, and your spouse is not eligible for Deemed Rehabilitation or Criminal Rehabilitation