The Family Class allows Canadian citizens and permanent residents to sponsor their dependent children, parents and grandparents, and spouse or common-law/conjugal partner. Canada strongly supports keeping families together whenever possible.

The Spousal Sponsorship Category

The Spousal Sponsorship program is a subsection of the Family Class immigration category. Under this program, a Canadian citizen or permanent resident may sponsor a spouse or common-law partner for Canadian permanent residence.

Both the Canadian citizen or permanent resident (also called the ‘sponsor’) and the foreign national (the ‘sponsored person’) must be approved by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) in order for the sponsored person to receive a visa.

In order to receive a visa through this immigration program, the sponsor and sponsored person must prove that their relationship qualifies under one of three categories:

  • Spouse
  • Common-law Partner
  • Conjugal Partner