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Immigration Library™

Federal Family Class – Spouse, Partner, Dependent Child (FSPS)

  • S.D: Sponsor-driven

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Under spousal subsection of family class, Canadian citizen or permanent resident may sponsor a spouse, common-law partner or dependent children 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 in order for the sponsored person to receive a visa.

Family Class sponsorship is divided to the following sub-categories:

  • Spouse, common-law, and conjugal partners or dependent children (this page)
  • Parents and grandparents (➨page)
  • Other relatives (➨page)
  • Adopted children (➨page)

Ready to take the next step towards your Canadian immigration journey? Fill out the form below and embark on your path to new opportunities.



1- Age

Your sponsor must be at least 18 years old.

2- Status in Canada

Your sponsor must be a Canadian citizen, a permanent resident of Canada, or a person registered in Canada as an Indian (indigenous people).

If the sponsor is a Canadian citizen living outside Canada, he/she must show that he/she plans to live in Canada when you become permanent resident.

If your sponsor is a permanent resident living outside Canada, he/she cannot sponsor you.

3- Social Assistance

Your sponsor must not receive social assistance for reasons other than a disability.

4- Financial Ability

Your sponsor must be able to provide for the basic needs of you and any persons he/she wants to sponsor. He/she must sign an undertaking which promises support for these basic needs:

  • Rent or mortgage, along with utility bills.
  • Food and personal toiletries, like shampoo, soap and toothpaste.
  • Clothing and other items necessary for daily life.
  • Medical costs not covered by public health insurance, such as dental and eye care.

The length of undertaking may depend on your relationship with sponsor and your age:

  • For spouse, common-law partner, conjugal partner, the length of undertaking is three (3) years.
  • For dependent children under 22 years of age the length of undertaking is ten (10) years, or until age of 25, whichever comes first. (for sponsors in Quebec and dependent children under 16, the length of undertaking is 10 years or until he/she becomes 18 whichever is longer.)
  • For dependent children 22 years of age or older, the length of undertaking is three (3) years. (for sponsors in Quebec and dependent children 16 and over, the length of undertaking is 3 years or until he/she becomes 25 whichever is longer.)

During this period, if you or any sponsored person receives social assistance from government of Canada, the sponsor must repay it.

In most cases, there isn’t a minimum income requirement for sponsor who is applying for spouse or partner or dependent child.  Minimum income requirement is only for sponsors who are sponsoring:

  • a dependent child that has one (1) or more dependent children of their own, or
  • a spouse or partner that has a dependent child, and their dependent child has one (1) or more children of their own.

In cases when the sponsor has to prove minimum income, he/she must show that in the previous taxation year or the last twelve (12) months preceding the date of application, he/she has made the minimum income not less than the Statistics Canada’s Low Income Cut-Off (LICO) (➨ Appendix 2).

If the sponsor lives in Quebec, he/she must only meet the Quebec’s immigration sponsorship requirements after IRCC finds the sponsor eligible.

The sponsor (and the co-signer, if applicable) must show that he/she has made the minimum income for the past twelve (12) months (➨ only if the sponsored child has a child of his/her own.

5- Sponsor Ineligibility

Your sponsor may not be eligible to sponsor you as his or her spouse, partner if he/she:

  • was sponsored by a spouse or partner and he/she became a permanent resident less than 5 years ago;
  • is still financially responsible for a previous spouse or partner that was sponsored. This means he/she is still bound by the 3 year undertaking to take care of this person.

Your sponsor may not be eligible to sponsor you as his or her spouse, partner or child if he/she:

  • has already applied to sponsor the spouse, parent or child he/she is currently seeking to sponsor and a decision on that application hasn’t been made;
  • is in jail, prison, or a penitentiary
  • didn’t pay an immigration loan, a performance bond;
  • didn’t pay back family support payments (if sponsor resides in Quebec within the past 5 years);
  • didn’t give the financial support based on a sponsorship agreement to sponsor someone else in the past (not applicable if sponsor resides in Quebec);
  • declared bankruptcy and are not discharged (not applicable if sponsor resides in Quebec);
  • receives social assistance for a reason other than a disability;
  • were convicted of attempting, threatening to commit or committing a violent criminal offence, any offence against a relative or any sexual offence inside or outside Canada;
  • is under a removal order.

6- Relationship to Sponsor

You may be sponsored if you have any of the following relationships to your sponsor:

You can be either sex, must be legally married to your sponsor and at be least 18 years old.

Common-law partner

You can be either sex, must be not legally married to your sponsor and be at least 18 years old.

You must have been living with your sponsor 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.

Conjugal partner

You can be either sex, must be not legally married or in a common-law relationship to your sponsor and be at least 18 years old.

You may be considered Conjugal partner if you can't live with your sponsor in your country of residence or marry your sponsor because of significant legal and immigration reasons such as:

  • being married to someone else and divorce is not possible;
  • being in a same-sex relationship, where it is not accepted or legal in your country;
  • persecution for religious or other reasons where it may be punishable legally or socially.
Conjugal does not mean “sexual relations” alone. It suggests that two partners have a high level of attachment and mutual commitment.
Dependent Child

A dependent child who is being sponsored must be under 22 years old and single.

Children 22 years old or older qualify as dependants if they are unable to financially support themselves because of a mental or physical condition and they have depended on their parents for financial support since before the age of 22.

If the sponsor is a Canadian citizen, his or her child may also be a Canadian citizen, even if not born in Canada. So there would be no need to sponsor as the child is already a Canadian citizen.

If the child is being sponsored without the other parent, the child will be the principal applicant. The other parent or legal guardian agrees to your child immigrating to Canada.

If the child has a child of their own (grandchild), the grandchild must be included in the application as a dependant.

For adopted child or an orphaned family member, follow the instructions to sponsor adopted child (➨page) or orphaned family member (other relatives) (➨page) instead.

7- Age (of Spouse)

If the sponsored person is the spouse, common-law partner or conjugal partner, he/she must be at least 18 (If the sponsor resides in Quebec, the minimum age is 16).

8- Genuine Relationship

Your relationship must be genuine (real) and was not entered into primarily for the purpose of acquiring Permanent Residence.

9- Cohabitation

If you are applying in the Spouse or Common-law Partner “In Canada class”, you must cohabit (live) with your sponsor in Canada.

Ready to take the next step towards your Canadian immigration journey? Fill out the form below and embark on your path to new opportunities.



Step 1: Submit your Application

To apply to sponsor spouse, partner or child, there are 2 applications:

  1. Your sponsor must apply to become a sponsor.
  2. You (and your dependents) must apply for permanent residence.

Both the sponsorship and the permanent residence applications must be submitted online. The applicant(s) must submit the applications using the IRCC Permanent Residence Portal (PR Portal) (➨ 

If the application is complete, you will receive a letter or an email confirming that the file has been received and accepted for processing. This letter is called the Acknowledge of Receipt (AOR) and will include the IRCC file number.

Once you have received your acknowledgement of receipt, you can create an online account and link your application to it. By creating an account, you will be able to receive email updates and a more detailed case status.

If the sponsor is refused, he/she can choose to continue processing the application for permanent residence for you and your dependents.

  • If the application is withdrawn, all fees minus the $75 CAN sponsorship fee will be refunded.
  • If the application is continued, the application fee will not be refunded.

In most cases, you always should select option A. The only reason to choose option B, is for cases where the applicant knows the sponsor is in fact ineligible to sponsor, but they believe at appeal they can be accepted (e.g. on humanitarian and compassionate grounds).

If the sponsor is approved, he/she will receive a correspondence from IRCC stating that he/she has met the eligibility requirements to sponsor you (and your family, if applicable). Once the sponsor is approved, the assessment of your application for permanent residence will be started.

Sponsorship Application
Apply Online (PR Portal) 
Official Program Guide: 
IRCC Application Fees:  
Main applicant:* $630
Dependent child:* $175
RPRF main applicant:** $575

(per person if applicable)

*The application fee includes a

sponsorship fee of $75

**Dependent child is exempt

Processing Time: 
Document Checklist:  

Spouse (including dependent children):

Common-law partner (including dependent children):

Conjugal partner (including dependent children):

Dependent child only:


1-888-242-2100 (in Canada)

1-613-944-4000 (outside Canada)

Web Form:

Visa Office:

Optional Step: Apply for a Temporary Work Permit

As a sponsored spouse and/or dependent child, you may be eligible to apply for an open work permit (➨page) once you got an acknowledgement of receipt letter that says your permanent residence application is being processed.

If you are a dependent child that is allowed to work in Canada, you must be living with the sponsor (and the sponsored parent) to be able to apply for an open work permit.

If you (or your dependent child) don’t have a valid temporary resident status,  you must wait until you’ve received your approval in principle letter to be eligible to apply for an open work permit.

Quebec Undertaking Application (If your sponsor resides in Quebec)
If your sponsor is a resident of Quebec, he or she will not be required to submit an undertaking of assistance for you at this time. Once the sponsor receives the eligibility approval, he/she must submit an undertaking application to the Quebec government in order to assess sponsor’s necessary income.

Once the sponsorship application has been sent to IRCC, your sponsor must prepare the Quebec undertaking application in advance, including the application for your selection certificate with all required documents, so that your sponsor sends it to the Quebec government as soon as he or she receives an invitation from IRCC to proceed.

Your sponsor must enclose a copy of this correspondence (sponsor eligibility letter) with the undertaking application to the Quebec government.

If your sponsor’s undertaking application is accepted, a Certificat de sélection du Québec (CSQ – Québec Selection Certificate) will be issued to you (and your dependents, if any). The decision will be forwarded directly to the Canadian visa office covering your country.

Step 2: Biometrics

During processing, you will be asked to submit your biometrics.

Quebec Undertaking Application
Submit Application:  

Ministère de l'Immigration, de la

Francisation et de l'Intégration

285, rue Notre-Dame Ouest, 4e étage

Montréal (Québec) H2Y 1T8


Official Program Guide: 
Application Fee:  
Main applicant: $319
Each dependent: $128
Processing Time: 
Document Checklist:


Tel: 514-864-9191

Fax: 514-864-8158 (general questions)

You and any member of your family between 14 and 79 years old need to give your fingerprints and photo (biometrics) for permanent residence application you submit, even if you gave your biometrics in the past, and they’re still valid. You will be contacted to give your biometrics and you will have 30 days from the date on the letter to do it.

If you apply for permanent residence and are in Canada, you may qualify for an exemption from having to give your biometrics.

In order to give biometrics you need to go to an official biometrics collection service point. You must give your biometrics in person.

Before you go, check the location’s website for its services and fees at (➨ Depending on the location, you may need to make an appointment.

Step 3: Medical and Background Checks

After the assessment of your application based on the eligibility criteria of the program is completed, a decision is being made on your application based on the results of your medical exam, police certificates and background checks.

You and your family (and all your dependents, accompanying or not) must pass medical, criminal and security checks to receive permanent residence. If you or any of your dependents are found medically or criminally inadmissible, your application will be refused.

Medical Check:

Instructions on how to get the medical exam done will be sent to you upon completion of selection based on the program’s eligibility criteria. You and your dependents must go for the medical exam within 30 days of receiving these instructions. Only an approved panel physician (➨ can do a complete medical exam for immigration reasons.

Once the exam is done, the physician will send the results to IRCC and will give you a document confirming that a medical exam is done.

Background Check:

Background check is a required procedure to verify your criminal and/or security background to ensure you are admissible to Canada. Criminality and Security together are background checks. Criminality check is performed by RCMP (Police Service of Canada), and Security by CSIS (Canadian Security Intelligence Service) and CBSA (Canada Border Services Agency).

Step 4: Landing in Canada

If your application is approved, you will be asked to pay your right of permanent residence fee if you haven't already done so. You will receive a Confirmation of Permanent Residence (CoPR) and if you are from a country that requires a visa you will also be issued a permanent resident visa.

You will only become a Permanent Resident of Canada when you cross a Canadian port of entry. This is referred to as ‘landing in Canada’ (➨page).

You must land in Canada before the expiry date, which appears on your Canada Immigration Visa. Usually, the expiry date is one (1) year from the time medical examinations were completed. As this is not always the case, be sure to verify the expiry date as soon as the Canada Immigration Visa is received.

Ready to take the next step towards your Canadian immigration journey? Fill out the form below and embark on your path to new opportunities.







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