Spousal sponsorship is one of several Canadian immigration programs under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and its regulations. It is intended to bring the foreign partner (spouse, common-law partner or conjugal partner) with a permanent resident or a Canadian citizen.

Sponsorship Lawyer Canada can be from outside Canada, just as it can be from within Canada, as long as the partner is already in legal status or not.

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Can the sponsorship program in its current form create vulnerable situations for sponsored women?

Sponsorship was then opened to common-law and conjugal partners, in addition to spouses.

The government first decided to eliminate the category of fiancés that existed until then.

Married persons

This category allowed a permanent resident or Canadian citizen to sponsor his / her fiancé provided that he/she was married within ninety (90) days of arrival in Canada and to prove a wedding within one hundred and eighty (180) days of arrival. Failure to meet this condition would result in the alien being removed from his permanent resident status and subject to a removal order. At that time, the guarantor was required to support the financial needs of his fiancé for ten (10) years by a contract with the government. The government has decided to eliminate this category as it opens the door excessively to the traffic of persons by correspondence.

The spouses

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Concerning the spouses, the marriage can be taken into account only if it is legal in the country where it was contracted. It is, therefore, possible that a marriage concluded abroad that does not respect the rules established in a Canadian province may still be recognized as being valid under the immigration rules.


This is the case of polygamous marriages concluded abroad where polygamy is legally recognized. Can all women in this marriage be sponsored?

In Canada polygamous marriage violates public order and is criminalized by law.

According to the Supreme Court of British Columbia, polygamy of course violates the freedom of religion protected by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, but this infringement is justified by the fact that it causes serious harm, both psychological and physical, to the women who undergo it.

In immigration matters, only one of the polygamous marriages can be recognized in Canada and it is the first marriage concluded that is. Even though all the others were contracted legally in a foreign country, according to the local laws.

In all cases, the relationship is analyzed according to the following criteria:

  • is there a mutual commitment to a common life?
  • the partners, are they exclusive?
  • Partners, do they have sexual intimacy?
  • The partners, are they interdependent?
  • The partners, do they maintain a genuine and consistent long-term relationship?
  • The partners, do they present themselves as a couple?
  • The partners, are they seen and seen as a couple?

Minimum age to sponsor

While there was no limit to the age of the spouse who could be sponsored, the minimum age of eighteen (18) will be imposed to prevent young women from becoming vulnerable to their marriage arrived in Canada. For more information, please consult with an immigration lawyer Toronto