How does the sponsorship process work?


If you want to settle in Canada with sponsorship by your spouse or common-law partner, you still need to complete additional steps.

It is possible that you will want to check the status of your application, make updates, or contact IRCC in some other way after submitting an application to sponsor your spouse or common-law partner for Canadian immigration. You need to follow a few other crucial steps before you get a Canada PR.

If you apply for permanent residency, you might have to wait for a long time. It often takes 12 months for spousal sponsorship applications to be processed. A typical inland application takes 15 months to process, while an outland application takes 24 months to process.

When your application is complete, processing begins according to the IRCC website. When officials decide that your application is complete, they will give you an application number and an acknowledgment of receipt (AOR). According to IRCC’s website, the COVID-19 pandemic has made it challenging to issue AORs on time. Incomplete applications or applications without fees will be returned to you by the IRCC officers.  

Upon submitting your application for permanent residency, you must follow the following steps. 


It is necessary for a candidate to obtain a Canadian spouse visa in order to sponsor their spouse. Prior to approving the sponsorship, IRCC will review the applicant’s eligibility. Applicants will receive notification by IRCC by email or letter if their applications have been approved for processing. Following this, the IRCC will determine whether the sponsor is eligible and send a letter or email with its findings.

IRCC will forward the permanent residence application to the relevant processing office upon approval of the sponsorship undertaking. A determination of the individual’s eligibility for permanent residency will be made by IRCC in the following months.

In the event that the undertaking is rejected by IRCC, the decision will be outlined in a letter or e-mail.

Residents of Quebec

Any applicant residing in Quebec who intends to apply for permanent residency must complete and sign the Demande de sélection Permanente – Catégorie du regroupement familial form. It is mandatory for applicants to submit this document along with their undertaking applications. 

If your undertaking application is approved, the Government of Quebec will send the information required to process your permanent residency application to IRCC.


Upon determining that the Canadian spouse or common-law partner meets the eligibility requirements, you will be provided with a letter of intent with your application number on it. Your application can be connected to your secure IRCC account by using your application number. Through this method, couples can contact IRCC and receive online communications and updates regarding their applications.

You will be required to provide the following information to IRCC during processing:

  • Biometrics
  • Medical exams
  • Police certificate

Medical exams

It is still mandatory to have a medical examination for any foreign-born family members who are not citizens of Canada or permanent residents. You will lose your ability to sponsor your family members if you fail to declare them and have them examined, according to IRCC.

You and each member of your family will be contacted by IRCC at the appropriate time in the processing process to complete a medical examination. The instructions will explain how to proceed. Medical results do expire and you might not receive them right away, so IRCC may ask you to retake your medical exams at a later date in order to reduce the chance of having to retake them.

Whether or not you are currently undergoing an immigration medical examination must be stated on your document checklist. If you took the exam when it was administered, you might have to retake it.

Police certificates

Police clearance is required for any 18-year-old or older immigrant who has lived in several nations for more than six months in a row.  To submit the original police certificate with the translation, you must have the original certificate translated into English or French by a qualified translator.

IRCC will also perform a background check on you and your family members in order to determine whether there are any factors that would prevent you from entering Canada.


In the event that you have paid the biometric fee, IRCC will send your family members a letter inviting them to submit their biometrics. A copy of this letter must be presented to each family member who provides their biometrics. The collection location nearest to them will ask for their biometric information within 30 days. It is highly recommended that as soon as possible, appointments for biometric procedures be scheduled in order to avoid delays.

Biometrics submission deadlines will be communicated to your family members by IRCC.

For inland sponsorship applicants, open work permits

The Spousal Open Work Permit may be available to you if you submit an immigration application to Canada. In the course of processing your application for permanent residency, with the help of this work permit, you will be able to work anywhere in Canada while your application is being processed. Open work permits may be applied for simultaneously with permanent residency applications, depending on when you apply.  

An open work permit application takes an average of four months to process, according to the IRCC.


An interview request will be notified to you in writing by the IRCC. IRCC will provide you with a list of required documentation along with a date, time, and location for your interview.

An officer may question you, the main applicant, during an interview about your:

  • Past difficulties with the law.
  • Education level
  • Relationship with your sponsor
  • Health
  • Financial situation
  • Reasons for immigrating
  • Family
  • Plans and preparations

It is possible that IRCC will ask you additional questions in order to determine whether you are capable of settling in Canada.

After PR is approved

In order for IRCC to complete processing an application once it has been approved, all applicants who are seeking immigration to Canada must submit the following documentation:

  • Passports or copies of passports.
  • two photos.
  • If you haven’t previously, you must present evidence of the entitlement to permanent residency fee payment.

The IRCC will provide this information to you.

Following the completion of their application, the sponsor’s spouse as well as any dependents living outside of Canada will receive a Confirmation of Permanent Residence (COPR) and, if required, a permanent resident visa from the Government of Canada. Once you receive these documents, you can arrange to meet an official in Canada before they expire.

A Canadian permanent residency will ultimately be determined by the officer.

An immigration officer must be consulted in order to get your COPR while you are in Canada. A letter will be sent to you by IRCC setting up your appointment and describing the paperwork needed. Your application for permanent residency will ultimately be approved or denied by the officer.


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