The Canada Inland Spousal Sponsorship Application: Process and Stages

Help the person you love stay in Canada with you. Inland spousal sponsorship allows a citizen or permanent resident of Canada to sponsor their spouse/conjugal or common-law partner for permanent residence.

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Who is Inland Spousal Sponsorship For?

Inland spousal sponsorship is aimed at citizens or permanent residents of Canada who wish to have their spouse/conjugal or common-law partner live with them as permanent residents of Canada. To qualify for inland sponsorship, the spouse/ partner must already have temporary resident status (working, studying or visiting) in Canada. Applicants may also be eligible to apply for an open work permit which would allow them to work while waiting on their immigration decision. While you are allowed to travel outside of Canada when your application is being processed if you are denied entry to Canada your application will be canceled. If this happens you will need to apply for Outland Spousal Sponsorship.

Who is Eligible for Inland Spousal Sponsorship?

As a sponsor, you must be able to prove that you

  • Are legally a citizen or permanent resident of Canada;
  • Are at least 18 years old;
  • Can provide the basic needs for you and your family, including food, clothing, and shelter;
  • Can support your spouse/partner financially; and
  • Can ensure that your spouse/partner does not need to ask for financial help from the Canadian government.


Your spouse/conjugal or common-law partner must be at least 18 years old and must have medical, criminal and background checks. You will also have to prove that a genuine relationship exists between the two of you, providing solid evidence of your involvement and commitment.

If the sponsor lives in the province of Quebec, they may need to meet additional requirements. In turn, the sponsored person must hold valid, temporary status in Canada, whether they are a student, worker, or visitor. They must also:

  • Not be a close blood relative of the sponsor
  • Be at least 18 years of age

The relationship between the sponsor and sponsored person must prove to be a legal marriage, or a common-law or conjugal partnership, as acknowledged by IRCC. To be legally valid, the marriage must either have been legally completed in Canada, or, if performed outside of Canada, legally acknowledged in both the country where it took place and in Canada. Even though same sex marriages are legal in Canada, the marriage must have been performed in a country where same sex marriage is legal in order for the marriage to be legally valid for sponsorship purposes. In the event the marriage is not valid in the country in which it was carried out, a sponsorship application may still be made, as long as a common-law or conjugal relationship can be proven.

Stages of the Inland Spousal Application 2021:

The process involves several steps that can be confusing for someone who isn’t familiar with how Immigration in Canada works. Additionally, ensuring that all the supporting documents are included and completed correctly can be challenging.

The inland spousal sponsorship requires two applications. First, you must apply to become a sponsor and then your spouse must apply for permanent residence. You will submit both applications at the same time. The application process can be broken down into four stages. 

  1. Obtain the Application Package: this package includes a document checklist, forms for you and your spouse, and instructions. Read the instructions carefully before beginning and double-check that you are eligible to sponsor. Fill out the application for you and have your spouse fill out their application. 
  2. Pay Your Fees: the fees will be for processing the applications for you and the person you are sponsoring, the right of permanent residence fee and the biometrics fee. In certain cases, there may be fees for a medical exam or police certificate.
  3. Submit Your Application: there are mailing instructions included in the application guide. Your application will be returned to you if pieces are missing or the fees have not been paid.
  4. Send In Any Additional Documentation: once you have sent in your application, you will be contacted about submitting additional documentation. This might include biometrics, medical exams or police certificates. 

Although it is impossible to definitively say how long a visa application will take, inland spousal sponsorship applications are currently taking roughly 12 months to be processed. 

How Can I Avoid Having My Application Denied?

Unfortunately, there are no guarantees on visa applications. However, there are a few tips to keep in mind when completing your paperwork. 

  • Follow the instructions on your application carefully and read everything thoroughly 
  • Double-check that everything has been written properly and the forms are signed and dated 
  • Pay the fee using the correct method of payment 
  • Pay the fee when you submit your application 

If you are experiencing delays, it could be due to one of the following reasons: you need to be interviewed, medical or security screenings could be taking longer than usual, or there are a lot of applications to be processed. 

In the case that you receive a denial, it is important to understand why you have been denied. You can also seek the help of an immigration professional to determine what your next steps should be. 

We Are Inland Spousal Sponsorship Experts

Applying for an inland spousal sponsorship is a long, complex, and involved process, and you don’t want to take any chances with the immigration of someone you love. We are experts at handling inland and outside Canada spousal sponsorships. Let us simplify the application process for you.

We Understand the Inland Spousal Sponsorship Application Process

We have helped thousands of foreign nationals successfully remain in Canada through spousal sponsorships, and we can help you too. Our firm boasts 15 years of experience in working with families wishing to live together in Canada. We know what the Canadian immigration department requires, and how to meet all deadlines and expectations.

Call Us Today

The first step towards moving to Canada is to get an assessment of your specific situation. Call us today at 1.866.449.5904 for an assessment to see if you are eligible to move to Canada, or fill out our online assessment form.