Depending on your citizenship, you may. People travelling on passports from certain countries and territories need a temporary resident visa (commonly known as a visitor visa or TRV) to travel to Canada.
Click here to find out if you need a visitor’s visa.
Spouse - A spouse is defined as a life partner in a committed relationship who is of the opposite or same sex/gender. This person is married to you and the marriage is legally recognized both in Canada and in the country where it took place. CIC (Citizenship and Immigration Canada) has begun recognizing same-sex marriages in processing immigration applications. It only applies to couples where one spouse is a Canadian citizen/permanent resident and to those who marry in Canada.
Common-law partner - A common-law partner is defined as a life partner in a committed relationship who has been continuously living together for at least one year. This person can be either opposite or same sex/gender. This is often referred as a domestic partner or civil partner in certain countries.
Conjugal partner - A conjugal partner is defined as a life partner in a committed relationship for at least one year. No cohabitation is required but a relationship must be interdependent in physical, financial, emotional, and social aspects. This person can be either opposite or same sex/gender. Conjugal partner sponsorship is used to sponsor a foreigner who is unable to either get married or live with a sponsor for at least one year due to a visa requirement. In other words, a foreign partner cannot be from a visitor visa exemption country. Examples of conjugal partners can be same-sex couples who are legally barred from getting married or opposite-sex couples where one of them is legally married and unable to get divorced. Opposite-sex couples who can get married are most likely unable to apply as conjugal partners.
Dependent child - A dependent child is a blood-related child or adopted child under 22 years old. The only exceptions are physically or mentally disabled children, or full-time college/university students who are financially dependent on their parents.
LICO stands for Low Income Cut-Off. You don't have to meet LICO if you sponsor your spouse/common-law partner/conjugal partner and/or dependent child. However, you do need to meet LICO in order to sponsor your parents, grandparents, grandchildren, orphan brother/sister under 18 years old, orphan niece/nephew under 18 years old, or any blood related relative regardless of the age if you have no relative in Canada.
Low Income Cutoff (for provinces besides Quebec and effective until December 31, 2014)
Table 1 – Low Income Cut-off (Effective until December 31, 2014)
Size of Family and UnitMinimum necessary income
1 person (the sponsor) $23,647
2 persons $29,440
3 persons $36,193
4 persons $43,942
5 persons $49,839
6 persons $56,209
7 persons $62,581
More than 7 persons, for each additional person, add $6,362
If your sibling is an orphan under 18 years (unmarried and not in a common-law union relationship), you can sponsor your sibling (if you are eligible). If your sibling is older than 18 years old, your sibling can try to immigrate based on their own merit as a Skilled Worker/(Independent) or other business categories such as Entrepreneur, Investor, or Self-employed. If your sibling applies as a skilled worker/independent or self-employed, they receive five bonus points for having a relative in Canada under Adaptability.
You should submit your marriage certificate, domestic partnership registration, joint house ownership/apartment lease, joint mortgage statement, joint bank account statement, joint credit card statement, joint phone and utility bills, joint recreational memberships, joint health insurance, life insurance, Will, Power of Attorney, pictures, letters from your family and friends stating the relationship, proof of taking trips together such as boarding passes, phone records, emails, etc. Please keep in mind that each and every relationship is unique and different, so you may not have everything that is listed above, but you may have other documents that are equally appropriate for documenting your relationship.
Not necessarily. Sponsorship is determined by an immigration application with sufficient supporting relationship documentation. For example, a common-law/conjugal partner sponsorship application with the appropriate relationship documents will have a better chance of success than a spouse sponsorship application without enough supporting relationship documentation.
If you live outside of Canada, you must apply under the Outside Canada Application. If you live in Canada, you have the option to apply under either the In Canada Application or the Outside Canada Application. There are advantages and disadvantages to both.
There is no right of appeal to IAD (Immigration Appeal Division) under the In Canada Application. In other words, you need to reapply if your application gets denied. There is a right of appeal to IAD under the Outside Canada Application giving you the right to appeal.
The In Canada Application allows an applicant to stay in Canada by renewing their temporary status. In Canada Application also allows an applicant to apply for a work and/or study permit in the middle of the application process (usually after 5-6 months). The Outside Canada Application does not have this option and an applicant may not be able to stay in Canada if they do not obtain permanent resident status before their temporary status expire.
The Outside Canada Applications are often processed at a faster speed compared to the In Canada Applications.
It is important to analyze your case and submit the most advantageous application.