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How to immigrate to Canada as a couple

Whether you are engaged, married or in a common law relationship, Canada offers various immigration programs that cater to couples.

Spousal sponsorship

One of the most efficient ways to get Canada as a couple is to through spousal sponsorship. This is the best option if you already have a spouse or partner living in Canada or your spouse or partner is a Canadian citizen or permanent resident.

If your spouse is a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, they may sponsor you to join them in Canada and become a permanent resident, as long as your spouse meet certain eligibility criteria.

In order to sponsor a spouse or partner, the sponsor must be:

  • At least 18 years of age

  • A Canadian permanent resident living in Canada or a Canadian citizen

  • Not be in prison, bankrupt, under a removal order (if a permanent resident) or charged with a serious offence; and

  • Not have been sponsored to Canada as a spouse within the last 5 years

You and your sponsor must also prove your relationship, which must fall under one of three categories:

  • Spouse: you are legally married. If the marriage took place within Canada, a Certificate of Marriage from the province or territory is sufficient to prove that the marriage is valid. If the marriage took place outside Canada, it must be valid under the laws of that country and as well as under Canadian federal law.

  • Common law partner: you cohabit continuously for at least one year.

  • Conjugal partner: a sponsored person may be defined as a conjugal partner if exceptional circumstances beyond their control has prevented the partners from qualifying as common law partners or spouses, such as immigration barriers or legal restrictions limited divorce or same sex relationships. Furthermore, the partners must be in a mutually dependent relationship for a least one years with the same level of commitment as a marriage or common law partnership. This can be demonstrated through emotional ties, intimacy, financial closeness such as joint ownership of assets and efforts to spend time together and reunite.

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