Canadian citizens or permanent residents can sponsor their spouse or common-law partner for Canadian permanent residence.
In order to sponsor a spouse, common-law partner, or conjugal partner, sponsors must meet specific requirements. Sponsors living in Quebec must also meet additional requirements from the Quebec Government. Details of the eligibility requirements can be found here.
Conditional Permanent Residence Period
Sponsored spouses, common-law partners, and conjugal partners are required to live together in a legitimate relationship with their sponsor for at least 24 months from the day they become permanent residents in Canada.
This also applies to individuals who have no children with their sponsor and to individuals who have been in a relationship with their sponsor for two years or less at the time of the application. The conditional permanent residence period pertains to applications that were received on or subsequent to October 25th 2012.
What is a spouse?
In order to be considered a spouse, the marriage must be one that is valid both under the laws of the jurisdiction where it took place and under Canadian law.
What is a common-law partner?
A common-law relationship requires 1 year of co-habitation in a conjugal relationship. The required 1 year period of co-habitation must be uninterrupted; however allowances will be made for short absences due to business travel or family reasons.
What is a Conjugal Partner?
A conjugal partner refers to a person residing outside of Canada, with whom you have been in a conjugal relationship with for at least one year. A conjugal relationship is not defined solely as a physical relationship. In order to qualify as conjugal and additional element of permanence is required in regards to the relationship. A commitment level similar to that of a marriage or common-law relationship will be required.
Same-sex marriages are considered valid in Canada and, if recognized in the country in which the marriage took place, will be considered valid for the purpose of Canadian immigration. Both same-sex common-law and same-sex conjugal partners will be considered valid for the purpose of Family Class Sponsorship.