Canadian Spouse Visa: A Comprehensive Guide on Application Process

Canadian Spouse Visa: A Comprehensive Guide on Application Process

Canada is a desirable destination for couples who want to live and work there. Whether you are eager to join your Canadian spouse or intend to marry your partner in Canada, you will require a Canadian spouse visa.

To assist you in understanding the process of applying for a Canadian spouse visa, we have created this comprehensive guide that includes all the essential details you need.

What is a Canadian Spouse Visa?

Often called the spouse immigration program, the Canadian spouse visa program is a scheme that enables Canadian citizens and legal residents to sponsor their foreign partners to obtain permanent residency in Canada.

This program applies to married couples, common-law partners, and eligible conjugal partners, either of the same-sex or opposite sex.

What are the eligibility criteria for a Canadian Spouse Visa?

The eligibility criteria are fairly straightforward:

  • The sponsor has to be a Canadian Citizen or Canadian Permanent Resident
  • The couple should be married, living in a conjugal relationship for a minimum of 12 continuous months, or intend to marry soon
  • The couple must provide evidence that they are in a genuine and continuing relationship
  • The sponsored partner must clear the criminal and medical background checks

What is the Application Process for a Canadian Spouse Visa?

The spouse immigration program is a two-stage process. First, the Canadian citizen or permanent resident sponsor needs to submit an application to the government. Then, the sponsored partner has to submit an application to the Canadian government.

Stage 1: Sponsor’s Application

As a sponsor, you must submit the following forms and documents:

  • The sponsorship form
  • The undertaking form
  • Proof of Canadian citizenship or permanent residency
  • Proof of income that meets the necessary minimum requirements
  • Police clearance certificate

After submitting the forms and documents, the sponsor will then wait for the government to evaluate their application.

Stage 2: Sponsored Partner’s Application

Once the Canadian government approves the sponsor’s application, the sponsored partner can apply for the spouse visa. The sponsored partner will submit the following documents:

  • The sponsorship application forms
  • The permanent residency application forms
  • The results of the medical examination
  • The police clearance certificate
  • The marriage certificate and additional documents that verify their relationship

How long does the Canadian Spouse Visa application process take?

The spouse visa application process involves two stages, and the timeline for each stage varies.

The processing time for the sponsor’s application can take anywhere from two to four months. After the sponsor’s application is accepted, the sponsored partner will have 12 months to submit their permanent residency application.

The processing time for the sponsored spouse can take around 12 months.

How much does a Canadian Spouse Visa cost?

The cost of a Canadian spouse visa depends on various factors, including the sponsor’s status and the family size. The current approximate cost of a Canadian spouse visa is $1,050.


What is the difference between a common-law partner and a spouse?

A spouse is someone whom you are married to. On the other hand, a common-law partner is someone who has been living with you for a minimum of 12 continuous months in a conjugal relationship.

What is the difference between a conjugal partner and a common-law partner?

A conjugal partner refers to a partner who cannot pass the definition of a common-law partner due to extenuating circumstances. For instance, distance would stop the couple from living together for a year.

What if I am in Canada on a visitor visa?

If you are in Canada on a visitor visa, you can apply for an extension of your visitor visa while deciding on whether or not to apply for the spouse visa.

What if my spouse is already a Canadian citizen?

If your spouse is already a Canadian citizen, you do not have to apply for a spouse visa. You can simply apply for permanent residency.


The Canadian spouse visa program can be a complex and lengthy process. However, with the right information and guidance, the process can be relatively easy.

This guide has provided a brief overview of the Canadian spouse visa program, including eligibility requirements, the application process, and costs. If you have further queries, we advise you to consult an immigration lawyer.

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