Canada FAQ

Assessment form

What happens if I sponsored my partner, but was unable to financially support them once they entered the country?

When you agree to act as a sponsor for a foreign national, you are required by the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration to sign an affidavit stating you will provide for their basic needs for a specified length of time. If you are unable to do so, and your partner, spouse, or any dependent children receive government assistance, penalties may result. You may be obligated to repay any benefits received, and you will not be permitted to sponsor anyone else until all government funds that were disbursed have been repaid. It is important, therefore, to ensure that you will indeed be able to financially support your spouse, partner, and any dependent children.

Will my partner or spouse be able to bring his/her children to Canada too?

In many cases, the answer to this question is yes. However, it depends on whether they meet the definition of a dependant child. If they are under 22 years of age, and are not married or living in a common law relationship, they will be considered dependent and given derivative status on the family sponsorship application. If they are older than 22, enrolled full-time in a post secondary institution that is accredited and recognized by the relevant government authorities, and they rely on their parent for financial support, they may be included as dependent children on the resident visa application.

I am not currently residing in Canada, but I am a Canadian citizen. Can I still act as a sponsor for my foreign spouse or partner?

Yes, but you must prove that you will be residing in Canada by the time your spouse or partner arrives on an immigrant visa. Acceptable proof of this must be submitted, and can include letters from your future employer or rental agreements.

What if I defaulted on court-ordered payments in the past?

There are several situations in which you are automatically excluded from being a sponsor. If a person you previously sponsored received social assistance, or you defaulted on court payments, immigration fee loans, or performance bond payments, you must resolve the matter before you can be considered an eligible sponsor. This might involve repaying money to the government, paying arrears on loans, paying bonds, and resolving the court-ordered payments matter with the relevant authorities in your jurisdiction.

Will my fees be refunded if I am determined to be an ineligible sponsor?

When you submit your application and documents to the case processing center, you can choose whether you want processing to continue if you do not meet the family sponsorship requirements. If you choose to stop the process if you do not meet the sponsorship requirements, your processing fees and the Right to Permanent Residence Fee will be refunded. If you choose to continue with the visa processing even though you do not meet the sponsorship requirements, no fees will be refunded.

What type of visa should I apply for if I am engaged to be married?

There is no fiancee visa category under Canadian immigration law. You should either get married and apply for a spousal visa, or try to obtain a common law partner visa if you have been living together for a period of at least one continuous year. You may also qualify for a conjugal visa if you and your foreign fiancee have never met in person. 

What if my spouse, partner, or same sex partner does not have legal status to be in the country, but is currently living in Canada?

You may still apply to sponsor them, even though they do not have legal status to be in the country. However, you and your partner or spouse must still meet all family sponsorship requirements. 

What if my partner and I applied for a common law visa, but we have since married?

You must inform the appropriate immigration authorities of any changes that may affect the status of your partner permanent resident visa application or the type of visa for which you are eligible. Important changes that must be reported to the Canadian immigration authorities include births, deaths, changes of address, and changes in marital status.

What if I submitted my sponsorship application, but have since realized that I do not meet the eligibility requirements?

You may be able to have your fees refunded. However, you must inform the Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) case processing center in charge of your permanent resident visa application of your ineligibility before they begin processing. For this reason, it is important to notify them of your request to withdraw your family sponsorship application as soon as possible.

My partner lives in a country where divorce is not permitted. However, she and her husband have been separated for a long time. Are we eligible to obtain a spousal visa to allow her to immigrate to Canada?

Unfortunately not. If your partner is not legally free to marry, you can not apply for a Canadian spousal visa. You may, however, apply for a conjugal visa. Under Canadian immigration law, conjugal visas may be granted to couples who are in a relationship, but can not legally marry because divorce is not possible in the partner’s home country.

I have never actually met my partner in person, but we communicate almost every day through telephone calls and e-mail. Will we be able to get a Canadian partner visa?

In this situation, your best choice would be a conjugal visa. Keep in mind that this type of visa may be granted to couples who are unable to live together due to immigration barriers. To obtain this visa, however, you will have to prove that you were prevented from living together due to circumstances that were beyond your control, and that you are in a committed, interdependent relationship. You may also be asked to provide documents evidencing that you share finances and household expenses.

What if I am applying to be a visa sponsor and I reside in Quebec?

The process for Quebec sponsors is slightly different. While the federal government oversees family sponsorship applications in all other Canadian provinces and territories, if you reside in Quebec the provincial government plays an important role in determining whether you are an eligible sponsor. After CIC has reviewed your sponsorship application, it will be forwarded to the province of Quebec, where your permanent resident visa application will be assessed against the province’s sponsorship criteria. Quebec’s Ministère de l’Immigration et des Communautés culturelles will then inform you of their decision. The rest of the processing is then completed by the federal government..

I tried to obtain refugee status, but was denied. If I marry a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, will I be able to remain in Canada?

There are no guarantees. Immigration officials must be satisfied based on your application that your marriage is based on love, and was not done for immigration purposes. Marrying soon after a refugee claim has been denied may raise red flags with officials. However, you are permitted to apply for a spousal or partner visa if you meet the eligibility requirements..

What if I obtained a conjugal visa, but the relationship has since ended?

You are still legally obligated by your undertaking to provide financial support to your foreign spouse or partner for a period of three years. A breakdown of a relationship does not release you from this obligation.



For general enquiries e-mail at
New York, USA:
1 Maiden Lane, 5th Floor
New York, NY 10038
Tel: +1 (212) 461-4811
Fax: +1 (718) 879-6478
Sydney, Australia:
Suite 3, Level 27, Governor Macquarie Tower
1 Farrer Place, Sydney NSW 2000
Tel: +61 (0)2 8005 0644
Fax: +61 (0)2 8572 9967
London, UK:
First Floor, 85 Great Portland Street
London, W1W 7LT
Tel: +44 (0)20 8144 2544
Fax: +44 (0)20 8819 1153
Toronto, Canada:
2899 Steeles Avenue West, Unit 21
North York, Ontario M3J 3A1
Tel: +1 (416) 661-0400
Fax: +1 (416) 661-0040
Contact Us!
Your message was successfully sent!