Get Permanent Residence in Canada by Marrying a Canadian Citizen – Spousal Visa Applications


Canada, known for its diverse culture and welcoming attitude towards immigrants, offers various pathways for individuals seeking permanent residency. One such pathway is through marrying a Canadian citizen, which can lead to permanent residence via a spousal visa application.

However, the process involves more than just saying “I do.” In this blog post, we’ll guide you through the steps, requirements, and important considerations to help you navigate the journey towards obtaining permanent residence in Canada through marriage.

Get Permanent Residence in Canada by Marrying a Canadian Citizen – Spousal Visa Applications

Understanding the Spousal Sponsorship Program

Canada’s spousal sponsorship program allows Canadian citizens or permanent residents to sponsor their foreign spouse or common-law partner for permanent residence. This program underscores Canada’s commitment to keeping families together. However, it’s crucial to understand that the application is scrutinized to prevent fraudulent marriages solely aimed at gaining entry into Canada.

Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible for spousal sponsorship:

  1. For the Sponsor:
    • Must be a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident.
    • Must be 18 years or older.
    • Must not be receiving social assistance for reasons other than disability.
    • Must be able to provide the basic needs for the person being sponsored.
  2. For the Sponsored Person:
    • Must be legally married to the sponsor (Canada recognizes same-sex marriages).
    • If married outside Canada, the marriage must be valid under the law of the country where it occurred and under Canadian law.
    • Must pass background, security, and medical checks.

The Application Process

The application process can be lengthy and requires careful attention to detail. Here’s what you need to know:

  1. Preparation: Gather all necessary documents, including marriage certificates, proof of the sponsor’s Canadian citizenship or permanent residency, financial records, and any evidence of your relationship, such as photos, communications, and joint agreements.
  2. Submission: The Canadian citizen or permanent resident must submit a sponsorship application to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). At the same time, the foreign spouse must submit an application for permanent residence. These applications should be submitted together and sent to the appropriate application center.
  3. Assessment: The IRCC will assess the sponsor’s eligibility and the authenticity of the relationship. Be prepared for interviews or requests for additional information.
  4. Approval and Follow-up: If the application is approved, the foreign spouse will receive permanent resident status and can live, work, and study in Canada. The couple must live together in Canada for two years, and the sponsor is financially responsible for the spouse for three years.

Important Considerations

  • Processing Times: Expect the process to take several months. Processing times can vary based on the country of origin and the completeness of your application.
  • Legal Obligations: Understand the legal obligations involved in sponsorship, including financial responsibilities.
  • Genuine Relationship: Be prepared to prove that your relationship is genuine. Fraudulent applications can lead to severe penalties for both parties.
  • Living in Canada: While the application is being processed, the foreign spouse can apply for a temporary open work permit to live and work in Canada.
  • Changes in Circumstances: Keep the IRCC informed of any changes in your circumstances, such as address, family situation, or employment.


Marrying a Canadian citizen can be a gateway to a new life in Canada, but it’s essential to approach the spousal sponsorship program with honesty and thorough preparation. Ensure that your application is complete, provide clear evidence of your genuine relationship, and understand your legal obligations. While the process may be complex and time-consuming, the reward is the opportunity to build a life together in one of the world’s most welcoming countries. Always consider consulting with an immigration lawyer or a certified immigration consultant to navigate the process effectively and increase your chances of a successful application.