Canadian Immigration News

Can I Sponsor My Same-Sex Spouse or Partner?

2.7 minute read
"Being in a same-sex relationship and living in a country where you can’t live openly as a homosexual or where you can’t marry is frustrating at best and life-threatening at worst."
Written by My Visa Source Team
Updated on:  Feb 28, 2021
two-hands-forming-a-heart-shape-with-rainbow-bracelets-by-my-visa-source
Begin your immigration journey now
Click and fill out a free online assessment to see how we can help you. It takes less than 1 minute to fill out.
Free Assessment
Call and speak to our team, so that they can book a time with a licensed immigration professional who will answer all your questions.
Call Us Now
Recommended For You
Author info:

Being in a same-sex relationship and living in a country where you can’t live openly as a homosexual or where you can’t marry is frustrating at best and life-threatening at worst. Canada enables same-sex marriage immigration and allows these couples to live in peace and freedom. Read on to learn what you need to know about sponsoring your same-sex partner or spouse.

Who Can You Sponsor?

There’s good news if you’re in a same-sex relationship and you and/or your partner live outside of Canada.

Under Canada’s same-sex immigration rules, you can sponsor your spouse or your partner, provided that you and your partner meet certain criteria.

Same-Sex Marriage and Canada’s Immigration Rules

You can sponsor your same-sex spouse if you were married inside or outside of Canada.

If you were married inside of Canada, you must produce a valid marriage certificate from the province or territory in which you were married.

Let’s say you were married outside of Canada. You can sponsor your same-sex spouse if the jurisdiction in which you were married recognizes same-sex marriages.

Sponsoring Same-Sex Partners

What if you’re not married to your same-sex partner? You might still be able to sponsor him or her to immigrate to Canada.

Canadian immigration authorities recognize two categories of partners: common-law and conjugal.

A common-law partner is someone with whom you’ve been living for at least a year in a physical relationship. You’ll need to prove that you and your partner have set up a home together.

Such proof includes joint bank accounts or credit cards, joint ownership or rental of a home, and joint purchase of household items such as furniture or appliances.

Conjugal partners are those who would under different circumstances have a common-law relationship, except that a situation outside of their control makes that impossible.

These partners have been in a relationship for over a year but they couldn’t live together due to an immigration or other legal barrier. They must prove that such a barrier existed in order for one partner to sponsor another.

Sponsoring a Same-Sex Partner or Spouse: A Primer

You have a few options to sponsor your same-sex partner or spouse under Canada’s same-sex marriage immigration rules.

The first option is the family class. Through this category, a Canadian citizen or permanent resident can sponsor a spouse, a common-law or conjugal partner.

Another option is immigration through the economic class. The economic class enables foreign skilled workers through Express Entry or entrepreneurs through Business Immigration who can contribute to economy to come to this country. Neither partner needs to be Canadian in this situation, provided you meet eligibility requirements.

One subcategory of the economic class is a live-in caregiver. Live-in caregivers are people who provide full-time care to children, the elderly and people with disabilities. They can sponsor their same-sex partners to immigrate to Canada.

Yet another option, if you qualify, is to apply for refugee status. Canada’s immigration laws define a refugee as someone who outside of their home country or the country in which they normally live and aren’t willing to return there because of a well-founded fear of persecution. Gays and lesbians fall into this category. Refugees can sponsor eligible same-sex partners. See Humanitarian and Compassionate Grounds.

When You Can’t Sponsor Your Partner or Spouse

What would make you ineligible to sponsor a partner or spouse to move to Canada?

  • There are a number of factors that affect sponsorship eligibility:
  • not having fulfilled the terms of a previous sponsorship agreement,
  • not paying court-ordered alimony or child support,
  • receiving social assistance for other reasons aside from disability,
  • conviction of a violent crime,
  • a crime of a sexual nature,
  • an offense against a relative that resulted in bodily harm,
  • or an attempt or threat to commit such a crime
  • didn’t pay an immigration loan or missed payments
  • are imprisoned,
  • or you’ve declared bankruptcy which hasn’t been discharged.

Also, with your immigration status in Canada (if you were sponsored as an immigrant and obtained citizenship in the past five years, you will need to wait until that period is over);

Questions About Immigration? My Visa Source Has Answers.
My Visa Source stays updated on all immigration news and announcements across Canada and the United States, including sudden changes in government law. Our legal solutions help individuals, families, businesses and investors from North America and around the globe.
Get The Personalized Help That You Need and Deserve!
Securing personalized legal help is quick and simple. Begin with our one-minute online immigration assessment form or call us toll-free at 1-888-509-1987. Book a personal consultation to speak with an award-winning immigration lawyer either in person, over the telephone, or through a video conference. We're open 6am-9pm PST & EST, 7 days a week and are ready for in person, phone, and video consultations.
Canadian Flag
Latest Articles from Immigration Magazine