Can I sponsor my same-sex spouse, common-law or conjugal partner?

Yes, if you and your relationship meet all criteria for sponsorship.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC)'s website has definitions of spouse, common-law and conjugal partner.

Important Notes:

  • As of March 2, 2012, if you entered Canada as a sponsored spouse or partner you are not eligible to sponsor a new spouse or partner for a period of 5 years from the date you landed in Canada. Find out more information about this change from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).
  • As of April 28, 2017, IRCC has eliminated the Conditional Permanent Residence rule for spousal and partner sponsorships. Read our news release on what has changed.

Sponsoring a Same-Sex Spouse

If you were married inside Canada, you can sponsor your same-sex spouse if you have a legal marriage certificate from the province or territory where you got married.

If you were married outside Canada you can sponsor your spouse, if your same-sex marriage is legally recognized in the place where you were married and in Canada. Generally, you must give IRCC proof that your marriage is legal.

Sponsoring a Same-Sex Common-Law or Conjugal Partner

You can sponsor your same-sex common-law partner, if you have been living together in a conjugal relationship for at least 1 year. Generally, you must show proof of this union, such as joint financial records, property, mail, or purchases.

You can sponsor your same-sex conjugal partner if you have been in a conjugal relationship for at least 1 year and have:

  • Evidence that you could not live together because of same-sex discrimination or other reasons (e.g. an immigration barrier, refusal of long-term visas or stays in each other's country); and
  • Evidence that you are not just in a physical relationship but a mutually interdependent relationship (e.g. joint financial records).

How do I apply?

To find out more about the sponsorship process, including eligibility requirements, read:

For More Information

  • Sponsoring Your Family - Official information from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).
  • Do you want to sponsor your family to join you in Canada? [PDF] - This fact sheet has information about sponsorship and supporting sponsored family members. From CLEO (Community Legal Education Ontario).
  • Immigration and Refugee Law - Clear language publications on legal topics relating to immigrants and refugees. From CLEO (Community Legal Education Ontario).
  • IRCC Help Centre - A tool that helps answer frequently asked questions on immigration matters. It offers several ways of searching through the information available, including search by keyword. From Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada.
Last updated: May 1, 2017 4001549