Post-Application Guide to Spousal Sponsorship for Canadian Immigration

Taken the first step toward spousal sponsorship in Canada? Congratulations! However, the process isn’t over yet. There are a few more steps to go through before your application is finalized. While the immigration process can be complex and time-consuming, staying informed and prepared for what comes next is important. This blog post will provide an overview of the next steps for your spousal sponsorship application in Canada, so you can better understand the process.

What To Do After You Apply for Spousal Sponsorship?

Once you have submitted your spousal sponsorship application, there are a few things you can do to stay informed and track the progress of your application. The processing time for new spousal sponsorship applications is currently around 12 months, but it may take longer for inland applications (around 15 months) or outland applications (around 24 months). 

It is important to note that processing time begins on the day that a complete application is received by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). After you submit your application, you will receive an acknowledgement of receipt (AOR) along with an application number.

If your application is incomplete or if any required fees are missing, IRCC officials will return your application to you. It is essential to ensure that your application is complete and all necessary fees are included to avoid any delays.

Once your application is received and deemed complete, it will go through several stages, including background checks, medical exams, and police certificates. The next step is to wait for an interview if required.

It’s important to stay informed throughout the process and update your application if there are any changes, such as a change in contact information. You can also communicate with IRCC through their online portal to ask questions or provide additional information if needed. By staying informed and following the steps outlined by IRCC, you can navigate the spouse sponsorship approval process more smoothly.

Eligibility as a Canadian Sponsor

After you have applied to sponsor your spouse for Canadian immigration, IRCC will examine your eligibility as the Canadian sponsor. If all required forms and documents are present, IRCC will send an email or letter confirming that your application has been accepted for processing. 

Once your application is accepted, IRCC will assess your eligibility as a sponsor and notify you of their decision through an email or letter. If your sponsorship undertaking is approved, IRCC will send the application to the appropriate processing office.

It’s important to note that IRCC will also decide whether the person being sponsored is eligible for permanent residence. If the sponsorship undertaking is refused, IRCC will provide an explanation for the decision in an email or letter.

Throughout this process, staying informed and following any instructions or requests from IRCC is crucial. By keeping track of the progress of your application and promptly responding to any inquiries, you can ensure a smoother and more efficient processing of your spousal sponsorship application.

Quebec Residents

If you are applying for spousal sponsorship in Quebec, there are additional steps to consider. The foreign spouse must complete and sign the Demande de sélection permanente – Catégorie du regroupement familial (Application for permanent selection – Family reunification class) form. This document must be enclosed with the sponsor’s undertaking application to the Quebec government. If the Government of Quebec approves the undertaking application, they will send IRCC the information needed to process the permanent residency application. It’s important to follow these specific steps for Quebec residents to ensure a smooth and successful spousal sponsorship process.

Application Process

After submitting your spousal sponsorship application, the eligible Canadian spouse or common-law partner will receive an AOR from IRCC and an application number. This number allows couples to communicate with IRCC and receive online updates and messages about their application. Applicants will be required to submit certain documents, including medical exams, police certificates, and biometrics. These documents are necessary for IRCC to complete the background checks and ensure the eligibility of both the sponsor and the person being sponsored. It is important to promptly submit these documents to avoid any delays in the application process.

Medical Exams

As part of the spousal sponsorship application process, applicants aged 18 and older must undergo a medical examination. The medical exam aims to ensure that the applicant has no health conditions that could pose a risk to public health or safety in Canada. The exam includes a physical examination, a review of the applicant’s medical history, and various tests, such as blood tests and X-rays.

It’s important to note that the medical exam must be conducted by a panel physician approved by Immigration, IRCC. The panel physician will provide the medical exam results directly to IRCC.

In addition to the medical exam, applicants must also provide a valid police certificate from any country other than Canada, in which they have resided for six or more months since the age of 18. If the original certificate is not in English or French, an accredited translator must translate it, and both the police certificate and the original translation must be included in the application.

It’s worth mentioning that while applicants are responsible for completing their own medical exams and obtaining police certificates, IRCC will also conduct its own background checks to determine if there are any reasons why the applicant or their family members may not be admissible to Canada.

For more specific and up-to-date information on where to obtain a police certificate, IRCC offers a guide that outlines the process for different countries. It’s important to carefully follow these instructions to ensure a smooth and successful spousal sponsorship application.


Once you submit your application, IRCC will send a letter to your family members, including children, asking them to give their biometrics. Family members have 30 days to give their biometrics in person at their closest collection point. Booking biometrics appointments as soon as possible is advisable to avoid any delays in the application process. IRCC will provide instructions to let family members know how much time they have to send in their biometrics.

Open Work Permits for Inland Sponsorship Applicants

Inland sponsorship applicants have the option to apply for an Open Work Permit, which allows them to work anywhere in Canada while their permanent residency application is being processed. The application for an Open Work Permit can be submitted together with the application for permanent residence or after the application has been submitted. According to IRCC, the application for an Open Work Permit is normally processed within four months. This allows applicants to continue working and supporting themselves while waiting for their permanent residency approval.


During the spousal sponsorship application process, IRCC may schedule an interview to assess your eligibility further. IRCC will provide written notice with the date, time, and location if an interview is required. During the interview, the officer may discuss various topics such as your relationship with the sponsor, education level, reasons for immigrating, plans and preparations, family, health, financial situation, and any past difficulties with the law. The interview aims to evaluate your ability to settle in Canada and determine the genuineness of your relationship with the sponsor.

Application Approval

Once your application is approved, there are a few important steps to take. First, you will need to submit certain documents for all individuals immigrating to Canada, including any dependent children. These documents include passports or photocopies of passports, two photos, and proof of payment for the right of fee.

If the spouse being sponsored or any dependents are outside of Canada, they will receive a Confirmation of Permanent Residence (COPR) and a permanent resident visa (if required). If they are already inside Canada, they will need to meet with an immigration officer to receive their COPR. During this meeting, the officer will make the final decision on the application.

Contact Us at Sponsorship Lawyer Toronto

If you have any questions or need further assistance with your spousal sponsorship application, don’t hesitate to contact the Sponsorship Lawyer Toronto team. Our experienced immigration lawyers are here to provide guidance and support throughout the process. Contact us today for personalized advice and expert assistance to ensure a smooth and successful sponsorship journey.

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