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Spousal Sponsorship Canada for Nigerians

If you are the spouse or common-law partner of a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, you may be eligible to be sponsored for the Spouse visa.

For more information about the spouse visa, including guidance on how to apply and bespoke advice on meeting the eligibility criteria, contact our immigration lawyers today online. You can also call our team in Lagos at +23413438882 or +44 (0) 3316300929

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    Benefits of Choosing IAS Canada Immigration Lawyers

    When it comes to obtaining a Canada visa or permit, IAS Canada immigration lawyers are well-equipped to help you.

    With IAS’ track record of successfully helping clients visit or immigrate to Canada successfully, we can help you achieve your goal.

    Our dedicated immigration lawyers provide our services through a comprehensive and personalised approach. With IAS, you enjoy:

    Compassionate support from an experienced immigration lawyer dedicated to your success

    Support in gathering supporting documents and completing a high-quality application.

    Confidence that your case is being handled by an experienced team.

    In-house document checks done by lawyers who are well-versed in  immigration matters.

    Regardless of what your Canadian immigration query might be, IAS is here to help and support you. Call us or enquire online to learn more about how we can help you.

    Services we Provide

    Want to Join your Spouse in Canada?

    We have successfully helped numerous Nigerians get reunited with their spouses in Canada. If you need assistance with your Spousal Sponsorship application, we can guide you through the eligibility requirements and support you along the way. Let us handle all the complexities and make your application process as stress-free as possible.

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    Overview of the Spousal Sponsorship Canada Visa

    The Spousal sponsorship visa is one of the visas that permit Nigerians to move to Canada to live with their partners permanently. This visa is only available to Nigerians who have a spouse or common-law partner who is a Canadian citizen or permanent resident.

    If your partner is a permanent resident, they can only sponsor your application when they are living in Canada. A Canadian citizen partner, however, can sponsor your application even when they are outside of Canada.

    There are certain eligibility and financial requirements you and your partner have to meet for the sponsorship application to be approved. If your partner lives in Quebec, they will also have to meet the requirements stipulated by the province.

    Note that the spousal sponsorship application also covers your dependents if you have any. It also covers the children of your dependents.

    Like most family sponsorship Canada visas, the Canadian citizen or permanent resident starts the application process for a spousal visa.

    If you are in Nigeria at the time of application, you will have to take the outland sponsorship route. You will take the inland sponsorship route if you are already in Canada with a temporary visa.

    Spouse Visa Canada Requirements and Eligibility Criteria

    You and your Canada-based partner must meet certain eligibility requirements before the application is approved.

    Requirements for Canadian Citizen or Permanent Resident

    The Canadian citizen or permanent resident must:

    • be at least 18 years of age.
    • reside in Canada if they are a permanent resident. A permanent resident cannot sponsor you if they are outside Canada.
    • show they are planning to return to Canada to live with the sponsored spouse if they are a Canadian citizen.
    • have no running undertaking to care for a spouse, conjugal or common-law partner.
    • not be getting any social aid from the government except in the case of a disability.
    • prove that they have met any financial obligation undertaken previously.
    • prove that they have the financial means to care for themselves, their to-be sponsored partner and any dependent children.
    • be free of any convictions of murder, sexual offence, attempt to cause injury or commit a sexual crime in Canada or abroad. (if they committed any of these offences, they must have finished their sentence or waited for 5 years after conviction).
    • not have been deported or detained in prison.
    • not be indebted to the Government of Canada for not repaying social assistance given to a former sponsored spouse.
    • not be indebted to the Government of Canada for not repaying a performance bond or immigration loan.
    • not owing child support or alimony.
    • not be a permanent resident who got their permanent resident status not more than 5 years ago.

    Requirements for the Nigerian Partner

    As a Nigerian spouse or common-law partner, you must also meet the following requirements.

    • You must not be in a marriage or civil union with any other person. If previously married, you must show divorce or death certificate of your former partner.
    • You must be at least 18 years of age.
    • You must not have committed any criminal offence.
    • You must have been in the relationship or living with your common-law partner for at least 1 year.
    • You must have been in a relationship with your conjugal partner for at least 1 year but cannot marry them in Nigeria due to legal reasons (e.g. same-sex marriage prohibition law)
    • You must be assessed to be medically sound to enter Canada.
    • If you have dependent children, they must be unmarried and younger than 22.
    • If you have dependents older than 22, you must show they have a physical or mental disability.

    What Are the Benefits of the Spousal Sponsorship to Canada?

    There are many benefits of the spousal sponsorship programme. First, it is a programme that unites families who are apart or at the risk of being separated due to immigration rules.

    Nigerians who migrate using this route are eligible to live, work and study in Canada.

    They are also free to access any benefit offered by the Canadian government.

    Lastly, it is also a route towards obtaining Canadian citizenship.

    Obligations of the Sponsor

    Your sponsor has a large part to play in the application for a spouse visa. When they agree to sponsor you, they must sign an undertaking to care for you and your dependents, if any.

    The undertaking is a legal agreement between the government of Canada and your sponsor. You will also sign the undertaking to show that you understand all terms and obligations.

    Your sponsor must provide food, shelter, clothing, heat and cater to all other necessary living expenses. They must also pay for healthcare and education as long as the undertaking lasts. Once the undertaking kickstarts, your sponsor must abide by it whether you are in Canada or not.

    Connect hearts across borders. Contact us to explore Spousal Sponsorship to Canada from Nigeria.

    How Long Does the Undertaking Remain Valid?

    The duration of the undertaking for a spouse, conjugal or common-law partner is 3 years. This undertaking stands even if:

    • you leave Canada
    • separate from your partner
    • become a Canadian citizen or permanent resident yourself
    • your sponsor becomes financially incapacitated.

    If you have dependents, your sponsor must also sign an undertaking for them. The duration of this undertaking depends on the age of the child.

    • Children under 16 years must be taken care of for a period of 10 years or till they turn 18, whichever is longer.
    • Children 16 and above must be taken care of for a period of 3 years or till they turn 25, whichever is longer.

    The sponsor is also expected to help the beneficiary settle and integrate into Canada. This includes and is not limited to the following:

    • finding employment
    • finding a suitable school
    • accessing government services.

    In the event that your spouse or common law partner cannot keep up with this undertaking for the period it is valid, the government of Canada will provide financial assistance. However, your sponsor must repay the government for any expense made within that period.

    Without meeting this criterion, they will not be able to sponsor any other person in future.

    Cancelling Undertaking

    Your partner can cancel an undertaking, but that is only before the IRCC makes a decision on the undertaking. So, if your sponsor changes their mind, they can send a letter to the IRCC through their web form.

    An undertaking is withdrawn successfully only when the IRCC approves the withdrawal. If the IRCC has made a decision on the undertaking already, your sponsor can no longer withdraw it.

    Sponsorship Bar


    The sponsorship bar is any condition that prevents the Canadian citizen or permanent resident from sponsoring you. If your partner falls under the following categories, they cannot sponsor your spouse’s visa application.

    Default on Previous Undertaking

    If your sponsor has undertaken to care for someone before and could not meet up with the undertaking, they have defaulted and will not be able to sponsor you. For them to be eligible again, they must pay back the value of all the social benefits their former beneficiary got from the government.

    Default on Financial Obligations Mandated by the Court

    If your partner is yet to obey a court order that mandates them to pay child or spousal support, they cannot sponsor you.

    Default on Immigration Loan

    If your partner once received a loan for transportation and is yet to pay it back, they cannot sponsor you.

    Performance Bond

    If your partner needed a bond to show his undertaking, they must have paid the total cost of the bond. Otherwise, they cannot sponsor you.

    5-Year Bar for Sponsored Partners

    If your partner was sponsored to Canada, they cannot sponsor you from Nigeria within the first 5 years of getting Canadian citizenship or permanent residency.

    Criminal Offence

    If your partner has committed a crime against a family member and was convicted, the IRCC will not approve the sponsorship request. A family member here means partner, children, parents, ex-partners and extended family members.

    Discover Spousal Sponsorship Visa from Canada to Nigeria. Contact us today to learn more about bringing your loved one to Canada.

    Outland Application

    If you are currently in Nigeria or elsewhere but in Canada, your Canadian citizen or permanent resident partner will have to sponsor you via the outland route.

    It is also the route you should take if you are in Canada but, for some reason, cannot apply for a spouse visa.

    You can also use this method if you are in Canada but have to leave and re-enter the country frequently due to work. This will enable you to move freely in and out of Canada while your application is being processed.

    If you are a conjugal partner, you can only apply via the outland route. The downside to this route is that it takes longer than the inland route.

    For this route, your partner will apply to the IRCC to be a sponsor while you apply to be a permanent resident. Note that you cannot apply for PR if your partner has not gotten approval on their sponsorship application yet.

    Your sponsor’s application will go to the IRCC in Canada, but yours will be directed to the Canadian visa embassy in Nigeria or in the country where you have stayed legally for at least a year.

    Inland Application

    If you are already in Canada with another type of visa (study, work or tourist visa), you can apply for permanent residence via the inland application route.

    Both your sponsor’s application and your PR application will be made to the IRCC. Note that you and your partner must have been living together for at least 1 year in Canada for you to apply using this route.

    One of the significant benefits of using the inland route is that the processing time is shorter. Again, you can live in Canada while the IRCC processes your application.

    Another benefit of the inland sponsorship application route is that you can apply for full-time work (open work permit) while processing your PR application.

    If you are to go through this route, it is essential to be aware that you are not supposed to leave Canada during the processing time. This is because your residence status is indeterminate at the point of your PR being processed. And this will make your re-entry into Canada impossible.

    Open Work Permit

    In most cases, spousal sponsorship takes time to process. And this takes a toll on the financial and emotional well-being of applicants. So, if you are in Canada and have applied for the inland sponsorship application, you should also apply for the open work permit.

    The Canadian government introduced the open work permit to grant non-specific work visas to spouses waiting for a decision on their permanent residence application. With this work permit, you are not restricted to any job or employer. This permit is valid for 2 years or until your passport expires.

    To be eligible for this permit, you must have met all the conditions for spousal visa sponsorship and have also applied. Again, the visa that you entered Canada on must still be valid. Lastly, you must be living with your partner at the time of this application.

    Choosing Class of Application

    When your partner is making the sponsorship application, they must choose between two classes. They can apply through the family class, Spouse, or Common-Law Partner in Canada Class.

    They must choose the family class if:

    • they are making an outland application
    • you don’t plan on staying in Canada during the application process
    • if you are their conjugal partner
    • if they would like to appeal the decision in the case of a rejection.

    They must choose the Spouse or Common-Law Partner in Canada Class if you live with them in Canada. This is also the class of application to choose if you are in Canada with a valid temporary visa.

    Sponsor your spouse to Canada. Your visa awaits in Nigeria. Contact us today for expert guidance.

    How to Apply


    Here is how to apply for spousal sponsorship in Canada. Note that the application is made online. If your sponsor cannot apply online, they can download the application form, print it out and complete it.

    The Application Package

    To get started with the application, the sponsor must visit the website of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada to get the application package. This package contains forms, instructions and checklists tailored to your situation.

    The Sponsor

    Your sponsor must choose if you are their spouse, common-law or conjugal partner. They also have to select all the countries you have held residence in.

    Upon submission of these details, your sponsor will get detailed instructions on the forms they are required to fill out.

    The first step is to download Form IMM 1344, Application to Sponsor, Sponsorship Agreement and Undertaking. Your sponsor must complete this form and then electronically sign the form.

    After that, you will sign the form as well. A sponsorship form without signatures will be returned unprocessed.

    Your sponsor must make copies of all required documents and upload them on the portal with the online forms before submitting.

    There is also country-specific information and documents. Ensure that your sponsor attaches those, too, in the application.

    Lastly, ensure that your sponsor fills out all the online forms. Every form must be signed by you and your sponsor before submission.

    To electronically sign forms, you have to fill out the form and choose ‘print to pdf’. This generates a digital form that you can sign.

    Your dependent children, 18 to 22, will also need to sign these forms filled out by your sponsor. If they are younger than 18, you will have to sign the forms on their behalf.

    The Beneficiary

    You can now create an application portal with the IRCC for your permanent residence application. You can now download and complete your forms. Every dependent 18 and above must also file and sign these forms separately.

    While making this application, it is imperative to mention all relatives. This is important even if the relatives are not moving to Canada with you.

    Failure to declare your family members would mean that you cannot sponsor them if you want to later. If the IRCC finds that you did not abide by this rule, you may risk losing your permanent residency.

    You may have to validate some of the forms you file. This ensures that your application is complete and that no information is missing. It is a suitable means of checking mistakes and making a perfect application.

    If you come across any section in the form that is irrelevant to you, type “NA” or “Not applicable”; that way, the section won’t be flagged as an error during validation.

    Before you sign the forms and submit them, you have the declaration section. It is advised that you read this section carefully before signing. You are bound by the declaration to notify the IRCC of any change in your life that affects the application. This could be relocation, death or change of status.

    The last part is the signature. It has to be electronically signed with a date. Your full name can serve as a digital signature.

    When the IRCC receives the sponsorship undertaking from your partner, they will look at the application and determine whether to approve or reject it.

    If approved, they will send the package to the department responsible for processing permanent residence.

    If it is denied, they will state why. Your partner can still insist on sending the application for permanent residence processing even when the IRCC finds them ineligible to sponsor.

    Biometric Capture

    When submitting your application, you must pay for the visa processing fees and also pay for biometric capture.

    After you send in your application, the IRCC will send you details of when and where you are to go for your biometric capture. All your dependents will also have to submit their biometrics.

    If you are in Nigeria, you can go for your biometrics at the VFS Global visa application centre in Abuja at Visa Application Centre Sterling Bank Plaza, 3rd Floor Plot No 1083, Mohammadu Buhari Way, Central Business District Abuja Nigeria.

    Alternatively, you can submit it at the Lagos centre located at Visa Application Centre Ground Floor, The Manor Plot 110, Admiral Ayinla Way, Lekki Phase 1 Lagos Nigeria.

    If you are in Canada, you can find designated visa application centres nationwide. You can schedule a visit to anyone closest to the province where you live.

    Medical Examination

    The last step in the application process is a medical examination. You and all your relatives must undergo this test successfully, even if they are not going to Canada with you. If your relatives were not examined, you may find it hard to sponsor them later.

    A physician approved by the IRCC in Nigeria carries out the medical exam.

    The IRCC will inform you when and where to go for your medical test at the appropriate time.

    You must ensure you go for the medicals within 30 days when IRCC notifies you. While going for the exam, print out IMM 1017 as instructed by the IRCC.


    For Nigerians in Canada looking to get a spousal visa, you may be contacted for an interview. This is usually the case if the IRCC wants to verify certain things from you to make the correct decision.

    If this is the case, the IRCC will send you a letter. They will also tell you when to come and what document to come with.

    Your love story, our expertise. Contact us to apply for Canada Spousal Sponsorship Visa today.

    Spousal Sponsorship Canada Checklist


    It is essential to send in all the required documents when making an application. If the IRCC finds that any document is missing, they will return the application unattended. To ensure you don’t forget any documents, pay attention to the checklist on the IRCC website. It contains a list of all the forms and supporting documents needed for the application.

    It is essential also that you pay attention to the format required for each document. You could be asked to upload a document in pdf, word, jpeg or png formats. Abide by the rules to reduce the chances of your application being rejected.

    Note that all the documents you are sending must be copies and not the original ones. It is vital to remember this because any document you send to the IRCC will not be returned.

    Below is a comprehensive list of all the forms and documents you must submit during your application:

    Online Forms

    These are essential documents you must file during the process. Some must be filed by your sponsor while you file the rest.

    Forms for Sponsor

    • Document Checklist. Your sponsor must file IMM 5589 if you are their common-law partner, IMM 5533 if you are their spouse or IMM 5629 if you are their conjugal partner.
    • IMM 1344, Application to Sponsor, Sponsorship Agreement and Undertaking. In this form, the sponsor agrees to care for the beneficiary if the undertaking is valid.
    • IMM 5532, Sponsorship Evaluation and Relationship Questionnaire. This collects the sponsor’s personal details, including employment and residence details. The form also collects information about the beneficiary. It is a form of assessment to know how well the sponsor knows the beneficiary. This form must be signed by both the sponsor and the beneficiary.
    • IMM 1283, Financial Evaluation Form. This is completed by the sponsor if their partner has a dependent child who also has a dependent child.
    • IMM 5476, Use of Representative or IMM 5475, Authority to Release Personal Information to A Designated Individual. This form is used to tell the IRCC that you will be employing the services of an immigration representative to handle your application. This service does not exempt you from filing, signing and uploading the necessary forms. Your representative will only guide you to complete the forms and then liaise with the IRCC from their end.

    Forms for the Beneficiary

    • IMM 0008, Generic Application Form for Canada. This form is completed and signed online. All questions must be answered as this form collects your personal details, including work and study history and where you intend to settle in Canada. You will also provide details on your relationship with the sponsor. Note that you must not have gaps in your work history. You must tell the IRCC what you were up to if there are gaps in your employment or study history.
    • IMM 5669, Schedule A- Background/Declaration. You have to complete this form for yourself and for any dependent who is 18 years and above. Here you must state all the family members who will move to Canada with you. All the details of your relatives must appear on this form.
    • IMM 5406, Additional Family Information. This is where you declare all of your family members. You must supply the names and details of your children, partner, and siblings (adopted, step and biological).
    • IMM 5532, Relationship Information and Sponsorship Evaluation Form. Even though your partner completed this form, you must also do the same.
    • IMM 5562, Supplementary Information- Travel History. This form collects information about your travel history. You and any dependent 18 years and older must complete this form separately. You must mention all the countries you have travelled to and held residence.
    • IMM 5546, Details of Military Service. Here, the IRCC wants to know if you were in the Nigerian military at any point. This form is for anyone who has served with the Army, navy, police, and air force. Previous government officials must also complete this form. It should also come with evidence of such an office or service.

    Other documents you need when applying for the spousal visa are:

    Birth certificate

    This must be issued by the Nigerian Population Commission (NPC) for both you and your dependents.

    Marriage Certificates

    If you are married to your partner, you must show proof by submitting a valid marriage certificate. Proof of your marriage registration with the government can also suffice.

    Identity Documents

    You and your partner must submit a copy of your identity document. You can submit your ECOWAS passport while your partner submits their Canadian passport or permanent resident card. If you must use a birth certificate, ensure it is an NPC-issued one.

    Letter of Explanation

    It is possible that you do not have all the documents required of you. Maybe they were lost in a fire disaster or flood. It is necessary that you spell these things out to the IRCC. The letter of explanation is a means of explaining your predicament to the officer looking over your application. It is always advisable not to leave any detail out in your description.

    Police Certificate

    Nigerians applying for the spousal visa must provide a police character certificate. This is to ensure that you are not a criminal or a troublemaker in Nigeria and, as such, won’t constitute a nuisance in Canada.

    You can get this police character certificate in any state’s department of criminal investigations. This certificate should be obtained from every country that you have lived in for at least 6 months. You and your dependents who are at least 18 must provide and submit them.

    Do note that if you have been convicted of a criminal offence in Nigeria or elsewhere, the chances of you getting approval are very low.


    You and your partner must follow the specification in uploading pictures. It should be in the required format and size. Everyone named on your application must have a photo.

    Ready to reunite in Canada? Contact us and begin your Spousal Sponsorship Visa application today.

    Translating Documents

    If you have any document that is neither in English nor French, maybe a qualification obtained in another country, you must submit a translation of the copies. This must be done either in English or French.

    You should ensure that translations are done by someone fluent in French/English and the other language they are translating. Alternatively, you can use a certified translator who stays in Canada.

    If the translation was not done by a certified translator, the translator must swear an affidavit that their translations are authentic.

    If the translator is in Canada, the affidavit will be sworn before the commissioner of oaths, notary public and commissioner of taking affidavits.

    A notary public should translate for you if you are outside of Canada.

    Certified True Copies

    Since you will not be submitting the original document to the IRCC, it is mandatory to certify your documents. To certify documents, photocopy the documents and then take the copies and the originals to an authorised person to compare.

    If they are satisfied with the documents, then they will certify it with their name, date, signature and position.

    If you are in Canada, you can take your documents to a commissioner of taking affidavits, oaths, or the notary public nearest to you for certification.

    If you are outside Canada, a notary public must certify your documents.

    Fees and Processing Times


    Here are the fees you must pay as part of your application process. All fees are in Canadian dollars and must be paid online.

    • $75 for the sponsorship application fee.
    • $490 for principal applicant processing fee.
    • $515 for the right of permanent residence fee. While it is not compulsory to pay this fee during the application process, it is advised that you do so. This is because it saves time. Also, the fee is refundable if, eventually, your application is denied.
    • $150 for a dependent child.
    • $155 for a dependent child’s dependent.
    • $85 biometric fee for one person.
    • $170 biometric fee for 2 or more persons.

    Processing Time

    It takes approximately 12 months for a decision to be made on a spousal sponsorship visa.

    Sponsors Living in Quebec

    If your sponsor is living in Quebec, then they have to meet the requirements of the sponsorship application particular to that province.

    The sponsor living in Quebec will need to pay another visa processing fee if you are coming to Quebec. This additional payment must be made to the Province of Quebec, not the IRCC.

    The application is made online, and it is required that the receipt of payment be uploaded with your application when IRCC requests it.

    Your journey to Canada from Nigeria made easy. Contact us to get a Spousal Sponsorship Visa today.

    How Can IAS Help?

    The Canadian spousal sponsorship visa is a long and tedious process that requires completing many forms and submitting documents. This can often deter people from trying. But you have nothing to fear if you employ our services at IAS. We can help you file your forms correctly and review your documents to ensure they align with the IRCC standards to avoid rejecting your application.

    We know family is important, and that is why at Immigration Advice Service, we are dedicated to helping you reunite with your loved ones. We have a team of expert immigration lawyers that can guide you while making the spouse visa application.

    You can get an eligibility assessment and advice on how to go about your appeal in case you get a denial. We can also guide you on any other Canadian immigration pathway of choice.

    Walk into our office in Lagos, Nigeria, for more enquiries and physical meetings with our lawyers. You can also place a call to +23413438882. Contact us online or speak to us on +44 (0) 3316300929.

    We offer immigration advice sessions as face to face appointments at our Lagos office, all of our UK offices, or via the phone.

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    Frequently Asked Questions

    The Canadian Permanent Residence card is valid for 5 years only. It is advisable to start the renewal process 6 months before the expiry date.

    Whenever a rejection happens, the IRCC usually states why. So, if your application is rejected, fix the concerns the IRCC pointed out and then apply again. If you feel that there was an error in the decision-making, you can appeal the decision. Note that if you have been convicted of a criminal or terrorist offence, you cannot apply for an appeal.

    If your application is unsuccessful because you do not meet all the requirements, you can withdraw your application. When you do, the IRCC will send your documents back to you. They will also refund you every fee you paid except the $75 for the sponsorship fee.

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