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Family Class Application Process

As of June 28, 2003 same-sex partners of Canadian citizens or permanent residents can apply to immigrate to Canada as part of the family class.

Choose The Type Of Partner Application To Make
If the immigrating partner is living outside Canada use the outside Canada family class application and apply as Spouses, Common-law, or Conjugal partners.

If both partners are residing in Canada legally, for example on a student visa, and are common-law applying using the In Canada class application is also an option. Partners legally in Canada may still choose to make a family class application outside Canada. See Outside Canada and In Canada for more details about choosing which kind of application to make.

See Special Circumstances if none of these options seem to fit.

Get The Correct Application Kit
There are different application kits depending on whether you use the outside Canada family class or the in-Canada class.
Each application kit includes a guide and all the forms you need. The guide explains how to complete the forms, get medical and police record checks, and pay the fees. The forms include two basic parts: the sponsorship application and the application for permanent residence.

From the CIC web site, you can download the application kit or request that one be sent to you by mail.

Complete The Sponsorship Application

The first part of a Family Class application is the sponsorship application. The Canadian citizen/permanent resident asks to be approved as a sponsor for their partner. This means the sponsor agrees to be financially responsible for the applicant for three-years.

  • The Canadian citizen or permanent resident must be eligible to sponsor their partner.
  • There is no specific minimum income requirement to sponsor a partner. However, some conditions do apply. The sponsor:
    • cannot be on welfare (unless they receive disability benefits)
    • cannot have an undischarged bankruptcy
    • cannot have failed to support a previously sponsored family member
    • cannot have sponsored a previous spouse within the past three years ago
    • cannot have failed to make a court ordered support payment to a spouse or dependent children.

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Complete The Immigrating Partner's Application

The second part of a Family Class application is the application for permanent residence that is completed by the immigrating partner. The applicant:

  • completes forms with personal information
  • gets a medical examination from a doctor listed in the kit
  • gets police certificates according to the instructions in the kit

Provide Proof Of The Relationship

  • Gather documents to show that your relationship is genuine and that you meet the definition of spouse, common-law, or conjugal partner.
  • See Application Tips for suggestions.

Pay The Fees

  • The Canadian partner requests an official receipt from the CIC web site or call centre.
  • Pay the fees at a bank in Canada. The bank stamps the receipt.
  • Be sure to include the original stamped receipt with the application.
  • The application kit includes instructions for Canadians living overseas.

Organize And Mail The Application

  • Gather all the forms and supporting documents together.
  • Make photocopies of the entire package to keep in a safe place.
  • Mail the package to the appropriate office in Canada as listed in the application kit.

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Disclaimer and Copyright Information

This page gives step-by-step instructions for making a Family Class application as a same-sex couple.
Choose Type Of Application
Get The Correct Application Kit
Complete The Sponsorship Application
Complete The Immigrating Partner's Application
Provide Proof of the Relationship
Pay The Fees
Organize And Mail The Application

Past applicants say...

"Downloading the correct forms was confusing so we requested a completed kit to be sent by mail from the CIC site"


Canadian sponsor living in Quebec

If you and your partner are planning on living in Quebec there is an additional form to complete as part of the sponsorship application. You will find details at Immigration Quebec


Medical examinations and Police Certificates are valid for a limited time so have your application package ready to mail as soon as you get them.


Avoid misrepresentation

Give honest and complete information on you application. If you don't tell the truth on your application you cannot reapply for two years .