Family Sponsorship Processing Times - Spouse or Common-law Partner

Last updated: 2 September 2020

Family sponsorship application processing times for a Spouse or Common-Law partner are based on the latest information available from Canadian immigration authorities.

Under this program, a Canadian citizen or permanent resident may sponsor a spouse or common-law partner for Canadian permanent residence.

Both the Canadian citizen or permanent resident and the foreign national (the sponsored person) must be approved by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) in order for the sponsored person to receive a permanent resident visa.

The Government of Canada is committed to processing spousal/common-law partner sponsorship applications within 12 months from the day they are received. 

Processing Times Tool

The Government of Canada recently changed how immigration processing times are published. Use our Canada Immigration Processing Times Tool to get the latest information.


The projected processing time for an application to immigrate to Canada as the spouse or common-law partner of a Canadian citizen or permanent resident can be an important factor in the decision to choose one program over another.

For many spouses/common-law partners who wish to accompanying their partners in Canada, the decision to choose to submit an Inland application or an Outland application should be considered wisely. Knowing the projected processing times for each route allows couples in a relationship to make better decisions on which sponsorship program to apply to.

Moreover, in many cases it may allow sponsored persons to obtain Canadian permanent residence sooner than was previously the case — a factor that will come as a great relief to many Canadian citizens, permanent residents, and their foreign spouses and common-law partners who wish to be reunited in Canada as quickly as possible.