Visa Sponsorship

Dependent Visa for Canada immigrants: Marry a Canadian

Canada, known for its welcoming atmosphere and diverse culture, attracts immigrants from all corners of the globe. Among the various pathways to settle in the Great White North, one avenue frequently pursued is through marriage to a Canadian citizen or permanent resident. This route opens doors to obtaining a dependent visa, facilitating family reunification and fostering a life in Canada.


In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into the intricacies of the dependent visa process for individuals marrying Canadians. From understanding eligibility criteria to navigating the application process and adjusting to life as a dependent immigrant, we’ll provide insights and advice to help you embark on this significant journey.

Understanding Dependent Visas and everything you need to know

Dependent visas, also known as spousal visas or family class visas, are designed to enable family reunification by allowing the spouses or partners of Canadian citizens or permanent residents to immigrate to Canada. This visa category acknowledges the importance of family unity and aims to facilitate the integration of spouses or partners into Canadian society.

Eligibility and Criteria

To qualify for a dependent visa through marriage to a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, certain eligibility criteria must be met:


  1. Valid Marriage: The marriage must be legally recognized in Canada and in the country where it took place. Same-sex marriages are recognized in Canada, provided they meet the legal requirements of the jurisdiction where the marriage occurred.
  2. Genuine Relationship: Immigration authorities scrutinize the authenticity of the relationship to ensure it is not solely for immigration purposes. Evidence of a genuine relationship, such as shared financial assets, joint property ownership, or correspondence, may be required.
  3. Medical and Criminal Clearances: Both the sponsor (the Canadian citizen or permanent resident) and the sponsored spouse or partner must undergo medical examinations and provide police clearance certificates to demonstrate they do not pose a health or security risk to Canadian society.
  4. Financial Support: The sponsor must demonstrate the ability to financially support the sponsored spouse or partner and any accompanying dependents, ensuring they do not rely on social assistance programs upon arrival in Canada.

Application Process:

The process of obtaining a dependent visa through marriage to a Canadian citizen or permanent resident typically involves the following steps:

  1. Sponsorship Application: The Canadian citizen or permanent resident (the sponsor) initiates the process by submitting a sponsorship application to Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). This application serves to sponsor their spouse or partner for immigration to Canada.
  2. Permanent Residence Application: Upon approval of the sponsorship application, the sponsored spouse or partner is eligible to submit their application for permanent residence in Canada. This application includes providing personal information, supporting documents, and undergoing medical and security assessments.
  3. Interview and Verification: Depending on the circumstances of the application, the sponsored spouse or partner may be required to attend an interview with immigration officials. This interview aims to verify the authenticity of the relationship and assess the eligibility of the applicant for permanent residence.
  4. Decision and Arrival: Once the application is processed and approved, the sponsored spouse or partner receives confirmation of permanent residence and is issued a permanent resident visa. They can then travel to Canada to begin their new life as a permanent resident.

Challenges and Considerations

While marrying a Canadian citizen or permanent resident offers a pathway to immigration, it is not without its challenges and considerations:


  1. Cultural Adjustment: Adapting to life in a new country can be challenging, particularly when navigating cultural differences and unfamiliar societal norms. It’s essential for the sponsored spouse or partner to be prepared for cultural adjustment and seek support networks within the community.
  2. Language Proficiency: Proficiency in English or French is crucial for integration into Canadian society and the workforce. Sponsored spouses or partners may need to undergo language assessments and participate in language training programs to enhance their language skills.
  3. Employment Opportunities: Securing employment in Canada may pose challenges for sponsored spouses or partners, especially if they lack Canadian work experience or professional credentials. Exploring retraining or certification programs can help enhance employability prospects.
  4. Legal Rights and Responsibilities: Understanding one’s rights and responsibilities as a permanent resident of Canada is essential for successful integration. This includes familiarizing oneself with Canadian laws, accessing healthcare services, and fulfilling tax obligations.


Marrying a Canadian citizen or permanent resident offers a pathway to immigration and family reunification through the dependent visa route. By understanding the eligibility criteria, navigating the application process, and preparing for the challenges of resettlement, individuals can embark on this journey with confidence and optimism. Through perseverance, resilience, and a commitment to building a new life in Canada, spouses and partners can embrace the opportunities that await them in their adopted homeland.