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Changes to sponsorship regulations — Conditional Permanent Residence

The Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations have been amended: spouses or partners sponsored after October 25, 2012 who have been in a relationship for two years or less and have no children together will now be given conditional permanent residence status.

Conditional permanent residence is exactly like regular permanent residence but with two new conditions:

  1. The sponsored spouse must live with the sponsoring partner for two years after the day he or she receives conditional permanent residence. This must be a “legitimate” relationship; Citizenship and Immigration Canada can perform assessments and revoke the conditional permanent residence status. After the two years, if the relationship is ongoing, the person is granted regular permanent residency.
  2. Sponsored spouses cannot themselves sponsor a new partner — if say, they divorce their own sponsor — within five years of receiving permanent residency.

The “two year” rule won’t apply if:

  • the sponsor dies within the two year period; or
  • there is evidence of abuse or neglect from the sponsor or that the sponsor did not act to stop abuse or neglect by another person related to the sponsor.

If the relationship breaks down the sponsor remains financially responsible until the end of the three-year undertaking period regardless of the cause of the breakdown.

These changes only apply to sponsorship applications received after October 25, 2012.

For more information, see Citizenship and Immigration Canada’s website page on the changes.


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