4 Ways To Immigrate To Canada From India As A Couple

4 Ways To Immigrate To Canada From India As A Couple

Surya Rathee Surya Rathee
[Published 30 Dec, 2023 | 12:01 PM]
About Author - 7 min read

Family reunification is one of the largest categories of Canadian Immigration.

Under the Canada Immigration Levels Plan 2024-2026, Spousal, Partner, and Children sponsorship has a target of 82,000 admissions in 2024, and this will rise to 84,000 in each of 2025 and 2026.

Whether you are engaged, married, or in a common-law relationship, Canada offers various programs tailored to couples. Coming into 2024, here are your four best options.

Immigrate to Canada as a Couple | Check Eligibility Now

Option 1: Spousal Sponsorship

If you're a couple and one of you is living in Canada as a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, the most effective way to make the move is through the Canada Spousal Sponsorship Program. This option allows your partner to sponsor you to become a permanent resident, as long as they meet specific eligibility criteria.

To sponsor a spouse or partner, the sponsor must be:

  • At least 18 years of age
  • A Canadian permanent resident living in Canada or a Canadian citizen
  • Not be in prison, bankrupt, under a removal order (if a permanent resident), or charged with a serious offense; and
  • Not have been sponsored to Canada as a spouse within the last 5 years
To be eligible for Spousal Sponsorship in Canada, you need to prove your relationship falls into one of three categories:


You are legally married, and if married in Canada, provide a Certificate of Marriage. If married outside Canada, the marriage must be valid in that country and meet Canadian federal law requirements.

Common Law Partner:

You have lived together continuously for at least one year.

Conjugal Partner:

If circumstances beyond your control prevent you from being common-law partners or spouses, such as legal barriers or immigration restrictions, you may qualify as conjugal partners. Additionally, you must have been in a mutually dependent relationship for at least one year, demonstrating commitment similar to marriage or common-law partnership through emotional ties, intimacy, financial closeness, and efforts to spend time together.

Option 2: Express Entry

Express Entry Program is the federal government's management system for three key economic immigration programs: the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP), the Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP), and the Canadian Experience Class (CEC).

If you're a couple who wants to apply for a Canada PR visa through Express Entry, you have two options:

  • The main applicant can list their spouse, common-law partner, or conjugal partner as a dependent.
  • They can be named as a secondary applicant.
It's essential to know that dependents are only allowed in applications for FSWP and FSTP; the CEC does not permit dependents.

When you include your spouse or partner as a dependent in your application for a Canada PR visa, you, as the primary applicant, need to show enough settlement funds. This demonstrates your ability to financially support both yourself and your dependents in Canada.

However, if your spouse or partner is listed as a dependent, their profile won't affect the calculation of your overall Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score. The CRS score is crucial for ranking candidates in Express Entry based on factors like age, education, language skills, and work experience. The highest-scoring candidates get invitations for permanent residence in Express Entry draws.

Calculate CRS Score

If your spouse qualifies for Express Entry, they can apply as a secondary applicant. Both partners create their own Express Entry profiles, including each other. This allows you to claim an additional 40 CRS points for your partner's profile when submitting your application.

While this approach still requires proof of funds, it differs because your partner is considered a contributor to the program. It's important to assess which partner has a stronger profile before applying—choosing the one with higher CRS factors, like language proficiency and education, as the main applicant. If your partner's scores are low, it might be better to list them as a dependent.

Option 3: Provincial Nominee Program

The Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) is a great option for couples looking to move to Canada. Almost every province and territory has its own PNP to welcome skilled workers.

When applying for the PNP, the partner with the stronger work experience and education should be the main immigration candidate. If that's you, your spouse or partner would be declared as a dependent in the application. Similar to Express Entry, as the main applicant, you'd need to show enough funds to settle in Canada.

Provincial Nominee Program

Alternatively, if both you and your spouse are eligible, you can each apply separately to immigration programs. When one of you receives an Invitation to Apply (ITA), you can withdraw the other application. This provides flexibility in the process.

Option 4: Open Work Permit for Spouses

Spouses and partners of Canadian citizens or permanent residents can obtain an Open Work Permit while their permanent residence sponsorship application is being processed. This allows them to work for any employer in Canada, supporting themselves and their family financially during the immigration process.

To be eligible for an Open Work Permit, the foreign national must:

  • Be the principal applicant with a submitted permanent residence application under the Spouse or Common-Law Partner in Canada Class, or be a spouse, common-law, or conjugal partner under the family class with an application accepted for processing by IRCC after a completeness check, and not refused or withdrawn.
  • Submit a work permit application with a requested duration of up to two years.
  • Be the subject of a sponsorship application from their Canadian citizen or permanent resident spouse, common-law, or conjugal partner.
  • Have the same residential address as their sponsor in Canada at the time of the application.
  • Have valid temporary resident status in Canada or be eligible for and have applied for the restoration of their status.
  • Both the applicant and the sponsor must meet all eligibility requirements under spousal or common-law partner sponsorship.

Canada Spousal Open Work Permit Approval | Nationwide Visas Reviews

Each of the above-mentioned ways has its eligibility criteria and benefits, so it's important to figure out which one works best for you and your better half - based on your skills, education, and relationship status. Canada is open to welcoming newcomers, and there are lots of chances for couples to start a new chapter there.

Just make sure to research well and maybe get some professional advice to make your journey smoother. If you’re having trouble, seek guidance from the best immigration consultants in Delhi at Nationwide Visas.

Good Luck!

Read More: I’m moving to Canada with my family on a Visitor Visa. How to apply for PR?


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