Canadian Immigration System: An Overview
and Immigration Canada (CIC) uses different types,
or classes, of applications. This page tells you
how same-sex couples or LGBT people can use these
different types of applications.
The purpose of this class is to reunify families.
A Canadian citizen/permanent resident may sponsor:
partner & conjugal partner (same-sex or opposite-sex
of June 28, 2002 same-sex partners of Canadian
citizens and permanent residents can apply to
immigrate to Canada in the Family Class as common-law
or conjugal partners. To apply to immigrate in
the family class:
Canadian (citizen or permanent resident) agrees
to sponsor their partner.
couple demonstrates that their relationship
is genuine and meets the CIC's definition of
common-law or conjugal partners.
reading this overview, look for more specific
information under Family
Class The usual way to make an application
is from outside Canada. However in some cases,
if a common-law partner already has current legal
status in Canada an application can be made within
Canada. See In Canada class
This class allows people who will help Canada's
economy to settle in Canada. It includes Skilled
worker and Business applications.
neither you nor your partner is Canadian, one
of you may be able to apply as an economic immigrant
and then sponsor your same-sex partner. For example,
an American man who applies as an Economic Class
immigrant can sponsor his Thai partner. A lesbian
couple, say from the Philippines, could settle
in Canada if one of the women met the criteria
for Economic Class. See
Foreign Couples for
class is for people who fear persecution in their
home countries as a member of a particular social
group. Canada's refugee policy recognizes sexual
orientation, gender-based persecution, and HIV+
status as grounds for applying as a member of
a particular social group to make a refugee claim.
See Refugees for more.
in the Live-in Caregiver program are eligible
to apply for permanent residency after working
in Canada for two years. Live-in Caregivers can
then include their partners as part of their application
for permanent residency. See Temporary
Visas for more.
Humanitarian & Compassionate (H&C) reasons
the old law all same-sex partners became permanent
residents of Canada based on Humanitarian and
Compassionate consideration (H&C). This is no
longer the process that is used. There is still
the possibility of making an H&C application.
However, this is only an option in rare circumstances.
Requirements For All Applicants
All applicants must pass a medical exam given
by a designated doctor. The purpose of the exam
is to check for:
public safety health concerns
health conditions that require long term health
and social service support
applying as Family Class spouses, common-law and
conjugal partners of Canadian citizens/ permanent
residents as well as their dependent children
must meet the public safety health requirements.
For example, someone with active tuberculosis
is ineligible to immigrate until they are treated.
partners using the Family Class application can
immigrate to Canada even if they have a medical
condition that will require health or social service
support. For example: HIV+, heart condition, breast
part of a criminal background check, applicants
are required to get police certificates from countries
where they have lived. The application kits available
at the CIC web site include specific information
about how to get police certificates in different
Resident Status In Canada
your application is approved, you will be given
Permanent Resident Status in Canada when
you arrive in Canada. As a Permanent Resident
have the right to live, work, study and travel
in the country.
have obligations like paying taxes and obeying
the laws of Canada.
do not have the right to vote, or to hold certain
jobs (e.g. serving in the military).
you leave Canada for an extended period you
may lose your permanent resident status.
residents are not automatically Citizens. You
must apply separately for citizenship after you
have been a permanent resident for three years.