2. Get your documents

Your checklist will say which documents you need to include with your application. For example, you need to include:

  • proof of your status in Canada as a or citizen, or under the Indian Act
  • an identity document, such as a passport, for your or partner
  • a document, such as a marriage certificate, that proves you’re legally married, if you’re sponsoring your spouse
  • proof that your relationship with your spouse or partner is genuine
  • documents that show your partner’s current status or lack of immigration status in Canada, for example, a valid work permit or proof of their rejected refugee claim
  • documents that prove your partner’s relationship with the child, including a birth certificate, and proof of custody or consent from the child’s other parent

You can usually send photocopies but Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) requires originals of documents from certain countries. If you’ve selected the countries that you need documents from, your package will include the instructions for that country.

If you don’t include all the required documents, IRCC will send the application back as incomplete. So, if you cannot get a document that IRCC requires, explain why and ask IRCC not to return your application. 


If a document is not in English or French, you need to get a translation into one of those languages.

You need to give IRCC:

A certified translator is someone who’s a member in good standing of a provincial or territorial organization of translators and interpreters in Canada. They can make certified copies of the documents.

If the translator is not a certified translator, you also need to include an affidavit from the translator saying that the translation is true and complete. The translator has to sign the affidavit in front of someone with the required authority in the country where the affidavit is being signed. In Canada this is one of the following:

  • a
  • a commissioner of oaths
  • a commissioner of taking affidavits

The translator cannot be you or your or .


The photograph that you include will be used for your spouse or partner’s permanent resident card. The photograph must have been taken within the past 6 months and follow all of IRCC’s requirements or they’ll return your application. 

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