An important factor in determining whether a Canadian family sponsorship is likely is not so much the legality of the marriage in the country of origin, but rather the recognition of the union in Canada. For example, arranged marriages or polygamy do not fall under the definition of family sponsorship.
A spouse may be sponsored only if both husband and wife are at least 18 years old and of legal age at the time of the sponsorship application. The same conditions apply to partners who are in a non-marital relationship.
These requirements are intended to provide maximum protection against forced marriages and the introduction into Canada of uncivilized practices, which mainly infringe on the rights and freedoms of women.