Do you know it’s easier to immigrate to Canada if you have a relative or family member there? You can do that through the “Canada Family Class Sponsorship,” “Canada Spousal Sponsorship” which we will be concentrating on, and more.
That being said, we will be focusing on how to sponsor your spouse, conjugal or common-law partner to Canada. You will find all the necessary information you need.
Spousal Sponsorship Canada
Canadian spousal sponsorship is whereby a citizen or permanent resident of Canada sponsors his/her spouse or common-law partner to move over to Canada and permanently live there.
Canada places great importance on family and family reunions. Canada considers spousal sponsorship applications a top priority. Below is some relevant information on how to apply for Canada’s spousal sponsorship program.
Read More: 7 Easiest Ways to Immigrate to Canada.
Time Frame for Sponsoring a Partner to Move to Canada?
It takes approximately one year (12 Months) for a Canadian citizen or permanent resident to complete the process of his/her spouse’s sponsorship to move into Canada. The sponsorship application usually doesn’t get processed faster than one year (12 months) which means it can take longer depending on your case.
If your case is complicated or the officer in charge of the visa asks for more proof of your marriage, then this may contribute to further delay the sponsorship process.
The only way to avoid unnecessary delays is to ensure that you provide the right information and do the right things the first time. You can also seek professional and legal advice on how to go about the whole sponsorship process.
Requirements for Sponsoring Your Spouse in Canada
Only Canadian permanent residents and citizens who are able to meet the following conditions are eligible to sponsor their common-law partner or spouse. The requirements include that the sponsor:
- Should be not less than 18 years old.
- Reside in Canada, or making arrangements to return to Canada once your partner or spouse becomes a Canadian permanent resident.
- Is willing and able to provide the basic financial needs of your partner or spouse for three years.
Eligible Canadian permanent resident or citizen who is married and in search of a way to sponsor their husband or wife to move into Canada will be required to provide the following evidence demanded by the immigration officers:
- Relationship Sponsorship and Information Evaluation questionnaire.
- Wedding photos and invitations.
- Marriage certificate (see common-law if you are not married).
- Proof of marriage registration by a government authority.
- Adoption or birth certificate records for all the children you and your partner have together.
You are also going to provide at least two of the following documents:
- Shared bank accounts,
- Car insurance,
- Utility bills with both of your names,
- Copies of government-issued IDs,
- Proof that you and your spouse own property together,
- Pay tax or stubs forms that show you live at the same address.
What is the Cost of Sponsoring your Spouse in Canada?
Below you will find the government fees required for sponsoring your partner or spouse in Canada. You will incur an additional $150 payment if you are sponsoring your partner who also has dependent children. The fee is for each of your partner’s child and it’s included in your application.
- Biometrics: $85
- Sponsorship fee $75
- Right of permanent residence fee $500
- Principal applicant processing fee $475
- Total: $1135
If the sponsor intends to reside in Quebec or already resides in Quebec upon the issuance of permanent residence, you’ll be required to pay an additional $289 CAD fee will be paid.
Unlike other Canadian sponsorship forms, you don’t need to show your minimum amount of income in order to sponsor your partner.
Notwithstanding, whenever you sponsor a family member to visit Canada, you’ll be required to sign an undertaking that ensures that you’ll financially provide support for your sponsored family member.
The Canadian immigration law views common-law relationships as the same as conventional marriages. If you want your relationship to be considered and eligible for common-law sponsorship, then you’ll need to prove that you and your partner have been able to live together for at least one year or more in a marriage-like relationship.
Immigration officers will require the following evidence from you if you’re in a common-law relationship:
- Proof that you’ve lived together for at least one year.
- Relationship Sponsorship and Information Evaluation questionnaire.
- Photos of both you and your common-law partner to prove that you’re in a conjugal relationship.
- Adoption or birth certificate records for any child you and your common-law partner share.
And any two or more of the following documents:
- Evidence of financial support or shared expenses between your partner and you.
- Documents that prove that both of you recognize yourselves as common-law partners, such as insurance or employment benefits.
- Proof that your relationship is both recognized by friends and family (social media, letters, emails).
Get creative if you can’t come up with all the documents listed above. Search for methods to prove that you and your partner are in a relationship and provide them.
You can use sworn declarations from both friends and family that prove your common-law status.
Note that the last decision as regards your common-law documents is sorely at the discretion of the visa officer. Thus, the more proof you provide, the higher your chances of getting accepted.
Below is the following evidence that the immigration officer will need to see if you’re in a conjugal relationship and in search of a way to sponsor your partner:
- Shared residence.
- Economic support, shared bank accounts, joint financial arrangements, etc.
- Evidence that your family and friends are aware that both of you’re in a relationship.
For both common-law and conjugal relationships, there’re no legal documents or a specific period in time that proves your commitment to each other. Rather, the immigration officer may want to see proof of interpersonal and emotional ties that proves that both of you are in a very serious relationship with long-term intentions to remain in it.
Inland Spousal Sponsorship
You will need to apply under the common-law partner or spouse in Canada class (Inland) if:
- You hold a valid immigration status in Canada.
- You live with the sponsor in Canada.
- You would desire to apply for an open work permit so as to work in Canada while the application is being processed.
NOTE: While waiting for your inland spousal sponsorship it’s always advisable that you refrain from traveling outside of Canada while the application is still in process.
Outland Spousal Sponsorship
It will be suitable for you to apply under the Family Class (Outland) sponsorship option if:
- Your common-law partner or spouse (i.e. “the applicant”) lives outside Canada.
- You’re presently residing in Canada with the sponsor but don’t intend to stay in Canada during the period your application will be processed.
One of the disadvantages of using this method is that it will be difficult to live with your spouse in Canada until the application is approved. Notwithstanding, your partner can apply for a Temporary Visa to immigrate to Canada while her or his outland sponsorship application is being processed.
Reason Your Sponsorship Application Will Be Rejected
If you want to be eligible to sponsor your spouse to move to Canada, then you need to prove to the immigration officers that your relationship is not a sham marriage but legit.
There are lots of things the immigration officers put into consideration in order to determine if you are in a genuine relationship.
Some of the things the immigration officers consider include, your wedding photos which must contain members of your family as well as friends, etc.
If they find your information and documents provided not satisfying, then you will have to provide additional evidence. Also, note that marriages celebrated on the internet are not going to be welcomed for immigration purposes.
I’m I Going to Get A Permanent Residence When I Marry a Canadian?
The answer is No. Getting married to a Citizen of Canada does not spontaneously give you a permanent residence. As soon as you’re in a common-law relationship or married, you can apply for a spousal sponsorship. And until your spousal application is approved, only then can you have a Canadian permanent resident.
Can a Spouse Visit Canada While Waiting for their Approval?
Of course yes! your spouse can visit Canada for your sake even as they wait for the approval of their application. But there’s no special application for those waiting for the result of their sponsorship application.
In some cases, most spousal sponsorship applicants could experience difficulties trying to apply for a Temporary Visa if they already have their permanent residence application in process.
In order to successfully apply for a Temporal Residence Visa, you have to convince the immigration officer assigned to your case that you’ll immediately leave Canada as soon as the validity of your visa ends.
Therefore, it’s better for the applicant to first apply for a Temporary Visa and then submit their inland sponsorship application and also process it there.
Then your spouse being sponsored can now transition from Temporary Canadian Status to an open work permit that would allow them to freely work for any employer while they are waiting for the outcome of their application.
Are Interviews Required for Spousal Sponsorship?
Interviews for spousal sponsorship are rare, except in some exceptional cases which happen as a result of a lack of documents supporting your relationship, or any contradicting information found on your application form as against the one provided in the document.
Things like age contradiction, meeting your spouse within a short period of time, marrying your spouse within a short period of time, little to no cohabitation, and more.
Once again, the final decision to grant an interview to the couples is solely at the discretion of the visa officer.
It’s best you use the services from a qualified immigration attorney in order to achieve the best possible result and also minimize possible questions about the authenticity of your relationship.
Can Spousal Sponsorship Be Canceled?
Yes, you can decide to withdraw your Spousal Sponsorship application any time you wish before the person you’re sponsoring is granted a Canadian permanent resident.
How To Apply for Canada Spousal Sponsorship
- Step 1: Check if you are eligible to sponsor your Spouses or common-law partners.
- Step 2: Decide if it’s an inland or an outland sponsorship.
- Step 3: Visit the government website or immigration service point near you to obtain the application form which could include forms and guide with instructions that will help you successfully complete the process accurately.
- Step 4: Pay all the required application fees.
- Step 5: Complete and sign all the required forms. Ensure you check whether there are additional country-specific forms that are required depending on which country your partner or spouse is residing in.
- Step 6: When you are done, ensure that you send your application to the proper mailing address or visa office in Canada by following the instructions that have been provided in the guide.
It’s better if you visit any immigration lawyer/legal practitioner or any immigration center close to you for a better guide that gives you a chance to explore your Canadian immigration options.