Spouse / Partner Sponsorship
The Canadian government has immigration programs that will unify and reunite family. Through these programs, families can immigrate to Canada through sponsorship and they are based on the premise that being with family will allow you to settle more easily and successfully into Canadian Society while at the same time one of the overall guiding principles of the Immigration Act is to reunite families.
To be eligible as a sponsor, you must:
- Be a Canadian citizen, a permanent resident of Canada, or a person registered in Canada as an Indian under the Canadian Indian Act.
- Note: if you’re a permanent resident living outside Canada, you are not eligible to sponsor. If you’re a Canadian citizen living outside Canada, you can sponsor but you must show that you plan to live and settle back in Canada with the persons you want to sponsor. Canadian citizens travelling as tourists are not considered to be living abroad.
- Be at least 18 years old.
- Provide basic needs for the ones who you are sponsoring and prove you are not receiving any kind of social assistance.
- There is no income requirement for sponsorships of those who plan to live outside of Quebec.
- The exception if is:
- you’re sponsoring a dependent child that has 1 or more dependent children of their own, or
- you’re sponsoring a spouse or partner that has a dependent child, and their dependent child has 1 or more children of their own.
For Married Couples:
- The person being sponsored must be at least 18 years old.
- You can sponsor the person as your spouse (same or opposite gender) if your marriage is a legally valid civil marriage.
- Opposite and same-gender marriages will be recognized for immigration purposes, where the marriage:
- was legally performed in Canada, or
- if performed outside of Canada, the marriage must be legally recognized in the country where it took place and in Canada.
- Note: IRCC no longer recognizes marriages performed outside of Canada where one or both persons were not physically present at the ceremony, such as by proxy, telephone, or Internet.
For Common-Law Relationships:
- The person being sponsored must be at least 18 years old.
- isn’t legally married to you.
- You can sponsor the person as your common-law partner (same or opposite gender) if you’ve been living or have lived with your partner for at least 12 consecutive months in a marriage-like relationship.
These programs allow family members to settle and reunite in Canada. Spouses/partners can apply for an open work permit, allowing them to gain work experience while transitioning into Canadian life with their family. They can get this work permit while waiting for the permanent residence application to process. This is only available if you are applying under the In Canada Spousal Sponsorship.
In becoming a permanent resident, you can do anything that a Canadian citizen can do, except vote or join the military. Additionally, this will entitle you to all the other benefits extended to all Canadians and permanent residents, such as tax and government benefits, universal healthcare, and travel with more freedoms to countries without needing a Visa. You can then apply for Canadian Citizenship, after you satisfy the residency requirements as a PR (stay in Canada for 3 out of 4 years).
COMMON TRAPS, PITFALLS AND MISCONCEPTIONS
While everyone’s case and circumstances are different, there are some common traps, pitfalls, and misconceptions when it comes to applying under this program. Here are some general and common ones we have experienced and encountered throughout the years:
To be considered common-law partners, you must have cohabited continuously for at least one year. You will need to show the declaration form for common-law and then any documents as proof of joint dwelling, affairs, and finances. It is your responsibility to prove your common-law relationship is valid and genuine for the officer. There can be confusion as to whether relationship will be considered common-law, as it will depend on the relationship. Additionally of note, some countries do not recognize or cultural the concept of common law might not be pervasive. In these cases this does not matter as the definition is as per Canadian law.
You may not be eligible to sponsor depending on some circumstances such as you were sponsored before by a spouse, and you became a PR less than 5 years ago or are still financially responsible for a previous spouse that you sponsored. For tricky situations like this, it is best to speak to a professional and get a thorough assessment of you situation. You can book a consultation for more information.
There is common confusion regarding family members and what is required from them, especially whether they are accompanying or non accompanying. If there is a dependent child that has dependent children of their own, or you are dealing with your spouse’s children, then you will also need to meet financial requirements. Furthermore, if they are children from a past relationship that has ended, you will need to be responsible for any documents required from a non-accompanying parent and this could pose some unique challenges depending on relationships.
If you were previously married, you will need to provide proof of the divorce or separation documents should it be on-going. There have been cases where the divorce was still in process, and it affected the whole sponsorship file due to this one missing document. It is very important to have any required documents concerning past and current relationships ready.
Depending on your country of citizenship and/or residence, there will be different requirements based the Visa office that will process the file. You can check the applicable checklists here. There should the government form for the Spousal checklist and the country specific checklists. Being aware of the different requirements can save you from having incomplete applications or issues.
OUR VALUE – HOW WE MAKE THIS EASY FOR YOU
We understand that information can be found on the Internet and there are lots of other consultants or lawyers out there, so things can certainly get confusing very quickly for you. However, our value is in our services and how can simplify a sometimes-complicated process while anticipating and proactively making this whole process easy for you, from the start to the end of your immigration journey. We will guide you and provide:
- An affordable service with an individualized payment schedule to suit any budget
- Comprehensive documents required for the process, including information and tips that can’t be found on the IRCC website
- Personalized immigration advice and solutions that are tailored to your case
- Collaboration with a licensed immigration professional who will communicate and represent your case on your behalf
- Support and Assistance through every stage of the process, from the application to the arrival in Canada.
A: Yes, a spouse/partner can apply for a Spousal Open Work Permit. This can be applied for in conjunction with the Sponsorship application or afterwards. This allows them to work while waiting for the results of the file. However, this is only available for people who have applied under the In Canada Spousal Sponsorship stream.
A: This will depend on numerous different factors, including the program processing times, the stream that you are applying under, the location that you are applying from, the current application status and any travel regulations in place that may affect your landing. Each case is unique, and everyone’s experience is different, but we work to find you the quickest & easiest pathway through a very bureaucratic system.
A: We will need to understand at what stage you are at, how far along you are and then we can advise accordingly. We would need to have an agreement in place to provide any kind of immigration advice, but if you would like to reach out you can do this by Contacting Us.
A: As you submitted the application on your own, we will need to assess any information you provided and the current status of both the immigration system and your file. You will need to speak to a professional who can provide you with the best options.
A: Should you be required to be interviewed during the process, this will be included in your comprehensive package of documents and information to assist you throughout this immigration journey. You definitely do not want to go into the interview without being prepared as these interviews are in place to clear up some issues that may need answers.