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Spousal Sponsorship in Canada

Spousal Sponsorship in Canada

Foreign citizens who have moved to Canada and have obtained permanent resident status, or even better, have become Canadian citizens, can sponsor their spouses in joining them here. The government has enabled a special program for spousal sponsorship in Canada in order to ease the situation of those seeking to reunite their families and live here.

Below, our immigration lawyer in Canada explains the procedures under which a foreign citizen can move here based on sponsorship from the other spouse or even civil partner. If you need assistance in entering the spousal sponsorship program in Canada, you can fully rely on us.

We can also advise on Canadian citizenship matters.

The Canadian spousal sponsorship scheme

Spousal sponsorship in Canada is part of the Family Class immigration scheme and allows foreign citizens to relocate here permanently through another family member vouching for them. The greatest advantage of this program is that the immigrant will obtain permanent residency in Canada at the end of the process.

The program is divided into two sub-schemes:

  • inland spousal sponsorship;
  • outland spousal sponsorship.

If you are interested in spousal sponsorship in Canada, you can rely on our immigration lawyers who can explain the entire procedure and prepare you for the application. We can also help your spouse apply for a residence permit in Canada.

The Alberta Nominee Program, a component of the Provincial Nominee Scheme, is one of the most well-liked and safest ways to obtain residency in Canada. As a result of the program’s creation by the federal government in conjunction with the local governments in each province, you are looking at a 2-step immigration procedure.

Feel free to address your questions on the spouse visa for Canada and its requirements to our immigration lawyers.

When it comes to immigrating to Canada from the United States, there are numerous advantages. Among these, the two nations are neighbors, allowing both Americans and Canadians to travel and see their families. Also, our attorneys can assist them in bringing their relatives to Canada at the same time.

Who can you bring to Canada with the help of a spouse visa?

The spouse visa in Canada is available for citizens and permanent residents who want to reunite with their partners. However, not only legitimate wives or husbands can be brought here, but also other persons. Here are the people you can bring here:

  • the common-law partner (as agreed by the Canadian Civil Code);
  • the conjugal partner.

In the first case, if you have lived with your spouse in a conjugal relationship for at least a year, you are regarded as a common-law partner under Canadian law (12 consecutive months, not necessarily an entire calendar year). There is no requirement that this 12-month period is entirely uninterrupted. If you cannot present a marriage certificate, Canadian immigration officials will require more proof of your relationship’s validity.

The conjugal partner category is intended for partners who would have been eligible under the spouse or common-law partner categories but were disqualified due to local legislation or other reasons, such as an impediment to immigration or their marital status. You must be careful when applying for a spouse visa in Canada under this category, as it will require specific documents. You can rely on our immigration lawyer in Canada for assistance in this case.

The spouse visa in Canada through the Inland Spousal Sponsorship Scheme

Foreign spouses who live in Canada based on student or temporary resident permits, as well as those living here based on visitor visas can apply for inland spousal sponsorship. They can also apply for open work permits, thus easing their integration here.

If you are interested in immigration and Canadian citizenship, our law firm is at your service for assistance in obtaining any type of residence and work permit.

The sponsored person must be present in Canada on any status when submitting an inland spousal sponsorship application. Sponsoring your spouse within Canada can be handled internally in situations where the spouse is already residing in Canada (working or visiting already). The spouse must maintain their legal status in order to submit the sponsorship application from within Canada (recommended).

This starts the process for the Canadian spouse to sponsor the foreign spouse to remain in Canada while the inland spousal sponsorship application is being processed and up until the decision is made. If the sponsored person meets the requirements, it can also enable them to apply for an open employment permit.

The processing time for a spouse visa for Canada through inland spousal sponsorship varies depending on the nature and kind of each application as well as other considerations. This means that it may take a few months to complete.

The processing period for inland spousal sponsorship typically varies depending on the circumstances of each applicant, the complexity of each application, the kind of application, and the applicant’s qualifications. 80% of inland spousal sponsorship applications take around 12 months to process on average.

Obtaining a spouse visa in Canada implies different requirements depending on whether the foreign husband or wife already lives here or not. This is why, we invite you to get in touch with our immigration specialist for detailed information.

Outland spousal sponsorship in Canada

Spousal sponsorship in Canada was first enabled for foreign citizens who have a civil partner or spouse (husband or wife) living here and wanting to bring their family members in Canada. This is how the outland sponsorship scheme was created. Through this program, the foreign spouse can apply for permanent residence while still in the country of origin and during the application process, he or she can also obtain a visitor visa and travel to Canada pending the issuance of the permanent resident permit.

It should be noted that the sponsor is required to fulfill various conditions in order to sustain his or her partner in joining them through spousal sponsorship in Canada. Feel free to request more information on both programs from our immigration lawyer in Canada.

We can also help you with the Canadian citizenship application process. For this, you must have spent at least five years living in Canada and have filed at least one tax return in the area where you intend to settle. If you fit these criteria, get in touch with us. Our lawyers will lead you through the citizenship application procedure as soon as possible and give you explanations.

Sponsorship requirements for the spouse living in Canada

There are several conditions to be met by the persons entering spousal sponsorship in Canada in order to support those they want to bring here. These are:

  1. the sponsor must be at least 18 years old at the time of the application;
  2. he or she must be a Canadian resident or citizen, or a person registered under the Indian Act;
  3. he or she must submit evidence of not receiving social assistance;
  4. he or she must make proof of income for sustaining oneself, as well as the dependents.

Also, when the spousal support implies immigration to Quebec, it should be noted that additional requirements apply. Our immigration lawyers in Canada can offer more information on these conditions.

In order to relocate based on spousal sponsorship in Canada, both the sponsor and the applicant must be approved by the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).

Canadian citizens sponsoring foreign spouses

Canada has a vast population of immigrants, many of them being permanent residents or even citizens of this country. If they get married to foreigners after obtaining Canadian citizenship, they can support their overseas spouses to come to Canada. However, they are required to submit the following evidence:

  • information about their relationship;
  • the marriage certificate;
  • photographs from the wedding;
  • both spouses’ birth certificates;
  • proof of having the marriage registered.

Also, the spouses are required to prove they own a property together or have a common bank account. However, other evidence is also accepted in the form of utility bills issued in the name of both spouses, or even car insurance.

The Canadian government is keen on attracting as many foreign citizens as possible to relocate here, which is why spousal sponsorship is simpler compared to other countries. Also, the immigration procedure is not complicated. However, if you consider you need legal support, our immigration lawyer in Canada is at your service.

Financial requirements under spousal sponsorship in Canada

Spousal sponsorship is not subject to any financial requirement, as this is a requisite imposed only on those coming here as investors. This is another reason that makes Canada one of the preferred countries to immigrate to. An aspect to consider is that the Canadian spouse will be required to sign a declaration through which he or she commits to financially support the foreign spouse until he or she finds a workplace. However, the support period cannot exceed 3 years from the day the partner becomes a permanent resident of Canada.

If you need guidance on applying for spousal support for your foreign wife or husband, our Canada-based immigration law firm is at your disposal with tailored services.

Spousal sponsorship for persons who have undergone civil unions

As civil unions are more and more employed as ways to formalize relationships, in Canada, spousal sponsorship is possible for those who have entered common-law unions. Moreover, under the Canadian legislation, these are considered the same as traditional marriages.

The conditions for a Canadian citizen or permanent resident to invite a partner to live with them in Canada implies for the couple to prove their relationship. For this purpose, evidence that they have lived together for at least one year is required.

In terms of documents the parties need to prepare, are a form with a questionnaire based on the relationship of the two persons, their birth certificates, photos that prove their relation (birth certificates of children are also accepted, in case the couple has kids).

Other documents that are required are any paper that indicates the civil union between the partners, insurance or employment benefits, bills that indicate shared expenses or financial support.

It should be noted that other means through which a relationship can be proved are also accepted by the Canadian immigration authorities. Among these, email or letter exchanges can be used.

Residence options for the foreign spouse

An important aspect that needs to be considered when applying for spousal sponsorship is that once arrived in Canada, the foreign spouse or partner is not automatically granted permanent residence. The person must first be approved of the sponsorship and then will be issued a residence permit.

Also, marriage to a Canadian citizen does not imply a foreign applicant automatically becomes a permanent resident.

If you have any questions on issues related to spousal sponsorship, do not hesitate to submit an inquiry with our Canadian immigration lawyers.

The main obligations of the Canadian sponsor after the arrival of the foreign partner

As it can be read above, a Canadian sponsor must comply with certain requirements after the foreign partner has entered the country. One of the most important refers to financially support the spouse before he or she can support themselves. This implies proving basic care such as food and clothing, as well as a place to stay. Also, medical expenses that are not covered by the health insurance must be provided by the Canadian sponsor. Among these, dental and eye care are some of the simplest examples.

If you need information on how to prepare for welcoming your foreign spouse and the legal steps you need to take, you can rely on our lawyers.

Compared to other countries, Canada offers many facilities to those who decide to relocate here with their spouses or to bring their partners after settling in which is why it is considered for people all over the world.

Document requirements for spousal sponsorship in Canada

When applying for Canadian spousal sponsorship, the following documents must be considered:

  • the immigration forms issued by the IRCC;
  • identification papers;
  • proof of the resident/citizen status in Canada for the sponsor;
  • proof the relationship with the applicant;
  • proof of previous relationships;
  • information about other family members (if the sponsor wants to bring other family members to Canada);
  • clean criminal records for both applicant and sponsor;
  • health certificates.

Additional documents could be required, however, you can rely on our Canada immigration law firm for assistance in filing the necessary papers. Do not hesitate to request our support in applying for a residence permit in Canada. We also invite you to watch our video below:

How long does it take to obtain a Canadian spouse visa?

The length of time it takes to process a spouse visa for Canada can vary depending on how complex the application is. The processing times typically range from one year to two years depending on the type of sponsorship, such as inland spousal sponsorship or an outside Canada spousal sponsorship program.

When it comes to the spouse visa in Canada and its requirements, please note that you must sign a sponsorship agreement that commits you to support your partner financially in full for a period of 3 years, starting on the day permanent residency is granted.

Why immigrate to Canada?

Canada is one of the most welcoming countries when it comes to immigrants and multiculturalism and, according to statistics:

  • in 2018, Canada has welcomed more than 300,000 foreign citizens;
  • 57% of those persons contributed to the Canadian workforce as skilled employees;
  • 3% of the population has foreign origins, and thus considers itself as a minority;
  • 9% of the entire population is born outside the country.

For assistance in applying for spousal sponsorship in Canada, please contact our immigration lawyers.