Spousal Sponsorship is a Canadian immigration program created to help you to bring your special one to Canada. In short, if you are a Canadian citizen or Permanent Resident and want to bring your wife/husband to Canada as a Permanent Resident, this program is for you.
To Sponsor your wife or husband to get a PR, you need to meet the following basic conditions:
- You are a Canadian citizen or PR and more than 18 years old
- You can provide financial support to your spouse
- You are not receiving government financial assistance
- You have not been convicted of a crime or imprisoned
You can check all the eligibility criteria here
How does the process work
Marrying a Canadian citizen or PR does not automatically give a PR or citizenship to an individual. To get a PR, the person has to apply and the application process can be lengthy. We recommend that the spouse applies for a visitor visa to arrive in Canada while you wait for your spousal sponsorship application to be processed.
In September 2020, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) announced that it was increasing the number of decision makers for the spousal sponsorship applications, thus making it quicker and reducing waiting times.
The most important thing in the spousal application process is to prove that your marriage is real. Many people fake marriages to enter Canada, therefore the Canadian government carefully scrutinizes applications to make sure of the legitimacy of the marriage. To prove that the marriage is real, you can provide documentation additional to the main application documents including:
- Travel, honeymoon, wedding or other pictures together
- Email or phone records
- Supporting affidavits
You might also get interviewed during the process about your relationship. However, this is normal and there is no need to stress.
Applying for spousal sponsorship
The spousal sponsorship application can be done from within Canada and from outside of Canada. The two processes differ slightly:
Applying from within Canada or Inland Sponsorship
Inland sponsorship applies when the spouse is in Canada on a temporary status. She/he can apply for an open work permit while the spousal sponsorship application is in process. As of July 2020, this open work permit program has been extended with a view to make this a permanent policy.
When the application is submitted from within Canada, the wait times are typically longer but the benefit is that the spouse can stay in Canada with the sponsoring person while the application is being processed. On the flip side, she/he cannot leave and re-enter Canada until the application processing is complete.
After the application is approved, the spouse will be sent a passport request for giving the PR visa. She/he will have to leave Canada and re-enter for the visa to be confirmed. This requirement can be satisfied by just crossing the border and coming back.
Applying from outside Canada or Outland sponsorship
Outland sponsorship applications are typically processed faster than inland ones. Once the application is filed, the process can be expected to be completed within 6 months. In this case, the application is completed and processed from outside Canada. If the application is approved, the spouse will get a passport request just as in the inland scenario.
All-in-all, the process is not simple and tends to be quite lengthy. With the help of our certified immigration consultants, you can make sure that your spouse gets the PR status in the minimum possible time. Click here to contact us and ask about the spousal sponsorship program.