Spouse or Common Law Partner Sponsorship
Under the Family Class immigration category lies the Spousal Sponsorship program. Through this program, a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident (PR) is able to sponsor a spouse or a common-law partner for Canadian permanent residence.
Both the sponsor and the sponsored persons must be approved by the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) in order for the sponsored person to receive a visa. For that to happen both must prove that their relationship qualifies according to (3) categories:
- Common-law Partner
- Conjugal Partner
Same-sex marriage, and same-sex partners are recognized in Canada and may be eligible to apply under any of the above three categories, provided they meet all eligibility requirements.
Usually this sponsorship is pursued when the sponsored partner is living outside Canada. However, applicants can still be residing in Canada when applying for this program.
As a result, you may be allowed to travel in and out of Canada throughout the application’s process. Applications are processed through the visa office in the applicant’s country of origin or where they have legally resided for at least (1) year.
If both partners–the sponsor and sponsored, both reside in Canada and are in a Spousal or Common-Law relationship, they can pursue the Inland Sponsorship route. The foreign spouse/common-law partner would have a temporary status in Canada either as a student, visitor or worker.
While the sponsorship application is being processed, the partner being sponsored may be eligible for an Open Work Permit, allowing him or her to work for any employer in Canada.
- The sponsor must be at least 18 years old.
- The sponsor must be a Canadian permanent resident (PR) residing in Canada or already obtained his/her Canadian citizenship.
- The sponsor cannot be bankrupt, under a removal order (if a permanent resident), in prison, or been charged with a serious offence.
- The sponsor cannot have been sponsored to Canada as a spouse within the last (5) years.
- he sponsored person must be at least 16 years old.
- The sponsored person must not be too closely related by blood to the sponsor.
The applicant must prove that the relationship between the sponsor and the sponsored person qualifies under one of three categories:
- Spouse: This means that the Sponsor and the Sponsored Person are legally married. For those married within Canada, a Certificate of Marriage from the province or territory where the marriage took place will show a valid marriage. Same-sex marriages completed in Canada are valid for spousal sponsorship. If the marriage took place outside of Canada, it must be valid under the law of the country where it took place as well as under Canadian federal law.
- Common-law partner: In order to establish a common-law relationship, the Sponsor and the Sponsored Person must be living together continuously for at least one year, excluding brief absences for business or family reasons.
- Conjugal partner: Conjugal partners can be of either opposite-sex or same-sex.
A sponsored person is defined as a conjugal partner if:
- Exceptional circumstances beyond their control have prevented the applicants from qualifying as common-law partners or spouses, such as immigration barriers or legal restrictions limiting divorce or same-sex relationships; and
- The applicants have had a mutually dependent relationship for at least one year with the same level of commitment as a marriage or a common-law union. This can require a demonstration of emotional ties and intimacy, financial closeness, such as joint ownership of assets or mutual financial support, and efforts to spend time together and reunite.
Who Can NOT be a Sponsor
- did not pay an immigration loan, a performance bond and/or family support payments
- failed to support a previously-sponsored relative, which resulted in the sponsored individual seeking social assistance to meet his or her basic needs
- is under a removal order
- is in a penitentiary, jail, reformatory or prison
- receives social assistance for reasons other than a disability
- have filed for bankruptcy and have not received an ‘order of discharge’ by the court (he or she is still going through the process of bankruptcy)
- were sponsored and held permanent resident status for less than five years
- sponsored another spouse/partner previously and three years have not passed since the sponsored spouse/partner became a Canadian permanent resident
- have already submitted an application to sponsor his or her current spouse/partner/child and a decision was not yet made on his or her submitted application;
- were convicted of a violent or sexual offence or an offence that caused, attempted to cause or threatened to cause bodily harm to a relative.
There are certain conditions that need to be met for permanent residence granted under the Spousal Sponsorship program:
- The sponsor is financially responsible for the person sponsored for three years after the sponsored person becomes a permanent resident.
- Individuals who come to Canada as spouses are themselves barred from sponsoring a spouse in turn for five years after receiving Canadian permanent residence.
How Can Mana Immigration Help?
Trust is the most important foundation of any professional relationship. Would you feel safe undergoing a surgery by a surgeon that’s uncertified? The immigration process operates in much the same way.
Establishing your family and career in a new country is a serious undertaking with many challenges and roadblocks along the way. You should only trust a real expert to help you from start to finish.
Immigrating to a new country is a complex process with a lot of paperwork, form submissions, and tight deadlines. A Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (RCIC) takes care of this process on your behalf, and makes your Visa application not only more efficient, but vastly increases the chances of submitting a complete application. Authorized consultants can submit your files accurately, ensuring that your application stands the best chance of success.
Each RCIC has years of experience handling the Canadian immigration process. Having consulted on matters of immigration both ethically and professionally, these experts can help you with every aspect your application process–minimizing the challenges you will face during what many consider an overwhelming process.
For instance, if your mother tongue is not English, it will be to your benefit to work with an RCIC who can help you to understand certain clauses and policies. An RCIC can assist you with information about language tests, employment applications and submitting all of the relevant documents needed to increase your chances of approval.
With many Visa options available, an RCIC can offer you personalized assistance by mapping out the best immigration option for you (always while supporting your personal objectives).
Once an RCIC has submitted your application, you’ll receive up-to-date application status notifications from your consultant, who will be there to help you every step of the way.
Contact one of the many certified immigration consultants at Mana Immigration today.