Marriage While Applying for Express Entry, What You Need to Know

Published on: September 8th, 2022
Last updated: February 7th, 2023

While marriage is certainly a joyous time to celebrate, it may leave you with questions when it comes to your Canadian immigration application. Many people wonder when and if they need to inform the IRCC if marriage happens while applying for Express Entry. It is important to note that it is essential to inform the IRCC about changes to your family composition such as a marriage. Failure to do so could have disastrous and long-lasting implications for the applicant. 

What is Express Entry?

Express Entry is a quick and popular pathway to permanent residence for immigrants seeking a new life in Canada.

Canada welcomes over 10,000 skilled workers through the Express Entry system annually.

Express Entry is an online system used by the Canadian government to organize and process applications for skilled workers who wish to immigrate to Canada and acquire Canadian permanent residence status. The system manages three main federal economic programs:

What is an ITA?

The Invitation to Apply (ITA), sometimes referred to as the electronic Application for Permanent Residence (eAPR), is the final step of the Express Entry program. The eAPR application provides the documents that support the details listed in your initial Express Entry profile. 

Once you receive an ITA for Canadian permanent residence, you’re well on your way to fulfilling your Canadian immigration dreams!

What will happen if I get married after applying for Canadian PR?

The IRCC mandates that you disclose any changes to your application, including information about dependent spouses. You will then have an option of whether or not to add them as dependents on their own applications. This however will require additional paperwork. 

Do I need to inform IRCC about my marriage?

Yes, it is required that you inform IRCC about your marriage. Unfortunately, this is not optional and is something that you must do according to current Canadian immigration rules. Your admissibility depends on your spouse’s admissibility as well. Hence, this is an obligatory step that you must complete regardless or not if your spouse will not accompany you to Canada.

What if I get married after getting ITA but before I submit my PR application?

If you get married after getting an Invitation to Apply (ITA) but before you apply for PR, you will still need to update your family information with IRCC. Because your family composition has changed, the IRCC needs to be informed. This applies even if your spouse is not accompanying you to Canada. If your spouse is accompanying you, your CRS points may have changed. Be sure to check that you still reach the CRS cut-off for the draw you were selected in.

Can I add my spouse to my PR application after ITA and once I have submitted my PR application?

Yes, if you have already submitted a PR application, you can add your new spouse to your application. You first need to advise IRCC about your change in marital status. IRCC will then send you a list of documents needed to add your spouse to your application.

How do I check the status of my spouse in my immigration application?

To check the status of your spouse in your immigration application, you can log in to My Account and view their details. If they are not listed as a dependent on your application, then this means that IRCC has not yet processed their information. As per current Canadian immigration rules, spouses must be admissible to Canada. Which means they must meet the medical, criminal, and security requirements. If they do not meet any of these requirements, they will be considered inadmissible to Canada, which will directly impact your PR application.

My spouse is not accompanying me to Canada. Do I still need to update IRCC after I receive my COPR?

Regardless of your spouse’s intentions to come to Canada, applicants must still inform the IRCC of their marriage. This is because your family composition has changed, and IRCC needs to be aware of this change. If you do not update IRCC, it can result in your application being refused. You could also be banned from applying for permanent residence for up to five years. Therefore, it is important to take the steps necessary to inform them of the change

Any other questions about marriage while applying for Express Entry or unsure if you or your spouse could qualify? Take our assessment to get a full idea of all your options and learn more.

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