Sponsorship applications take approximately 12 months to process from start to finish. They are typically not processed much faster than 12 months but they can take longer, depending on the nature of your case.
If you have a complicated case, or the visa office requires additional proof of your relationship, this will delay the processing of your case and it will take longer.
The best way to ensure your sponsorship application is processed as quickly as possible is to make sure it is done right the first time. The lawyers and legal professionals at Canadim have helped thousands of spousal sponsorship applications. Find out how Canadim can help bring your loved ones to Canada by taking our free online assessment.
You may be eligible to sponsor your spouse or common-law partner if you are a Canadian citizen or permanent resident and meet the following conditions:
If you are married and looking into sponsoring your husband or wife, immigration officers will expect to see the following evidence:
And at least two of the following documents:
The government processing fees to sponsor your spouse in Canada are listed below. If you are sponsoring your spouse and they have dependent children, then an additional $150 payment will be required for each child included in the application.
Sponsorship fee $75
Principal applicant processing fee $475
Right of permanent residence fee $500
If the sponsor resides in Quebec or intends to reside in Quebec upon the issuance of permanent residence, an additional fee of $289 CAD will need to be paid in addition to the fees mentioned above.
Unlike most other forms of Canadian sponsorship, you do not need to demonstrate a minimum amount of income to sponsor a spouse. However, whenever you sponsor a family member to Canada, you must sign an undertaking, in which you promise to provide financial support for the basic needs of your sponsored family member.
The length of the undertaking depends on the category of sponsorship. For spousal sponsorship (including spouses and common-law or conjugal partners), the length of the undertaking is 3 years from the day the sponsored individual becomes a Canadian permanent resident.
Under Canadian immigration law, common-law relationships are viewed as the same as conventional marriages. In order for your relationship to be eligible for common-law sponsorship, you must prove that as a couple, you have lived together for a year or longer in a marriage-like relationship.
If you are in a common-law relationship and looking into sponsoring your partner, immigration officers will expect to see the following evidence:
And at least two of the following documents:
If you can’t provide all the documents outlined above, get creative. Find ways that demonstrate your relationship and provide them. Provide letters of explanation or sworn declarations from family or friends that can attest to your common-law status. The final decision regarding your common-law documents will be at the discretion of the visa officer but the more proof you can provide, the better your chances of being accepted.
If you are in a conjugal relationship and looking into sponsoring your partner, immigration officers will expect to see the following evidence:
For both conjugal and common-law relationships, there is no legal documentation or a specific point in time that solidifies your commitment to one another. Instead, immigration officers will expect to see evidence of significant emotional and interpersonal ties that demonstrates that you are in a serious, committed relationship with the intention to remain in that relationship long-term.
You should apply under the Family Class (Outland) sponsorship option if:
A downside to using this stream is that, until your application has been approved, living with your spouse may be difficult. However, your spouse can apply for a temporary visa to come to Canada while his or her outland sponsorship application is being processed.
You should apply under the Spouse or Common-Law Partner in Canada Class (Inland) if:
If your spouse or common-law partner is out of status in Canada, they may be able to submit under this stream as well while being protected under a public policy that allows them to stay in Canada until the application has been fully processed. The disadvantage to this particular stream, however, is that the applicant should refrain from travel outside of Canada while the application is in process.
In order to be eligible for spousal sponsorship of any kind, you need to prove that your relationship is legitimate. There are several factors that are taken into consideration by immigration officers, depending on the nature of your relationship.
Visa officers will consider a range of items to determine if your relationship is genuine. Some of the items they will consider are more traditional, like photos of your wedding that show members or your family there. Others can be more unique to the cultural practices of the region. If your relationship is unconventional, providing additional evidence of the genuineness of your relationship is recommended. Letters of explanation can also help a visa officer understand why your relationship might not have all the same indicators as a more traditional marriage from your cultural background.
Be advised that marriage ceremonies that are conducted over the internet are not accepted for Canadian immigration purposes.
No. Simply marrying a Canadian does not automatically give the spouse Canadian permanent residence. Once you are married or in a common-law relationship, you can then apply for a spousal sponsorship. Only after the application for spousal sponsorship is approved, will the married spouse become a Canadian permanent resident.
Your spouse can come to Canada while you are waiting for approval but there is no special visa for applicants awaiting a decision on their sponsorship application. Some spousal sponsorship applicants may encounter difficulties applying for a temporary visa if they have an application for permanent residence already in process.
Applicants applying for a temporary residence visa must satisfy the visa officer assigned to their case they will leave at the end of the validity of the visa. Having an application for permanent residence can create doubt in the visa officer’s mind that the applicant intends to leave at the end of their visa. For this reason, applicants may want to apply for a temporary visa and then once together in Canada, submit under the inland sponsorship category. The spouse being sponsored can then transition from their temporary status in Canada to an open work permit that would allow them to work for any employer while their application is processing.
Immigration interviews are rare for spousal sponsorship cases and are the exception rather than the rule. That said, spousal sponsorship immigration interviews usually occur when there are lack of documents supporting the relationships, contradicting information on the forms vs. documents, age and religious difference, a short period of time between meeting your spouse and marriage, or little or no cohabitation.
Although the final decision to interview a couple is at the discretion of the visa officer, using the services of a qualified immigration attorney can prepare your application in the best possible light and minimize any questions they have about the validity of your relationship.
You can withdraw your sponsorship application at any time before the person you’re sponsoring becomes a permanent resident of Canada.
As each application is as unique as the relationship itself, an experienced representative can assist you in preparing the strongest application possible.
If you would like to know more about your options for spousal sponsorship, please contact us.
If you want to sponsor your spouse or children, or if you want to be sponsored, we can help! Simply complete our free sponsorship assessment and a member of the Canadim Team will contact you to discuss your options!GET STARTED!