Canadian citizens or permanent residents who are already living with their spouse in Canada can apply to sponsor them through the inland spousal sponsorship stream of the family sponsorship program.
Inland spousal sponsorship gives applicants the ability to continue living in Canada while their application for permanent residence is processed. If the applicant’s temporary status document is not valid for the duration of the sponsorship processing period, they will need to apply for an extension, or a new status document, to maintain their legal status in Canada while their sponsorship application is being processed. Spousal sponsorship applications are processed within 12 months in the majority of cases. Traveling abroad while an inland sponsorship application is being processed is permitted, however, it is not recommended. In the event the sponsored person is denied re-entry into Canada for whatever reason, their sponsorship application may be deemed abandoned. If this happens, they will need to submit a new sponsorship application. If they are not legally residing in Canada, they will need to submit an outland spousal sponsorship application.
In order for a Canadian citizen or permanent resident to be deemed eligible to sponsor their spouse or common-law partner, they must:
If the sponsor lives in the province of Quebec, they may need to meet additional requirements. In turn, the sponsored person must hold valid, temporary status in Canada, whether they are a student, worker, or visitor. They must also:
The relationship between the sponsor and sponsored person must prove to be either a legal marriage, or a common-law or conjugal partnership, as recognized by IRCC. To be legally valid, the marriage must either have been legally performed in Canada, or, if performed outside of Canada, legally recognized in both the country where it took place and in Canada. While same sex marriages are legal in Canada, the marriage must have been performed in a country where same sex marriage is legal in order for the marriage to be legally valid for sponsorship purposes. In the event the marriage is not valid in the country in which it was performed, a sponsorship application may still be made, as long as a common-law or conjugal relationship can be proven.
If the Canadian sponsor resides in the province of Quebec, will need to commit to a financial undertaking to support the family member they are sponsoring. The duration of the undertaking depends on the nature of the relationship. In the case of spousal sponsorship, the sponsor must commit to financially support their spouse, or common-law or conjugal partner, for three years.
Canadian citizens or permanent residents who are sponsoring only their spouses or common-law partners are not required to provide proof of finances or meet the Minimum Necessary Income (MNI), as imposed by the government of Canada for some other types of sponsorship applications. The same applies when sponsoring your or your spouse’s dependent children. When sponsoring parents, grandparents, or other dependents, you will be required to meet the MNI for the size of your family unit.
Applying for spousal sponsorship within Canada can be difficult on family finances if the sponsored person holds only a temporary visitor’s visa that restricts them from working in Canada. To take some of the stress out of long processing times, some applicants may be eligible to apply for a spousal open work permit at the same time they submit their sponsorship application. This will allow applicants to legally work for any employer anywhere in Canada. To qualify for a spousal open work permit, the sponsored applicant must hold a valid temporary visa and reside at the same address as their spouse or common-law partner, while meeting all of the eligibility requirements listed above.
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