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Best approach for family/spousal sponsorship?

delzed

Member
Mar 18, 2021
19
1
Hi there. I'm a US citizen trying to gain permanent residence in Canada to live with my wife, who is a Canadian citizen. I am at a crossroads with how we should file our paperwork. I apologize that I'm just asking for general advice here, but this is sort of where I'm at.

We have worked through the paperwork for spousal sponsorship (according to checklist IMM 5533), and we've paid the fees for that filing. There are a handful of things giving us concern:
  • We don't have much money between us- she is a student with very little job history, I work somewhere between part/full-time for not a lot of money. I know there isn't an official income requirement for this type of sponsorship, but I feel nervous about how we are answering the question asking how my wife will support me, "My family has offered to take us in for a short period while my husband finds work, within a couple months of landing he will be supporting himself. Should we need money, he has a few thousand dollars of savings and a car worth approximately 8,000 dollars and my family will support us. We will not be utilizing government programs for his expenses."
  • We don't have a ton of records of our relationship. Largely because of our level of income and the expenses of visiting each other frequently, our visits are pretty modest. We go out to eat, go camping, etc. But our wedding was essentially an elopement, and we don't have any major events we've been photographed attending together- just selfies of us together at various fairs, restaurants, state parks, etc over the years. We've also been married only about 8 months.
  • Depending on your definition, I have a criminal record. When I was a teenager I broke something in my parents house and they had me arrested. The record was expunged- this event does not appear on my police record, but I feel I should still disclose it.
All of these things together make me nervous about how our case will be seen. We don't have enough documentation to overwhelm the agent with evidence that our relationship is legitimate or that I'm an upstanding citizen. I don't have the money to hire an immigration lawyer to help us present this case, and saving for such a service would add years to this process.

My wife's mother has offered to co-sign our application. She has a good job and is otherwise in a pretty solid place financially. I noticed on IMM 1344, though, that the co-signer must be the spouse or common-law partner of the sponsor. This means then that she couldn't co-sign my wife's application to sponsor me as her spouse, right?

I'm wondering if it would be better to switch gears entirely and have my mother in law file as the sponsor alone. She has told us that she is entirely fine with the legal responsibility of sponsorship. In light of the concerns about our spousal sponsorship, is it worth taking this route instead? Or is there a way to have her co-sign onto our nearly-completed spousal sponsorship application?

Thanks for your time, and I apologize for the rambles.
 

steaky

VIP Member
Nov 11, 2008
11,848
1,034
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My wife's mother has offered to co-sign our application. She has a good job and is otherwise in a pretty solid place financially. I noticed on IMM 1344, though, that the co-signer must be the spouse or common-law partner of the sponsor. This means then that she couldn't co-sign my wife's application to sponsor me as her spouse, right?
Correct.

Your MIL cannot co-sign the application. However, she can give you a letter showing her willingness to give financial support and accomodation arrangement when you become permenant resident.

Your MIL cannot be the sponsor of the application. Only your wife is eligible.
 

canuck78

VIP Member
Jun 18, 2017
40,757
9,573
Hi there. I'm a US citizen trying to gain permanent residence in Canada to live with my wife, who is a Canadian citizen. I am at a crossroads with how we should file our paperwork. I apologize that I'm just asking for general advice here, but this is sort of where I'm at.

We have worked through the paperwork for spousal sponsorship (according to checklist IMM 5533), and we've paid the fees for that filing. There are a handful of things giving us concern:
  • We don't have much money between us- she is a student with very little job history, I work somewhere between part/full-time for not a lot of money. I know there isn't an official income requirement for this type of sponsorship, but I feel nervous about how we are answering the question asking how my wife will support me, "My family has offered to take us in for a short period while my husband finds work, within a couple months of landing he will be supporting himself. Should we need money, he has a few thousand dollars of savings and a car worth approximately 8,000 dollars and my family will support us. We will not be utilizing government programs for his expenses."
  • We don't have a ton of records of our relationship. Largely because of our level of income and the expenses of visiting each other frequently, our visits are pretty modest. We go out to eat, go camping, etc. But our wedding was essentially an elopement, and we don't have any major events we've been photographed attending together- just selfies of us together at various fairs, restaurants, state parks, etc over the years. We've also been married only about 8 months.
  • Depending on your definition, I have a criminal record. When I was a teenager I broke something in my parents house and they had me arrested. The record was expunged- this event does not appear on my police record, but I feel I should still disclose it.
All of these things together make me nervous about how our case will be seen. We don't have enough documentation to overwhelm the agent with evidence that our relationship is legitimate or that I'm an upstanding citizen. I don't have the money to hire an immigration lawyer to help us present this case, and saving for such a service would add years to this process.

My wife's mother has offered to co-sign our application. She has a good job and is otherwise in a pretty solid place financially. I noticed on IMM 1344, though, that the co-signer must be the spouse or common-law partner of the sponsor. This means then that she couldn't co-sign my wife's application to sponsor me as her spouse, right?

I'm wondering if it would be better to switch gears entirely and have my mother in law file as the sponsor alone. She has told us that she is entirely fine with the legal responsibility of sponsorship. In light of the concerns about our spousal sponsorship, is it worth taking this route instead? Or is there a way to have her co-sign onto our nearly-completed spousal sponsorship application?

Thanks for your time, and I apologize for the rambles.
You are right a few thousand dollars will create concern about your ability to support each other. The value of your car is unlikely to be considered. If you are not working full-time I would start looking for a second job or increase your hours to increase your savings. If you accumulate savings during the sponsorship process you can either update proof of your savings via webform or wait and see if you get a procedural fairness letter and then provide the increased savings amount. Agree with @steaky that your MIL can include a letter offering financial support and housing. She must include proof that she has the extra savings if she had to support you both. Technically nobody can force her to support you both so it is preferable to show that you can support each other independent of family or have a plan so family will only need to support you very briefly. When is your spouse graduating? If she is graduating this school year that would also be very helpful. Providing a detailed plan aabout a job search after graduation, average salary and proof that there is demand for the job so finding employment should be relatively fast should be included. If you have a connection in Canada who is willing to offer you a job on arrival a letter from that employer would also be very helpful.
 

Underhill

Hero Member
Feb 5, 2020
268
163
Vancouver, BC
Spousal sponsorship for PR's is not restricted to middle-class and up.

Technically, there is no minimum income requirement for you or your sponsor - essentially they agree to be financially responsible for the applicant/PR for a set amount of time (I forget - 3 years?), but what that actually means isn't clearly specified. If your spouse has a lot of old debt, or lots of debt defaults, an IRCC agent might have concern about this. But if you're both just 'poor' it shouldn't have too much bearing on your application.

Your 'criminal' history shouldn't be an issue - if that's the extent of it.

The fact that you've been married for only 8 months shouldn't be an issue - especially if you've known (and have been dating) each other for a long time before.

However (there's always a 'however', isn't there...)

All of these things combined will no doubt bring a bit more scrutiny to your application. You'll likely have a lot of extra requests for further information on certain matters. Answer these inquiries quickly, plainly and honestly and you likely will have no major problems with your application.

File your application and pay all IRCC fees upfront (even if you have to borrow the money). And get ready to wait. And wait, and wait.
 

canuck78

VIP Member
Jun 18, 2017
40,757
9,573
Spousal sponsorship for PR's is not restricted to middle-class and up.

Technically, there is no minimum income requirement for you or your sponsor - essentially they agree to be financially responsible for the applicant/PR for a set amount of time (I forget - 3 years?), but what that actually means isn't clearly specified. If your spouse has a lot of old debt, or lots of debt defaults, an IRCC agent might have concern about this. But if you're both just 'poor' it shouldn't have too much bearing on your application.

Your 'criminal' history shouldn't be an issue - if that's the extent of it.

The fact that you've been married for only 8 months shouldn't be an issue - especially if you've known (and have been dating) each other for a long time before.

However (there's always a 'however', isn't there...)

All of these things combined will no doubt bring a bit more scrutiny to your application. You'll likely have a lot of extra requests for further information on certain matters. Answer these inquiries quickly, plainly and honestly and you likely will have no major problems with your application.

File your application and pay all IRCC fees upfront (even if you have to borrow the money). And get ready to wait. And wait, and wait.
Based on what we’ve seen on this forum is of a couple has minimal savings (under 5k) and there are concerns about immediate prospects to make more money a procedural fairness letter is sent. In this example the spouse is working in the US so currency is not a factor as to why savings are so low. Proof that family in Canada is willing to help and have the extra funds after their own expenses and retirement savings to help the couple that will certainly help but the government can’t force the family to support them. Having the husband find full-time employment and even a second job starting immediately will both show IRCC that the couple is willing to work hard and that should add to their savings during the sponsorship process. If the student could work full-time during any holidays or school breaks plus even a part-time job during studies (if possible) that will only add to their savings. A plan on how both will find permanent employment when he arrives in Canada and when she graduates or during study breaks is a way to show that they do have a plan as to how they will be financially independent. Having a job lined up for when he enters Canada would also be beneficial if possible. Sometimes people have contacts who may be able to offer employment even if it is a temporary survival job. The fact that the spouse is from the US usually means that there is very little concern about the validity of the relationship. assume they have at least visited each other more than a couple of times in person and have pictures and records of the visit. There is no need for expensive trips just proof that they are spending time together as a couple.
 

NaineshPatel

Hero Member
Apr 15, 2020
200
54
Hi there. I'm a US citizen trying to gain permanent residence in Canada to live with my wife, who is a Canadian citizen. I am at a crossroads with how we should file our paperwork. I apologize that I'm just asking for general advice here, but this is sort of where I'm at.

We have worked through the paperwork for spousal sponsorship (according to checklist IMM 5533), and we've paid the fees for that filing. There are a handful of things giving us concern:
  • We don't have much money between us- she is a student with very little job history, I work somewhere between part/full-time for not a lot of money. I know there isn't an official income requirement for this type of sponsorship, but I feel nervous about how we are answering the question asking how my wife will support me, "My family has offered to take us in for a short period while my husband finds work, within a couple months of landing he will be supporting himself. Should we need money, he has a few thousand dollars of savings and a car worth approximately 8,000 dollars and my family will support us. We will not be utilizing government programs for his expenses."
  • We don't have a ton of records of our relationship. Largely because of our level of income and the expenses of visiting each other frequently, our visits are pretty modest. We go out to eat, go camping, etc. But our wedding was essentially an elopement, and we don't have any major events we've been photographed attending together- just selfies of us together at various fairs, restaurants, state parks, etc over the years. We've also been married only about 8 months.
  • Depending on your definition, I have a criminal record. When I was a teenager I broke something in my parents house and they had me arrested. The record was expunged- this event does not appear on my police record, but I feel I should still disclose it.
All of these things together make me nervous about how our case will be seen. We don't have enough documentation to overwhelm the agent with evidence that our relationship is legitimate or that I'm an upstanding citizen. I don't have the money to hire an immigration lawyer to help us present this case, and saving for such a service would add years to this process.

My wife's mother has offered to co-sign our application. She has a good job and is otherwise in a pretty solid place financially. I noticed on IMM 1344, though, that the co-signer must be the spouse or common-law partner of the sponsor. This means then that she couldn't co-sign my wife's application to sponsor me as her spouse, right?

I'm wondering if it would be better to switch gears entirely and have my mother in law file as the sponsor alone. She has told us that she is entirely fine with the legal responsibility of sponsorship. In light of the concerns about our spousal sponsorship, is it worth taking this route instead? Or is there a way to have her co-sign onto our nearly-completed spousal sponsorship application?

Thanks for your time, and I apologize for the rambles.


There is no need to show the savings for sponsorship application. Spousal applications are exempted from minimum income. So do not worry about money part in your application. Focus more on relationship documents.
You can explain them that you will work full-time once you arrive in Canada and you wont need any help from government.[/QUOTE]
 

raman pawar

Star Member
Mar 4, 2019
60
8
Hello,if anyone knows pls reply…….I came to canada on visitor visa and then applied for inland spousal sponsorship with open work permit and i have not received yet but i need to go back to India anyone knows how can i go back and return back to canada . My visitor visa is valid upto 2024 but I think on visitor visa i have to stay out of canada for 6month then only I can return.
 

delzed

Member
Mar 18, 2021
19
1
When is your spouse graduating? If she is graduating this school year that would also be very helpful. Providing a detailed plan aabout a job search after graduation, average salary and proof that there is demand for the job so finding employment should be relatively fast should be included. If you have a connection in Canada who is willing to offer you a job on arrival a letter from that employer would also be very helpful.
Unfortunately, she is just starting school this fall. She won't be graduating for a few years. I work in a warehouse so while I'm sure I'll be able to find some work when I arrive, I don't think I can say my skills are in demand in any real sense.
 

delzed

Member
Mar 18, 2021
19
1
Spousal sponsorship for PR's is not restricted to middle-class and up.

Technically, there is no minimum income requirement for you or your sponsor - essentially they agree to be financially responsible for the applicant/PR for a set amount of time (I forget - 3 years?), but what that actually means isn't clearly specified. If your spouse has a lot of old debt, or lots of debt defaults, an IRCC agent might have concern about this. But if you're both just 'poor' it shouldn't have too much bearing on your application.
That's extremely good to hear.

Your 'criminal' history shouldn't be an issue - if that's the extent of it.
I've asked this elsewhere, but do you think I should declare this record? It's not on my FBI report, I've sent a request to my state police for an unredacted version in case it's there. If it is, should I include it?

The fact that you've been married for only 8 months shouldn't be an issue - especially if you've known (and have been dating) each other for a long time before.
Assuming 2 years before getting married (or about 3 now) is long enough, we're good on that front.
 

armoured

VIP Member
Feb 1, 2015
8,291
4,260
Unfortunately, she is just starting school this fall. She won't be graduating for a few years. I work in a warehouse so while I'm sure I'll be able to find some work when I arrive, I don't think I can say my skills are in demand in any real sense.
Willingness to work, actually working and having experience working are important. Don't sell yourself short.
 

delzed

Member
Mar 18, 2021
19
1
Based on what we’ve seen on this forum is of a couple has minimal savings (under 5k) and there are concerns about immediate prospects to make more money a procedural fairness letter is sent. In this example the spouse is working in the US so currency is not a factor as to why savings are so low. Proof that family in Canada is willing to help and have the extra funds after their own expenses and retirement savings to help the couple that will certainly help but the government can’t force the family to support them. Having the husband find full-time employment and even a second job starting immediately will both show IRCC that the couple is willing to work hard and that should add to their savings during the sponsorship process. If the student could work full-time during any holidays or school breaks plus even a part-time job during studies (if possible) that will only add to their savings. A plan on how both will find permanent employment when he arrives in Canada and when she graduates or during study breaks is a way to show that they do have a plan as to how they will be financially independent. Having a job lined up for when he enters Canada would also be beneficial if possible. Sometimes people have contacts who may be able to offer employment even if it is a temporary survival job. The fact that the spouse is from the US usually means that there is very little concern about the validity of the relationship. assume they have at least visited each other more than a couple of times in person and have pictures and records of the visit. There is no need for expensive trips just proof that they are spending time together as a couple.
Thank you for this reply- it covered basically all of my questions. We do indeed have proof of many visits, so I don't anticipate an issue there. I'm currently employed at ~30 hours a week. Would you suggest holding off on the application until I increase these hours/my income, or do you think I'd be alright if I were to secure a second job/more hours within the next 3 months or so?

Also, when you say a plan for finding immediate employment for both my wife and I, are you suggesting a written document included in the application, or that I should be ready to answer questions on that topic?
 

Underhill

Hero Member
Feb 5, 2020
268
163
Vancouver, BC
I've asked this elsewhere, but do you think I should declare this record? It's not on my FBI report, I've sent a request to my state police for an unredacted version in case it's there. If it is, should I include it?
With your PR application you're obligated to include details of any crime with which you've been charge and convicted - even if expunged. So, if no records are available I suggest you mention it in a note, explaining salient details (Date, city/state, conviction type, misdemeanour or felony, sentence received), and include the fact that this record is no longer available either locally (the local law enforcement & court system) or federally (FBI). Wouldn't hurt to close the note with narrative details like you included here in your first post - also mention (if true), that you were a good kid before and after this lone incident. Keep it brief.

If records are missing both locally and federally you could not include it in your application and you'd likely sail through the PR process without a hitch - however, if the record somehow later resurfaces in any way and Canada finds out about it your PR could be revoked. So, I strongly suggest you tell them about it.

If this is your lone legal incident and you give IRCC all the information they require on it you should be fine. I wouldn't get too bogged down on this one thing.
 

canuck78

VIP Member
Jun 18, 2017
40,757
9,573
Thank you for this reply- it covered basically all of my questions. We do indeed have proof of many visits, so I don't anticipate an issue there. I'm currently employed at ~30 hours a week. Would you suggest holding off on the application until I increase these hours/my income, or do you think I'd be alright if I were to secure a second job/more hours within the next 3 months or so?

Also, when you say a plan for finding immediate employment for both my wife and I, are you suggesting a written document included in the application, or that I should be ready to answer questions on that topic?
No need to hold off but I would update your file when you have taken on more hours consistently and increased your savings.
 
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delzed

Member
Mar 18, 2021
19
1
With your PR application you're obligated to include details of any crime with which you've been charge and convicted - even if expunged. So, if no records are available I suggest you mention it in a note, explaining salient details (Date, city/state, conviction type, misdemeanour or felony, sentence received), and include the fact that this record is no longer available either locally (the local law enforcement & court system) or federally (FBI). Wouldn't hurt to close the note with narrative details like you included here in your first post - also mention (if true), that you were a good kid before and after this lone incident. Keep it brief.

If records are missing both locally and federally you could not include it in your application and you'd likely sail through the PR process without a hitch - however, if the record somehow later resurfaces in any way and Canada finds out about it your PR could be revoked. So, I strongly suggest you tell them about it.

If this is your lone legal incident and you give IRCC all the information they require on it you should be fine. I wouldn't get too bogged down on this one thing.
Got it. Thank you for the info!