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Spousal sponsorship

Discussion in 'Family Class Sponsorship' started by Leon, Jul 8, 2010.

  1. So you are in the situation that you want to sponsor your foreign spouse for permanent residency of Canada and don't know where to start. Here are some tips:

    Married, common law or conjugal partners

    First you need to pick an application class. There are three of them: married, common-law and conjugal. For all of them, you need to prove the genuineity of your relationship. For common-law, you need to prove that you have lived together for 12 months or longer. For conjugal, you need to prove that you have combined your affairs as much as possible but there are real immigration barriers or other barriers preventing you from living together or getting married. Conjugal is the hardest to prove. For example, if your partner could get a visit visa to come to Canada for 6 months and then apply for an extension to get the full year, even though they will not be allowed to work, that is not considered an immigration barrier. An immigration barrier is if your partner tries to get a visit visa to come to Canada and is repeatedly refused. Some people have had luck with the conjugal class but try to avoid it if possible.

    Outland or inland?

    Now you need to decide if to apply outland or inland. If your spouse is not in Canada and can not get a visa to go to Canada, you must apply outland. That means that you will send your application to Mississauga and they will approve you as a sponsor. The time that takes is usually 1-2 months to but current processing times can be seen here: http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/information/times/canada/process-in.asp#sponsorship After that, the application is forwarded to your local visa office. If your spouse is residing in a country other than the country of their nationality, you can pick which of the two visa offices you want. Otherwise it will be processed in their country of nationality. You can see the processing times here: http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/information/times/international/05-fc-spouses.asp

    If your spouse is staying in Canada as a visitor or on some other visa, you can pick whether you want to apply outland or inland. Outland is generally faster and has appeal rights but a downside to outland is that if an interview is required, your spouse will have to travel to the visa office in the country where it's being processed. Inland has the downside that it's generally not advised that your spouse travels while you are waiting for your processing because it is a requirement of inland that they reside in Canada and if they are denied entry at the border for some reason, your application is gone. If an interview is required for inland, you may also have to wait a long time for it. The inland application would be sent to Vegreville and if all goes well, you would get a first stage approval, usually in 6 to 8 months. The current processing times can be seen here: http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/information/times/canada/process-in.asp#perm_res Then the file is forwarded to your local CIC office where you live and they will contact you for a landing appointment. Getting the PR with inland usually takes 12-18 months. If an interview is required for inland, Vegreville will not give first stage approval but instead will forward the application to the local CIC office without it and you will have to wait for them to have time for your interview. In some cases that can take a year or two. If you do get the first stage approval, your spouse will usually be eligible for health care and an open work permit. It is actually a good idea when applying inland to send an application form for a visit visa extension as well as the open work permit to be given at first stage approval all in one package so it's tied together.

    Which method to pick depends on your situation. If your spouses country of nationality has a long processing time or your spouse does not want to have to travel there for a possible interview, then inland is the way to go. For faster processing and freedom of travel during the processing time, outland would be better. You can find the application forms for inland at http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/information/applications/spouse.asp and the application forms for outland at http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/information/applications/fc.asp

    Avoiding potential problems with your application

    The most common reason for people to be called for an interview is that the visa officer has doubts about the relationship being genuine. It is up to you to send immigration some quality data, emails, chat logs, phone records, photos, letters and other material to prove to them that your relationship is the real thing. Other reasons you might have problems with is eligibility of the sponsor. The sponsor can not be on social assistance, can not be bankrupt and can not have a record of violent crimes or crimes against family members. If that is the case, better talk to a lawyer and get that cleared up before attempting to apply.

    Dependent children

    If your spouse has dependent children, they must be included in the PR application, even if they are not coming to Canada. They will need to have medicals as well to keep the option open to sponsor them later. The only way that immigration will accept the application without those medicals is if the children are no longer minors and refuse to have it or if the children are in the full custody of their other parent who refuses to make them available for medicals. In that case, your spouse needs to sign a statement stating that they know that they will never be able to sponsor these children to Canada in the future.

    Dependent children are classified as single and either under 22 years of age or if they are older, they must have been full time students since before age 22 or dependent on their parent due to a disability or medical problem.

    Refusals due to income and medicals

    You will be asked to provide information about your income but you will not be denied to sponsor your spouse and dependent children because you do not make enough money. It is possible though that if you make absolutely no money at all that immigration may ask you how you plan to support yourselves.

    Spouses and dependent children are also exempt from the clause about excessive demand on health care so you do not have to worry about them being refused for that reason.

    Sponsoring your spouse while living in another country

    If you are a Canadian citizen, you can sponsor your spouse without being in Canada but you do then have to prove that you are planning on moving to Canada when your spouse gets approved for permanent residency. Such proof can include having arranged jobs, being accepted to college, having arranged housing or letters from friends & relatives stating that they know of your plans and that you can stay with them while you look for housing etc.

    If you are a PR, you must reside in Canada in order to sponsor your spouse. You can chance short vacations (remember that a Canadian vacation is generally no longer than 2 weeks) but if immigration finds out that you are not in Canada, you risk getting your application refused.
  2. Excellent post! Is there anyway the moderators could have it stuck at the top?
    Bahar Ali, Shanique, tunay and 2 others like this.
  3. According to your post the most common reason for people to be called for an interview is that the visa officer has doubts about the relationship being genuine.
    My husband hasnt been called in for an interview (which I'm being told is good thing), but if he is, would you recommend that I attend? Will he be issued the visa right after the interview if it is successful? Our file in is Port of Spain.
  4. If you are a PR, you must reside in Canada in order to sponsor your spouse. You can chance short vacations (remember that a Canadian vacation is generally no longer than 2 weeks) but if immigration finds out that you are not in Canada, you risk getting your application refused.


    It is not exactly true. Yesterday the President of the Canadian Association of Immigration Lawyer called me. He told me that someone is resident in Canada when live minimum 6 months on Canadian soil each year. So someone can also take 1 month vacation during this period and HE IS STILL resident in Canada...
    Dennis nyabuto and tunay like this.
  5. Great Post. THANKS!!!
  6. Leon, thank you for taking the time to post this. :)
    malimu likes this.
  7. Yes, that is absolutely true but as we know, immigration sometimes refuses cases based on bogus reasons. If the PR in question had sponsored his spouse for PR and immigration finds out, possibly when trying to contact him that he has actually been outside Canada for the last few months, they will likely deny his application based on him not residing in Canada. Legally he might still be residing in Canada and of course he can appeal but I'm only saying, maybe you are better off trying to avoid having to appeal. It is safer to make short trips only so that the visa officer will have no doubt that the person is residing in Canada and not leave it up to the visa officers definition of how long you can be away to still be considered a resident.
    Amoana1 and wisdom7 like this.
  8. BUMP this is a great informational post so had to bump it back
  9. This should be made into a sticky. Admin?
  10. Yeah, a sticky note!!
  11. About the recommendation for mailing an application to extend and open work permit with inland does not seem right.
    Most of the time you either, mail an extension request separately, regular extension request with the application, or an extension application marked for open work permit submitted with the application. Not both.

    If you are submitting a regular extension with the application then do that but if you don't want to have to keep extending your stay during the process and have implied status then you only need to send an application for an open work permit included inside the SAME envelope as your PR application and make sure it is received by Vegreville BEFORE your status expires.

    Overall this is a very good post and I feel this will benefit alot of people. I just wanted to state some corrections before people think they need to include both a regular extension request and open work permit with their inland application. What I have stated has been verified for years and can be backed up by many other senior members so I believe the information is correct and helpful to those applying inland like myself.

    Thank you Leon for your wonderful and helpful post. I see this helping several people for years to come. :)
  12. Leon... I have my interview day after tomorow and I am taking all my pics, phone, chat n email records from the day we started out relationship...
    In the application we had not submitted the same.. jst records of few months before filing for the application

    I am also taking a lot of after marriage proofs... any suggestions or tips for me that I should follow while in the interview.. I m scared n tensed to the point that i have a big ball of knot in my stomach n each passing hr it grows double ???
  13. Great thread..so glad to see its a Sticky!! :D There are also other reasons for being called in for an interview! One being to check admissibility..I am fully expecting an interview for this reason..I overstayed my VR a few years ago so may get called into an interview to decided if I am admissible or not..
  14. Leon -

    +1000 rep for this.

  15. thanks a lot LEON for the post! god bless all of us!

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