Leon said: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.
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.
zardoz said:That form is not filled in by the sponsor. For everyone else, the "applicant" is the person filling out the form and all the fields are relative to that person.
Hi KaZRa...KaZRa said:What does this mean then? "The primary applicant and every member of the family who is over 18 years of age, whether or not they are accompanying the primary applicant to Canada, has to complete an Additional Family Information (IMM 5406) form."
abscott said:Hi KaZRa...
Both the sponsored spouse his or her dependent who is over 18 yrs of age has to complete IMM 5406. If you are the sponsored spouse, you have to complete IMM 5406. If you have 2 or 3 dependents who are over 18 yrs of age then EACH of them has to complete IMM 5406 too whether or not they are accompanying you to Canada.
Don't forget to sign and date the form...
Hope this helps...Good luck to your application
While the over 18-year old children may not be accompanying him, not ever intend to, they MAY still be considered as dependants from a CIC immigration perspective. This will depend on their exact circumstances. If you want to be absolutely sure that this will not pose a problem, wait until after the New Year, when >18 years old children won't qualify anyway. If they ARE dependants, they will have to be "examined" regardless of their intentions.KaZRa said:I am the sponsor, he is my spouse, only children involved are mine who are here in Canada with me so then only he will complete that form, correct? He has 2 children above 18 living in the USA who are NOT coming with him to Canada. Thanks for the response. This stuff is difficult to understand sometimes!
zardoz said:While the over 18-year old children may not be accompanying him, not ever intend to, they MAY still be considered as dependants from a CIC immigration perspective. This will depend on their exact circumstances. If you want to be absolutely sure that this will not pose a problem, wait until after the New Year, when >18 years old children won't qualify anyway. If they ARE dependants, they will have to be "examined" regardless of their intentions.
This is the CIC "current" definition.KaZRa said:They were both in the custody of their mother, my spouse just had visitation so would they still be considered his dependents? They both live on their own and one has a child of their own.
As you can see, there is no mention of custody or parental rights.Dependent child
A child who depends on their parent for financial and other support. A son or daughter is considered a dependant of their parent when the child is:
- under 22 years old, and does not have a spouse or partner, or
- a full-time student on an ongoing basis since before the age of 22, and has depended largely on a parent's financial support since that time, or
- 22 years old and over, and
- became a spouse or partner before the age of 22, and
- has been a full-time student on an ongoing basis since before the age of 22, and
- has depended largely on a parent's financial support since they became a spouse or partner, or
- 22 years old and over, and has depended largely on the parent's financial support since before the age of 22 because of a physical or mental condition.
You replied before I finished cleaning up my response. In the CIC definition, custody is irrelevant. Only the age and status of the children is mentioned. From what you have reported so far, I think the one with the child is probably no longer considered a dependant. However, I suspect that the other one is.KaZRa said:Ok, help me weed this out please. In trying to follow the CIC definition..
his 2 children are both 18 or older, were never in his custody. A small child support order still remains for one of them which he pays. One is living with her child and common-law spouse. Other is with his maternal grandmother and working, going to school (finishing high school). I have no idea if they should be included or not!
zardoz said:You replied before I finished cleaning up my response. In the CIC definition, custody is irrelevant. Only the age and status of the children is mentioned. From what you have reported so far, I think the one with the child is probably no longer considered a dependant. However, I suspect that the other one is.
No, he would fill in as himself being the "applicant". Everything else on the form would be relative to him. So, no children, no spouse etc etc...KaZRa said:Sorry, fast typer lol. Ok, so his son would need to complete one too. How does he begin that? The top rows are for applicant, spouse, mother, father. Does he skip those sections and go down to Children or Siblings?