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Can I Sponsor My Ex-Wife to Canada?

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Sometimes, when irreconcilable differences result in an amicable divorce, you may be in a situation where you ask an official, “How can I sponsor my ex-wife?” The office of the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) department does have a variety of rules and specifications that they outline on their website and through other publications. They list a variety of stipulations that must be met, including prerequisite paperwork and other requirements, that must be considered by anyone who wishes to sponsor another person for entry, regardless of prior marital status.

Five-Year Sponsorship Bar and Conditional Resident Status

According to the website of IRCC, “if a spouse or partner sponsored you, you cannot sponsor a new spouse or partner within five years of becoming a permanent resident.” This particular rule was implemented on March 2nd, 2012, when the Conservative government brought this measure into motion in an attempt to prevent the abuse of the sponsorship program.

Inadmissibility Issues

The government of Canada has a rigorous screening program that’s designed to avoid allowing those who pose a potential threat to anyone on Canadian soil. As such, if your ex has been deemed inadmissible on prior grounds, the reason why must be addressed before sponsorship continues.

For inadmissibility grounds on prior criminal conviction and issues of national security, the person being sponsored needs to present a case that shows that your ex-wife no longer presents a threat to Canadian citizens. If refusal of entry was enforced due to medical grounds, a similar process would have to be completed to show that the condition isn’t an issue to people in Canada.

Common Law and Conjugal Partner

Even though your partner may be your ex-wife, you may still be engaged in a genuine relationship despite the dissolution of nuptials. If this is the case, you may wish to petition under these circumstances. Simply follow the process that married couples go through, but be mindful that your sponsorship application will be subject to close inspection due to the atypical circumstances.

As the sponsor, you are going to be held accountable for the person who you sponsor. As such the IRCC government website states that you have to sign a contract referred to as an undertaking, which means that you’ll take care of all the basic requirements for your ex-wife and any dependent children entering Canada. The list of basic requirements include food, shelter, clothing, utilities, fuel, household supplies and personal requirements. While the majority of healthcare costs will be taken care of by the public health system, additional health-based needs, such as dental and eye care, must be taken care of as well.

To qualify for a common-law relationship, you must have been living together for at least one year in a conjugal relationship. Those who fall under the category of conjugal relationship need to demonstrate that “there is a significant degree of attachment between the two of you, implying not just a physical relationship but a mutually interdependent relationship.” You’ll also need to present evidence that the two of you have been in this relationship for at least 12 months prior to application.

Business Immigration

If none of the above applies to your situation, you may need to consider sponsorship under a different stream of immigration. In addition to humanitarian and emergency situations that the Canadian government allows for, there are a variety of federal and provincial programs that revolve around the government’s desire to attract talented individuals who will contribute to key sectors of the Canadian economy.

In terms of provincial nominee programs (PNPs), one such example is the PEI provincial nominee program, which has a few different categories of immigration streams that enable anyone to apply, as long as they fit the criteria. For PEI, this type of program is divided into a business impact category, a labour impact category and an entry express stream.

These describe different types of business owners, entrepreneurs, managers and skilled workers that the province needs to help boost key developments within PEI. In terms of the federal government, there are skilled worker and other types of similar immigration programs that facilitate the landing of highly skilled foreigners within Canada.

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