Similar to other bureaucratic processes, applying for a Canadian spousal sponsorship requires prompt payment of a variety of fees. These fees vary according to your situation, which can make it difficult to figure out exactly how much the process costs. This breakdown of some of the most common fees applies to sponsorships across Canada, with a few select fees payable to provincial programs in specific situations.
Basic Sponsorship Fees
The Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada website lists the spousal sponsorship fees that change according to specific situations. First of all, the R304(1) sponsorship fee must be taken care of, which is $75 per application. If the application doesn’t go through, this fee is not refunded, regardless of the reason that the sponsorship is deemed ineligible.
After the fee is paid for sponsorship, then the fee for the principal applicant must be paid. In the event that the principal applicant is the spouse, there’s a $475 fee. This fee also applies if the principal applicant is a dependent child, “aged 19 or older and has been unable to be financially self-supporting since before the age of 19 due to a physical or mental condition”.
If the principal applicant is a dependent child “aged under 19 and who is unmarried and not in a common-law relationship,” then the fee will be $75 instead.
If a dependent child is included in a sponsorship application, not as the principal applicant, then the fee is $150.
Ontario Fees Vs. The Rest Of Canada
The fees associated with applying for spousal sponsorship within Ontario are the same as the rest of Canada. The fees in Ontario that differ from the rest of the country involve specific Ontario immigration programs, instead of federal spousal sponsorships.
Due to the five year bar for those who have already sponsored someone, couples may have to consider alternative methods of living together in Canada. As such, a spouse may decide to enter into the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP) to earn a visa.
This program allows those with highly sought after skills to live in Ontario. For those who wish to apply through the human capital category, a $1,500 application fee will apply. Under the business category, investor applications are free, while foreign workers linked to the investment carry a fee of $3,500.
Under the employer and job offer category, foreign workers applying to land in the GTA must pay $2,000, with the fee reduced to $1,500 for landing outside the GTA. International students who have a job offer under this program will end up paying a $1,500 fee.
These provincial fees don’t include the usual federal fees for immigration.
Fees For Miscellaneous Services
Depending on the situation that you’re dealing with in your application, you might have to pay other fees in the process of collecting needed documentation. For example, if official documentation for the sponsor has been misplaced, a variety of fees may apply, such as the $30 charge for a certified replacement for document R311, or the $50 fee to replace a permanent resident card.
For those who have been deemed inadmissible due to criminality, there’s a $200 fee to be paid for form R309(b), which determines whether rehabilitation has taken place, allowing the applicant to proceed with the rest of the process. For form R309(a), which outlines rehabilitation for serious criminality, the cost will be $1,000. There’s also form R310, which costs $400, providing official authorization to return to Canada, in cases where applications are being made while outside borders.
Hidden Costs Of Applying
It’s important to be aware of all the fees associated with your application, but you should also be aware of all the other costs related to the process as well.
For some people applying under spousal sponsorship programs, the cost of waiting for a decision to be made ends up becoming the largest expense related to the application, simply because the person might not be able to work and earn a living while waiting for a decision.
People who haven’t yet landed in Canada have to also consider the cost of airfare when calculating the overall costs of the sponsorship program. Another cost that must be considered is the medical exam, which can range in price greatly depending on your location or access to insurance.
Ensure That Your Investment Pays Off
The money that you spend on fees and other costs while applying for spousal sponsorship can add up quickly. Make sure that your investment isn’t wasted-- hire an expert in family immigration.
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