Canada understands the value of familial relationships and wants to keep and bring families together. The Family Class Immigration category allows for different types of spousal sponsorships.
The Canadian spousal sponsorship allows you to sponsor your spouse, conjugal partner, or common-law partner for permanent residency in Canada.
Both you and your spouse must be approved by the government body of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).
Who is Eligible for Spousal Sponsorship?
You must meet the following requirements to be eligible to sponsor your spouse:
- Be of 18 years or older
- Be a Canadian citizen, a permanent resident, or a registered Indian under the Canadian Indian Act
- Reside in Canada or intend to live in Canada after your spouse is granted permanent residency
- Financially support your spouse for 3 years
What Kind of Supporting Documentation is Required for Spousal Sponsorship?
If you are sponsoring your spouse, then the following proof of your relationship will be required:
- Completed relationship information and sponsorship evaluation questionnaire
- Marriage certificate
- Wedding Invitation and photos
- Birth certificates or adoption papers for any children you might have
- Proof of marriage registration with a government authority
What are Alternative Definitions of Spousal Relationships?
Common-Law Partnership: A common-law partnership is a couple that has been living together for 12 consecutive months and is not legally married.
Any time spent away from each other was because of valid obligations and was short and temporary.
Same-sex relationships are also included in this definition.
Conjugal Partnership: A conjugal partner is someone who has had a close relationship with you for 1 year but you were not able to live together or get married typically due to immigration or other legal barriers.
They will be eligible for spousal sponsorship. You can not apply as conjugal partners if you are both residing in Canada.
This definition is valid for both opposite and same-sex relationships.
What are the Different Types of Spousal Sponsorship?
Inland Spousal Sponsorship: You can sponsor your spouse through Inland Spousal Sponsorship as a Canadian citizen or permanent resident if they are already living with you in Canada.
You must be able to support them financially during their stay. The sponsored person will be required to clear all admissibility requirements for permanent residency.
They will also be eligible to apply for an open work permit. The applicant can not travel outside Canada while your application is being processed.
Overseas Spousal Sponsorship: Overseas Spousal Sponsorship (also referred to as Outland Spousal Sponsorship) allows you to sponsor your spouse or common-law partner living in another country.
You must financially support your spouse and not be an applicant for spousal sponsorship in the 5 years preceding the application.
You may have a right to appeal to the Immigration Appeal Division (IAD) if your sponsorship application is refused.
What Else You Need to Know About Spousal Sponsorship?
Spousal sponsorship does not require you to demonstrate minimum income to sponsor your spouse. However, you must support your sponsored spouse financially for a maximum period of 3 years.
You could be barred from spousal sponsorship if:
- You have previously sponsored a spouse and, it has been less than 3 years since they became a permanent resident
- You did not pay social assistance received by your previous sponsor
- You have defaulted on your immigration loan or performance bond
- You failed to pay alimony or child support
- You declared bankruptcy, which has not been discharged
- You were convicted of a crime either violent or sexual in nature, or caused bodily harm
- You were sponsored through spousal sponsorship in the last 5 years
- You were issued a removal order
- You are in jail
- Your application is already under processing