Important Spousal Sponsorship Documents
Before you sponsor your spouse to Canada for permanent residency, it is very important to recognize and understand what the most important spousal sponsorship documents are. You must have all the required information and documentation in order to successfully submit your application. If not, your application can be returned to you, or in the worst case scenario, it can be refused. Therefore, in this article, I will address the most important spousal sponsorship documents as well as other important information regarding spousal sponsorships.
Who Can Sponsor a Spouse to Canada
When considering to sponsor your spouse, it is essential to understand whether or not you are eligible to sponsor them in the first place. Canadian Immigration specifically examines whether the Canadian citizen or permanent resident spouse is eligible to sponsor the sponsored spouse financially for the entire length of the undertaking. Keep in mind, the length of the undertaking is for three years. The reason why Canadian Immigration specifically looks for this is to ensure that the sponsored spouse does not depend on social assistance while in Canada. Therefore, in order to be eligible to sponsor your spouse, you must meet all of the following eligibility requirements.
In order to sponsor your spouse, the sponsor must:
- Be 18 years of age or older
- Be a Canadian citizen, permanent resident of Canada or a Registered Indian
- Not have received any social assistance from the government of Canada (with the exception of disability)
- Demonstrate that they have sufficient funds to provide the basic necessities for their spouse
Please note that if you are a Canadian citizen that is currently living outside of Canada, you must demonstrate to the government of Canada that you intend on residing within Canada if your spouse receives permanent residency in Canada. On the other hand, if you are a permanent resident of Canada that is currently living outside of Canada, you must return back to Canada and physically reside in Canada in order to sponsor your spouse. If you live outside of Canada permanently as a permanent resident of Canada, you would not be eligible to sponsor your spouse.
Understanding the Undertaking
When a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada agrees to sponsor their spouse, they must sign an undertaking which is a sponsorship agreement with the sponsored spouse. Within this undertaking, the sponsor must make the commitment to provide basic necessities for the sponsored spouse. The basic necessities include food, clothes, shelter, household items and supplies, personal requirements, such as health care, dental care, eye care, and any other health care needs that they would not receive by the public health care system.
Once both the sponsor and the sponsored spouse sign the undertaking agreement, the sponsor is essentially committing to supporting their sponsored spouse but also to financially support themselves. They must be able to adequately support the couple as a whole emotionally, financially, and in many other ways.
Important Spousal Sponsorship Documents
In order to adequately proceed with sponsoring your spouse to Canada, there are required documents that must be submitted. The required documents will essentially validate the marriage and show Immigration Canada who you are and who the sponsored spouse is. Without these documents, they will not be able to determine this information and thus will not be able to process the spousal sponsorship application. Below are the required documents that must be included in the spousal sponsorship application.
- Valid passport of the sponsored spouse
- Canadian citizenship certificate or permanent resident card of the sponsor
- Marriage Certificate
These three documents will show the aforementioned details to Immigration Canada in order for them to validate the couple and their marriage. However, there are also supporting documentation that must be provided in order to further validate the marriage. For instance:
- Correspondence between the couple, including e-mails, internet chats, mailed letters, etc.
- Reference letters from friends, family and/or coworkers that can attest to the genuineness of the marriage
- Personal statement from the couple confirming and describing their marriage
- Receipts of any gifts given to one another
- Travel itineraries of trips taken together
- Photos of the couple together at different points in their lives
Immigration Canada is very particular about spousal sponsorships as they need to validate that the marriage is real because there have been various accounts of fraudulent marriages. Therefore, it is mandatory that the couple provide sufficient supporting documents to demonstrate that their marriage is in fact real and genuine. Additionally, the sponsor will need to provide financial documents to prove that they are employed and/or receiving a healthy income in order to adequately support their sponsored spouse if and when they obtain permanent residency in Canada. Keep in mind, the sponsor does not need to abide by an income cut off requirement; however, proving that they do have a sufficient income is required.
Please note that one can only apply for a spousal sponsorship once the marriage has occurred and the couple has received their marriage certificate. The marriage certificate, as previously mentioned, is a definite requirement in order to verify that the marriage is real.
Contact Akrami & Associates
It is essential that you have taken all of the aforementioned factors and information into consideration, if you intend on applying to sponsor your spouse to Canada permanently. If you would like to apply for a spousal sponsorship, it is extremely important to note that these applications are difficult to pursue on your own. It is highly recommended that you seek out professional and experienced help prior to submitting the spousal sponsorship application. Here, at Akrami & Associates, we work and have experience with many different immigration matters. We have helped many of our clients reunite permanently with their spouses in Canada. If you believe that you may be eligible to apply for a spousal sponsorship, please feel free to contact Akrami & Associates at our office at 416-477-2545 for more information or if you would like to book a consultation with an immigration professional for more advice.
With Akrami & Associates, there is always a way!