Sponsor Your Spouse Q & A

Questions about How to Sponsor your Spouse

Most people are aware that Canada allows for Canadian citizens or permanent residents to sponsor spouses or partners, in an effort to make it easier for families to re-unite and live together permanently. Unfortunately though, there is a lot of confusion surrounding these programs, and this results in many applications being refused. That is why; the purpose of this article is to clear up as much confusion as possible, and answer the questions you may ask about how to sponsor your spouse.

Q: How old does my spouse have to be in order for me to sponsor them?

A: Since June 10, 2015, the Canadian government refuses any spousal sponsorship applications for spouses that are under the age of 18. Therefore, to sponsor your spouse, both you and your partner must be at least 18 years old.

Q: Can I sponsor if I live outside Canada?

A: You cannot sponsor your spouse if you live outside Canada and are not a Canadian citizen. You can sponsor your spouse though if you live outside of Canada and are a Canadian citizen. However, you must be residing within Canada once the sponsored person becomes a permanent resident.

Q: What does current or previous undertaking mean?

A: A current undertaking refers to the agreement, as the sponsor, you have committed to, which makes you financially responsible for the individual you have chosen to sponsor. A previous undertaking refers to a commitment you were previously a part of. So long as you comply with all of the requirements and the undertaking is complete, a previous undertaking does not impact your ability to become involved in a new undertaking. This undertaking is one which requires the sponsor to ensure their partner has all the basic necessities to life, and access to health care which is not provided publicly. Once the principal application obtains permanent residency, the undertaking is in effect. Please note, regardless of any change in circumstance, individuals are not exempt from their undertaking.

Q: Is there a Minimum Income Requirement to Sponsor Spouse or Partner to Canada?

A: To sponsor an individual under the family class stream, you must meet the Low-Income Cut Off (LICO) requirement. Though, there is no minimum requirement to sponsor your spouse, common-law or conjugal partner to Canada. The only restriction is that you cannot sponsor someone if you are on welfare or any other social assistance program. Furthermore, your financials will still be assessed to determine whether or not you can be reasonably expected to handle the costs of an undertaking, without applying for social assistance yourself.

Q: When is the appropriate time to submit my police certificates and medical exam for my spousal sponsorship application?

A: If you have not yet completed your police certificates you may submit them when Immigration requests them from you. Immigration will send you a communication to notify you, either by e-mail or mail, depending on if you have an online account or not. Furthermore, your medical exam no longer needs to be done before submitting the application. You can submit your application and wait to receive instructions on how and where to complete a medical exam, and when it must be done by.

Q: What is a Spousal Sponsorship Interview?

A: The most important requirement applicants must meet, is that they can prove their relationship is genuine and they intend to be together forever. The main thing immigration officers are trying to weed out is spousal sponsorship fraud, which, unfortunately, is a big concern, as many people will get married simply to gain status as a Canadian permanent resident. To combat spousal sponsorship fraud, immigration officers conduct in-person interviews, to determine whether or not a couple is genuine. If you are invited to attend an interview, prepare for what could be an incredibly long interview, and to be asked very probing questions. This may not be the most pleasant process, but it is essential to ensure the family class sponsorship programs benefits those who deserve them most. The questions you may be asked are as follows. This is not an exhaustive list:

  • How did you two meet?
  • When did you meet?
  • How did your relation develop?
  • Did you know your spouse before you met them?
  • How many rooms were in the house you lived in?
  • Describe the accommodation where you both lived?
  • Who proposed? How did the engagement ring look like?
  • Who does/did the cooking and the laundry?
  • What is your spouse’s religion?
  • Where did your spouse or partner go for work?
  • What job or position did your spouse or partner hold?
  • What is your spouse’s salary?
  • What education does your spouse have?
  • What educational institution did your spouse attend?
  • When did you for vacation together? Where did you go?
  • Describe the hotel or accommodation in which you stayed in?
  • If you and your spouse have exchanged gifts, what was changed?
  • When did you get married?
  • Where did you get married?
  • How many guests attended your wedding?
  • What food was served at the wedding?
  • Did your parents attend the wedding?
  • What does your partner or spouse have for breakfast?
  • What is your partner or spouse’s favorite drink?
  • What sports or hobbies does your partner have an interest in?
  • What is your partner’s or spouse’s favorite place to eat
  • What is your spouse’s or partner’s date of birth?
  • Does your spouse or partner like his/her job?
  • What kind of movies or music does your partner enjoy?

Q: What are the Processing Fees for Spousal Application?

A: Individuals often wonder what the processing fees are to sponsor your spouse. This is more complicated than most applications, as the total fees for spousal sponsorship depend on the application and the basis of relationship of the principal applicant.

Family Class: Sponsorship Application $75
Family Class: Principal Applicant (spouse, common law) $475
Family Class: Principal Applicant (under 19 child, not married) $75
Family Class: Principal Applicant (under 19 child, physically, mentally restricted) $150
Temporary Resident Visa, multiple and single entry $100
Open Work Permit $100
Electronic Travel Authorization $7
Canada Class: Sponsorship Application $75
Canada Class: Principal Applicant (Spouse, common law) $475
Canada Class: Principal Applicant (dependent chid) $150
Right of Permanent Residence Fee $490

Depending on your specific situation, your total cost will usually be a combination of the above mentioned fees.

Q: When I immigrate to Canada, which family members can come with me?

A: The short answer is yes. Though, to do this, you must include them on your application for permanent residence as dependents. You can include your spouse or common-law partner; your dependent child; your spouse or common-law partner’s dependent child; and/or a dependent child of a dependent child. Unfortunately, the following family members cannot come with you on your application under spousal sponsorship. These are your parents; your grandparents; your brother or sister; your uncle or aunt; your niece or nephew; and/or any other relatives. You can apply to sponsor these family members yourself, once you become a permanent resident, through family class sponsorship.

Q: Can I sponsor my Fiancée to Canada?

A: No, you cannot sponsor a fiancée to Canada. You must wait until you are married to apply for family class sponsorship. Otherwise, your option as a foreign national is to apply for a Visitor Visa, if you come from a non-visa exempt country. Or, if you come from a visa-exempt country, you can simply apply for an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA). From here, you can submit an application to sponsor you new spouse from within Canada (inland), or, from overseas, depending on where your partner will be for the duration of the application processing.

If you have lived together with your partner for 12 months or more continuously you may be eligible under the common-law sponsorship.

Contact Akrami & Associates

Should you have any further questions or need further information about Spousal Sponsorships, it is important to properly research and ask several questions before applying for one. By doing the appropriate research and asking several questions beforehand, this will ease your worries and assist you with the application process. Many immigration applications are difficult to pursue on your own and it is highly recommended that you seek out professional and experienced help before attempting to apply. Here, at Akrami & Associates, we work and have experience with many different immigration issues. We have helped many of our clients obtain permanent residency in Canada through the Spousal Sponsorship program. If you believe that you may be eligible to apply under the Spousal Sponsorship program, 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!

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