Qualifications as Spouse or Common-Law Partners under the Family Class









Family Class Sponsorship

As you may know, you, as a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident, have the right to sponsor your spouse or common-law partner to become a permanent resident in Canada. Spousal and common-law partner sponsorships are two common ways for people to immigrate to Canada. Before you start your sponsorship application, you will need to know whether or not you and your spouse/common-law partner qualify for the type of sponsorship you intend to file an application for. This is an important step for you to thoroughly consider. Without having a solid understanding of the strict rules set by the Canadian government, individuals are very likely to makes mistakes on their application. Furthermore, misrepresenting information to Immigration, Refugee, and Citizenship Canada can jeopardize your eligibility either as a sponsor or an applicant. In this blog, you will learn relevant information about the membership under the family class; more specifically, the membership for spouse or common-law partners.

Family class requirements

Immigration, refugees and Citizenship Canada has stated that a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident may sponsor a spouse or common-law partner (opposite or same-sex) However, simply having a spouse/common-law partner who is Canadian citizen or a permanent resident does not automatically make you eligible for a spousal sponsorship application or a common-law sponsorship application. In order to be qualified as a principal applicant (the person being sponsored), you need to make sure you meet the following requirements:

• You must have an eligible relative, or spouse, common-law partner or conjugal partner who meets the requirements to be a sponsor
• You must prove your identity, age and relationship to your sponsor
• you and your dependent family members must not be inadmissible
• you must have valid and subsisting passports or travel documents
• you must be coming to Canada to establish permanent residence
• You have a genuine relationship/marriage with the sponsor

Apart from meeting the aforementioned requirements, you need to demonstrate your relationship/marriage to the sponsor is genuine. If your relationship/marriage to the sponsor is solely for the purpose of acquiring any status or privilege in Canada, you will be disqualified as a member of the family class.

At this point, you may be wondering about the ways to prove your relationship/marriage to the sponsor is genuine, rather than fraudulent. You may provide documents, such as a marriage certificate, wedding invitations and photos, proof of joint ownership of residential property, proof of joint utility accounts, love letters, printed text messages, emails or social media conversations, proof of cohabitation, and many more. If the officer believes you do not provide adequate proof of a genuine marriage/relationship, an officer may request additional information or schedule an interview.

Who is Not a Member of the Family Class

In order to be an eligible principal applicant of the sponsorship application, you not only need to meet the aforementioned requirements, but also need exclude yourself from the following situations. If any of the following situations applies to you, then you are not a member of the family class.
• the spouse or common-law partner is under the age of 18
• the sponsor or the spouse was married to someone else at the time of the marriage
• the marriage or relationship is not genuine (merely a relationship of convenience)
• the sponsor and the applicant have been separated for at least a year, and either one is in a common-law relationship with another person
• when the sponsor applied for permanent residence, the applicant was a non-accompanying family member of the sponsor and was not examined

If you did not declare any dependant on your application, you automatically fail to be a member of the family class. This strict rule is set because the Canadian government wants to prevent any dishonesty or anything misrepresentation of information that is directly related to decisions made under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA).

In some special cases, if you fail to declare any dependant, you may not be disqualified as a family class member. When the applicant presents compelling reasons for not declaring a family member on the application, it may also be appropriate to consider on humanitarian and compassionate ground. Typically, this type of decision is made for family members of refugees and protected persons, or non-accompanying family members who were not required to be included or who were not eligible to be included at the time of the sponsor’s original application. For example, if you are a refugee and can present evidence that you believed your family members were dead or were unknown, your application may then be examined with Humanitarian and compassionate consideration.

Contact Akrami and Associates

Applying for spousal sponsorship or common-law sponsorship can be very confusing and overwhelming, as there are different types of requirements that you would need to meet. It is important for you to pay close attention to every detail during your application process. The failure to do so could result in application refusal. Ultimately, it could make you ineligible to sponsor any individual in the future, or make you inadmissible to Canada if you are the principle applicant. Therefore, it is highly recommended that you seek professional help. 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 or the common-law sponsorship. If you have any questions regarding spousal sponsorship or common-law sponsorship, please feel free to contact Akrami & Associates at 416-477-2545.

With Akrami & Associates there is always a way!!