Responsibilities of Sponsor when Sponsoring Spouse to Canada
Did you know that a lot of people think that by marrying a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada they automatically become Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada? Unfortunately, that is not the case. When applying to sponsor your spouse or partner to Canada as the sponsor and applicant you would need to meet certain requirements to be eligible to bring your loved ones to Canada. For the purpose of this blog will focus on responsibilities of sponsor.
Who you can Sponsor to Canada?
When applying under the Family Class as the sponsor you can sponsor your spouse, common-law or conjugal partner to Canada. To be able to do so you have to fall under the definition of spouse, common-law or conjugal partner. See below:
If you are legally married and your marriage was legally civil marriage, you can sponsor the person as your spouse. Opposite and same-sex marriages will be recognized for immigration purposes, where the marriage was legally performed in Canada or outside the Canada, the marriage must be legally recognized in the country where it took place and in Canada.
IRCC is no longer accepts marriages performed outside of Canada by proxy, telephone, fax, Internet and other forms of marriage where one or both persons were not physically present at the wedding ceremony.
Sponsoring Common-Law Partner
You can sponsor the person as your common-law partner (same or opposite sex)as long as you have been living or have lived with your partner in a marriage like relationship for at least 12 consecutive months.
To proof that you are in a common-law relationship, you have to submit the following evidences regarding:
- proof of shared or shared home,
- proof that you were supporting each other financially and emotionally,
- proof of having children together (if applicable),
- present yourselves in public as a couple
- proof of shared finances such utility bills, phone bills
Sponsoring Conjugal Partner
If your partner is living outside of Canada and you are unable to get married or be in a common law relationship due to either immigration barrier, religious reasons, sexual orientation you may be eligible to sponsor your partner through conjugal sponsorship. This term applies to both opposite and same-sex couples.
You can sponsor a conjugal partner if there is a significant degree of attachment between the two of you, implying not just a physical relationship but a mutually interdependent relationship, and you have been in a genuine (real) relationship for at least 12 months where marriage or cohabitation (living together) has not been possible because of barriers such as sexual orientation, religious faith, etc.
Responsibilities of the Sponsor
When you sponsor your spouse you have to sign an undertaking, you take responsibility to provide basic needs of your partner or spouse and their dependent children if applicable.
Basic needs include:
- Dental care
- Eye care
- Medical needs which aren’t covered by public health services
- Other needs of everyday living
When you take responsibility and sign the undertaking, you should make sure that the people you sponsor won’t ask any kind of financial help from government. If they apply for social assistance you have to pay back what they have received during the period of undertaking.
You can’t sponsor anyone else until you repay the amount.
Undertaking Agreement when Sponsoring Spouse or Partner to Canada
Undertaking is an unconditional promise to support your spouse or partner until the undertaking term comes to an end. Undertaking will be effective even if:
- Sponsored person becomes Canadian citizen
- Sponsored person moves to another country
- Even if you have financial problems
If you like to cancel your undertaking you must write a letter before final decision on your application is made. You can only withdraw an undertaking if the case processing centre in Mississauga (CPC-M) agrees to the withdrawal.
Your responsibility as a sponsor starts as soon as you sign the undertaking agreement. For spouse, common-law partner or conjugal partner length of undertaking which is 3 years from the day you partner become a permanent resident.
Can I sponsor my Spouse if I live outside of Canada?
You can sponsor a spouse, a common law partner or conjugal partner, or a dependent child who has no children of his/her own only if you are a Canadian citizen. Anyhow, you must have to show that you will live in Canada when the sponsored person becomes a permanent resident.
Who Cannot Spouse or Partner to Canada
There are certain things that disqualifies you from sponsorship either for permanently or temporary basis. These can include being on social assistance or debt, owing government money, owing child or spousal support from previous marriage etc. See below for further details.
Can I sponsor my Spouse or Partner if I am on Social Assistance or in Debt?
If the person you sponsored in the past got social assistance or welfare while the undertaking was valid, you can’t sponsor until:
- you repay the complete amount of any welfare payment or social assistance or
- repay all the debt to the government authority that issued the benefit or ordered you to pay for the government satisfaction
I got Immigration Loan can I still Sponsor my Spouse or Partner to Canada?
If you got the assistance, transportation or right of permanent residence fee loan (previously called the right of landing fee) and had missed payments:
- If you are in default of your loan, you can’t sponsor.
Can I Sponsor Spouse if I owe Child or Spouse Support from Previous Marriage?
If according to the court order any kind of payments to a spouse or child and payments are still due:
- You can’t sponsor until your family support matter is resolved.
Bond to perform:
If you are agreed to pay the money for guarantee under immigration legislation
- You can’t sponsor until you pay the full amount which is bond on you or you are obliged to pay.
When can I sponsor my Spouse or Partner to Canada if I was sponsored before?
- You cannot sponsor a new spouse or partner within five years of becoming a permanent resident, if a spouse or partner sponsored you.
- The rule applies even if you got Canadian citizenship within five years and other members will not be affected by the change in the rule.
- If you got sponsored before march 2, 2012, the five-year sponsorship bar would not apply, no matter when you became a permanent resident
- If you got sponsored on or after march 2, 2012, the five-year sponsorship bar would apply. You cannot sponsor someone until you have been a permanent resident for five years.
- If you have been convicted of a crime that caused bodily harm you can’t sponsor your partner or spouse to Canada
Can I Sponsor my Spouse or Partner if they have Criminal Record?
If your spouse or common law partner lives with you in Canada and has temporary status as well, you can apply under the spouse or common law partner class. Your partner can’t become a permanent resident if he or she is inadmissible for any reason. Which is why, before applying for your partner you should and must resolve the matter of inadmissibility.
So to be eligible to sponsor your spouse or common-law partner they have to take care of their inadmissibility first prior to being able to sponsor them. So if your spouse or partner has a criminal record outside of Canada they have to apply for criminal rehabilitation to overcome their inadmissibility on permanent basis. If your spouse got charged with an offence inside of Canada while being on temporary status then they would have to apply for record suspension formerly known as pardon.
Contact Akrami & Associates
Sponsoring a loved one to Canada for permanent residency options is not an easy process. Many times applicants submit a weak application or miss important documents for the immigration officer to lean towards approval. To avoid delays or refusal with your application contact us at 416-477-2545 and book a consultation.
With Akrami & Associates there is always a way!!