Spousal Sponsorship

Spousal Sponsorship in Canada

Are you married but your wife or husband cannot come to live in Canada with you? Are you in a relationship but your other significant is having difficulties to reunite you in Canada? Do you miss someone who is important to your life but is not with you in your life? Are you waiting for your missing piece of the circle? If you like sponsor your spouse but are unsure if you meet the requirements as the sponsor then continue reading below to find out important factors when sponsoring your loved one to Canada.

What is Spousal Sponsorship?

Spousal sponsorship, just as the name implies, is a person sponsored by the spouse, for the immigration purpose in this case.

The Spousal Sponsorship program is a subsection of the Family Class immigration category. Under this program, a Canadian citizen or permanent resident who is 18 or older may sponsor a spouse to become a Canadian permanent resident.

With Spousal Sponsorship program, you can sponsor your spouse to immigrate to Canada legally and permanently so that you can have a normal family life here. One of the required documents to submit with a spousal application is including your marriage certificate that is recognized in Canada and in the home country your marriage took place.

What does a sponsor need to do?

As an eligible sponsor you need to meet certain requirements once of these requirements include signing a contract called an undertaking with the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration. Requirements for people live in Quebec are slightly different. The undertaking is basically a promise that you as the sponsor will financially support your spouse’s basic needs such as food, clothing, living expenses and dental care etc.

The length of undertaking is at least 3 years which means you are responsible for your spouse and dependent children ( if any) for that period of time frame. So as soon as the sponsored person arrives in Canada you are responsible for them until your undertaking term is completed. If for whatever reason the relationship breaks down, you’re still financially tied to the sponsored person until the end of the 3 year period. You need to sign an agreement with your spouse confirming that each of you understands your obligations and responsibilities. You also need to provide all necessary documents to prove your relationship with the sponsored person. If you as the sponsor are a Canadian citizen living outside of Canada, you will have to live in Canada once the person you are sponsoring becomes a permanent resident.

Who can you sponsor to Canada?

Under the Family Class you can sponsor your spouse, common-law partner, conjugal partner, dependent children and parents or grandparents. We will only stick to the requirements for spousal application. If you like to sponsor your spouse you have to be married to your partner meaning a marriage took place either inside or outside of Canada and having obtained the marriage certificate.

The marriage has to be recognized in Canada and in the country it took place. For example if you got married in Iran as same-sex couples but your marriage was not recognized in the country it took place then unfortunately you cannot sponsor your partner unless it is recognized in the country the marriage took place.

Same rules apply for same-sex spouse, if he/she meets all the requirements and you can provide the necessary information to CIC confirming that your same-sex-marriage was legally recognized when and where it occurred then you are one step closer to application being approved. If you have sponsored someone else in your previous relationship within 3 years, or if you were sponsored to come to Canada within 5 years, you are not eligible to sponsor your new spouse.

Requirements for Sponsored person to Canada

  • The sponsored person needs to sign the Application to Sponsor, Sponsorship Agreement and Undertaking, along with other forms and supporting documents
  • He/she must undergo a medical examination prior to submitting the application. Results are valid for 12 months, so make sure you are ready to apply within the time range.
  • He/she also needs criminal and background checks. If the person has a criminal record or are a risk to Canada’s security, he/she may not be allowed to enter Canada
  • He/she may have to get a police certificate in his/her home country
  • Sometimes an interview at a Canadian visa office might be required too
  • Not go on social assistance, provide documents that he/she will be supported by spouse
  • Documents to prove genuineness in relationship

How Can I Prove my Relationship is Genuine with Spouse?

In order to receive a visa through this Spousal Sponsorship program, the sponsor and sponsored person must prove that their relationship qualifies under the spouse category and their relationship is genuine but not getting married just to get status in Canada.

You need to convince the immigration officer that your relationship is real and genuine by providing the following documents:

  • Your marriage certificate
  • Photos of the wedding ceremony
  • Emails between the sponsor and sponsored person
  • Photos of the couple being with the family and/or friends
  • Telephone bills showing contact between you and the sponsored person
  • Airplane tickets for visiting or travelling together
  • Copies of pages of your passport showing entry/exit stamps
  • Gifts exchanged
  • Phone bills

There are many fraudulent applications to ensure yours is not viewed as fraudulent provide many documents to prove your marriage is not fake.

Have a Question?

How We Can Help

Spousal Sponsorship applications are complex, and very difficult to be successful without thoughtful preparation. At Akrami & Associates Law firm, our representatives are experiences with Common Law Sponsorship applications and have had nervous successes.

We can guide you through each step of the process, ensuring you compile a strong and convincing case to give you the best chances of success.

Spousal Sponsorship

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Frequently Asked Questions

When should I submit my police certificates for my spousal sponsorship application?

Immigration has made recent changes regarding police certificates and when to submit these documents. If, by chance, you already have police certificates, then you may submit them with your application. However, if not, then Immigration will request this from you and will indicate the time frame that you have in order to appropriately submit them. You will most likely receive this communication either by email or by mail, depending if you have an online account or if you have submitted in paper form.

Will I receive a notification that IRCC has received my Spousal application?

Yes, IRCC will notify you that they have received your application either by email or by mail with your application number and unique client identifier (UCI) number. Usually, this notification will be sent once the application has begun processing. Therefore, there may be a delay between the date that IRCC received your application and the day that IRCC begins to process your application.

If I had my spousal application returned to me, does this mean I am refused?

Not necessarily. Your application may be returned back to you for several different reasons. For instance, Immigration may return your application to you if they see that your application is incomplete or the government fees are missing. Additionally, other reasons for applications being returned include Immigration receiving the application after the program is put on hold, closed or the cap has been reached. Keep in mind, IRCC will most likely let you know the reasons for why they are returning your application either by email or by mail. Should you need further information on why your application is returned, you may do so by filling out the IRCC Web Form.

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

Since June 10, 2015, the Canadian government refuses any spousal sponsorship applications for spouses that are under the age of 18. Therefore, all spouses being sponsored to Canada must be at least 18 years old.

What does current or previous undertaking mean on a spousal sponsorship application?

On a spousal sponsorship application, a current undertaking means the spousal sponsorship application that you are currently in the process of submitting. On the other hand, a previous undertaking is a spousal sponsorship that you are or were involved in. This can be the case whether you were the sponsor or the co-signer of a spousal sponsorship application. The sponsored applicant of that undertaking must have obtained permanent residency in Canada as a result of the spousal sponsorship application. Keep in mind, any spousal sponsorships that were refused are not considered to be previous undertakings.

What is the process if I would like to withdraw my application for spousal sponsorship?

In order to withdraw your spousal sponsorship, you must fill out a Web form on the Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) website. On this form, you should include your personal information, such as your name; date of birth; contact information; the date the application was submitted; your client ID number, if you have one; indicate that you submitted a spousal sponsorship application; and, ultimately, why you would like to withdraw the application. Subsequently, you should also attach a copy of your payment receipt. Please note, if your application has been processed and the sponsored spouse obtains permanent residency before you withdraw the application, unfortunately, Immigration will not cancel the application. Thus, you will have to abide by the requirements of the sponsorship.