What is Spousal Sponsorship
Spousal sponsorship is a common way for people to immigrate to Canada. More specifically, if you have a spouse who is a Canadian permanent resident or a Canadian citizen, he or she may help you immigrate to Canada under certain conditions. The policies are not as strict as the ones of skilled worker programs, so spousal immigration program is a good option for those who are not qualified for Federal Skilled Worker or the Canadian Express Class. However, the sponsor needs to meet the requirements in order to sponsor the spouse.
Who is Eligible to Sponsor their partner under the Family Class?
applying for spousal sponsorship Legally recognized marriages, common-law relationships, and conjugal partnerships can apply for spousal sponsorship. It is important to note that, the Canadian government gives no requirement regarding the sex of either partner in any of the aforementioned relationships. The important requirement is that by the time the application is received by Canadian immigration services, both partners are over the age of 18. If both partners meet these requirements, the couple can begin applying for spousal sponsorship.
What is a Legally Recognized Marriage in Canada
In order to get legally married in Canada, both partners must be 18 years old or older. Please note that, regardless of the laws in the country in which you got married, the Canadian government will NOT recognize your marriage legally if you are under the age of 18. A legal marriage means that you must have a marriage certificate for proof. Furthermore, your marriage needs to be conducted in a way that is legally recognized by the country in which the marriage took place. Lastly, the Canadian government does not recognize marriages that are conducted by proxy, telephone, internet or fax. Unless both partners are physically present for the ceremony, the marriage is invalid under Canadian law. The only exemption to this rule exists for members of the Canadian Armed Forces. If your absence to your wedding ceremony is due to the involvement with the Canadian Armed Forces, then this physical presence rule does not apply.
What is a Common Law Partnership in Canada
Legal common law partners are essentially spouses, but they do not require a divorce to end the partnership. To be legally considered a common law partnership, individuals must have lived together and be engaged in a conjugal relationship for at least 12 consecutive months, or 1 full year. During these 12 months, both partners must be living at home together the entire time. Any periods spent apart must be short, and the purpose of the time spent apart must be related to business travel or family obligations. Obviously, to apply as common law partners, the two of you cannot be married. Also, the both partners must also be over the age of 18.
In order to prove that both partners have been living together for at least 12 consecutive months, you must provide the following:
- Proof of shared ownership of residence/ proof of shared rental agreements
- Bills for shared utilities such as gas, electricity, telephone, or other utilities you may use
- Official documents showing you live at the same address such as a driver’s license, insurance policies, a health card or other identification documents which give proof of address
These documents, such as utility bills and rental agreements, must be at least 1 year old to prove you have been living together for at least a year.
What is a Conjugal Relationship in Canada
In this case, you and your significant other have been in a conjugal, binding relationship for at least 12 consecutive months, but cohabitation or marriage has not been possible because one of the partners resides outside of Canada. It is important to note if both partners are currently living in Canada, you cannot begin applying for spousal sponsorship as conjugal partners.
Eligibility of the Individual Sponsoring Their Significant Other
To be eligible to sponsor another individual, you must meet the following requirements:
- Must be over the age of 18
- Be a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident living in Canada
- If you are a Canadian citizen, you can live outside of Canada as long as you can prove you have the intention to move back to Canada permanently once your spouse is successfully sponsored
- If you are Canadian permanent resident, you must live in Canada in order to sponsor your significant other.
- Must prove you are not receiving social assistance (expect for disability) and have the ability to support your significant other financially
Eligibility of the sponsored individual
The sponsor needs to evaluate whether or not his or her significant other is admissible to Canada. It is also important to evaluate whether or not the significant other who is seeking permanent residency meets the requirements for a permanent resident application. In addition, both of you need to qualify for one of the aforementioned partnerships.
What Documents are Required for sponsorship applications
- Sponsor’s proof of income, and state that they agree in writing to support the principal applicant financially for a minimum of 3 years.
- A letter that states the principal applicant will make every attempt to support themselves.
- Information about the principal applicant’s dependents (children) and close family members
- Information about the sponsor’s close family members and dependents
- A police records check as well as a medical exam of principal applicant’s close family members who are not already Canadian citizens (generally, you will have 30 days to complete the exam and return it to Canadian immigration services.)
Contact Akrami and Associates
Applying for spousal 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. If you have any questions regarding spousal sponsorship, or if you would like to book a consultation with an immigration professional for more advice, please feel free to contact Akrami & Associates at 416-477-2545.
With Akrami & Associates there is always a way!!