Canada Spousal Sponsorship Requirements and Application Tips


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What is Spousal Sponsorship?

Spousal sponsorship allows you to bring in your foreign spouse to Canada for permanent residency in Canada.

Do you meet spousal sponsorship requirements?

  1. Be at the least the age of majority
  2. Either be a Canadian Citizen or Permanent Resident
  3. Be able to and agree to financially support the person you are bringing in. However there is no minimum financial requirement.

There are two types of sponsorships and they are:

Overseas sponsorship

  • Your foreign spouse who is not residing in Canada
  • Faster processed than inland sponsorship applications

Inland sponsorship

  • Your spouse and you are residing in Canada
  • Foreign spouse will need a temporary resident status
  • Foreign spouse can apply for an open work permit while their application is being processed
  • Longer process

Once the spousal sponsorship application has been approved, your foreign spouse will be given permanent residence in Canada.

There are two other types of spousal relationships and they are common-law and conjugal relationships.

What is Common-law Sponsorship?

Two people living together are not married legally together. But, they are in a marriage-like relationship.

What is Conjugal Sponsorship?

You and your partner (homosexual or heterosexual) have been in a personal or intimate relationship for a year.

However, depending on your relationship whether it is common-law or conjugal, some provinces may classify common-law or conjugal relationships differently. For example Quebec does not recognize conjugal relationships as marriage.

Spousal Sponsorship Application

There are certain forms that need to be filled out by the applicant coming into Canada. This documentation includes:

  • Form IMM 008 Generic Application Form for Canada
  • Form IMM 008 DEP (if applicable) Additional Dependants/Declaration
  • Form IMM 5406 Additional Family Info.
  • Form IMM 5669 Schedule A-Background Info
  • Form IMM 5285 Spouse/Common-law Partner Questionnaire

In addition there are more forms that need to be filled out by the sponsor. This documentation includes:

  • Form IMM 1344 Application to Sponsor, Sponsorship Agreement and Undertaking (signed by sponsor)
  • Either:
  • Form IMM 5481Sponsorship Evaluation (not to be filled out by residents of Quebec)
  • Form IMM 1283 Financial Evaluation

Documentation that needs to be filled out for the sponsor and the applicant

  1. Form IMM 5476 Use of a Representative
  2. Form IMM 5443 The Document Checklist

There are more forms but you can find the whole list under Form IMM 5443 The Document Checklist.

There also photocopies you will need to include in your application. For example for the applicant: passport, indication of status in Canada, marriage certificate (for both of you), birth certificate. If the applicant is bringing in his children then birth certificates, custody/adoption papers for them will need to be included too.

3 Tips on Spousal Application

There are tips you should keep in mind for spousal application. These tips include

Start application as soon as possible whether it will be sent inland or overseas (in foreign country)

  • This is because there long processing times for the spousal sponsorship application
  • As a result, gather the necessary documentation earlier to have your application approved as soon as possible

Strong genuine documents

  • To prove the genuineness of the relationship
  • i.e. if you have a joint bank account, show the documentation for that

Ensure your application is complete

  • To avoid delays in your application being processed
  • Do not misrepresent as this is a crime and can decrease your chances of your spouse being accepted for sponsorship

Review Application

It is recommended to fully review over your application and the documentation you are sending because any mistake you make can delay your application approval. The processing time for the application can be over a year, so you would not want to delay this time even more.

Should I file my own application or hire an immigration lawyer?

Another tip would to hire a representative to help you submit a spousal sponsorship application as submitting the application all by yourself can be a difficult process. Citizenship and Immigration Canada looks for many supporting documents that shows genuineness in your relationship. If you do not provide sufficient documents to demonstrate your relationship is genuine or have errors in your application that could have been easily avoided your application for sponsorship can be refused. Therefore, it is highly advised to get consult with immigration expert first prior to submitting your application.

Contact Akrami & Associates

Our immigration consultants have great deal of experience and knowledge in spousal sponsorship application and have helped many file successful applications. Our consultants can guide you step-step with your application process and making sure all forms are filled out correctly and compiling the necessary supporting documents to send with your application. If you have questions in regards to your spousal sponsorship application or any other immigration questions, please feel free to contact us at 416-477-2545 or call our toll free number at 1-877-820-7121 and will be happy to assist you with your matter or guide you in the right direction.

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