Inland or Overseas Application for Spousal Sponsorship?


When thinking of sponsoring your spouse or common-law partner to live with you in Canada there are a many things you need to consider.

One of the most important and relevant decisions that you would have to make is whether to make the sponsorship in the country of origin of your spouse or if you can do it from within Canada. There are various factors as to where to have this process started.

An in-land sponsorship application is one where both you and your spouse or common-law partner are in Canada and together fill a joint application for permanent residence. In this case both applicants need to be in Canada, weather on a visitor visa (in terms of your spouse) or a work permit. If both of you live in Canada , then both principal applicants –you and your spouse –will fill the application along with all your dependent children under the age of 19 whether they are here or overseas.

In an in-land or in an overseas application you requirements as sponsor are the same as well as the requirement for your spouse and your relationship:

  • The legitimacy of your relationship
  • Marriage certificates
  • Medical and criminal records

An overseas application is one where you – the sponsor – are in Canada and your spouse or common-law partner is overseas. These types of applications are processed at the Canadian visa office in the country where your spouse or common-law partner lives.

There are two different stages to this application for sponsorship. The first one is one where you – the sponsor – are being assessed to make sure you meet all the requirements to continue with the application. The second one is where your spouse or common-law partner is being assessed to see if they too meet the criteria. This is one difference you can take into consideration when deciding. As per Citizenship and Immigration Canada the processing times currently are:




Frist assessment

17 months

85 days

Second assessment

8 month

Depends on the country

(i.e. Argentina 14 months)

Aside from the wait times, in both cases there is the risk that Citizenship and Immigration Canada will not accept your Spousal Sponsorship application for any given reason. This are things that can affect either application whether is in-land or overseas. Some of them are:

  • Your marriage was for immigration purposes
  • Your spouse or common law has a bad criminal record
  • You were on social assistance for other reasons and not for disability
  • You are in bankruptcy and are not yet discharged
  • You are not financially stable to support your spouse

The refusal of an application is the biggest difference between the two options for spousal sponsorship. This is because if you are refused on overseas applications you are entitled to appeal the negative decision and apply for it to be re-assessed within 30 days of when you received the letter of refusal. However, this is not the case when you apply inland. Once an application for sponsorship has been refused there is no entitlement to appeal the decision.

These are some of the pertinent points when making the decision to do an in-land or overseas application for spousal sponsorship. Whether you decide to sponsor your spouse from inside or outside of Canada, the sponsorship application can be a very complex matter depending on your situation. If you would like a stress-free process, let Akrami & Associates help you achieve your goals. Contac us for more information!