Inland vs. Overseas Spousal Sponsorship


There are two different ways to apply for spousal sponsorship. There is the inland vs. the outland application. As with everything in life, there are pros and cons to each and every situation. Determining which application is best suited for you and your spouse’ specific needs may be a little confusing. There are different rules and aspects to each application which may or may not benefit you. However, understanding the differences between the two applications (inland or outland) may help with making this decision a little bit easier.

Spousal Sponsorship Application from Inside of Canada (Inland):


  • The sponsored spouse must remain within Canada during the processing time.
  • The sponsored spouse can obtain an open work permit (an open work permit allows the sponsored spouse to work in Canada during the processing time for your application).


  • The sponsored spouse may not leave Canada during the processing time, otherwise the application will be determined abandoned.
  • Processing times are usually longer than the processing times for outland sponsorship. The first stage alone takes about 8-12 months.
  • If an inland application is denied, then no appeals will be permitted.

Spousal Sponsorship Application from Outside of Canada (Outland):


  • The sponsored spouse is allowed to travel to and from Canada during the processing times; however, he/she can only do so if he/she has a valid document that allows them to do so, such as a Temporary Resident Visa.
  • Processing times are usually faster than with inland applications, however this depends on which country you are applying from.
  • If an outland application is denied, then the sponsored spouse has the right to appeal that decision.


  • The sponsored spouse must wait outside of Canada for a decision, unless your spouse has an additional visa (e.g. Temporary Resident Visa) which allows them the ability to be within the country while waiting for the application to be processed.

Further, you must go through extensive lengths to provide proof of their relationship. These documents listed are what CIC required you to produce. However, you should add in anything extra that you can possibly think of that can prove your relationship is genuine. Examples would be a joint bank account maybe, proof of living together (renovations), mail comes to same address, phone records that show consistent communication, text messages, etc…) All in all, you are trying to show your relationship to someone who does not know you through paper.

If you are having difficulty in figuring out whether inland or overseas is best for you, feel free to contact us and we would be happy to help you sort out what options work best for you!