Did you fall in love with someone half way across the world and would like to sponsor your spouse to Canada but are not sure what steps you need to take to bring your loved one to Canada? Immigration Canada recognizes that people come from all around the world and there are more people getting married to others located abroad than ever before. Canadian Immigration strongly believes in reuniting family members together and is very adamant about family reunification. The process of sponsoring a spouse is not easy as in the past many applicants have participated in fraudulent marriages and therefore citizenship and immigration Canada has made the application process even more difficult. At Akrami & Associates, we understand that sponsoring your spouse can be a difficult endeavor and a long process. Nonetheless, this blog is intended to help you understand the requirements you will need in order to sponsor a spouse to immigrate to Canada.
Responsibilities of the Sponsor
When becoming a sponsor there are certain eligibility requirements that must be met in order to sponsor someone to Canada. For instance, the sponsor has to be at least 18 years of age and has to be either a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident of Canada. Although, if you are a Canadian citizen but do not live in Canada, you will need to prove that you will be moving to Canada once your sponsored spouse becomes a permanent resident. When agreeing to become a sponsor you will need to sign an undertaking promising to provide a stable living for your spouse when they arrive to Canada. The undertaking includes the following responsibilities:
- Financial support
- Shelter, food, and basic everyday living needs
- Your spouse’s basic needs such as dental care, eye care and other health needs that aren’t covered by public health services
Responsibilities of your Spouse
The eligibility requirements needed to be a sponsored spouse are:
- Must be at least 18 years of age
- The relationship must be genuine and real for both the sponsored spouse and the sponsor, and not just to bring someone to Canada
If your spouse is applying for a spousal or common-law sponsorship in Canada through the Family Class, then they must intend on living with you in Canada once they gain permanent residency.
Spousal Sponsorship Documents
When sponsoring your spouse there are a number of required documents that immigration looks for. These required documents include:
- Ensuring you complete all of the correct forms – You may check the document checklist that is applicable to your situation to see the appropriate forms
- Supporting documents to prove the genuineness of the relationship
- Identity documents, such as passports, birth certificate, etc.
- Marriage certificate
- Documents must be certified and translated if they are not in English or French
Please note that you must follow the document checklist on the government website and ensure you have included everything that is required on the document checklist. You should keep in mind that there may be specific requirements based on your country of citizenship as well.
If you do not include all of the requested forms and documents listed on the checklist, the Immigration officer will simply return your application without processing it. Having documents missing or using incorrect forms can cause delays in your application and possibly miss a deadline and can result in a refusal. If you have a valid reason that keeps you from submitting certain documents, you will have to provide a detailed explanation of why you cannot submit those documents. To make sure that you send an application with all the right documents:
Can my Spouse Work While Spousal Application is in Process
Yes, spouses and common-law partners can work in Canada if they have submitted an inland application. The spouse or partner has to apply for an open work permit; the open work permit is a work permit that is not job-specific. When a work permit is not job specific the employer does not need to go through a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) process. LMIA is a long tedious process in which the employer has to demonstrate recruitment efforts that he/she has attempted to hire a Canadian citizen or permanent resident prior to offering the job to a foreign worker.
How to Prove the Genuineness of a Relationship when Sponsoring Spouse
When submitting a Spousal Sponsorship application, the Canadian government examines the application to ensure the marriage is not fake and that the couple has provided enough supporting evidence to prove that their relationship is genuine. The reason why Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) has made the process very difficult is to keep fraudulent marriages out of Canada. Due to all these new rules, applicants that actually have a genuine relationship can be rejected because they don’t have sufficient proof of their marriage. This would add an additional year to the application processing times, stress and cost of an appeal. To avoid a refusal on your application, these are some factors you may provide to prove the relationship is genuine:
- E-mails you have exchanged between each other
- Copies of birthday cards
- Love letters
- Facebook conversations
- Wedding invitations
- Reference letters from close friends or family members that confirm the nature of your relationship
The Processing Time for Spousal Sponsorship
The processing time for a spousal sponsorship application will take no shorter than one year and can take as long as two and a half years. Processing of an application can differ and is difficult to determine depending on where you are located. Moreover, applications can take longer if a person is located farther then Canada then if they were closer. To ensure your application doesn’t take longer, you should do what it takes to avoid adding delays to the process. If the office processing your application notices that a document isn’t signed, or if a vital piece of paperwork is missing, then the time required for processing will increase. Bad photocopies, documents in languages other than French and English, and missing fees will also cause delays that are completely avoidable. Be sure to double check your paperwork and documentation before submitting your spousal sponsorship application and keep copies of all vital information for your own records.
Contact Akrami & Associates
If you would like to sponsor your wife to Canada, it is important to take all of the aforementioned information into consideration before applying. Spousal sponsorship applications are difficult to pursue on your own, especially if you are unfamiliar. Therefore, it is highly recommended that you seek out professional and experienced help before attempting to apply. Here, at Akrami & Associates, we work and have experience with many different immigration issues. We have helped many of our clients reunite with their wives in Canada through the spousal sponsorship and are now living happily in Canada. If you believe that you may be eligible to apply for spousal sponsorship, please feel free to contact Akrami & Associates at our office at 416-477-2545 for more information or if you would like to book a consultation with an immigration professional for more advice.
With Akrami & Associates, there is always a way!