Sponsoring your spouse to Canada
Did you just recently get married outside of Canada? Did you have to leave your spouse or partner back in another country? Or is your partner not a Canadian citizen, meanwhile you are? Does your spouse or partner want to come live with you in Canada, and experience the many privileges of a Canadian? If any of these questions are situations that exist for you or someone you know, there are steps you must know in order to begin the process of sponsoring your spouse or partner to Canada, allowing your loved ones to remain close by.
Who Can Apply For Spousal Sponsorship
In Canada you are eligible to become a sponsor for your spouse if you attain these further requirements:
- Must be of at least 18 years of age
- Must be a Canadian citizen, a person registered in Canada as an Indian under the Canadian Indian Act or a permanent resident living in Canada; if you are a Canadian citizen living outside of Canada
- You must show that you plan to live in Canada when your sponsored relatives becomes a permanent resident
One giant factor that many applicants tend to overlook is the necessity of proving the genuine aspect within the marriage between you and your spouse. If this factor is lacking, despite any documentation being provided, your eligibility for spousal sponsorship can be denied.
You can also apply to become a sponsor for your spouse if you are a Canadian citizen living outside of Canada. You can sponsor your:
- Common-law partner
- Conjugal partner
- Dependent child
Spousal Sponsorship Process
When navigating how to sponsor your partner or spouse to Canada, there is a process specifically geared towards choosing the correct application when applying. It is a given that the person you are sponsoring must pass their necessary background, security, and medical checks.
The sponsor will need the following documents in order to prove just how genuine the relationship truly is;
- A legal documentation of the marriage certificate from the original country
- Proof of divorce if either the spouse or applicant was previously married
- Evidence that the applicant lives with the sponsor
- Other evidence that may be requested: wedding invitations and photos, documents from other institutions or government authorities such as the Canada Revenue Agency, indicating a marital relationship.
If you are sponsoring your spouse or common-law partner from a different country, you may sponsor them specifically under the Family Class or the Spousal or Common Law Partner in Canada application.
Spousal Sponsorship Obligations
When you agree to be a sponsor, you must sign an undertaking, which is a promise to give financial support for your spouse or partner, and in some cases their dependent children.
Basic needs that would need to be covered are the following;
- Food, clothing, shelter, and other needs for everyday living
- Dental care, Eye care, and other health needs that aren’t covered by public health services
The undertaking agreement is a legal binding promise of support, meaning that it is ultimately your responsibility to support your spouse or partner for the length of the undertaking period even if your situation changes. The undertaking agreement will not be cancelled, even if:
- The person you sponsor becomes a Canadian citizen
- You have become divorced, separated or there is no longer a relationship with yourself and the sponsored person
- You or the person you sponsor move to a different province or country
- You are need of financial assistance
Before signing the undertaking agreement, you must ensure that the people you are sponsoring, in this case your spouse or partner, will not deem it necessary to ask and receive financial assistance from the government. If social assistance is acquired, you’ll have to pay back the amount received by them during the time you are legally responsible for your sponsors. You will not be able to further sponsor anyone until the amount is repaid.
The length of undertaking when sponsoring your spouse, common-law partner, or conjugal partner is three years from the day the sponsor becomes a permanent resident.
Who Cannot Apply To Become A Sponsor
Unfortunately some applicants may find themselves in a bind where they are unable to apply as a sponsor. The reasons for this inapplicability may be:
- If you had signed a previous undertaking for a spouse or partner in the past, and it has not been three years since they became a permanent resident
- If you are receiving social assistance for a reason other than disability
- Previously sponsored someone and did not pay back the required loans or financial assistance they had received from the government while the undertaking was in place
- Are required to pay court-ordered alimony or child support
- Convicted of a crime(s) – depending on the nature of the offence, how long ago it happened and if you received a pardon
- Were previously sponsored as a spouse, common-law or conjugal partner and became a permanent resident of Canada less than five years ago
- Are in a penitentiary, jail, reformatory or prison
- Have already applied to sponsor your current spouse or partner and have not received a decision
Contact Akrami and Associates
It is essential that you have taken all of the aforementioned factors and information into consideration when choosing to apply as a sponsor in Canada for your spouse or partner who lives abroad. With so many spousal sponsorship cases being denied, it is highly recommended that you seek out professional and experienced help before attempting to submit the application, as it is one that requires great attention to detail. Here at Akrami & Associates, we have sought to work through and have experience with many different immigration issues. We have helped many of our clients with a vast variety of immigration complications, achieving access to Canada either temporarily and or permanently. Let us help you with your sponsorship applications, and please feel free to contact Akrami & Associates at our office 416-477-2545 for more information or if you would like to a book a consultation with an immigration professional for more advice.
With Akrami & Associates, there is always a way!