If you would like to reunite with your spouse that is either living abroad or visiting you in Canada, then it is best to understand what a spousal sponsorship entails before attempting to submit your application. If you are a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident of Canada, you may be eligible to sponsor your spouse to Canada for permanent residency. Much like any other immigration application, there are specific eligibility requirements that must be met by the sponsor as well as the sponsored spouse in order to qualify. Therefore, in this article, I will address the most important information you should know about spousal sponsorships in Canada.
Who Can be a Sponsor
This is the most important aspect of the spousal sponsorship. Specifically, when Canadian Immigration analyzes whether the spouse is eligible to sponsor, they examine whether the sponsor is financially capable of supporting the sponsored spouse for the length of the undertaking. It is important to note that the length of the undertaking for spousal sponsorships is 3 years. The Canadian government specifically looks for this in spousal sponsorships to ensure that the sponsored spouse will not rely on social assistance while residing in Canada. In order to sponsor your spouse to Canada, the sponsor must abide by the following eligibility requirements.
The sponsor must:
Be at least 18 years old
Be either a Canadian citizen, permanent resident of Canada or a Registered Indian
Provide sufficient evidence that they have not received social assistance from the Canadian government previously (excluding disability)
Prove that they have enough funds to provide basic necessities for their spouse and any dependent children
It is important to recognize that if you are a Canadian citizen that is currently living abroad, you will have to indicate that you will intend on residing within Canada, should the spousal sponsorship application be approved. Additionally, if you are a permanent resident of Canada but are currently living abroad, unfortunately, you will not be able to sponsor your spouse. As a permanent resident of Canada, you must physically reside within Canada in order to sponsor your spouse.
How to Qualify for Spousal Sponsorship
The most important aspect of a spousal sponsorship application is the sponsor and the sponsored spouse actually being married. A marriage is defined as a union recognized by either a province, territory, state or country, where the marriage or union took place. In order to qualify for a spousal sponsorship in Canada, you don’t have to become married within Canada. Marriages from other countries are also recognized. It is important to note, however, that if you were married outside of Canada, you must have a marriage certificate that is recognized from that country.
In some countries or states, a marriage license is administered on one side of the page and the marriage certificate is then stamped onto the other side of the page once the couple is officially married. If you have had this happen to you, it is very important for you to indicate to the Immigration officer that the marriage certificate is on the other side of the page, either with a sticky note or with an explanation letter. This is done to avoid any confusion for the Immigration officer or them assuming the marriage certificate was not provided.
Please note that same sex marriages are also recognized for spousal sponsorships in Canada.
Genuineness of Relationship
In order to prove to Canadian Immigration that your marriage is real and genuine, there are supporting documents that you must provide. The reason behind doing this is because Immigration has received many fraudulent cases of marriages over the past years and they adamantly do not tolerate fraudulent marriages whatsoever. Therefore, before an Immigration officer approves a spousal sponsorship application, they must be certain that the marriage is real and genuine. Therefore, there are several documents and supporting information that both the sponsor and the sponsored spouse can provide in order to validate their marriage, such as:
- Photos of any travels taken together, including different times and different places
- Correspondence between the couple, including phone and e-mail records, Facebook chats, Whatsapp chats and phone calls, etc.
- Affidavits attesting to the marriage
- Photos of the wedding ceremony and reception
- Photos of the honeymoon (if applicable)
- Travel tickets and receipts, including airline tickets and travel itineraries
- Receipts or photos of any gifts given to one another, including Christmas gifts, birthday gifts, etc.
- Reference letters from family and friends attesting to the marriage
Of course, it is important to note that these are not the only documents that you either need to or can provide. If you can think of any other information or documentation that can prove your marriage and relationship to Canadian Immigration, it is extremely vital to your application that you provide it. Additionally, if there is any information or documents that need explanation, you can also provide an explanation letter for the Immigration officer to understand better.
Contact Akrami & Associates
It is essential that you have met all of the aforementioned requirements before you attempt to apply for a spousal sponsorship. This is especially the case if you do not know whether the sponsor is eligible to sponsor the spouse or if you are unsure of how to prove your marriage. Spousal Sponsorship applications are difficult applications to pursue on your own and it is highly recommended that you seek out professional and experienced help before attempting to submit the application. Here, at Akrami & Associates, we work and have experience with many different immigration issues. We have helped many of our clients obtain permanent residency in Canada through the spousal sponsorship. If you believe that you may be eligible to sponsor your spouse, 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!