Sponsoring a Spouse? Here are Some Things you need to know to understand your current undertaking during spousal sponsorship!
Sponsoring your spouse, common-law or conjugal partner is often a very overwhelming process, right from the beginning. Spousal sponsorship takes a long time. Even with the improvements the Canadian government has made in the length of time it takes to process these applications, they still take approximately a year to process. It is important to understand the application process completely from the beginning, to ensure your application is not denied as the result of a misunderstanding. More than this though, it is important to understand the conditions of your partner’s permanent residency, if your application is approved by an immigration officer to ensure you do not jeopardize your newly obtained status in Canada. As a sponsor, you have agreed to undertake the responsibilities of ensuring your partner has the basic things one would need to live comfortably, and ensure they do not borrow money from the government which cannot be paid back. It is very important you understand your current undertaking during spousal sponsorship, as a “current undertaking” places many responsibilities on the sponsor. Keep reading for more information on what this means.
What is a Current Undertaking?
As a sponsor, you may notice on your spousal sponsorship application you are agreeing to a current undertaking, but what does this mean? It is very important to understand your current undertaking during spousal sponsorship. Essentially, a current undertaking is the application you are currently preparing and submitting which aims to get your spouse or partner permanent residency. Therefore, current undertaking refers to the responsibilities you incur as the result of sponsoring your spouse. It is your responsibility as a sponsor to ensure they have the basic necessities to live comfortably. Also, you are financially responsible for any money this individual owes the government such as any immigration fines/ charges, or money spent to remove this person from the country in the unlikely event this occurs.
When Am I Bound by My Current Undertaking
After submitting your application to sponsor your partner, your current undertaking begins from the day your partner is granted their permanent residency. From this date the sponsor is bound by the undertaking for 3 years, regardless of whether or not there is a change in relationship status between the sponsor and the principal applicant. Furthermore, you are still financially responsible for your partner if they become a Canadian citizen before the 3 years is over, or if your financial situation gets worse. Finally, it is important to know that if you are having second thoughts about sponsoring your spouse, you will need to withdraw your application before your partners permanent residency is approved, otherwise, you will be bound for 3 years by this undertaking.
Responsibilities Which Accompany a Current Undertaking
As briefly mentioned, you are financially responsible for the individual you have sponsored. Allow us to help you understand your current undertaking during spousal sponsorship responsibilities. Being financially responsible means you must provide this individual with food, water, clothing and shelter. Beyond this, you should ensure they have access to any health services which are not provided publicly, such as dental care and eye care.
Also, it is very important to understand that by agreeing to sponsor your partner, you have asserted that this person will not need to receive any social assistance from the government because they will be able to support themselves, and if they cannot, you have taken on the responsibility of ensuring they can support themselves. Therefore, any assistance your partner receives from the government, you are expected to re-pay. If you do not re-pay this money, this is an example of a previous undertaking which can affect your ability to sponsor anyone in the future.
What is a Previous Undertaking?
It is useful to know, if a previous spousal sponsorship application was submitted but never approved, these events are not considered previous undertakings. An undertaking only occurs when there is an approved permanent residency application for an individual who is being sponsored to come to Canada.
A previous undertaking refers to the previous commitment a sponsor made to another individual who applied for permanent residency and was granted permanent resident status. In other words, having a previous undertaking means in the past, you sponsored another individual and were financially responsible for them for a specific period of time.
How Can My Previous Undertaking Affect My Current Undertaking?
If you were a part of a previous undertaking because you sponsored an individual to come to Canada, and you did not fulfill the requirements of this undertaking, you will be ineligible to sponsor anyone else in the future. To sponsor your spouse, you must also submit an application to sponsor. This means an immigration officer is going to review your application to sponsor your partner, before even considering the permanent resident application your partner has submitted. Please note, though these sound like 2 separate applications, they are in fact submitted together. If you have defaulted on the responsibilities of your previous undertaking, this will disqualify you as a sponsor on your current application, and the entire spousal sponsorship application will be refused. If this occurs, your partner can still apply for permanent residency, though, they must do this outside the spousal sponsorship program. This is an example of the reasons it is crucial to understand your current undertaking during spousal sponsorship applications.
Contact Akrami and Associates
It is essential that you understand all elements of the spousal sponsorship application, to ensure you apply and have success helping your partner achieve permanent residency. Though, it is also crucial you completely understand the responsibilities you take on as a sponsor who is trying to help their partner achieve permanent residency in Canada. In other words, you must understand your current undertaking during spousal sponsorship. As mentioned, a misunderstanding of your responsibilities can have long-lasting effects on your ability to sponsor another individual in the future. 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, common-law sponsorship and conjugal sponsorship programs. If you believe that you may be eligible to sponsor your partner, 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!