Sponsoring a spouse, common-law or conjugal partner is a very exciting endeavor, but also comes with an abundance of responsibility, and requires a vigorous amount of preparation. To be able to submit a complete application to sponsor a spouse, common-law, or conjugal partner, you must be able to understand the application process properly. Without having a strong understanding of the application process and requirements, individuals are very susceptible to making a mistake either on their application, or, often do something to jeopardize their eligibility either as a sponsor or an applicant. Having a strong understanding of the application, would help individuals avoid some very common mistakes made by others who do not choose to go about the process the most suitable way for themselves, simply because they do not understand the options ahead of them. In this article, we will break down the difference between overseas and inland spousal sponsorship, and how these options could be more or less attractive to you and your partner, based on your specific circumstances.
If you are a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, who would like to sponsor their spouse while their spouse continues to live in their country of origin, then overseas spousal sponsorship is the option for you. Sometimes, individuals do not have the luxury of traveling to Canada while their application is processed because they have had their application for a temporary resident visa denied. Other times, it is simply not the most beneficial option to have your partner visiting you in Canada for the entire time the application is in process. There are some benefits to the overseas spousal sponsorship category, such as generally having faster processing times than the Inland Spousal Sponsorship category. It is important to note however, that this is not always the case. Each country’s visa application office has its own average processing time; therefore, some countries do have processing times which run longer than the inland spousal sponsorship applications which are processed in Canada. If processing time is the reason you’re thinking of choosing overseas spousal sponsorship, it is important to consult the tool on Citizenship and Immigration Canada’s website, which constantly updates the processing times for each type of application, in each visa application processing center. On the other hand, the disadvantage of an Overseas Sponsorship is that couples do not get to live together during the time their application is in process. Additionally, overseas sponsorships have appeal rights, where inland Spousal sponsorships do not. If you’re concerned your application is not very strong, and you may need the chance to appeal, this is an important option to leave open.
Inland Spousal Sponsorship
If you are Canadian Citizen or Permanent Resident of Canada and you would like to sponsor your partner who only has temporary status in Canada, this is entirely possible. In fact, the individual is required to remain in Canada for the period of time that the application is in process. This is a big benefit of the inland sponsorship category, though, there are some things to think about to be sure this is the process you want to undertake. Unfortunately, these applications generally take longer to process. This, in addition to the fact that your partner must remain in Canada with you until the application is either approved or refused, creates some issues for individuals. This could be an issue because the individual visiting Canada cannot necessarily work during this time, and their partner who invited them to visit Canada is financially responsible for the both of them now for an extended period of time. However, it is possible that the principal applicant also apply for an Open Work Permit when they submit the Spousal Sponsorship application. There is no guarantee the work permit will be granted, and, you will still have to wait without working until the work permit is approved. Furthermore, there is no right to appeal an inland sponsorship application. If you would like to have your application reconsidered, you will have to re-apply.
Inland Spousal Sponsorship Implied Status
It is important to mention, the requirement to remain in Canada means that once you submit your application for sponsorship, the visitor to Canada can remain in Canada without needing to renew their temporary resident visa. They are on something called “implied status.” However, implied status only allows individuals to be in Canada, this is not permission to work or study while you are in Canada. If you would like to continue to work or study while you are in Canada you must apply to extend or change the conditions of the permit you are on. To be clear, implied status only gives you permission be physically remain in Canada. If you wish to do more than remain, you need an additional permit.
Please note, conjugal partners are not eligible for inland spousal sponsorship.
Other than the advantages and disadvantages which come with each type of sponsorship application, the process and requirements are much the same. Unlike most family class sponsorship applications, there is no low-income cut off (LICO) threshold which you must be above to be permitted to sponsor an individual. Rather, you must show that you are financially stable enough to provide the basic necessities of life to your partner. This includes food, water, shelter, security, and health care services which are not covered by public programs. In agreeing to sponsor your partner and provide these things, you have agreed to an undertaking. An undertaking is a legally binding obligation to provide for the individual you sponsored for a minimum of 10 years, regardless of a change in your relationship status or financial stability.
Other than this, you will need to demonstrate that you are in a genuine relationship and not one which has only formed for the purposes of immigration. Demonstrating the genuineness of your relationship can be done through documentation like photos, love letters, proof of correspondence etc.
As a sponsor, you must also be at least eighteen years old and be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident. Your partner must also be at least 18 years old.
You must provide a police clearance from the countries and states you have lived in for more than 6 months. This will show that you have no criminal convictions that would make you inadmissible. You must provide a medical exam done by a panel physician if it is requested along with your application.
Contact Akrami & Associates
Should you have any further questions or need further information about Spousal Sponsorships, it is important to properly research and ask several questions before applying for one. By doing the appropriate research and asking several questions beforehand, this will ease your worries and assist you with the application process. Many immigration applications are difficult to pursue on your own and 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 obtain permanent residency in Canada through the Spousal Sponsorship program. If you believe that you may be eligible to apply under the Spousal Sponsorship program, 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!