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Spousal Sponsorship in Canada: Sponsor Your Spouse to Canada

What is Spousal Sponsorship?

Spouse or spousal sponsorship is when a citizen or permanent resident sponsors their foreign spouse to become a legal resident of their country. This lets couples reunite and live together. Requirements vary, including proving the relationship’s authenticity and meeting financial criteria. It’s a complex process to prevent fraud.

Canada Spousal Sponsorship Eligibility

To be eligible for spouse or spousal sponsorship in Canada, you need to be a Canadian citizen, a permanent resident, or a registered Indian. You must also be at least 18 years old and not receiving social assistance (with some exceptions). You’ll need to prove your relationship’s authenticity through legal marriage or a common-law partnership. Financial requirements vary depending on your situation. Overall, meeting immigration requirements are crucial for a successful application.

What is the Minimum Income to Sponsor a Spouse in Canada?

Typically, there is no fixed income threshold for individuals interested in sponsoring their spouse, partner, or dependent child to Canada. It only becomes necessary to demonstrate sufficient financial capability under the following circumstances:

  • When sponsoring a dependent child who has their own dependents.
  • When sponsoring a spouse or partner with a dependent child, and that dependent child has their own children.

Sponsorship Applicants in Quebec: Following the approval of your sponsorship application, if you are a resident of Quebec, it is imperative to adhere to the immigration sponsorship guidelines set by the province. This entails entering into an undertaking with the government of Quebec. The Quebec immigration authorities will assess the sufficiency of your income as part of their evaluation process. This assessment is a pivotal step towards ensuring a seamless sponsorship process.

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How much does a Canada Spouse Visa Cost?

The cost of a Canada Spouse Visa, part of the group known as the Family Sponsorship application, includes various fees. These fees can change over time, so it’s essential to check the official Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) website for the most current information. As of my last update, the fees typically include:

  • Sponsorship fee: CAD $75
  • Principal applicant processing fee: CAD $490
  • Right of permanent residence fee (if approved): CAD $515

These fees do not cover other potential costs, such as biometrics, medical exams, police certificates, and translation services. Always refer to the official IRCC website for accurate and up-to-date fee information.

Who Can Be Sponsored for Spousal Sponsorship?

In the context of spouse or spousal sponsorship, you can typically sponsor the following individuals:

Spouse: This refers to your legally married partner. Both opposite-sex and same-sex marriages are recognized for sponsorship purposes. IRCC does not recognize marriages performed outside of Canada by proxy, telephone, fax, Internet and other forms of marriage where one or both persons were not physically present at the ceremony.

Common-law Partner: If you and your partner have lived together continuously for at least one year in a conjugal relationship, you can sponsor them as a common-law partner. This applies to both opposite-sex and same-sex couples.

Conjugal Partner: In unique situations where you haven’t been able to live together for a year due to exceptional circumstances beyond your control, you might still be eligible to sponsor your partner as a conjugal partner.

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How Long Does it Take to Sponsor a Spouse to Canada?

The processing time to sponsor a spouse to Canada varies, but it’s typically around 12 to 24 months. This can change due to factors like application volume and policy updates. Expedited processing might be available in certain urgent cases. For the most accurate information, check the official IRCC website.

What Are Common Refusal Reasons for Spousal Sponsorship Applications

Common refusal reasons for spouse or spousal sponsorship applications can include the following:

  1. Incomplete Documentation: Failing to provide required documents or evidence can lead to a refusal. This includes proof of relationship, financial support, and other supporting materials.

  2. Criminal Inadmissibility: If the sponsored spouse has a criminal record or poses a security risk, the application might be denied.

  3. Misrepresentation: Providing false information or withholding relevant details can result in an application’s refusal.

  4. Medical Inadmissibility: If the sponsored spouse or dependents have a health condition that could strain Canadian healthcare resources, the application might be denied.

  5. Financial Inadequacy: If the sponsor doesn’t meet the necessary income requirements or can’t prove their ability to financially support the sponsored spouse, the application might be refused.

  6. Genuineness of Relationship: If the immigration authorities suspect that the marriage or relationship is not genuine and was entered into primarily for immigration purposes, the application could be refused.

  7. Previous Sponsorship Undertaking: If a sponsor fails to meet their obligations in a previous sponsorship, it might affect a future sponsorship application.

  8. Missing Deadlines: Failing to respond to requests for additional information or documentation within specified timeframes can lead to an application’s refusal.

  9. Change in Circumstances: If there are significant changes in the sponsor’s or sponsored spouse’s circumstances (e.g., marital status, financial situation) during the application process, this could impact the application’s success.

  10. Failure to Attend Interviews or Examinations: Missing required interviews or medical examinations can lead to application refusal.

Do you have doubts? Contact us and get a free personalized assessment of your case.

Can I Sponsor my Fiancé, Girlfriend or Boyfriend?

Canada’s immigration system allows for the sponsorship of spouses, common-law partners, and conjugal partners. However, sponsorship of fiancés, girlfriends, or boyfriends is not included in the standard categories for spousal sponsorship.

To be eligible for spousal sponsorship, you generally need to be legally married, in a common-law relationship (living together for at least one year), or have exceptional circumstances for conjugal partners. Sponsoring a fiancé, girlfriend, or boyfriend falls outside these standard categories.

It’s essential to consult the official Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) website or seek legal advice to understand the latest rules and options regarding sponsorship.

What Documents do I Need to Submit for the Spousal Sponsorship Application? Proof of a Genuine Relationship

To provide proof of a genuine relationship for a spousal sponsorship application, you generally need to include the following documents:

  1. Marriage Certificate or Proof of Common-Law Relationship: Include a copy of your legal marriage certificate or evidence of your common-law partnership, such as joint bills or affidavits from friends and family.
  2. Personal Statements: Both you and your spouse should write individual statements explaining how you met, fell in love, and decided to get married or live together. Describe your relationship’s history and key milestones.
  3. Photos: Include photographs of you and your spouse together, showcasing your relationship over time. Include images from various occasions and settings.
  4. Communication Records: Provide evidence of regular communication, such as email exchanges, text messages, call logs, or letters. This helps demonstrate ongoing contact and a meaningful connection.
  5. Financial Ties: If applicable, show joint financial responsibilities, like shared bank accounts, joint lease agreements, or shared bills.
  6. Social Proof: Submit affidavits or letters from friends, family members, or colleagues who can vouch for the authenticity of your relationship. These letters should include details about how they know you as a couple.
  7. Travel Records: If you’ve travelled together, provide copies of plane tickets, hotel bookings, or itineraries as evidence of spending time together.
  8. Gifts and Cards: Include copies of cards, letters, or gifts you’ve exchanged over the course of your relationship.
  9. Legal Declarations: Sign statutory declarations or affidavits affirming the authenticity of your relationship. These can be signed in front of a notary or commissioner of oaths.
  10. Other Supporting Documents: Any other relevant documents that help paint a comprehensive picture of your relationship, such as joint memberships, social media interactions, or any significant life events you’ve shared.

Remember that authenticity is key. Providing a diverse range of documents that collectively show your relationship’s progression and depth can strengthen your application. Always review the latest requirements on the official Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) website to ensure you’re submitting the right documents for your spousal sponsorship application.

Do you have doubts? Contact us and get a free personalized assessment of your case.

Challenges in Spousal Partnership Applications

Spousal partnership applications can present several challenges, including:

  1. Documentary Requirements: Gathering and submitting the extensive documentation needed to prove the authenticity of the relationship can be complex and time-consuming.

  2. Financial Criteria: Meeting the income and financial requirements to prove your ability to support your spouse can be challenging for some sponsors.

  3. Processing Times: Lengthy processing times can lead to uncertainty and separation for couples while waiting for the application to be approved.

  4. Changing Regulations: Immigration policies and rules can change, affecting the eligibility criteria and application process.

  5. Cultural Differences: Couples from different cultural backgrounds might need to navigate additional challenges related to traditions, language, and societal expectations.

  6. Long-Distance Relationships: Couples living in different countries might face difficulties in maintaining a strong relationship while the application is processed.

  7. Genuineness of Relationship: Proving the authenticity of the relationship can be challenging if couples lack conventional evidence or if they’ve been in a long-distance relationship.

  8. Health and Security Checks: Medical and security assessments can cause delays or refusals if there are health issues or security concerns.

  9. Communication Issues: Providing evidence of ongoing communication can be challenging if couples communicate primarily through channels that aren’t easily documented.

  10. Previous Immigration History: If either partner has had previous immigration issues or sponsorships, this can complicate the application.

Navigating these challenges requires careful preparation, attention to detail, and adherence to the immigration guidelines. Seeking professional advice or legal assistance might be beneficial to increase the likelihood of a successful spousal partnership application.

Working with an Immigration Consultant

Engaging with an immigration consultant can be highly advantageous for navigating complex immigration processes, such as spousal sponsorship:

  1. Expert Guidance: Immigration consultants possess in-depth knowledge of current immigration laws and regulations, providing you with informed guidance throughout the application process.
  2. Tailored Assistance: Consultants offer personalized advice based on your unique circumstances, helping you devise the most suitable strategy for your situation.
  3. Document Preparation: They assist in compiling and organizing necessary documents, minimizing the chances of errors or omissions.
  4. Application Submission: Consultants ensure your application is complete, accurate, and submitted on time, reducing the risk of delays or rejections.
  5. Problem Solving: Should any challenges arise during the process, consultants are equipped to address issues effectively and find viable solutions.
  6. Staying Informed: Immigration rules can change frequently. Consultants stay up-to-date with the latest developments, ensuring your application remains compliant.
  7. Liaison with Authorities: They act as intermediaries between you and immigration authorities, streamlining communication and simplifying interactions.
  8. Language Support: If English or French is not your first language, consultants bridge language gaps, ensuring precise communication.
  9. Peace of Mind: Collaborating with a consultant grants you confidence that your application is being handled competently, alleviating stress and uncertainty.

Contact us and get a free personalized assessment of your case.

FAQs for Spousal Sponsorship

If you are not married, you can sponsor your partner under the following conditions:

  • Common-law partner – As long as you’ve been living or have lived with your partner for at least 12 consecutive months in a marriage-like relationship you may sponsor them as a common-law partner.
  • Conjugal partner – If there is a significant degree of attachment between you, implying not just a physical relationship but a mutually interdependent relationship, and you’ve been in a genuine relationship for at least 12 months where marriage or cohabitation hasn’t been possible because of barriers such as sexual orientation, religious faith, etc.

Yes! A Canadian citizen or permanent resident’s wife can successfully immigrate to Canada. Your wife is considered your spouse as you are legally married. For your wife to obtain a Canadian visa, you could apply through various immigration pathways, wife sponsorship/spousal sponsorship being one of them. You should be capable of providing financial support to your wife for up to 3 years after she receives permanent residency.

You may withdraw your sponsorship application at any time before the person you’re sponsoring becomes a permanent resident of Canada. You may be able to get a refund if the government hasn’t begun processing your application.

Unless your decision letter states otherwise, you may reapply for the spousal sponsorship.

Spousal sponsorships filed where both partners are in Canada cannot be appealed, you will have to reapply. If your partner is outside of Canada, an appeal can be filed within 30 days of receiving a refusal letter, otherwise, the refusal stands.

Unlike other visa types, there is no intake limit for spousal sponsorships. Canada accepts spousal sponsorship applications throughout the year.

Yes. If you live in Quebec, the Ministère de l’Immigration, de la Diversité et de l’Inclusion will send you other forms to fill out. There may also be additional fees.

Other than relationship breakdown, some risks are undertaken by the sponsor. The sponsor will have more obligations than the sponsored partner as they must legally provide for them and, upon failing to do so, the immigrant may quit a job filing a lawsuit against the sponsor.

3 years from the day the person you sponsor becomes a permanent resident.

Yes, applicants can leave Canada once the application is submitted.

Yes, your spouse or partner can come to visit you in Canada while you await a decision but there is no specific visa for this purpose.

If your spouse already has status in Canada – for instance inland applicants – they can live with you while awaiting a decision. Otherwise they would need permission to stay in Canada.

Once you have submitted your application, it cannot be changed. The sponsor or applicant must request withdrawal and resubmit the application if any errors were made.

Many practice questions can be found online through a quick google search. The questions generally serve to establish the genuineness of your relationship, so many focus on the development of your relationship with your partner and how well you know them, such as “where did you first meet?” “what gifts have you given one another?” “do you plan to have children?” etc.

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