The government allows Canadian citizens and permanent residents to sponsor their family members to help them become permanent residents of Canada. If you want to sponsor your spouse or partner, one of the most important things you must ensure is that you can take care of them financially so that they do not have to ask for any social assistance from the government.
That being said, there’re set eligibility criteria, guidelines, steps and other requirements to be fulfilled before you can successfully bring your spouse to Canada.
Here’s a quick guide to everything you should know if you are planning to sponsor your partner or spouse to Canada.
Can I sponsor my partner’s or spouse’s Canadian permanent residentship?
To be able to answer this question, the first thing you need to do is check if you are eligible to offer sponsorship. You must be:
- At least 18 years of age
- A Canadian citizen or permanent resident
- Not receiving social assistance (other than for disability), and can prove that you can fulfill the basic needs of the person you want to sponsor
Who can be identified as a partner or a spouse?
Broadly, the person you want to sponsor can be of either sex but they must be at least 18 years of age and fit one of the following categories to qualify for spousal sponsorship.
A person who is legally married to you.
- Common-law partner
A person that is not legally married to you, but you both have been living together in a conjugal relationship for at least 12 consecutive months with no long periods of separations. To prove you have been staying together for the specified time, you can choose to submit from among a variety of documents, such as bills of shared utility accounts or the same address on official documents (for instance a driver’s license).
- Conjugal partner
A person who is not legally married to you and is not your common-law partner but you both have been in a relationship for at least a year and the partner does not live in Canada. You will need to submit proof that you have legal and immigration reasons that stops you from living in your partner’s country of residence or from getting married.
The person you want to sponsor must be deemed “admissible”. To do this, they will need to prove their eligibility by submitting the required application along with necessary forms and documents. There may also be certain additional requirements such as submission of biometrics, medical exams, or request for other additional information.
Submitting the applications
The process begins with submitting two applications together. You must apply to become a sponsor and your partner must submit an application to become a permanent resident. A few things to remember at this stage:
- Get the right application package that has all the necessary forms, checklists, and instruction guides for you and your partner.
- Fill the applications carefully, providing all the information in the manner it has been requested. Make sure both you and your partner fulfill the eligibility criteria.
- Your application may be sent back if there’s any missing information or fee. So before submitting, pay all the required fees. Along with the application fee, you might need to pay a fee for biometrics and any third-party services, such as medical tests or police verification. Also check the mailing instructions and choose a courier/mailing service accordingly.
- Once you’ve submitted the application, look out for any communication or instructions that you may receive from the immigration office. You might be asked to submit some additional information or documents.
You might feel overwhelmed with the process, guidelines and requirements of receiving or securing a spousal sponsorship. The fear of “Have I filled the right application?” or “What if my spousal sponsorship is rejected?” can be daunting. Contact us today and our experienced team will do the best to make the experience stress-free for you. We would make every effort to expedite the approval of your partner’s Canadian visa.