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Shabnam Akrami is the Managing Partner and Founder of Akrami & Associates.

Questions about Sponsoring Spouse to Canada

Questions about Sponsoring Spouse to Canada

Sponsoring Spouse to Canada

Spousal Sponsorship is the process by which citizens and permanent residents residing within Canada can sponsor their spouse, conjugal, or common-law partner to immigrate to Canada. Through the “Family Class” process, eligible sponsors can also sponsor their dependent children and other relatives who meet all the requirements. Spousal and family sponsorship are greatly helpful for individuals who have been separated from their partners and children and wish to reunite with them.

What is the Difference between a Spouse and Common-Law or Conjugal partner?

A spouse is defined as the person legally married to you in Canada; or if the marriage occurred in foreign territory, a person legally married to you under the laws of the country the marriage took place as well as the laws of Canada. Citizenship and Immigration Canada, CIC, no longer accepts marriages to be legal if they were carried through fax, proxy, or telephone, and where both partners were not physically present at the ceremony, members of the Canadian Armed Forces are exempt from this rule.

Your partner and you are eligible to be common law partners if you were living together in a consensual and conjugal relationship for a period of at least one year. You will need to provide proof to immigration Canada to verify that you are common-law partners. Proof may include the following:

  • Joint bank account

  • Joint home ownership or lease rentals

  • Joint payments of utilities such as water, gas, and telecommunication

  • Mail and postage that is addressed to you or your partner under the same address

A conjugal partner based relationship is when situations which are beyond the control of either person keep them from being together, such that if they were together they would count as spouses or common-law partners. To apply based on this category you must be able to prove the reasons that kept you and your partner from living together. Such example may include immigration barriers, marital status, and same-sex marriage laws in different countries where it is deemed illegal.

You should NOT apply as conjugal partners if

  • You and your partner had the necessary means to live together but chose not to do so. This shows you did not have the necessary commitment for a stable relationship

  • You cannot provide solid proof and a valid reason of why you and your partner could not live together

  • You are about to be married. If so, wait till your marriage has taken place and then apply as spouses.

The requirements for same-sex marriages within Canada depend on the date you were married. Each province has different dates after which same-sex partners are eligible for spousal sponsorship.

Under what conditions can I sponsor my children to come to Canada?

You may be able to sponsor your children if your child(ren) are/is:

  • Under the age of 19 and are not married or in a common law relationship

  • Above the age of 19, however, has/have always been dependant, even before the age of 19, on either parent largely on financial support due to a physical or mental disability.

Is there anyone who I cannot sponsor under the Family Class

You cannot sponsor, or cannot be sponsored if:

  • You or your partner are under the age of 18

  • Both of you were living apart for at least one year

  • You cannot sponsor if you sponsored another person for spousal sponsorship in the past and at least 3 years have not passed. The same applies to the person who is sponsoring you; depending on which party you categorize under.

What do I need to do in order to become a sponsor?

There are certain requirements that you must meet in order for you to become a sponsor under the family class. If you live in Quebec, and are planning to sponsor your spouse or dependent child to that province, then you must also meet the requirements under Quebec’s laws to become a sponsor. Overall, you must be either a Canadian citizen or hold Permanent Residency status in Canada; you must also be at least 18 years of age. Certain factors can, however, make you ineligible to become a sponsor. You may not be able to sponsor if you:

  • Do not meet the requirements of spousal sponsorship

  • Did not meet requirements of child care if you were separated and were ordered to do so by a Court of Law in the country where you were separated.

  • Required welfare when not being physically or mentally disabled; this shows you might not be able to provide for your spouse or dependent children financially.

  • Were convicted of violent crime in the past in which you caused physical body harm to another person.

  • Previously sponsored a spouse or common-law partner and 5 years have not passed since that person became a permanent resident of Canada

  • Are in prison

  • Have declared bankruptcy

Who can I sponsor to come to Canada?

You can sponsor any person who qualifies as a spouse, common-law partner, or conjugal partner, or a dependent child under the Family Class if they live outside Canada. If the person who you wish to sponsor lives in Canada, then you may sponsor them through the Canada Class. Different application packages will be required depending on the country of residence of the person you want to sponsor. Criminal, medical, and police checks must be acquired by your family members. If any member has a criminal conviction on record and are determined to be a threat to Canadian security, the may not be eligible to enter Canada. They may have to apply for a Temporary Resident Permit and/or Criminal Rehabilitation before they are allowed to enter Canada.

Can I work while my sponsorship application is processed in Canada?

You can work in Canada as long as you have a suitable Work Permit to do so. Since you are applying for permanent residency under the Family Class, you will need an “Open Work Permit.” It is important to know that while you are waiting for your application to be processed under Family Class, you will have to maintain legal status in Canada as a student, worker, or visitor; and you must wait for your work permit to be approved before you start to work, if you chose to.

What requirements does the person that is getting sponsored has to meet?

The person you sponsor will have to:

  • Sign the sponsorship agreement

  • Complete all necessary forms and applications

  • Undergo all required medical examinations. Medical test results are valid for 12 months and usually include a TB test

  • Pass criminal, security, and police checks

  • Obtain passports and all other required identification and travel documents

  • Attend an interview if required

Can I sponsor if I live outside Canada?

You cannot sponsor if you live outside Canada and are not a Canadian citizen. You can sponsor though if you live outside of Canada and are a Canadian citizen. However, you must be residing within Canada once the sponsored person becomes a permanent resident.

Contact Akrami & Associates if you have Questions about Sponsoring your Spouse to Canada

Contact Akrami and Associates if you like to sponsor your spouse, common-law or conjugal partner to Canada. Akrami & Associates has assisted many families to reunite with their loved ones and we can help you too. Not sure if you meet the requirements for sponsorship applications or how to get started? Contact us today at 416-477-2545 and let us determine the best route for your family to come to Canada.

With Akrami & Associates there is always a way!!

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