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

Spousal Sponsorship Application Refused

Spousal Sponsorship Application Refused

Spousal Application Refused?

Sponsored your spouse and got denied by Canadian immigration? Here are a few things you need to know before submitting or re-submitting a spousal application to immigration.

What is a Spousal Sponsorship?

Spousal Sponsorship is a sub category of the Family Class immigration. Under this class eligible people may sponsor their spousescommon-law partners or conjugal partners for permanent residency. In this application, the person in Canada is the sponsor and the non-Canadian being sponsored is the applicant. Canadian government believes in family reunification and gives these sponsorships highest priorities.

The government recently introduced new spousal packages to combat backlogs, provide fairness and equality for all Canadians and tackle conditional residency. However, this does not mean that spousal sponsorship have become “easier” to submit. The truth is spousal sponsorships are one of the hardest applications to file because of the scrutiny they oversee from immigration officers. Most individuals think that it is sufficient to show proof of marriage or common-law/conjugal status in order to submit this application. That is incorrect; the officer will scrutinize your application based on many other factors as well.

Reasons for Spousal Sponsorship Denial

There are numerous reasons as to why spousal sponsorships would be denied, especially those with a marriage certificate. Some of the reasons include:

  • Applicant with a criminal record

  • Sponsor has filed for bankruptcy

  • Sponsor in default of a previous sponsorship agreement

  • Marriage of convenience- when immigration believes marriage was conducted for the purpose of immigration

  • Sponsor under a removal order by Canadian government

  • Sponsor receiving social assistance – there are exceptions to this category

What options do I have if my Spousal Application is refused?

You have three options when your sponsorship application is refused these include file for Immigration Appeal Division (IAD), Appeal to Federal Court or Reapply your Sponsorship Application. Both options are hard as both take up lots of time so be prepared to wait for months and at times even a year or two. See below for details: 

File for Immigration Appeal Division (IAD)

The IAD appeal is available for everyone and must be submitted within 30 days of refusal otherwise the appeal might not be accepted by the IAD. You will be given a chance to convince all or one member of the IAD in a hearing to allow your appeal. Before you go ahead and appeal and attend your hearing, do some research based on your refusal grounds. Immigration officers will always state why your spousal sponsorship was denied. Use those grounds to convince members of the IAD. For example, if you were refused based on a criminal record, you have to tackle this ground during your hearing. If you were refused based on a past criminal record, go to your hearing prepared with evidence to show you are a rehabilitated person and the denial of your application will create hardships for you and your spouse. One of the biggest reasons for refusals is marriage of convenience. You have to be able to prove that your marriage is genuine with evidence such as visits, receipts of remittances, conversation logs and so on. The IAD knows how long hearings can take and therefore they may allow you, depending on your case, to speak with a CBSA officer. If the CBSA officer does not agree to consent to the appeal then you may have to wait for the IAD. IAD hearings can be intimidating and there is a lot that you may not know. It’s recommended that you consult an immigration attorney before attempting a hearing on your own.

Appeal to Federal Court

Another option is to appeal to the federal court of Canada; this is a very costly and lengthy process. This is mostly done if you believe there was an error of law in the refusal of your spousal sponsorship application. The federal court of Canada is sort of a last resort to judicially review your case. Also, federal court of Canada appeals is the best option for overseas applications.

Reapply your Sponsorship Application

Lastly, you can simply Reapply to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada. Reapplications are always conducted after a refusal, however, be prepared to explain yourself. If you have new information; explain why you have new information. Your sponsorship will be scrutinized more with a reapplication so make sure you submit a very strong and complete application this time around. Reapplication is the easiest and probably the best option for most people. Keep in mind, reapplication can be refused too.

How to Avoid Spousal Sponsorship Refusals

Denials do not only result in heartbreak but also loss of money for applicants. This is why you must be very careful the first time around. It is highly recommended that you consult an immigration specialist before you attempt to sponsor your spouse in Canada. the reason for this is that every case is unique and every case needs to be assessed from a different light. For example, if you are somebody who has a summary conviction in their record, how would you go about your spousal sponsorship? This can be best answered by an experienced immigration lawyer. You may have to take several steps that a sponsor without a criminal record will not taking. Here are a few things you need to be aware of before submission of your application:

  • Police certificates

  • Medical examinations

  • Documents that need to be translated

  • Immigration forms completed

  • Check for supplementary documentation needed from nationals of certain countries

  • Valid identity and travel documents must be present

  • Applicant’s children’s documents – if applicable

  • Financial documents such as employment letters, notice of assessments, bank statements, pay stubs should be up to date

  • Exact number of photos proving marriage

  • Passport sized photos

  • Fees must be paid on time

These are only some of the things you need to be aware of before submission. There could be more or less depending on your cases. As you already know, submitting a complete application can save you time, money and a lot of hassle. It is also important to note that immigration requires specific documentation, do not submit chunks of irrelevant papers.

Looking to apply for the Spousal Sponsorship or reapply? Contact Akrami & Associates

Have you been denied for spousal sponsorship? Or are you looking to apply under the spousal sponsorship category then contact Akrami & Associates today. Akrami & Associates has submitted many successful immigration application and we can help you too. Contact us today at 416-477-2545 for further details.

With Akrami & Associates there is always a way!!

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