Shabnam Akrami Blogs

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

Spousal Sponsorship in Canada

Spousal Sponsorship in Canada – Age of Majority

Canada recognizes that people come from all walks of life. Varying or differences in social or cultural practices do not necessarily preclude you from marriage in Canada or by having a marriage abroad recognized in Canada. There are a number of provisions for uncommon situations as well as exclusions for situation that do indeed go against Canadian Law.

You should be aware that while a province has laws regarding the solemnization of marriage, which is the ceremony of marriage; the Federal Government of Canada has broad legislative responsibility for aspects of capacity to marry or who can legally marry whom. This legislature is known as Acts. These Acts will have an effect on Spousal Sponsorship.

All provincial and territorial Marriage Acts:

  • Provide from religious and civil marriage ceremonies
  • Require a witness to a marriage ceremony
  • Identify officials or individuals who are authorized to solemnize a marriage
  • Set a minimum age requirement for marriage
  • Some provinces require a medical examination

When sponsoring your spouse for permanent residence in Canada, people below certain ages cannot legally marry in Canada without parental consent. This is typically between 18-19 years of age depending on the province you intend to marry in.

For the purposes of immigration and sponsoring your spouse, Canada understanding that each country has its own set of rules as to what is socially or culturally acceptable. As such, to be recognized by Citizenship and Immigration Canada, foreign national spouses must be at least 16 years of age. Spouses under 16 are not considered Members of the Family Class as per Regulations and therefore cannot be sponsored as such.

Even if an application is submitted prior to your spouse turning 16 years of age, even though they may turn 16 throughout the duration of processing, the application will still be refused.

The reason for this is the same for most applications; you must meet all the requirements at the time of sponsoring and submitting your application.

Canada makes such exceptions to its own laws or cultural practices when it comes to other such situations like large age gaps between spouses or arranged marriages. If you are in an uncommon situation like this, contact us to discuss.

We will help you address your needs as well as determine your possible options or how best to proceed as per your unique situation.

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