Sponsoring Your Spouse With Criminal Record

Spouse With Criminal Record

Being reunited with your loved one through sponsorship is one of the cornerstone categories for permanent residence offered by Canada’s immigration system. However, being able to sponsor your spouse can be easier said than done, especially depending on the uniqueness of your particular situation.

If your spouse has been charged or convicted of a criminal offense, she may be considered inadmissible to Canada. If your spouse is considered inadmissible to Canada, this means that she will not be able to enter Canada without first obtaining the proper authorization.

A Temporary Resident Permit grants special authorization to enter Canada regardless of the criminal offense that would otherwise preclude entry. This should not be confused with a temporary resident visa, for which it is often mistaken. They are two very distinct documents. If you intend on sponsoring your spouse and your spouse is considered to be inadmissible based on criminality, your spouse will need to first overcome this criminality before she can be considered eligible for permanent residence. This can be a very complex legal situation that requires not only in depth knowledge of immigration regulation but also knowledge of Canada’s Criminal Code. If you are facing this situation, it is strongly recommended you seek legal representation. Contact us for more details and find out how we can help you.

When considering this situation, a good place to start is understanding the types of offense that exist in Canada. There are three basic types of offenses:

Summary offences – These are less serious offences. The maximum penalty for a summary offence is usually a $5,000 fine and/or six months in jail. Some summary offences have higher maximum sentences. They include breaches of a probation order.

Indictable offences – These are more serious offences and include theft over $5,000, break and enter, aggravated sexual assault and murder. Maximum penalties for indictable offences vary and include life in prison. Some indictable offences have minimum penalties.

Hybrid offences – These are offences that can be dealt with as either summary or indictable. Crown counsel makes the decision about how the offence will be handled.

One other thing of note is the actual offense and under what section of the law your spouse has been charged, you will need to determine this from court documentation.

Statutes are federal laws passed by the Government of Canada.

How Can my Spouse Remain in Canada?

Being separated from a loved one can be a very frustrating and saddening situation. Many of our clients face this when their spouses or loved ones live abroad. As Canada has very strict rules on who can enter Canada and for how long, it can be very difficult to be united with your loved one abroad.  Fortunately for you, Akrami & Associates is here to help!

If your spouse or loved one comes from a country which is considered not to be visa exempt, before your spouse can even enter Canada, they will need a temporary resident visa. Here is where many of our clients face difficulty and where dual intent comes into play.

Dual intent, for lack of a better analogy, is when there are literally two intentions. For example, your spouse is abroad and you therefore can submit an application to sponsor a member of the family class, and you wish for her to visit you in Canada by obtaining a temporary resident visa.

One is a permanent matter and one is a temporary matter, this is dual intent. An officer can reason that your spouse will remain in Canada past their authorized stay due to their intention to be with you. On these grounds, an officer may refuse the Temporary Resident Visa and expect your spouse to obtain her permanent resident status before entering Canada.

Sometimes a spouse living abroad is not yet ready to make the transition to Canada and begin life here, however, demonstrating this or the fact that your spouse will exit Canada at the end of their authorized stay can be easier said than done.

If you wish for your spouse to remain in Canada with you and they are ready to make the transition to Canada, then sponsoring your spouse in Canada is a very viable option. Of course, you will need to get them in Canada first; however, once your spouse is here and you submit an inland application, your spouse may remain with you in Canada until a decision is made. This means that they will be able to remain in Canada regardless of falling out of any status. Further, they may even qualify for an Open Work Permit throughout the processing of their application.

If you wish to have your spouse remain with you in Canada while their permanent residence application is in process, the spouse in Canada application is certainly the way to go.

Contact Akrami & Associates Immigration Law firm


For further information with respect to your Canadian immigration, we invite you to contact our experienced immigration representatives. 

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