If you are a Canadian citizen or Permanent Resident and you have a foreign spouse, you can apply to sponsor them to become a Permanent Resident in Canada.
Processing times on average are between 8 to 12 months, depending on the visa office responsible for processing the application.
Based on your circumstances, you can either apply for an “Outland” or “Inland” spousal sponsorship.
Potential Spousal Sponsorship Application Issues
Inland vs. Outland Spousal Sponsorship
- Outland Spousal Sponsorship: If your spouse lives outside of Canada, your application will be processed through the visa office in the sponsored spouse’s country of citizenship or where they legally reside.
- Even if you and your Spouse/Common-law partner live in Canada, you can still apply under this category. The benefit of this is that applying under this category allow you to Appeal a refusal. This may be an important strategy in cases where chances of refusal are high.
- Inland Spousal Sponsorship If you and your spouse are living inside Canada, your application will be processed in Canada. You and your sponsor MUST live be living together. Moreover, the person being sponsored MUST have temporary status in Canada as a worker, student, or visitor.
- We can also submit an open work permit with the application so that as the application is processing, they can receive and Open Work Permit to allow them to come work in Canada.
- You cannot appeal a refusal for an Inland Spousal Sponsorship. You can only apply for Judicial Review of the decision.
You can sponsor the following applicants and their dependent children (21 or younger) for Canadian Permanent Residence:
- Spouse – either of the two people (opposite or same gender) in a marriage that is legally recognized in the country where it took place, as well as in Canada.
- Common-law partner – a person who has been living in a conjugal relationship with another person (either gender), for at least one year, continuously. A conjugal relationship exists when a significant degree of commitment between two people can be shown.
- Conjugal partner – This category is for partners, either of the opposite sex or same sex, in exceptional circumstances beyond their control that prevent them from living together and thus not qualifying as common-law partners or spouses.
- Dependent children – A son or daughter is dependent when the child:
- is 21 and younger and does not have a spouse or common-law partner
- is older than 21 and depended substantially on the financial support of a parent since before the age of 22 because of a physical or mental condition
Canada recognizes same-sex marriages and partners and are eligible to apply under these 3 categories.
To be eligible to be a Sponsor
- You must be a Canadian Citizen, or Permanent Resident (living in Canada)
- You must be 18 years of age or older
- You cannot have been sponsored to Canada as a spouse within the last 5 years.
- You cannot be in prison, bankrupt, under a removal order (if a permanent resident) or charged with a serious offence.
To be eligible to be Sponsored:
- You must be at least 18 years of age
- You must not be too closely related by blood to the Sponsor
- Your relationship is genuine (real) and was not entered into for the purpose of acquiring Permanent Residence status
- If you are applying for Inland Spousal Sponsorship, you must cohabit (live) with the sponsor in Canada