Spousal sponsorship in Canada is a Canadian Immigration Program that allows Canadian citizens or permanent residents to sponsor their spouse,common-law partner, or dependent children to apply for permanent residents of Canada. The process is managed by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) and involves several steps and eligibility requirements for both the sponsor and the sponsored person.
What is the difference between a spouse and a common-law partner?
In Canada, a spouse is someone who is legally married to another person, and the marriage is legal under the law of the jurisdiction where it was registered and under Canadian law. On the other hand, a common-law partner (Also eligible for spousal sponsorship Canada) is someone who has cohabited with their partner in a marriage-like bond for at least 12 consecutive months. This means that two people who are living together and have combined their affairs and set up their household together in one dwelling for at least one year can be considered common-law partners.
The main difference between a spouse and a common-law partner is the legal recognition of their relationship. A marriage is a legally recognized relationship, while a common-law partnership is a de-facto-relationship, meaning that it must be recognized in each individual case based on the facts. This means that while married couples have made a legal commitment to each other, common-law partners have not made that same legal commitment. However, both spouses and common-law partners can be candidates for spousal sponsorship Canada for permanent inhabitant in Canada through the family class sponsorship program.
What documents do I need to sponsor my spouse or common-law partner?
When submitting a spousal sponsorship in Canada requisition, the following documents are typically needed:
- Completed sponsorship requisition form.
- Proof of the sponsor’s Canadian citizenship or permanent residency.
- Evidence of the age of the sponsor (e.g. birth certificate).
- Proof of the sponsor’s relationship with the spouse who is being sponsored (e.g. marriage certificate).
- Proof of financial help for the sponsored spouse (e.g. pay stubs, bank statements, T4 slips).
- Undertaking of support form, signed by the sponsor.
What are the other details that are needed for Canadian spousal sponsorship?
Below are the details about the Canadian spousal sponsorship process:
To sponsor your spouse, partner, or dependent children through the Canada spousal sponsorship immigration program, you must meet specific eligibility criteria. These include:
- Being a Canadian citizen, Registered Indian, or permanent resident of Canada.
- Being 18 years of age or older.
- Having the financial capacity to support your sponsored family members without them requiring social assistance from the government.
The fees associated with sponsoring a spouse or partner, as well as children, have specific costs:
- Sponsoring a spouse or partner starts from $1,080.
- Sponsoring a child starts from $155.
- Please note that these fees may change, and it’s important to verify the current fee structure on the official Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) website. The fees were increased on 30 April 2022.
- Application Process:
The application process for spousal sponsorship involves several steps:
- Check Eligibility: Verify that you meet the sponsor eligibility requirements.
- Gather Documents: Collect all necessary documents to prove the genuineness of your relationship and financial capability for Canada spousal sponsorship.
- Complete Application: Fill out the needed application forms accurately and completely.
- Pay Fees: Submit the appropriate fees along with your application.
- Apply Online: As of 23 September 2022, applying online for spousal sponsorship in Canada is mandatory. However, if you have special accommodation needs due to a disability or other factors, you can request an alternative format for the application, such as paper, braille, or large print.
- Processing Times:
According to the IRCC website, the processing duration for spousal sponsorship Canada Applications for spouses or common-law partners is around 12 months. However, this timeframe can vary based on individual circumstances and the complexity of each application. Applicants should be aware that processing times might change over time, so checking the latest updates on the IRCC website is advisable.
While you are not required to hire a representative (such as a lawyer or consultant) to assist with your application, you can seek help from a professional RCIC if needed for spousal sponsorship in Canada. Since spousal sponsorship applications are complex and require a lot of documentation and involves online application process, an RCIC can guide you with the documentation required, steamline the information for easy understanding of visa officers, preparing the application forms and documentation on your behalf and submit a complete application form to IRCC.
However, it’s essential to review the information provided by IRCC about who can provide advice, assist with forms, communicate with IRCC on your behalf, or represent you throughout the application process. Hiring a representative can be a personal choice, but it’s crucial to ensure they are authorized and qualified to offer assistance in immigration matters.
In summary, Canada’s spousal sponsorship program facilitates family reunification for Canadian citizens and Permanent residents. Applicants need to ensure that they meet the eligibility criteria, and they provide the necessary documentation and fees (starting at $1,080), and follow the application process outlined by IRCC. Spousal sponsorship in Canada takes around 12 months, and having a representative can provide valuable assistance. People on temporary status in Canada can also sponsor their spouse and children, however, they need to apply under the temporary foreign worker stream.