What is Spousal Sponsorship in Canada?
Recently, I interviewed Carl Wurfel of Preferred Immigration about Spousal Sponsorship in Edmonton. He has completed the process many times and gave me some valuable insight.
Family Sponsorship aims at reuniting families. Canadian citizens and Permanent Residents can sponsor their spouse/common-law partner/conjugal partner and dependent children inside Canada as a temporary resident or live in a different country, becoming permanent residents of Canada.
The Government of Canada outlines this process here. The process seems simple when viewing it on the government website. Unfortunately, this is not the case.
Spousal Sponsorship Criteria
- You can sponsor your spouse if your marriage is a legally valid, civil marriage. The country the marriage took place, as well as Canada, must legally recognize the marriage. You can sponsor your common-law partner if you have been living/have lived with your partner for at least 12 consecutive months in a marriage-like relationship. In this case, you must provide proof for this period of cohabitation. You can sponsor your conjugal-partner if you have been in a conjugal relationship for at least one year and could not live together because of reasons beyond your control.
- The sponsor and principal applicant must meet the eligibility requirements laid out by the Government of Canada. When you agree to sponsor someone, you sign a promise of the undertaking. It is a binding agreement promising to give them financial support for their basic needs for some time, depending upon your relationship with the applicant. The Government’s goal is to make sure that the applicant will not need social assistance.
- The sponsor needs to be over 18 years of age. They also need to be a Canadian Citizen, a person with PR (Permanent Resident) status, or recognized as an Indian Canadian under the Indian Act.
- If you currently reside in another country and look to be accepted into the spousal sponsorship program, you must be able to prove that you plan to live in Canada.
- You will not always require income specifications to be accepted, except in the cases of dependent children. It will trigger the financial evaluation application.
How to Apply for Spousal Sponsorship?
We do not recommend applying on your own without guidance. If you are looking to do it yourself, there is an application process on the government website. Be aware that any errors or mistakes could significantly delay this process and cost money in application fees.
What to Expect After Application?
- The Government will review the application
- If the application is complete and fees get paid, you will receive an application number and acknowledgement of receipt
- Your eligibility and the person you are sponsoring get assessed
- You will either be approved or refused as a sponsor.
- If you are accepted, instructions will be sent for you, the sponsor, as well as the person you are sponsoring.
- Additional documents must be provided at this time to be successful.
How Long Does it Take?
The spousal sponsorship process can take up to12 months. Many factors can disrupt successful processing or cause an extensive delay in completing the application process. It is a complicated process that can be difficult.
What are the Most Common Problems that a Person May Encounter?
- Not meeting one of the requirements
- Paying incorrect fee
- Providing incorrect information or documents
- Missing documents/information
- Missing correspondences
- Missing deadlines
- The applicant does not know when and how to update your application information once it has after submission.
All of these factors may undoubtedly lead to a potential delay or apparent refusal of your application.
- You must show confirmation of permanent residence at the border
- The applicant must display a valid passport at the border
- The person entering Canada must declare any valuables they are bringing into the country
To ensure the application is processed smoothly and within the processing time, it is imperative to make the application and strategically avoid any procedural errors.
One must provide sufficient proof of their relationship to obtain a favourable result. Not being able to satisfy the officer of your relationship can end in an adverse decision. An unfavourable decision has serious complications, including emotionally affecting the sponsor and principal applicant and may hamper the chances of approval of future applications. You can have your sponsorship significantly delayed by a rejected application. With something as crucial as Spousal or Family Sponsorship, don’t take any chances. Call an expert!
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