Spousal Sponsorship Canada: Apply for Spouse Visa

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Overview

Numerous Canadian citizens and permanent residents sponsor their foreign spouses and partners for Canadian immigration each year via the Spousal Sponsorship program. This special Spouse Visa Canada helps speed up their journey to the country and enables them to reunite with their partner. Canadian citizens and Canadian permanent residents can use the following guide to understand the Spouse PR Canada program and the Spouse Visa requirements.

What is the Spousal Sponsorship Program?

The Spousal Sponsorship program enables Canadian citizens and permanent residents to sponsor their foreign spouse, common-law partner, or conjugal partner for Canadian permanent resident status. This program goes by many unofficial names such as the Canada Marriage Visa, Canada Fiance Visa, or Common-Law Sponsorship Canada. However, the end goal is always to help the sponsor’s partner attain permanent residence.

Spouse, Common-Law Partner, and Conjugal Partner Definitions

Before discussing the methods for sponsoring a partner for permanent residence, it is essential to understand Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada’s (IRCC) definitions for a spouse, common-law partner, and conjugal partner.

Spouse

IRCC defines a spouse as someone that is:

  • 18 years old or older
  • Of either sex.
  • Legally married to a Canadian citizen or permanent resident.
  • Note that same-sex marriages performed within Canada are valid for spousal sponsorship.
  • If the marriage took place outside of Canada, it must be valid under the law of the country where it took place as well as under Canadian federal law.
  • Same-sex marriages that took place outside of Canada are not valid for spousal sponsorship, but an application can be made under either the common-law partner or conjugal partner categories if such a relationship can be proven.

Common-Law Partner

IRCC classifies a common-law partner as someone that is:

  • 18 years old or older
  • Of either sex
  • Not legally married to the Canadian citizen or permanent resident
  • Has been living with the Canadian citizen or permanent resident continuously for a minimum of 12 months.

Conjugal Partner

IRCC classifies a conjugal partner as someone that is:

  • 18 years old or older
  • Of either sex
  • Not legally married to the Canadian citizen or permanent resident
  • In a relationship Canadian citizen or permanent resident for a minimum of 12 months
  • Living outside Canada
  • Exceptional circumstances beyond their control have prevented the applicants from qualifying as common-law partners or spouses, such as immigration barriers or legal restrictions limiting divorce or same-sex relationships.
  • This can require a demonstration of emotional ties and intimacy, financial closeness, such as joint ownership of assets or mutual financial support, and efforts to spend time together and reunite.
  • Conjugal partners can be either opposite-sex or same-sex.

Who Can Sponsor Their Partner?

To sponsor your partner through Canada immigration spousal sponsorship, you must be:

  • A Canadian permanent resident or citizen.
  • At least 18 years old.
  • Presently living in Canada or planning to return after your partner has become a permanent resident.
  • Able to support your partner’s financial needs for a minimum of three years.

Who Can Sponsor Their Partner?

To sponsor your partner through Canada immigration spousal sponsorship, you must be:

  • A Canadian permanent resident or citizen.
  • At least 18 years old.
  • Presently living in Canada or planning to return after your partner has become a permanent resident.
  • Able to support your partner’s financial needs for a minimum of three years.

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How to Sponsor Your Partner

Prospective sponsors should understand the relevant requirements if they are sponsoring a partner who is inside or outside Canada.

Inland Sponsorship

Inland Spousal Sponsorship Canada is for partners that are living inside Canada. Such partners must possess valid temporary resident status in the country and must be living with their sponsor throughout the application process.

Outland Sponsorship

Outland Spousal Sponsorship Canada is for partners that are living outside Canada. Such partners can enter or exit Canada during the application process if they come from a visa-free country.

Partners who are not from visa-free countries will require a spouse visitor visa in Canada until they receive permanent residence. However, this visa may be difficult to acquire if they already have a permanent residence application in-process.

The general steps for sponsoring a spouse are outlined below:

  • Obtain your application package.
  • Complete the relevant forms and gather the documents specified in the document checklist.
  • Pay the application fees
  • Submit the application via mail
  • Complete medical exam, police clearance, and submit biometrics.

How ELAAR can help you?

The method to sponsor your spouse in Canada can be complicated. However, thousands of Canadian citizens and permanent residents are able to complete the process mentioned above with the help of trusted Regulated Immigration Consultants at ELAAR. Please reach out to us for assistance with spousal sponsorship inside or spousal sponsorship outside Canada. Our team understands the requirements for this program and can guide you through the application process.

FAQs: Frequently Asked Questions

Do I have to include proof of my relationship with my spouse or partner during the sponsorship process?

You will need to include proof that you have a genuine relationship with your spouse or partner during the application process. If the partner currently lives with you in Canada, you can show proof in the form of:

  • A marriage certificate if you are married.
  • A shared bank account where both your and your partner’s addresses are shown to be the same.
  • Property rentals and leases showing both you and your partner’s names.

In addition to the above, applicants should also include photos that show them and their partners together. This includes wedding photos, holiday photos, or pictures where both individuals are present alongside family and friends.

The sponsor and their partner should also provide individual “relationship narratives” that describe how they met and how their relationship progressed up to the present day.

What is the processing time for spousal sponsorship?

The processing time is approximately twelve months for both inland and outland applicants.

Is there a spouse visa Canada for students?

There is no special spouse visa in Canada for students. Spouses and partners who wish to study in Canada while their sponsorship application is processed must apply for a study permit separately.

Can I sponsor a partner who is studying in Canada?

It is possible to sponsor a spouse who is studying in Canada and holds a valid study permit. This partner must maintain their temporary resident status in the country throughout the duration of the sponsorship process.

It is possible to sponsor a spouse who is studying in Canada and holds a valid study permit. This partner must maintain their temporary resident status in the country throughout the duration of the sponsorship process.

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