Canada offers many ways to facilitate the reunification of families, allowing them to live together in Canada, if one member is a Canadian citizen or permanent resident
What you need to know about sponsorships in Canada
Canada offers many ways to facilitate the reunification of families, allowing them to live together in Canada, if one member is a Canadian citizen or permanent resident. For this reason, the government has implemented several options where married, common-law, or conjugal partners can live together in Canada.
If you are interested in applying for this program, keep on reading! We will give you a simple explanation of what you need to know.
From now on we will refer to both parts of the application as
The sponsor, who is a Canadian citizen or permanent resident and the sponsoree, also known as the sponsored person, who is a foreign citizen and in a relationship with a Canadian citizen or permanent resident.
It can be summarized as a program that allows the applicants to live together in Canada in a formal and stable relationship if they are married or have been together for at least 12 months consecutively, and have documents to prove this. If the application results in a positive outcome, the sponsoree (foreign citizen) will automatically obtain Canadian Permanent Residence as well as any dependent children that also applied within the same application.
It’s important to be clear that this application bestows a great responsibility as the sponsor (Canadian citizen or permanent resident) will be held responsible for the sponsoree for the next three years after the latter becomes a permanent resident through an undertaking agreement signed with Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).
The sponsor will be held responsible for the sponsoree’s needs including food, shelter, education, healthcare and more, in the case that this cannot be self-provided. Additionally, if there are children who will accompany the sponsoree to Canada; the sponsor promises to be responsible for them for a period of 10 years or until they reach the age of 25, whichever comes first.
However, many people try to apply through this program solely for the permanent residency benefits; delegitimizing the process for the ones that actually want to share a life with their loved ones, so therefore, to avoid fraud, immigration officers are very strict and demanding in terms of proving the truthfulness of the relationship.
Be aware that the main difficulty of this application relies on the number of proofs of relationship that you are able to provide to the Canadian Government.
If you want to apply for this program, this is what you need to know:
- What types of relationships can apply?
Married couples, common-law partners or conjugal partners, these last two options must have at least 12 months of continuous relationship supported by evidence that the relationship between the sponsor and sponsoree is genuine.
- Is it necessary to be married?
No, as explained above it is also possible to apply under the common-law relationship or conjugal partners streams. You just need to be in a relationship for more than 12 continuous months and have ways to prove this.
- Can my spouse’s children come with me to Canada?
Yes, the sponsoree’s children from previous relationships can be part of the spousal sponsorship application. They can be included as accompanying or non-accompanying dependents. If the child is accompanying the principal applicant to Canada, he/she will be entitled to permanent residency at the same time. In order to qualify as a dependent, the child must meet an age limit (being under 22 years old) and have never been married.
- How to prove your marriage is real?
Each application and relationship is different, for each one it is necessary to show several categories of proofs. These can be through photos, social media conversations, chats, rent receipts, shared insurance policies, proofs from visits like boarding passes or passports stamps, etc.
- Common reasons for refusals?
When immigration officers are not satisfied that the relationship is authentic (because the application submitted did not include enough proofs of relationship to prove it), generally the applications are refused and the applicants are forced to start the process from scratch.
It is also common to send the application without having it reviewed by a professional. This is not mandatory but it can save you money and time in case the application is refused or returned, a professional can check for missing or misplaced information before the application is submitted.
- Applying overseas or inside Canada?
Both options are available. If the sponsoree is living in Canada at the time you apply, you can apply to submit a spousal sponsorship application from within Canada and also apply for an open work permit. However, it’s beneficial if the sponsoree does not leave Canada while the application is being processed. For an outside or overseas application, the process is a little simpler and will depend on the country of residence of the sponsoree.
- Can I apply if the sponsoree already applied for a work permit?
Yes, if the sponsoree already applied for a work permit you can apply through an inside Canada application.
We hope this information results useful for your application and can be beneficial for your life. If you have any other doubt about the process, please contact us and we will provide more information.