Spousal Sponsorship to Canada: Eligibility, Process and More

Spousal Sponsorship to Canada

Bringing your loved ones together in Canada is what every immigrant hopes for. The spousal sponsorship program enables citizens or permanent residents to sponsor their partners for permanent residency in Canada. Canada understands the significance of family unity. That’s why the spousal sponsorship mechanism was built in the first place. Discover all you need to know about sponsoring your spouse, common-law partner, or conjugal partner in Canada.

Table of Contents

Spousal Sponsorship to Canada Process

Regarding the spousal sponsorship process, eligible individuals can sponsor their spouse, partner, or dependent children to attain permanent residency in Canada. As a sponsor, you must fulfill the following criteria:

– Provide financial support for them.

– Ensure there is no requirement for any government social assistance.

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Spousal Sponsorship to Canada Eligibility

To qualify as a sponsor, you must meet the following criteria:

– Be at least 18 years old and either a Canadian citizen, a person registered in Canada as an Indian under the Canadian Indian Act, or a permanent resident residing in Canada.

– If you are a Canadian citizen living outside Canada, you must demonstrate your intention to reside in Canada once your sponsored relative becomes a permanent resident. Note that permanent residents living outside Canada cannot sponsor individuals.

– Demonstrate that you are not receiving social assistance, except for reasons related to disability.

– Show that you can provide for:

   – Yourself

   – Your spouse or partner

   – Your spouse or partner’s dependent children (if applicable)

   – Your dependent children (if you’re solely sponsoring them)

There is generally no minimum necessary income (MNI) requirement for sponsoring a spouse, partner, or dependent child. However, if the spouse/partner or dependent child has their dependent child, or the dependent child being sponsored has their dependent child, the sponsor must meet the MNI. The MNI is based on Statistics Canada’s annual Low-income Cut-Off (LICO).

If you need to meet the MNI requirement, you should fill out a Financial Evaluation (IMM 1283) form with your application. Quebec residents are exempt from submitting this form to IRCC but must meet Quebec’s sponsorship conditions.

If you reside in Quebec, you must also satisfy Quebec’s sponsorship requirements.

Quebec’s Sponsorship Requirements

To ascertain your eligibility to spousal sponsorship in Quebec, you need to meet the following criteria:

1. Confirmation of Eligibility: You must have received a letter from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) confirming your eligibility as a sponsor. This letter should be addressed to you, not the person you intend to sponsor, and should invite you to proceed with the sponsorship process in collaboration with the Government of Quebec. At this stage, IRCC acknowledges your eligibility as a sponsor but has yet to verify the familial relationship and other requirements for permanent residence.

2. Citizenship or Permanent Residence: You must be a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident.

3. Place of Residence: You must reside in Quebec. Canadian citizens residing abroad during the application process must commit to living in Quebec once their spouse, common-law partner, or conjugal partner obtains permanent residency.

4. Age: You, the sponsor, must be at least 18 years old.

5. Financial Capacity: You must demonstrate sufficient financial resources to fulfill your sponsorship undertaking.

6. Financial Obligations: If you have previously undertaken sponsorship obligations, you must prove that you have met your financial commitments. Additionally, any sums disbursed to the sponsored person as last resort financial assistance must be repaid to the Government of Quebec or another province, if applicable.

7. Last Resort Financial Assistance: Except in cases where age or disability poses severe, permanent, or indefinite employment barriers, you must not have received last resort financial assistance.

8. Support: If you are obligated to pay support based on an official judgment, you must have fulfilled your obligations for the past five years. Otherwise, any outstanding amounts must be repaid.

9. Offences Against the Person: You must not have been convicted of murder or offences listed in Schedule I or II of the Corrections and Conditional Release Act, including sexual offences, attempts or threats thereof, or offences causing bodily harm. If convicted, you must have been acquitted as a last resort, rehabilitated, or completed your sentence at least five years before submitting your application.

10. Removal or Detention Measures: You must not be subject to deportation measures by the Government of Canada or be detained in a penitentiary or prison.

Spousal Sponsorship to Canada Ineligibility

You may be ineligible to sponsor if you:

– Are currently sponsoring a spouse or partner but have previously signed an undertaking for a different spouse or partner, and it has not been three years since they became a permanent resident.

– Have previously sponsored someone and failed to repay any social assistance they received during the sponsorship period.

– Still have not paid back an immigration loan or a performance bond.

– Have pending court-ordered alimony or child support to be paid.

– Have declared bankruptcy that has not been discharged.

– Were convicted of:

   – An offence of a sexual nature,

   – A violent crime,

   – An offence against a close family member causing bodily harm, or

   – Threatened or attempted to commit any of the above offences—depending on the nature, timing, and whether you received a pardon.

– Are sponsoring a spouse or partner, but you were previously sponsored as a spouse, common-law, or conjugal partner, and became a PR of Canada less than five years ago.

– Are under a removal order.

– Are incarcerated in a penitentiary, jail, reformatory, or prison.

– Have already applied to sponsor your current spouse or partner and have yet to receive a decision.

Sponsoring if You Live Outside of Canada

If you are a Canadian citizen living outside Canada, you can sponsor your spouse, common-law partner, conjugal partner, or dependent child. However, you must demonstrate your intention to reside in Canada when the sponsored person becomes a permanent resident. Permanent residents living abroad cannot sponsor their spouses from outside Canada.

Ineligibility Situations in Spousal Sponsorship to Canada

Here are some situations that might make you ineligible for spousal sponsorship to Canada

Previous Sponsorship Undertaking:

– You cannot sponsor if family members you previously sponsored received social assistance or welfare during the sponsorship period. You must:

  – Repay the full amount of any social assistance or welfare payment, or

  – Resolve the debt to the satisfaction of the relevant government authority.

Default on an Immigration Loan:

– If you received an immigration loan and missed payments:

  – Sponsorship is not permitted if you are in default. 

Support Payment Obligations:

– Failure to fulfill court-ordered support payments to a spouse or child prohibits sponsorship until the support matter is resolved.

Performance Bond:

– If you agreed to a performance bond to ensure an immigrant’s compliance with immigration legislation:

  – You must pay the full bond amount before sponsoring.

Five-Year Sponsorship Bar:

– If you were sponsored as a spouse or partner to come to Canada:

  – You cannot sponsor a new spouse or partner within five years of becoming a permanent resident, even if you obtained Canadian citizenship within that period.

Eligibility Criteria To Sponsor Someone Before and After March 2, 2012

– If the sponsorship application was received before March 2, 2012:

  – The five-year sponsorship bar does not apply, regardless of your permanent resident status.

– If the sponsorship application was received after or on March 2, 2012:

  – You cannot sponsor a foreign national as a spouse, common-law partner, or conjugal partner until you have been a permanent resident for five years.

Sponsorship Bar for Violent Crime

– Conviction for crimes causing bodily harm to listed relatives prohibits sponsorship under the Family Class or spouse/common-law partner in Canada (SCLPC) class. 

Relatives Subject to the Sponsorship Bar:

– Your current or former spouse/partner (including their children)

– Your children.

– Your parent/grandparent, child/grandchild, sibling, niece/nephew, aunt/uncle, or cousin.

– The current or former spouse/partner and children of the aforementioned relatives.

– The parent/grandparent, child/grandchild, sibling, niece/nephew, aunt/uncle, or cousin of your current or former spouse/partner or children.

– The current or former spouse/partner and children of the relatives mentioned above.

– Your child’s spouse, partner, or children.

– Your spouse’s, partner’s, or child’s ex-spouse or ex-partner and their children.

– Your spouse’s parent/grandparent, child/grandchild, sibling, niece/nephew, aunt/uncle, or cousin.

– The current or former spouse/partner (and their children) of the individuals mentioned above.

– A foster child under your care or previously cared for by:

  – You,

  – Your current or former spouse/partner or their children,

  – Your parent/grandparent, child/grandchild, sibling, aunt/uncle, or cousin,

  – The current or former spouse/partner (and their children) of any of the above, or

  – Your current or former boyfriend/girlfriend, their spouse or common-law partner, and their dependent children.

Who You Can Sponsor for Spousal Sponsorship to Canada?

With this spousal sponsorship application, you can sponsor

– your spouse

– common-law partner

– conjugal partner 

They must be aged 18 or older, or your dependent child. If you’re sponsoring an adopted child, please use the designated sponsorship package for adopted children. Background, security, and medical checks are required for the person you’re sponsoring and their family members.

Choose the Class of Application

– If you’re sponsoring your conjugal partner or dependent child, you must apply to the Family Class. These applications are processed outside Canada.

– If you’re sponsoring your spouse or common-law partner, you may choose to sponsor them under the Family Class or the Spouse or Common-Law Partner in Canada Class. 

– Specify the “Class of Application” as well. Here are the classes of applications.

Family Class if

– The person you want to sponsor lives outside Canada.

– The person you want to sponsor currently lives with you in Canada but doesn’t plan to stay in Canada while the application is being processed.

– You plan to appeal if the application is refused.

– You are sponsoring 

– your conjugal partner

– a dependent child.

Common-Law Partner or Spouse in Canada Class if 

Your spouse or common-law partner

– Lives with you in Canada.

– Has valid temporary resident status in Canada or is exempt from needing this status.

If you are sponsoring Your spouse, common-law partner, or conjugal partner, this will apply to you regardless of your gender.

If You’re Married: You can sponsor your spouse only under the condition that your marriage is a legally valid civil marriage. Marriages will be recognized for immigration purposes if legally performed in Canada or recognized both in the country where it took place and in Canada if performed outside of Canada.

Marriages performed outside of Canada by proxy, telephone, fax, Internet, and other forms of marriage where one or both persons were not physically present at the ceremony, are not recognized. 

If you’re in a Common-Law Relationship: You can sponsor the person as your common-law partner (any gender) if you’ve been living or have lived with your partner for at least 12 consecutive months in a marriage-like relationship.

If you’re in a Conjugal Relationship: A person residing outside Canada, in a conjugal relationship with the sponsor for a minimum of one year, can be sponsored. This relationship must demonstrate a significant level of attachment, indicating more than just a physical bond, but a mutually interdependent relationship. The partnership should span at least 12 months, even if marriage or cohabitation has not been feasible for any reason. The person being sponsored has to be living in Canada if you’re applying in the conjugal partner class.

Common-Law Partner or Spouse Residing in Canada

If your spouse or common-law partner resides with you in Canada, you can apply under the Spouse or Common-Law Partner in Canada class.

Eligibility Criteria for Your Spouse or Common-Law Partner

– Must possess valid temporary residence status or be exempt from needing this status.

– Spouses or common-law partners who lack temporary resident status may be sponsored in Canada if they are deemed inadmissible for certain reasons, like visa overstays or entering Canada without proper documentation. However, if inadmissible for other reasons, they must resolve the issue before applying for permanent residence.

Spouses and Common-Law Partners Working and Studying in Canada

– If your spouse or common-law partner holds a valid work or study permit, they may continue their activities as long as the permit is valid. Unauthorized work or study is prohibited by IRCC regulations.

   – If your spouse or common-law partner possesses a valid work permit, they may continue working as permitted.

   – If your spouse or common-law partner has a valid study permit and wishes to maintain student status, please refer to the accompanying guide for detailed instructions.

Sponsoring Your Dependent Children

You can sponsor your dependent children outside Canada if they meet the following criteria:

Definitions of Dependent Children

   – Children under 22 years old without a spouse or common-law partner.

   – Children 22 years old or older may qualify if they have depended on their parents for financial support and are unable to support themselves due to a mental or physical condition.

Important Considerations

   – Even if a child is in the sole custody of a previous spouse or partner, they must be listed in the application. This ensures future sponsorship opportunities and compliance with residency regulations. Failure to declare all family members may jeopardize permanent resident status.

If an individual fails to meet the spousal sponsorship requirements and opts to withdraw their application:

– They will receive a refund for the principal applicant processing fee and any Right of Permanent Resident Fees paid.

– There will be no decision made on the application for permanent residence of the sponsored person.

– The sponsor will not have the right to appeal. 

If the sponsor rectifies the situation that rendered them ineligible to sponsor, they can reapply at a later date. If the sponsor does not qualify and chooses to proceed with processing:

– The application for the sponsored person will be processed.

– The application for permanent residence will likely be refused, and the sponsor will be notified in writing if they have the right to appeal.

Criminal History and Rehabilitation

In general, individuals with criminal convictions may be deemed inadmissible to enter Canada.

Convictions or Offences Outside Canada

If the person you’re sponsoring resides outside Canada and has committed or been convicted of a crime elsewhere, they may have options to address this criminal inadmissibility. This doesn’t apply to individuals applying from within Canada with convictions or offences outside Canada. 

The person can seek rehabilitation either:

– Before submitting the sponsorship application, or

– By submitting the rehabilitation application along with your sponsorship application. In this case, your eligibility is assessed as a sponsor and the initial evaluation of the permanent resident application. However, only the sponsored person’s admissibility is assessed after they receive a decision on their rehabilitation application.

If the offence would be considered a summary conviction in Canada, and if the person was convicted of two or more such offences, the rehabilitation period is at least five years after completing the sentences.

Convictions or Offences in Canada

If the person has a criminal record in Canada, they must request a record suspension (formerly known as a pardon) from the Parole Board of Canada (PBC) before becoming admissible to Canada.

The sponsored individual should refrain from completing the forms in this guide until they secure their record suspension. For more information or to request a Record Suspension Application Guide, contact:

Parole Board of Canada

Clemency and Record Suspension Division

410 Laurier Avenue West

Ottawa, Ontario

K1A 0R1

Telephone: 1-800-874-2652 (within Canada and the United States only)

Fax: 1-613-941-4981

Email: suspension@pbc-clcc.gc.ca

Website: https://www.canada.ca/en/parole-board.html

To be eligible for a record suspension under the Criminal Records Act, a specified period must elapse after completing the sentence, which may include payment of fines, probation, or imprisonment.

Biometric Requirements

You and your family members may need to provide fingerprints and a photograph (biometric information) at a biometric collection service point. Canadian citizens and existing permanent residents are exempt from biometric requirements.

As of December 3, 2019, biometrics are required for applications from within Canada. Visit a designated Service Canada location.

Find out if biometrics are required for your application.

Once you

– have made the payment 

– have submitted your application and biometric fees, and you

– receive a biometric instruction letter (BIL) directing you to biometric collection service points,

– Bring the BIL to the biometric collection service point to provide your biometrics.

It’s advisable to provide biometrics promptly after receiving the BIL to expedite application processing.

When and Where to Provide Biometrics

Book an appointment at an official biometric collection service point to provide your biometrics.

Steps To Apply for Spousal Sponsorship to Canada

Step 1. Obtain the Application Package

Individuals obtain their application package, which comprises checklists, forms, and instructions.

To access the appropriate instructions and checklist, they need to select from the drop-down menus the following information:

– The individual being sponsored

– The country where the spouse or common-law partner or conjugal partner resides

– The country where the documents submitted with the application were issued

The document checklist provided:

– Specifies the required forms

– Lists all the necessary documents for submission

– Provides links to instructions for completing each form

It is mandatory to upload a copy of this checklist to the online application.

Step 2. Gather Your Documents

Applicants should follow these guidelines to ensure smooth submission

1) Utilize the checklist provided to gather all necessary documents:

– For each item on the checklist, select the applicable situation and mark the corresponding box.

– Only submit documents relevant to your specific circumstances. Further information is requested if needed.

– Non-English or non-French documents require the following:

    – A certified copy of the original document

    – An English or French translation

    – An affidavit from the translator. 

– Proof of communication documents not in English or French, like letters, printed text messages, emails, or social media conversations, must also be translated. A maximum of 10 pages of such documents may be submitted with the application.

2) Country-specific requirements:

– Country-specific requirements on the family sponsorship application are followed.

– These requirements ensure the correct submission of documents for each checklist item, increasing the likelihood of application acceptance.

Specific instructions for certain documents may vary based on the country of issuance. For instance, civil documents from different countries (e.g., birth certificates, proof of identity, child custody documentation) have specific requirements.

For individuals aged 18 and above who are not Canadian citizens or permanent residents, and have resided in any country other than Canada for six or more consecutive months since turning 18, a valid police certificate from that country is required. Exceptions apply if the individual or family member was under 18 for the entire duration of their stay in the country.

If the original certificate is not in English or French, it must be translated by an accredited translator. Both the original certificate and its translation must be included.

Background checks will also be conducted independently to assess admissibility to Canada for the applicant and their family members.

Photos submitted with the application package will be used to produce Permanent Resident Cards if the application is approved. The photos must meet specified requirements to avoid delays in receiving the Confirmation of the Permanent Resident document and/or the permanent resident card.

Translation requirements mandate the inclusion of the following alongside any non-English or non-French document:

– The English or French translation.

– An affidavit from the translator if they are not certified.

Translations may be performed by individuals fluent in both languages or by Canadian-certified translators. If translated by a non-certified translator, the translator must provide an affidavit attesting to their language proficiency and the translation’s accuracy.

The affidavit must be sworn in the presence of a notary public, a commissioner of oaths, or a commissioner of taking affidavits, depending on the jurisdiction. It’s important to note that translations should not be completed by the applicants themselves or by members of their immediate family, as defined in the provided warning.

To obtain a certified true copy of a document, an authorized individual must compare the original document with the photocopy and include the following details on the photocopy:

– Certify that it is a copy of an original file;

– The name of the original document;

– The date of certification;

– The name of the authorized person;

– Their official position or title; and

– Their signature.

– Only individuals with authorization are permitted to certify copies.

It’s essential to note that applicants themselves or their immediate family members, including parents, guardians, siblings, spouses, common-law partners, conjugal partners, grandparents, children, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, or first cousins, are prohibited from certifying copies. Authorized individuals for certifying copies include:

Within Canada:

– A notary public;

– A commissioner of oaths; or

– A commissioner of taking affidavits.

– Certification authority varies by province and territory. Refer to local provincial or territorial authorities to identify authorized certifiers.

Outside Canada:

– A notary public.

– Certification authority for international documents varies by country. Consult local authorities to identify certifiers in your jurisdiction.

Step 3. Filling Out the Forms and Completing Your Application

Individuals should utilize their checklist to ensure all forms are properly completed.

Failure to fully complete and sign the requested forms, or omission of any forms from the application package, will result in the application being rejected and returned. For applicants under 18 years old, one of their parents or a legal guardian must sign the form(s) on their behalf.

The sponsor is responsible for completing the following PDF forms:

1. Provide electronic copies of the completed forms to the person being sponsored.

2. The person being sponsored (principal applicant) will upload them to their online application and electronically sign for the entire application, including those of any other family members.

Forms to be completed by the sponsor

– Application to Sponsor, Sponsorship Agreement and Undertaking [IMM 1344]- Both the sponsor and the sponsored person must electronically sign this application.

– If sponsoring a spouse or partner (with or without dependent children)- Sponsorship Evaluation and Relationship Questionnaire [IMM 5532]

– If sponsoring only dependent children:

– Sponsorship Evaluation [IMM 5481]

– Financial Evaluation [IMM 1283]

– If a child will be travelling without both parents/guardians: Separation Declaration for Minors Travelling to Canada [IMM 5604]

The principal applicant (the person being sponsored) must sign in or create a Permanent Residence online application portal account. If there are technical issues with the portal, applicants can contact the authorities using the web form, selecting “technical difficulties” from the drop-down menu.

The sponsor, in this case, must fill out the following digital forms online:

– IMM 0008- Generic Application Form for Canada 

– IMM 5669- Schedule A – Background/Declaration 

– IMM 5406- Additional Family Information

– IMM 5562- Supplementary Information – Your travels, if applicable

Dependents more than 18 years of age must also complete another set of forms. Additionally, the principal applicant must fill out these PDF forms and upload them to their online application. Printing or signing is not required, as the principal applicant will electronically sign for the entire application:

– Document Checklist

– The country-specific requirements

– Use of a Representative [IMM 5476] or Authority to release personal information to a designated individual form [IMM 5475], if applicable.

When completing your forms, ensure accuracy and completeness by following these steps:

1. Use a computer to fill out your forms, as some forms include a “Validate” button. Clicking this button electronically validates the forms, ensuring all questions are answered. Any missing information will be indicated by a pop-up error message or a red square around incomplete fields.

2. Be thorough and precise in your responses. Fill out all sections of the forms. If a section does not apply to you, clearly indicate it by writing “Not Applicable” or “NA”.

3. If additional space is needed for any section, attach an extra page containing the relevant section. Complete it and upload it with your application, selecting “other” as the document type. The additional information can be in JPG, JPEG, or PDF format.

4. Follow the provided instructions to complete the forms. While most questions are straightforward, additional instructions are provided for certain questions. Ensure that all questions are answered comprehensively.

Step 4. Payment of Application Fee

Before submitting your application, follow these steps to determine the applicable fees using the table below:

Sponsorship feeCAD 75
Principal applicant processing feeCAD 490
Right of permanent residence feeCAD 515
Processing feeCAD 75
Processing fee for application by a dependent child or overage dependent child CAD 155
Biometrics for oneCAD 85
Biometrics for a family applying at the same time and place (of 2 or more)CAD 170

Step 5. Submit the Spousal Sponsorship Application

Upon completing your application, follow these steps to submit it for processing:

1. Ensure all questions in the application are answered accurately and comprehensively.

2. Electronically sign your application by typing your full name exactly as it appears on your passport. This signature is a legal requirement according to Canada’s Immigration Law.

3. Include the receipt of your processing fee along with the application.

4. Upload all the required supporting documents to accompany your application.

5. Read the declaration carefully, and personally type your name to signify your agreement. This step is crucial for your application to be considered “signed” by Canada’s Immigration Law.

For spousal sponsorship principal applicants who are under 18 years of age, their parent or legal guardian must electronically sign the application on their behalf.

Sponsorship Process for Residents of Quebec

Quebec operates under its immigration regulations. Here’s how you can sponsor someone while residing in Quebec:

1. Initial Application Submission

   – Start by sending the authorities your application.

   – If you meet the federal sponsorship criteria, you will be notified via email or letter with instructions to download Quebec’s sponsorship kit.

2. Quebec’s Undertaking Kit

   – Complete and submit this undertaking.

   – Attach a copy of the email or letter you have received to the undertaking application submitted to the Quebec government.

Financial Capacity Requirement

   – If your spouse or partner’s dependent child has dependent children, you must demonstrate your financial ability to fulfill the sponsorship undertaking.

3. Review by the Quebec Government

   – Quebec authorities will assess your sponsorship application and determine your eligibility. Ineligibility may occur if:

     – You failed to fulfill a past sponsorship agreement because the sponsored person received social assistance and you haven’t reimbursed the Quebec government.

     – In the five years preceding your sponsorship application, you neglected to pay court-ordered alimony or child support.

     – You violated other conditions set by Quebec authorities or federal regulatory requirements, especially if you received social assistance and aren’t exempt from this condition.

Application Fee Details

Sponsorship fee for oneCAD 319
Sponsorship fee for additional person sponsored there afterCAD 128

Decision Process

   – IRCC cannot finalize your application until we receive Quebec’s decision regarding your undertaking application.

   – If you are approved as a sponsor, the Quebec government will notify IRCC accordingly.

Spousal Sponsorship to Canada Processing Time

Here is a table for processing timing according to your status in the spousal sponsorship application.

Spouse or common-law partner living inside CanadaSpouse or common-law partner living outside Canada
Will be Living Inside Quebec26 months34 months
Will be Living Outside Quebec9 months12 months

Spousal Sponsorship Process in Canada: Inside vs Outside Canada

AspectSponsoring Spouse Inside CanadaSponsoring Spouse Outside Canada
Eligibility of SponsorMust be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident
Must be at least 18 years old
Class ApplicableCommon-Law Partner or Spouse in Canada classApply under the Family Class as a spouse, common-law, or conjugal partner sponsored
Work Permit EligibilityMay be eligible for an open work permit while the permanent residence application is being processedNot eligible for an open work permit until after receiving approval in principle letter for permanent residence
Spouse’s StatusMust have valid temporary resident statusMust wait until the spouse receives approval for permanent residence
Processing LocationApplication processed within CanadaApplication processed outside Canada
Processing TimeVaries based on the processing office and other factorsVaries based on the processing office and other factors

What Happens After You Apply for Spousal Sponsorship to Canada?

Upon receipt of the application, the immigration authorities conduct a thorough review to ensure all required forms and documents listed on the document checklist are submitted. In the event of an incomplete application package, it is returned to the applicant without processing. However, if all the requested forms and documents are included, the applicant receives confirmation of the application’s acceptance for processing.

The eligibility of the sponsor is assessed, and the applicant receives an email or letter informing them of the decision made.

Upon approval of the sponsorship undertaking, the permanent residence application is sent to the relevant processing office for further assessment. Conversely, if the sponsorship undertaking is declined, the applicant receives an email or letter detailing the reasons for the refusal.

If the applicant chooses to proceed with the spousal sponsorship despite being deemed ineligible, the entire application package is forwarded to a processing office for additional review.

How To Apply as a Sponsored Spouse or Common-Law Partner in Canada?

Eligible candidates for an open work permit, in case of spousal sponsorship include

– Spouses, common-law partners, or conjugal partners residing in Canada who are undergoing sponsorship for permanent residency.

– Dependent children accompanying the principal applicant.

As principal applicants for permanent residency, individuals must fulfill the following criteria when applying for an open work permit:

– Maintain a genuine relationship with their sponsor.

– Be part of a permanent residency application and possess an Acknowledgement of Receipt (AOR) letter confirming the processing of their permanent residency application.

– Reside in Canada alongside their sponsor.

Accompanying dependent children can apply for an open work permit provided they meet the following conditions. The principal applicant they are accompanying must:

– Maintain a genuine relationship with their sponsor.

– Be part of a permanent residency application and possess an Acknowledgement of Receipt (AOR) letter confirming the processing of their permanent residency application.

– Reside in Canada alongside their sponsor.

– Dependent children must live with their family member (the principal applicant) and their sponsor.

Individuals cannot apply for an open work permit if their application for permanent residence has been refused, withdrawn, or returned.

Get economical prices and a certified immigration consultant.

How To Apply for an Open Work Permit?

You can check in detail how to apply for a work permit in Canada here and a spousal open work permit in Canada here. Here are some extra steps that might be eligible for your current situation in this spousal sponsorship application.

You have a valid temporary residence status in Canada

Individuals with valid temporary resident status who have received their Acknowledgement of Receipt (AOR) letter can proceed to apply for an open work permit. The application process is conducted online via the IRCC secure account.

Eligibility for Applying Without an AOR

Applicants are eligible to apply for a work permit without an AOR if they meet the following criteria:

– Their work permit, study permit, or temporary resident status will expire in two weeks or less.

They have applied for permanent residence under one of the following classes:

– Common-Law Partner or Spouse in Canada class 

– Family class  

Application Procedure for an Open Work Permit:

1. Obtain the Right Document Checklist:

Upon signing in or creating an IRCC secure account, applicants must answer a series of questions to generate a personalized document checklist. This checklist will outline the required documents for upload.

2. Authorized Paid Representatives (APRs):

APRs can submit work permit applications on behalf of applicants through the APR Portal if they meet specific eligibility criteria.

3. Completing the Application Form:

When filling out the work permit application form, applicants should provide their details in the “Details of Intended Work in Canada” section.

4. Uploading Documents:

In addition to the documents outlined in the personalized checklist, applicants must upload extra documents for the open work permit, including:

– AOR confirming the completion of the permanent residence application

– Proof of valid temporary resident status (if AOR is received)

– Family Information form (IMM 5707), including marriage license/certificate or Statutory Declaration of Common-Law Union (IMM 5409) and birth certificates of dependent children showing both parents’ names.

You do not have a valid temporary residence status in Canada

Individuals without valid temporary resident status must adhere to specific guidelines regarding the application for an open work permit:

1. Absence of Valid Temporary Resident Status: If applicants do not possess valid temporary resident status, they must wait until they receive their approval in principle letter for their permanent residence application.

2. Limitations on Applying Under Different Programs: Applicants are not permitted to apply for an open work permit under any other policy or pilot program.

In conclusion, spousal sponsorship in Canada offers a pathway for individuals to reunite with their loved ones and build a life together in a country known for its diversity and opportunities. Through the spousal sponsorship program, Canadians and permanent residents can sponsor their spouses or partners to obtain permanent residence status in Canada. With its commitment to family unity and inclusivity, Canada stands as a beacon of hope for couples seeking to embark on a new chapter of their lives together.

Spousal Sponsorship to Canada: FAQs

1. Who is eligible to sponsor their spouse or partner for permanent residence in Canada?
Canadian citizens and permanent residents who are at least 18 years old and meet specific financial and sponsorship requirements can sponsor their spouses or partners for permanent residence in Canada.

2. What is the spousal sponsorship program in Canada?
The spousal sponsorship program allows Canadians and permanent residents to sponsor their spouses or partners to immigrate to Canada and obtain permanent resident status.

3. What documents do I need for a Canadian spousal sponsorship application?
Required documents typically include forms such as the Application to Sponsor, Sponsorship Agreement and Undertaking (IMM 1344), evidence of the sponsor’s status, proof of relationship, and financial support documents.

4. Can individuals apply for an open work permit while their spousal sponsorship application is being processed?
Yes, spouses or partners being sponsored for permanent residence in Canada may be eligible to apply for an open work permit, provided they meet certain criteria and have got an Acknowledgement of Receipt confirming their permanent residence application is being processed.

5. What if I do not have a valid temporary resident status in Canada?
If you do not have valid temporary resident status, you may need to wait until you receive approval in principle for your permanent residence application before applying for an open work permit. Other public policies or pilot programs may not be applicable in this case.

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