Spouse or Common-Law Partner

Spouse or Common-Law Partner

Sponsorship of spouse or common-law partner enables a permanent resident or Canadian citizen to sponsor a common-law partner or spouse. The program is a significant part of a Canadian immigration system that aims at helping spouses or common-law partners obtain permanent resident status in Canada.

Applications for spousal sponsorship are processed on priority as IRCC strives to complete the decision-making within 12 months. Getting professional help from an experienced immigration consultant can help you expedite the application process to bring your loved one to Canada with no hassles.

Spousal sponsorship

Canada allows permanent residents or Canadian citizens to sponsor the following under the spousal sponsorship program:

  • Spouse – One can sponsor husband, wife, or partner provided the marriage is legal
  • Common-law partner – If the individual is in a live-in relationship with the partner
  • Conjugal partner – The individual is in a committed relationship that is as good as marriage for the minimum period of one year. The reasons for not living together must be excusable and not standard, like not getting a visa, a different job location, or studying in a foreign country.

Partners with same-sex marriage are allowed to apply under any of these categories as Canada recognizes these marriages. Following are some requirements to be eligible to sponsor a spouse:

  • You are more than eighteen years of age.
  • You are a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident either living in Canada or have plans to return.
  • There is no social assistance except for disability reasons
  • Similarly, your spouse will not need any social assistance
  • You are capable of fulfilling the basic needs of your spouse and dependent children if any.

Sponsor’s responsibilities

You will have to submit an undertaking along with the application to sponsor a spouse to commit seamless financial support to the spouse and dependent children. As a sponsor, you will promise to take care of the following basic needs of the souse:

  • Food and other necessities for personal hygiene
  • Housing and other supportive utilities
  • Clothing and other personal care products
  • Healthcare expenses other than those covered under Public Health Insurance

The undertaking will come into force on the day your spouse or common-law partner becomes a permanent resident. Your obligations will remain as long as your undertaking is in force. Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) is the approving authority of the application to sponsor your spouse. You will not be allowed to withdraw or cancel the undertaking for three years, which is the effective period of the undertaking.

Individuals who receive disability benefits or Employment Insurance Benefits from the government can apply for sponsoring a spouse. You must have an adequate income to cater to the financial needs of your spouse. There should be no bankruptcy proceedings against you.

Understanding outland and inland sponsorship

You will come across the terms, Outland Sponsorship and Inland Sponsorship’ being used frequently during the application process for spousal sponsorship.

  • Inland sponsorship – Inland sponsorship applies to a sponsor and the spouse staying together in Canada, and the sponsored individual has a temporary resident status as a visitor, student, or worker. Processing of the application for inland sponsorship takes place in Canada.
  • Outland sponsorship – Processing of the application for outland spousal sponsorship happens in the country where the sponsored spouse or partner is legally residing. A sponsor may use the same application even if the spouse is staying with them in Canada. Outland sponsorship allows the applicant to appeal a refusal. Inland sponsorship application does not provide the option to appeal against a refusal.

Application to sponsor a spouse or common-law partner

It is crucial for you and your loved one to make sure that you meet all eligibility criteria before applying for sponsorship. Consulting a reliable immigration expert will help you submit the application, which is complete in all respects. It will also ensure faster processing of the spousal sponsorship application.

You will follow four steps while applying for spousal sponsorship. The application to sponsor your spouse or partner will also accompany the application for permanent residency of the spouse or common-law partner. Following are the standard steps for the application:

  • Download the application package from a relevant government website. The application will have instructions and guidelines to help you avoid mistakes.
  • Payment of fees through online portal
  • Following the instructions for the submission of the application
  • Submission of supporting papers

Proof of relationship

Following documents can prove your relationship with the spouse or common-law partner:

  • Provide relationship information through the questionnaire for evaluation of sponsorship
  • Adoption records, marriage certificates, birth certificates
  • Photos to prove that you and your partner are in a relationship
  • Documents like insurance policies or employment benefits that indicate you and your spouse as partners
  • References from social media, email communications, and letters that prove your relationship
  • Bills or other proofs that prove shared expenditure between both of you

There are multiple reasons for the refusal of a spousal sponsorship application. These are:

  • Lack of proper documents to establish the legitimacy of the relationship,
  • Errors in the application forms,
  • Misrepresentation,
  • Inability to meet eligibility criteria.

Hiring an experienced spousal sponsorship consultant can help you avoid delays and refusals. Dev Immigration Services Inc offers expert and professional guidance to help you sponsor your loved one by explaining all options. Visit us today to discuss various options to sponsor your loved one through the spousal sponsorship program.


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