How Does Sponsorship Work?

According to a government media release, the effort put towards modernizing the Canadian immigration system has assisted the IRCC in addressing its backlog. After the January announcement regarding the return of the 12-month processing time, the IRCC launched a portal where spousal and child sponsorship applicants can track their immigration applications online.

Regardless of being in or outland applicants, the processing time will be the same. This timeline includes biometrics, the IRCC assessing who the primary applicant will be, as well as the time needed to ensure the applicants meet all of the eligibility requirements.

Can I Sponsor My Spouse?

In order to be eligible to sponsor your spouse, you must be at least 18 years old and a Canadian Citizen, a permanent resident, or an Indigenous person registered under the Canadian Indian Act. You must also make it clear you are not receiving any social assistance, unless you have a disability, and can financially support the person you are sponsoring.

Can I Be Sponsored?

If you are a spouse, you must have been legally married to the sponsor at an in-person ceremony. If you are a common-law partner, you must have lived with the sponsor for at least a year.

Conjugal partners must have been in a relationship with the sponsor for at least a year, live outside of Canada, and cannot live with them or marry them due to legal issues. For example, same-sex marriage is forbidden in your origin country or divorce is not allowed. To be successful in this type of application, proof of relationship will be needed by the sponsor.

Beyond the basic requirements, foreign nationals must pass health, as well as a security and criminality screening before being considered admissible to Canada.

How Can I Apply?

Since there are two types of sponsorship processes, there are some differences between applications.

Inland Applications

To be considered an inland application, the couples applying for sponsorship must be within Canada. To be eligible, the foreign partner must already have a valid legal status in Canada, whether as a worker, student, or visitor.

During the process, the sponsored person can live, work or study in Canada and may be able to get a Spousal Open Work Permit, which they can normally use while they’re waiting for the results of their application. While the application is processing, it is expected that applicants remain in Canada.

Outland Applications

Unlike the inland application, you must live outside of the country while an outland application is being processed. This sponsorship is for foreign workers that are not legally living in Canada at the time of the application. However, the benefit of this is that you can travel outside of the country if needed.

Canadian permanent residents can sponsor their spouse as an outland applicant only if they are living in Canada, while Canadian citizens can sponsor their spouse as an outland applicant from abroad.