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SPOUSAL AND PARTNERSHIP SPONSORSHIP LAWYER

In Canada, navigating the complex landscape of spousal and partnership sponsorship is a critical aspect of immigration law. Whether you are a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident looking to reunite with your spouse or common-law partner, the expertise of a skilled spousal and partnership sponsorship lawyer can make all the difference. Learn about the intricacies of Canadian immigration law, focusing on the pivotal role these legal professionals play in helping families stay together. From understanding the eligibility criteria to preparing a comprehensive application, we'll explore how these lawyers guide individuals through the sponsorship process, ensuring that their loved ones can join them in the Great White North.

Spousal Sponsorship Canada Class Program

Spousal Sponsorship is a part of the Family Sponsorship program. Under this program, a Canadian citizen/ permanent resident can sponsor their legally married spouse or common-law partner and conjugal partner if they’re having a marriage-like relationship.

What is Spousal Sponsorship?

Under Spousal Sponsorship, Canadian citizens or permanent residents can sponsor their spouse or common-law partner to come to Canada and live with them permanently.

IMPORTANCE OF SPONSORSHIP IN IMMIGRATION OR GAINING PERMANENT RESIDENT STATUS

Canada as a country has always believed in the unification of families. The top-most priority of the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) is uniting families. Under the Spousal Sponsorship program in immigration, the sponsored person can live, work and study in Canada as a permanent resident.

TYPES OF PARTNERSHIP

Under the Spousal Sponsorship program following people can be sponsored.

  • Spouse
  • Common-law partner
  • Conjugal Partner

LEGALLY MARRIED SPOUSE

To get valid temporary resident status or obtain permanent resident status under the Spousal Sponsorship Canada Class program, a person should be legally married in any jurisdiction. It needs to be recognised by the federal body.

COMMON-LAW SPONSORSHIP

To sponsor as a common-law partner, common-law relationship partners must have lived together for more than 12 months to be considered a committed relationship.

CONJUGAL PARTNER

Under Spousal Sponsorship, conjugal partners can be sponsored. To sponsor, you must have been together for at least one year but were unable to live together or get married for reasons beyond your control.

LEGAL CONSTRAINTS

A few constraints are sponsoring under the Spousal Sponsorship Canada Class program.

  • If you are less than 18 years old.
  • If you are Canadian and live out of the country the person you want to sponsor becomes a permanent resident.
  • If you are receiving social assistance for reasons other than a disability.
  • If you cannot provide the basic financial necessities to the person you are sponsoring.

ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA FOR SPOUSAL SPONSORSHIP APPLICATION

SPONSORED PERSON

  • The person who is sponsored must be at least 18 years of age.
  • The person who is sponsored must be conjugal partner, spouse, or common-law partner.
  • The sponsored common-law partners must be inadmissible to Canada for reasons such as criminality, health or misrepresentation.
  • If a sponsored one is a spouse, then they must be legally married. If you are a common-law partner, then you must have been living with the sponsor in a conjugal relationship for at least one year.

SPONSOR

To become eligible to sponsor under the Spousal or Common-Law Sponsorship program following are the eligibility criteria: –

  • The sponsor must be at least 18 years of age.
  • The sponsor must either be a Canadian Citizen or a permanent resident.
  • The sponsor must be able to provide basic financial needs of your spouse for three years.

CITIZENSHIP REQUIREMENTS

Sponsoring someone under the Spousal Sponsorship Program does not automatically make you a Canadian Citizen. There isn’t a special process for spouses of Canadian Citizens, if you have been sponsored under the Sponsorship program, then you become a permanent resident.

You must meet several requirements to apply for citizenship. You must be physically present in Canada for at least 1,095 days during 5 years right before the date you applied.

FINANCIAL STABILITY

In most cases, there isn’t an income requirement to sponsor your spouse, partner, or dependent child . You only need to show that you have enough money to meet the minimum income requirement if:

  • You are sponsoring a dependent child that has 1 or more dependent children of their own, or
  • You are sponsoring a spouse or common-law partner who has dependent children, and their dependent children have 1 or more children of their own.

AGE LIMIT

Under the Spousal Sponsorship program, you can sponsor your spouse, conjugal partner, and common law partner must be at least 18 years of age.

RELATIONSHIP VALIDATION

IRCC rigorously evaluates the relationship between the parties to see the genuineness of the marriage.  Canadian citizens or permanent residents might also enter into transactional associations or can enter into relationships for monetary compensation. For this, they are free to request additional documents such as pictures, certificates or fill questionnaire.

SPONSORSHIP APPLICATION PROCESS

The following are the steps to apply for Spousal Sponsorship application: –

  • First and foremost, the step of the spousal sponsorship application is to obtain an application package from the government website.
  • The second step is to pay online fees which include processing fees, biometric fees right to permanent residence fees and other third-party fees.
  • Thereafter you are required to submit your application following the submission instructions.
  • IRCC can request additional documents if required.

For further queries regarding immigration contact contact@kozyrevlaw.ca.

DOCUMENTATION NEEDED

Below is the list of documents required while sponsoring a person under a Spousal Sponsorship application.

  • Complete sponsorship application forms
  • Marriage Certificate
  • Identity documents
  • Police Clearance Certificate
  • Proof of payment
  • Digital photos
  • Medical certificate of your spouse
  • Wedding invitations and photos
  • Birth Certificate or adoption records for any children you and your spouse have together.
  • Proof of registration of marriage with a government authority.
  • Relationship Information and Sponsorship Evaluation Questionnaire.

ONLINE V. PAPER APPLICATION

As of September 23, 2022, it is now mandatory to apply online . If you can’t apply online and require accommodations, including for a disability, you can ask for the application in another format (paper, braille or large print).

PERMANENT RESIDENCE FEE INVOLVED

For sponsoring under the spousal sponsorship program, the following are the fees required to be paid:-

  • Processing fee- $515
  • Biometric fee- $85
  • Permanent Residence Fee- $490
  • Sponsorship Fee- $75

INLAND V. OUTLAND SPONSORSHIP

An inland application for Spousal Sponsorship can only be done when the sponsor and the sponsored person are living in Canada, while the outland sponsorship can only be done when the person who is sponsored is living out of Canada.

WHAT IS INLAND SPONSORSHIP

Inland sponsorship under the Spousal Sponsorship program can be done when the sponsor and the sponsored person both are living in Canada. The sponsored person must have a legal status in the country such as a work permit, study permit, permanent resident visa or visitor visa.

WHAT IS OUTLAND SPONSORSHIP

Outland sponsorship can be done when the person who is sponsored is living out of Canada. This can also be done when the sponsored person is present in the country, however, wants to apply through the outland Spousal Sponsorship program.

PROS AND CONS

Inland Spousal Sponsorship:

  • Pros: The main advantage of inland sponsorship is that the sponsored person can apply for an open work permit when the application is under processing.
  • Cons: The only con, which is attached to inland sponsorship, the sponsored person must remain in Canada.

Outland Sponsorship:

  • Pros: The sponsored person is usually allowed to travel in and out of Canada, while the application is under process.
  • Cons: The main disadvantage of outland sponsorship is that the sponsored person cannot apply for the open work permit when the application is under processing.

FINANCIAL RESPONSIBILITIES

Under a spousal sponsorship program, a sponsored person is financially and legally responsible for three years toward their spouse, common-law partner or conjugal partner.

SPONSORSHIP AGREEMENT

The sponsorship agreement refers to a written agreement that guarantees the sponsored person’s ability to support his/ her spouse, common-law partner and conjugal partner financially for three years after permanent residency is approved.

DURATION OF FINANCIAL SUPPORT

As a sponsor, you are required to provide financial support to your spouse, conjugal partner and common-law partner for three years.

LEGAL CONSTRAINTS AND CHALLENGES

There are various constraints and challenges when the whole application process for spousal sponsorship is on: –

  • The person who is being sponsored is under 18 years of age.
  • The person who is sponsoring is a partner of another person or has a conjugal relationship.
  • The sponsored person has another common law, spousal or conjugal relationship with another individual besides their sponsor.

SOCIAL ASSISTANCE

Under Canadian immigration law , you are ineligible to sponsor if you get any kind of social assistance other than disability. Some benefits such as money, goods and services from provinces or territories are considered to be social assistance to sponsors.

CRIMINAL RECORDS

In Canada, people with criminal records are inadmissible to enter the country even if they are partners of a Canadian Citizen or have permanent resident status. If a person is being sponsored, her/ his inland or outland spousal sponsorship can be rejected on the grounds of criminal inadmissibility. However, Canadian Criminal Rehabilitation can allow a foreign national inadmissible in Canada to petition government authorities to give temporary status and declare them rehabilitated or safe. Criminal Rehabilitation typically takes 6 to 12 months to obtain and is a permanent solution that only needs to be done once provided the individual is never arrested again.

IMPACT ON APPLICATION

The criminal record of the sponsored spouse can render the person inadmissible in the country. Similarly, the sponsor’s criminal record related to non-compliance with support obligation and other disqualify them from sponsoring.

SAME-SEX PARTNER SPONSORSHIP

In 2005, same-sex marriage was given recognition across the country. Due to this legal recognition, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) allowed the immigration of conjugal partners, same-sex marriage and common-law partners. Now, similar to legally married spouses, same-sex partners can be sponsored by a permanent resident or a citizen. To sponsor a permanent resident visa for same-sex couple following criteria needs to be satisfied: –

  • A person who is sponsoring must be a permanent resident or Canadian citizen.
  • You and your same-sex partner are married to each other in Canada and have a valid marriage certificate issued by a provincial government.
LEGAL FRAMEWORK

Under this kind of sponsorship, a person is required to submit a genuine and legitimate relationship. Couple in general is required to submit evidence, documents, photographs, proof of conversations, and joint bank account statements to prove their relationship is legitimate.

CHALLENGES AND SOLUTIONS

The main challenge faced by same-sex sponsorship is to provide enough documentation and records.  These documents include bank accounts, credit cards, rent of a home together, etc.

PROCESSING TIME

Sponsorship under this program takes approximately 12 months to process. However, it can take longer depending on the circumstances of the case.

In complicated cases , Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) can request additional documents.

INSIDE CANADA

In cases, where same-sex marriages happen inside Canada, then to prove the legality of your marriage, you have to provide the legal marriage certificate from the province, where the marriage took place.

OUTSIDE CANADA

Similarly, if the same-sex marriage has happened outside of Canada, then in such a situation, you can only sponsor if the same-sex marriage is legally recognized in the place where the marriage took place.

CAN YOU SPONSOR WHILE LIVING OUTSIDE CANADA

A Canadian Citizen who is residing out of the country can sponsor provided he shows enough evidence that he has a plan to live in the country when the person who is sponsored becomes a permanent resident.

FOR PERMANENT RESIDENTS

Permanent residents can also sponsor a spouse, common-law partner and conjugal partner. However, the person who is sponsoring is required to provide an undertaking that she/ he is financially taking care of the sponsored person for three years.

FOR CANADIAN CITIZENS

A Canadian citizen within the country can sponsor his/ her spouse, common-law partner and conjugal partner. Even if a Canadian citizen is outside of the country can still sponsor your spouse, if there is enough evidence to prove that he has a plan to live in the country.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ON PERMANENT RESIDENCE

Can a sponsored person’s application for a work permit be approved, if he/ she is out of Canada?

If the sponsored spouse is not a permanent resident living in Canada, then they are not eligible for temporary status or an open work permit.

Is there any requirement for minimum income to sponsor an application under the spousal sponsorship program?

There is no such requirement of minimum income. However, you are required to provide an undertaking to provide financial support to your partner for three years.

How much time it takes to process a spouse or common-law sponsorship application?

Spousal sponsorship application usually takes up to 12 months, however, it can take longer depending on the complexity of the matter.

Can I work while my application is being processed?

A sponsored person can work only if they have a work permit. Your sponsored spouse or partner can apply for an open work permit if:-

  • They are living with you in Canada, and
  • IRCC has confirmed their application for permanent residence is complete.

What if my application is denied?

In cases of refusal under sponsorship application, it is important to get a legal representative to help you with these cases and file an appeal in a timely fashion. For any query related to immigration contact us at contact@kozyrevlaw.ca.

Hire a Spousal Sponsorship Lawyer today

In case, you are struggling to get your common-law partner or conjugal partner to migrate to Canada, then you can contact our skilled immigration lawyers to put your claim strongly before the administrative body. We can reached at contact@kozyrevlaw.ca and also at 416-900-0933.

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