Canadians will not have to bare separation from their spouses for a long time if they meet the eligibility criteria for the program, they can sponsor their spouses or common law partners without any hurdle. Before submitting a sponsorship application, the sponsor needs to make sure that he is meeting the financial requirements to sponsor his spouse and the sponsored person will not be a liability on Canadian government from financial or social point of view
If the sponsorship application is still under process and on decision pending mode, then another application for the same spouse cannot be submitted again. Similarly, conviction, imprisonment, financial instability and relying on government aid already are the factors which come as a barrier in sponsoring.
Two applications for sponsorship for the same person cannot be presented simultaneously. A new application will only come into force after the decision of the former one is made. Background check plays a dominant role in determining the success rate of the application. Unfortunately, if found guilty of any criminality issue, the person will not be able to sponsor his/her spouse or common-law partner. Before sponsoring, the applicant has to make sure to have sufficient funds to sponsor and once provided sponsorship, the sponsor can bare all the expenses associated with his spouse.
Spousal Sponsorship Program Eligibility
There are two streams, Inland sponsorship and Outland Sponsorship, falling under the Spousal Sponsorship Program, which allow applicants to apply, based on their eligibility requirements.
Before submitting an application for the sponsorship, the sponsor needs to demonstrate of meeting all the mandatory eligibility criteria for the application to be considered.
The eligibility requirements for the Inland and Outland applicants are mentioned below in detail:
Inland Spousal Sponsorship
This program is specifically designed for the Canadian Citizens or permanent residents of Canada whose spouses or common law partners are staying in Canada but have not attained the permanent resident status yet. The sponsored individuals also need to ensure that either the visitor visa, study visa or the work permit they are currently having, stays intact and in case of any expiration, needs to get extended until their permanent resident application gets processed. By doing this, they can determine their legal stay in Canada.
At the time of application, it is not mandatory that applicant has a valid status in Canada but should have entered Canada on a valid visa.
This program is a big relief for sponsored spouses or common law partners falling under in Canada spousal applicants to work while waiting for the decision of the application.
The SOWP is a special category which provides financial relief to sponsored spouses staying in Canada on temporary status. The processing of permanent resident application may take up to 12 months so in the meantime, applicants can apply for the open work permit which allows them to work in Canada under any employer and earn also, so they may carry their own expenses. To apply for the open work permit, the sponsored applicant must hold a temporary status, reside in the same house with the sponsor and meet all the above-mentioned eligibility requirements.
Quebec Spousal sponsorship
In case the sponsor resides in the province of Quebec, he has to commit to financial undertaking and must give in writing that he will bare all the financial expenses of the sponsored spouse, common law partner or conjugal partner for three years.
The relationship between the sponsor and the sponsored person must be recognized by IRCC as legal marriage, common law or conjugal partnership and the applicant must have enough evidence to prove their relationship.
This program is designated to unite couples who are staying apart because their spouses or common law partners cannot stay in Canada otherwise, so this special program allows the sponsor to submit a permanent resident application for their legal partners who, once approved are entitled to have the status of a permanent resident in Canada. Like Inland Sponsorship, the processing time of outland sponsorship application may also take up to a year for final decision
Eligibility Requirements Sponsor
The eligibility requirements for the Outland Sponsorship program for both the Sponsor and the Sponsored person are the same as the Inland Sponsorship application:
Must not have any kind of removal orders from the government
Must not have received spousal Sponsorship to Canada in the previous five Years
Are under no obligation to meet the Minimum Necessary income (MNI) in case of sponsoring Spouses or common law partners or their children. The sponsor is not eligible to apply for spousal sponsorship if:
Still financially responsible for the previously sponsored spouse
Have been permanent resident of Canada for less than 5 years
Have criminal background
Under government debt including social or financial assistance
Before submitting an application for sponsoring a spouse, it has to be mandatory that the Sponsor is a permanent resident of Canada or Canadian citizen which clearly means that the sponsor cannot apply while on visitor, study or work permit status and also in case of being charged with “removal orders.” The legal spouse may be of the same gender but must be an adult and legally married to the sponsor. Common law partner may not be actually married but has to be in relation with the sponsor for consecutive twelve months. Conjugal partners can also be sponsored if they live outside Canada but need to be in relation with the sponsor for at least a year and cannot get married to the sponsor because of certain restrictions in their home country.
Spousal Sponsorship Program Process
As mentioned already, both applications from sponsor and applicant, need to be submitted together in order to be processed appropriately. The application needs to be apt, clear and should fully suffice all the relevant information. Whatever mentioned in the application should be supported by the necessary documents as well.
“Inaccurate information on the application might be leading to rejection”
If knowingly or unknowingly, an applicant makes any error in providing the required information, it may cost him a heavy penalty of getting his application rejected therefore an emphasis should be paid on accuracy, precision and relevant information while submitting an application in order to avoid any unfavorable decision by IRCC.
Spousal Sponsorship Program Supporting Documents
Original documents must be submitted as per checklist provided along with the application package. The application fee includes the processing fee, permanent residency fee and the biometric fee which is nonrefundable. Medical exam fee and Police clearance certificate fee would be extra and come as a part of application processing. Any additional information required will lead to contacting the applicant, for providing more supporting documents.
Incomplete application including missing processing fee or supporting documents is subjected to be returned to the applicant.
It is solely applicant’s responsibility to let IRCC know of any changes in his personal circumstances including birth or adoption of a child, marriage or divorce, death of sponsor or dependent. Once the application is submitted, the usual waiting period of the final decision is up to 12 months, but time period still varies and may take longer.
The documents submitted should be originals and must be translated, if they are not in English or French language. Documents should be duly certified by the authentic translator.
Alerts for refused applicants (Under FAQ section)
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