I want to sponsor my spouse to Canada, how does it work?

Nancy Elliott
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To sponsor your spouse to Canada, you must submit a sponsorship application. First, you must qualify as a sponsor, and your spouse must also be considered a member of the family class.
Given that there are a lot of sponsorship applications being submitted which do not qualify, immigration has very strict rules when assessing these applications.
It is crucial to execute the application carefully with all the required documents, the ones listed on the immigration website as well as other documents which are not listed and can be provided to you by an immigration lawyer. An incomplete application may cause long delays as well as the potential refusal of your request. Submitting a well-organized application will most likely result in your application being processed faster.

As a sponsor, you must:

  • be 18 years or older
  • be a Canadian citizen or a Permanent Resident of Canada
  • be married or in a common-law relationship (living together for at least one year)
  • reside in Canada or if living outside Canada, demonstrate the intention to return to Canada
  • in the five years preceding the sponsorship application, you did not become a permanent resident after being yourself sponsored to Canada by a spouse
  • not receive social assistance for a reason other than disability
  • not be an undischarged bankrupt under the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act
  • not have persons you previously sponsored, or their family members received social assistance during the validity period of the undertaking
  • not be ordered to leave Canada, not be the subject of a report on inadmissibility
  • not be late in making any required payments on an immigration loan, a performance bond or any other amounts you agreed to pay under Canadian immigration legislation
  • not be currently detained in jail, prison, penitentiary or reformatory
  • not be convicted of a sexual offense or serious violent offense against anyone causing bodily harm against someone who is related to you, or an attempt to commit such an offense
  • not be in default of a court order to make support payments to your spouse, former spouse or child
  • not be the subject of an application to revoke your Canadian citizenship
  • not be charged with an offense under an Act of Parliament punishable by a maximum term of imprisonment of at least ten years

You must also demonstrate that your relationship with your spouse is permanent and genuine. This is the most important It is important to submit strong supporting documents for this even though you may have children together or if you have been in a relationship for many years.
It is best to consult with an immigration lawyer to discuss the entire sponsorship process as there are many elements to consider.

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Nancy Myles Elliott is a business person and lawyer, focusing on solutions for individuals and companies seeking to invest or relocate in Canada. Ms. Elliott leads her own law firm, focusing on immigration and citizenship law, as well as advising on corporate legal matters relevant to new immigrants.
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