To be able to live together and spend more time with each other are two things that many couples wish for. This goal can be a bit tricky if you live in Canada, and your partner stays in the US. Fortunately, you can sponsor your partner so you can both stay in Canada for good.
If you are in a similar situation and have been wanting to get into Canada together, this article will tell you what you need to do in four simple steps:
Step 1: Check your Eligibility
The most crucial step is to confirm whether you are eligible for sponsorship. Only the following people can sponsor a partner in Canada:
- A Canadian citizen
- A person belonging to the First Nation
- A permanent resident, aged 18 years or over
However, people who meet these qualifications but have been convicted of a violent crime, have declared bankruptcy, or have financial responsibility for a common-law partner or a former spouse are not eligible. These individuals will need to wait three years before becoming eligible, which would still not be guaranteed.
Those who meet the eligibility criteria need to provide the following required documents:
- Immigration for your partner
- Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) for yourself and the person you are sponsoring and, if applicable, their dependents
Note: The requirements will vary depending on where you plan to live together in Canada.
Step 2: Check Your Partner’s Eligibility
You also need to ensure that your partner is eligible for entering the country as an immigrant. They should meet the following criteria:
- Aged 18 years or older
- Pass a background check
- Pass a security check
- Undergo a medical check
Step 3: Prepare and Fill Out All the Application Requirements
Check the Canadian government’s application guide online. You will see the complete list of documents you need to accomplish to proceed with the process.
Step 4: Submit and Wait for the Result
Once your documents are complete, submit them for review and processing. Here are the potential things that could happen.
- Your documents are incomplete: The government will return your documents and request for their completion. Remember that the processing can only take place if all needed documents are provided.
- Your documents are complete: The CIC will review your documents and make sure that everything is valid. They will also check to see if you and your partner have a genuine relationship.
However, you should know that the processing of your documents will depend on your current living situation.
- If you live in Canada, and your partner is in the US: All your documents will be processed as outland applicants. The CIC may transfer your files to a visa office in the US.
- If you and your partner live together in the US: If during the application process, you are both staying in the US, you need to clearly show that you have plans of moving to Canada, particularly when your permanent residency application gets approval.
- If you and your partner are currently staying in Canada: All your documents will be processed under the class of Spouse or Common-Law Partner in Canada. That means your partner can apply for an Open Work Permit while the processing is ongoing.
Here is the expected review timeline based on average processing times:
- Application documents review: 2 to 3 months
- Validity and background checks, plus processing of application: 12 months
You can track your application’s status update via their website.
The processing itself may take a while, but applying is fairly simple. Make sure to read through each document and fill them correctly to avoid any delays. If you have a timeline in mind, make sure to consider the average review duration. You can also consult with an immigration agency if you have any concerns about the process.
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