Separated families or partners looking to start the next chapter of their lives in the Land of Opportunity have plenty of options thanks to Canada’s extensive immigration programs.
Spousal sponsorships are one of the best ways to bring families together, considering how it’s also a top priority as Canada strives to process 18,000 spousal sponsorship applications by the end of 2020.
Understanding the Spousal Sponsorship Process
Canadian citizens and permanent residents are eligible to sponsor their families, but there are three ways to do it:
- Spouse – this refers to partners who are legally married and at least 18-years-old;
- Common-law Partner – this is for partners who are not yet legally married but is at least 18-years old who is living with you for a minimum of a full year;
- Conjugal Partner – similar to common-law partners, this is for couples who are not yet legally married but is at least 18-years-old who cannot proceed with marriage at the moment due to legal reasons with their country of origin. An example of this is same-sex couples who cannot marry in their country due to religious restrictions;
Same-sex partners are welcome to obtain permanent residence in Canada, so long as all the application meets the IRCC’s requirements.
What are IRCC’s Eligibility Criteria for Spousal Sponsorship?
You are eligible to sponsor your spouse, common-law partner, or conjugal partner so long as you meet the following requirements:
- You are at least 18-years-old;
- You are either a Canadian citizen or permanent resident;
- If you are registered as an Indian under Canada’s Indian Act;
- You have the financial capacity to support the sponsored person or other family members;
- If you are receiving social assistance, you will only be eligible to sponsor if this financial aid is due to a disability;
Keep in mind that you are a Canadian citizen who is working in a different country, you need to offer hard proof that you will live in Canada with your sponsored partner. As for permanent residents, you can only sponsor a partner if you live in Canada.
Basic Steps on How to Apply for the Spousal Sponsorship Program
Now that you know the eligibility requirements, you can move forward with the application process by referring to the following steps:
Step #1: Obtain the application forms from the IRCC, which you can find on their website;
Step #2: Set aside a budget for the application expenses, which involve paying for the processing fee, the right of permanent residence fee, and biometrics fee. Fortunately, you can complete this step easily by opting for online payments on the IRCC’s website;
Step #3: Submit your application package by mailing it to the IRCC.
The Bottom Line: A Basic Overview of Canadian Immigration for Sponsoring your Partner
The pandemic has put a pause in the immigration system in Canada for the better part of the year, but the CIC has increased its staff to address the problem. These should make up for all the setbacks caused by the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak, allowing families to reunite by the end of the year.
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