The immigration system in Canada is highly-coveted for its opportunities in bringing families and long-distance couples together. If you’re a Canadian citizen or have permanent residency who wants to bring your partner with you, the good news is that there are multiple options to sponsor your spouse. This applies to same-sex and common-law partners.
Bringing your family over to Canada can go down different paths, most of which include the following options:
1. Spousal Sponsorship
This is the most common and speediest method to sponsor your partner to live with you as a permanent resident in Canada. It belongs to the Family Class immigration, wherein the person who is living in Canada or has citizenship is eligible to sponsor a spouse, common-law partner, or conjugal partner.
What are the Sponsor Applicant Requirements?
- The sponsor should be at least 18-years-old;
- The sponsor must either have permanent residence or a Canadian citizen;
- No criminal background;
- Must not have sponsored a different spouse within the last five years;
As mentioned above, spousal sponsorship involves three relationship requirements, such as the following:
- Spouse – The simplest out of the category, this describes a couple who are legally married. Marriage outside of the country is acceptable, so long as the marriage is regarded as a lawful act in the said country. Be sure to attach a certificate of marriage as proof of your legal relationship;
- Common-Law Partner – This defines a couple who are living together in Canada for a minimum of one year. You will need to show some proof of cohabitation, like your shared bills;
- Conjugal Partner – This is for couples who do not fall under the first two categories. It’s an exception designed to cater to unique circumstances, such as same-sex couples who are experiencing immigration restrictions in their country of origin;
2. Express Entry
Couples who want to apply for permanent residency using the Express Entry system should either list the partner as a dependant or a secondary-applicant. It can be a complex process wherein both applicants need to provide financial proof, ensuring that you as a sponsor are eligible to care for the needs of your dependant.
Similarly, the dependent should also serve as a contributor by applying for either the Federal Skilled Worker or Federal skilled Trades Program, both of which fall under the three main immigration categories in the Express Entry system.
It follows a point-system, so be sure to list the partner with the highest CRS score. Part of the CRS factors that will affect the points includes their language proficiency, level of education, age, and Canadian work experience.
The Bottom Line: Exploring Different Immigration Options for Couples Looking to Start a Life in Canada
Canada’s immigration system holds high regard for reuniting families, that’s why couples – straight and the LGBTQ community – are welcome to start a new chapter of their lives in Canada.
It’s the land of opportunity where families can grow together, so take note of the requirements above. Keep in mind that every situation is unique, so you may need to hire the help of a professional immigration consultant to help you navigate the immigration process.
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