Here in Canada, we are midway through the summer, which means we are reaching peak wedding season. Whether you are getting married to a foreign national, or already have a spouse who you would like to reunite with in Canada, you may need to submit a sponsorship application, so they can gain permanent resident status. Whether they live abroad, or are already here with you in Canada, if you would like your spouse or common-law partner to live with you in Canada as a permanent resident, continue reading for tips on sponsoring your spouse.
1. Sponsorship Requirements
First, there are specific requirements that you must meet to be a sponsor in Canada. To become a sponsor, you must be a Canadian Citizen, permanent resident living in Canada, or person registered under the Canadian Indian Act. You must either live in Canada or be a citizen who is planning to return to the country. You must be at least 18 years of age and be able to prove that you are not receiving social assistance for reasons other than disability. You also must be able to show that you can provide for the basic needs of yourself, your partner, and any dependents.
If you meet these criteria, you are likely eligible to become a sponsor. However, in order to be certain, you should consult with an immigration lawyer to determine if there are any characteristics that may disqualify you from eligibility.
2. Provide for Basic Needs
You may be wondering what it means to be able to provide for someone’s basic needs. Providing for basic needs means that you must be able to provide them with food, shelter, clothing, and any other items that they need for everyday living. This includes any dental care, eye care, or other health care costs that are not covered by public health services. In other words, you must be able to financially support your spouse in Canada and be sure they will not need to ask the government for financial help.
Before you can sponsor your spouse, you will need to sign an undertaking promising to provide financial support to your spouse for a certain amount of time. During this time, you are responsible for the financial wellbeing of your partner, even if your situation changes. If you go through a divorce or separation, or your relationship otherwise dissolves, you will still be responsible for their basic needs. Further, if either of you move to another province—or if you move to another country—you remain responsible for them… even if you are experiencing your own financial difficulties. In Ontario, this undertaking lasts for three years from the day they become a permanent resident. It is important to take this into consideration before you decide to sponsor your spouse.
3. Prove an Authentic Relationship
To sponsor your partner, you must also be able to prove that you are in an authentic relationship. To do so, you must be legally married, or prove you have lived with your partner for at least 12 consecutive months in a marriage-like relationship. If you are unmarried and do not live together, you must prove that you have been in a committed relationship for at least 12 months but face significant barriers that prevent you from living with each other. These can include cultural or religious barriers, or immigration obstacles.
As you do not need to be legally married to sponsor your partner, you can begin the sponsorship process before you have been married. If you cannot meet the requirements for a common-law partnership, for example, but have plans to be married soon, you can begin the process before your marriage. This will speed up the application process, as once you are married the application can be submitted immediately.
If you want to further speed up your sponsorship process, you should speak to an immigration lawyer. An immigration lawyer is experienced in the sponsorship process and will be able to work with you to ensure your application is completed properly, to guide you through the application process, and to help avoid mistakes that could result in unnecessary processing delays. Further, an immigration lawyer can help you prove your relationship is genuine. The average processing time for a new spousal sponsorship application is 12 months and having an immigration lawyer on your side will go a long way towards helping your application flow through this process smoothly and without delay.
If you are looking for an immigration lawyer to assist you in the sponsorship process, look no further than Brace Law. Brace Law’s experienced team can help you through all facets of the immigration process. When you work with Brace Law, you can Consider It Handled!
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