Sponsorship is an application for your family member to obtain permanent resident (PR) status of Canada. If you are a Canadian citizen or PR, you are the sponsor. Whereas your family member is the applicant.
Spouse visa is a common term to describe this type of application.
We will focus on the most important aspects in an application for a spouse or partner's visa. We want to provide you with practical information for you to understand the process.
Who can sponsor?
To be an eligible sponsor, you must be a Canadian citizen or PR. You must also meet the following conditions:
Note that if you are a citizen, you do not need to live in Canada in order to apply for a spouse visa. However, if you are a PR, you must live in Canada.
Further, if you have sponsored a spouse or partner before, you can’t sponsor a new spouse or partner if you are in a valid undertaking. We will be discussing the undertaking in the following section.
If you were sponsored as a spouse or partner and became a PR in the past 5 years, you can’t sponsor a spouse or partner until the 5 years pass.
Additionally, you need to undergo a screening process for eligibility.
Who may be sponsored?
You may sponsor your spouse or partner, including same sex, another sex, or non-binary. Your spouse or partner must be 18 years of age or older. Either a spouse or partner may receive a spouse visa.
Note that the sex or gender does not affect your sponsorship at all. In Canada, you may self identify male, female, or non-binary. They all have an equal right in the immigration setting.
You may also sponsor your children. Your children must be under 22 years of age and don’t have a spouse or partner of their own. The age limit does not apply to children with a physical or mental disability.
Choose between spouse and partner
You may be in a marriage. For sponsorship, you can register your marriage in or outside Canada as long as it follows the local law. Canada recognizes legal marriage in most countries.
A common law relationship means that both of you have lived together for at least one year in a row. It allows short separations such as one is on a business trip. You do not need to register your common law relationship. However, you may opt to do so if it is an option in where you live.
For sponsorship, there are no big differences between a marriage or common law. You do have the option to choose. Note that you do not need to get married to sponsor. Further, a marriage does not increase the chance to win.
If you do not qualify for common law, you may choose marriage if you want to start the process as soon as possible. However, it may be problematic if you start the process right after your marriage. We have explained why in the following section.
If your partner lives outside Canada
If your partner lives outside Canada, you may still proceed with a conjugal partner sponsorship.
This type of sponsorship is available when either marriage or common law is not an option due to marital status or sexual orientation together with immigration barriers.
How much income do I need in a sponsorship application ?
If you just sponsor your spouse or partner with or without children, you do not need to meet the income requirement.
However, if the children have children of their own, you then need to. How much income you need depends on your family size.
Beware of undertaking
As a sponsor, you need to sign an undertaking. The undertaking is your promise to provide financial support to your spouse or partner. You must sign it even if you do not need to meet the income requirement.
The purpose of the undertaking is to ensure that, if your spouse or partner receives social services or welfare during the undertaking, you are responsible to repay the money.
The undertaking for a spouse or partner is 3 years. If you have children, the undertaking may be as long as 10 years. The undertaking takes effect when your spouse or partner becomes a PR.
Most common refusal reason in a sponsorship application?
There are two most important things to keep in mind.
First, you need to prove that your marriage or common law is genuine. This is the basis of winning in your application.
Second, the spouse visa must not be for the purpose of getting PR status for your spouse or partner. That is the reason why applying after getting married may not be a good idea.
Although a genuine relationship is a broad concept, it contains some most common features such as living together and sharing expenses. Note that you need to prove your relationship to an officer who does not know you at all. Therefore, the best practice is that you gather as much information as possible.
Sponsorship for spouse or partner who have certain medical issues
Generally, people who have certain medical issues cannot come to or stay in Canada. However, when you sponsor a spouse or partner who has a medical issue, they are exempt from the “excessive demand on health or social services” requirement.
One of the most notable examples is that your spouse or partner is HIV positive. Note that HIV is not a danger to public health or safety in Canada. For more information about medical issues in your application, please visit our Medical Inadmissibility page.
What do we do?
At LegalRoots, we not only help you avoid all common mistakes in the process but also ensure the maximum chance of your success.
We promote transparency and guarantee no hidden fees. Therefore, we will not make false promises in order to gain your trust. We rely on our expertise.
Book an initial consultation today or contact us directly.