Sponsoring a Spouse from Pakistan
If you are a Canadian citizen or permanent resident looking to sponsor your spouse or partner to Canada from Pakistan, you need to go through the spousal sponsorship application process. Spousal sponsorship applications can take up to 2 years, sometimes more, before you receive a final decision.
Getting Married to a Pakistani
The legal marriage age in Pakistan is 16 years for women and 18 years for men. The marriage can either take place at the district court in the presence of a judge or be conducted by a priest/local maulvi. It is important to note that women will be required to swear through an affidavit that they have no existing marriage. Divorcees or widows/widowers need to attach divorcee decree or death certificate where applicable. Lawyers are usually invited to the wedding to ensure all clauses of Muslim Family Laws Ordinance are met. All marriage certificates must be stamped by the Pakistan Foreign Office.
Requirements to Sponsor a Pakistani to Canada
To sponsor someone to Canada, you must:
You cannot sponsor your Pakistani partner/spouse to Canada if:
- You have sponsored a spouse/partner in the last 3 years
- You have filed for bankruptcy
- You have received social assistance in the past
- You have failed to fulfill immigration related financial obligations
- You have a history of conviction for sexual or violent criminal offenses
- You were a sponsored spouse/partner in not less than 5 years ago
- You are sentenced
- You are under a removal order
What to Expect After Sponsoring Someone to Live in Canada
As the sponsor, you will be responsible for the sponsored person’s well-being for up to 3 years. Should the sponsored person or their dependent receive social welfare benefits during this time, you will be required to pay back this money. You make a commitment to look after the sponsored person while they settle in Canada. Expect to complete multiple forms that pledge you will take care of the person.
Applications for Spousal Sponsorship Canada May be Denied Due to Several Reasons Including:
- If the relationship is not genuine and only exists to facilitate the sponsored to immigrate to Canada
- Sponsor fails to meet the financial requirements
- Required supporting documents have not been included in the application
- The person being sponsored did not meet the medical requirements or fails security/criminal background checks and is declared inadmissible to Canada
It all sounds complicated, and in fact the process is not easy. It is highly recommended you hire a professional immigration lawyer to help you out with gathering all requirement documents, filling out the forms and guiding you through laws and rules you might be unfamiliar with.