You are a Canadian citizen, permanent resident, or a person registered in Canada as an Indian under the Canadian Indian Act, who are finally married to your soulmate from overseas, and would like to have your spouse live with you permanently in Canada. Congratulations!
But how do you start the process of sponsoring your spouse?
The following list of steps provides a general overview of the process of a spousal sponsorship application.
Step 1: Determine the Eligibility of the Sponsor
You can sponsor your spouse, partner or dependent child if:
- You’re at least 18 years old;
- You’re a Canadian citizen, a permanent resident of Canada, or a person registered in Canada as an Indian under the Canadian Indian Act;
- If you’re a Canadian citizen living outside Canada, you must show that you plan to live in Canada when the persons you want to sponsor become permanent residents.
- You can’t sponsor someone if you’re a permanent resident living outside Canada.
- You’re able to prove that you’re not receiving social assistance for reasons other than a disability;
- You can provide for the basic needs of any persons you want to sponsor.
There are certain situations where you CANNOT be eligible to sponsor your spouse. This includes:
- You were sponsored by a spouse or partner and you became a permanent resident less than 5 years ago;
- You are in jail, prison, or a penitentiary,
- You were declared bankrupt and are not discharged,
- You are under a removal order,
- You receive social assistance for a reason other than disability.
Step 2: Determine the Eligibility of the Applicant
You can sponsor your spouse if your spouse is legally married to you and is at least 18 years old. It is important to make sure that your marriage is legally valid under both Canadian law and the law of the jurisdiction in which you were married in, if the marriage was completed outside Canada. In order to be determined as eligible, your spouse must provide all the required forms and documents with their application, in addition to any information that IRCC requests during the processing stage of the application, such as medical exams and biometrics. You CANNOT sponsor a spouse who is inadmissible to Canada.
Step 3: Gathering the Required Documents and Supporting Documents
As of September 23, 2022, you must now apply online for this program. If you can’t apply online, and require accommodations, including for a disability, you can ask for the application in another format (paper, braille or large print).
There are a number of required documents and supporting documents that you will be asked to gather and put together for your application, depending on the Applicant’s country of origin and circumstances. This includes identity documents (such as passports, birth certificates and police clearance certificates) in addition to documents that demonstrate the genuineness of the relationship (such as evidence of contact, financial support and public recognition of the relationship). It is important to check whether additional documents are needed based on the country the Applicant is submitting these documents from, and that all required documents are submitted. Failure to ensure this can result in the returning of the application causing further delays.
See If You Qualify For Spousal or Partner Sponsorship
Fill out our FREE Family Sponsorship Assessment form to see if you qualify to sponsor your spouse or partner to Canada.
Step 4: Completing the Spousal Sponsorship Forms
You will be required to fill out the digital forms online through the Permanent Residence Online Application Portal Account. The Immigration Law Firm of Matthew Jeffery can act as your representative where we can assist you in filling out the digital forms through the Representative Permanent Residence Portal Account and review the information with you.
It is important to note that the number of required forms will vary depending on the Applicant’s country of origin.
Step 5: Submitting the Application
Reminder: as of September 23, 2022, you must now apply online for this program. If you can’t apply online, and require accommodations, including for a disability, you can ask for the application in another format (paper, braille or large print).
Before you submit your application, make sure you have:
- answered all questions;
- electronically signed your application (type your full name exactly as shown on your passport);
- included your processing fee receipts;
- uploaded all the supporting documents.
If your application is incomplete, IRCC will return the application and you’ll have to fix any errors and then re-submit it.
Step 6: Receiving Further Requests from IRCC
If IRCC begins processing your application, they will:
- send an application number and acknowledgement of receipt (the acknowledgement of receipt is now sent shortly after you submit your online application);
- assess the sponsor’s eligibility;
- assess the Applicant’s eligibility for permanent residence.
Throughout the processing period, IRCC may send you requests to complete medical examinations and your biometrics. They may also request you to provided updated information or additional supporting documents, as needed. In addition, the Applicant and the Sponsor may be requested to attend an interview with a reviewing officer.
During the processing time, you can also track your application and ensure it is up to do date by updating your address or other information, if necessary, as well as adding or changing your representative, if necessary.
What Do I Do if My Spousal Sponsorship Application is Refused?
If you application is refused, you will receive correspondence from IRCC indicating:
- the reasons for refusal and
- how to appeal the decision if you’re sponsoring a spouse, partner or child from outside Canada.
If you application is approved, you will receive correspondence from IRCC notifying you of the application’s approval. You will also be issued a Confirmation of Permanent Residence document.
Step 7: Preparing for Arrival
When your sponsored family members arrive at the port of entry to Canada, they must show the border services officer their:
- Confirmation of Permanent Residence;
- Valid passport or travel document;
- Permanent Resident Visa (if we issued one), which must be valid;
- Quebec Selection Certificate, if they’re going to live in Quebec;
- Any other document IRCC issued to them and told them to bring.
If your family members are already in Canada, they’ll have to meet an immigration officer to receive their permanent residence.
We Can Help Sponsor Your Spouse or Partner
The spousal sponsorship application process can be an overwhelming and tedious task. If the sponsorship process is not followed through correctly, it can cause inconvenient delays or it may increase the chances of the sponsorship application to be rejected.
The Law Office of Matthew Jeffery, has over 20 years of experience in guiding individuals through the entire sponsorship process from start to finish to ensure success. Fill out our free Family Sponsorship Assessment form to see if we can help you sponsor your spouse or partner to Canada.