How to sponsor spouses immigrating to Canada

How to sponsor spouses immigrating to Canada

Sponsoring a spouse to move to Canada can seem like a daunting task but once the application process begins you will find that the Canadian Government provides many resources to help navigate you on the right path.

You can be a sponsor in Canada if you’re a Canadian citizen, permanent resident, or a person registered in Canada as an Indian under the Canadian Indian Act.

It can take up to a year for the sponsorship application to be approved but this varies depending on what country you’re coming from. The person being sponsored may need to provide biometrics after they apply which would be included in their overall processing time.

Complex family sponsorship applications make take more than the twelve-month period if you or your family member cannot be contacted, documents were not submitted on time, your dependants turned 18 since the time of the application, if you added a new dependant to your application, changes to marital statuses or child custody agreements, expired medical exams, requested interview appearances, or waiting for background checks.

If you’re eligible to sponsor a spouse, partner, or dependent child you must be able to support them financially as well as ensure they don’t need any social assistance from the government. You can sponsor a spouse, common-law partner, conjugal partner, or dependent child; to be able to sponsor parents or grandparents, adopted children, or relatives the same process applies, more information can be found here.

To be eligible to sponsor a loved one moving into Canada you must meet these requirements:

  • You’re at least 18 years old
  • You’re a Canadian citizen, permanent resident, or person registered under the Canadian Indian Act
  • If you’re a Canadian citizen living outside the country you must provide information showing that you plan to live in Canada with the persons you're sponsoring in order to become permanent residents
  • You cannot sponsor someone if you’re a permanent resident living outside of Canada
  • You prove that you don’t need social assistance for reasons other than having a disability
  • You can provide the basic needs of the person or people you’re sponsoring

You only have to prove your income requirements if you’re sponsoring a dependent that has one or more dependent children of their own or if your spouse has a dependent child with a dependent of their own.

In Quebec the process is a bit different, you have to meet the province's own immigration sponsorship requirements after the Canadian government approves you as a sponsor, and the Quebec ministry in charge of immigration will assess your income.

After you have passed the eligibility stage of your sponsorship process there are four steps to follow to get the application started.

  1. Get the application package
  2. Pay application fees
  3. Submit your application
  4. Sending additional information

For information about how to track, update, or withdraw your sponsorship application, or what to do if your application is refused you can check the Canadian government website.

There are some fees tied to the application process; to sponsor a spouse or partner it can cost you up to $1,050 and $150 for children.

Once the year-long process of your sponsorship application has been approved, the exciting step of preparing to enter the country begins. There is now an app called ArriveCAN which you can download before arriving at the border. This can reduce wait times and contact with officers since you can submit the necessary information in advance.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the entry process is subjected to quarantine requirements and providing additional medical information.

There are many things to keep track of and consider when planning on sponsoring a spouse, child, or another family member as a Canadian permanent resident but the process can be easy if you do your research and properly prepare both yourself and the ones you love.

By Surina Nath

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