If you plan to get married this summer, you can begin the application process to sponsor your spouse immediately. Citizens and permanent residents of Canada can sponsor their foreign national spouse, common-law partner, or conjugal spouse to live with them in Canada and become permanent residents.
To qualify to sponsor your spouse or partner, you should satisfy the following conditions:
- You are at least 18 years old.
- You are a Canadian resident, a permanent resident living in Canada, or anyone registered under the Canadian Indian Act.
- You are living in Canada or intend to return to Canada (and, if applicable, those of dependent children).
- The sponsored individual must be 18 years old and pass all security, medical, and background investigations.
In addition, you and your foreign spouse or partner must demonstrate that your relationship is genuine. To sponsor a spouse, you must demonstrate that you are lawfully married.
Alternately, for common-law couples, you must demonstrate that you live with or have lived with your spouse for a minimum of 12 months in a marriage-like relationship.
Similarly, marital couples must demonstrate they have been in a committed relationship for at least 12 months but have been prohibited from living together by serious impediments (like cultural, religious, or immigration).
There are two alternatives for sponsoring a spouse or partner: inland sponsorship and outland sponsorship. The outland sponsorship option is available to couples who do not currently reside in Canada; rather, the sponsored individual resides abroad while the Canadian sponsor lives in Canada.
The inland sponsorship option is available to couples living together in Canada when the foreign spouse or partner has temporary status as a worker, student, or visitor.
Can the application process be initiated before marriage?
It is not necessary to be married to start the application procedure if you are in a common-law or conjugal partnership, as proven by the 12-month living or relationship criteria.
If you are not currently in a common-law or conjugal union but have plans to marry soon, you can begin the spouse application procedure before your wedding. It expedites the procedure so the application can be filed to Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) as soon as you are married.
Suppose you plan to get married this summer and would like to begin your application now. In that case, you should consult with an experienced Canadian immigration attorney who can guide you through the procedure.
A lawyer will be able to assist you in demonstrating the authenticity of your connection and avoiding errors that could result in excessive application processing delays.
IRCC has also announced that the average processing period for new spouse applications has returned to its standard of 12 months. In addition, IRCC has implemented an online case tracker that allows sponsors to check the status of their applications.
Contact us to sponsor your spouse for Canada Immigration!