Often, when individuals refer to spousal sponsorship, they are referring to the streams of sponsorship in which partners sponsor each other; they may not necessarily be referring specifically to the process of spousal sponsorship. This is important to understand because there is a slightly different process for each of the three available routes under family class sponsorship. Specifically, if you would like to apply under any of the three programs, you must meet the eligibility requirements of that program. Throughout this article, we will explain the basics of conjugal sponsorship, common-law sponsorship, and spousal sponsorship, and we will be sure to touch on the requirements to be eligible for each of the sponsorship streams.
Spousal sponsorship is a way helping your spouse become a permanent resident of Canada, so that the two of you may begin living together forever. To be eligible as a couple to apply for spousal sponsorship, you must be legally married. This means, you must have a marriage certificate for proof. While also the marriage must be conducted in such a way that it is legally recognized by both the country in which the marriage took place, and would also pass the legal qualifications of a Canadian marriage. Finally, you must be over the age of 18 to get married, or, have been over the age of 18 when you got married, regardless of the laws in your country of origin. Therefore, you must also both be over 18 to apply for spousal sponsorship.
Spousal sponsorship is the most straightforward application process of those available in the family class. Though, this option is also the most restrictive, as they couple must be legally married. Beyond this, they simply must prove the marriage is genuine, and it is not a marriage of convenience, though, this is easy for most married couples to prove. The Canadian government recognizes not all couples are able to get married however, for one reason or another. This is why, there are alternative options available to couples who are together in a relationship which is just like a marriage, but is not a marriage in effect. These alternative options are, as mentioned, conjugal sponsorship and common law sponsorship.
Common law sponsorship is a method of sponsoring your partner to Canada like that of spousal sponsorship. However, this option is available to individuals who are not married. Nonetheless, there are still some specific restrictions surrounding common law sponsorship. To be clear, to couple must have resided together with combined affairs for a minimum of 12 consecutive months before applying. This is because to be eligible you must meet the definition of a common-law couple legally, you cannot simply live together. Other eligibility requirements include being able to demonstrate your ability to financially support yourselves while you settle in Canada. While, in addition to this, it is also important to be aware you will be required to show you have a strong desire to live in Canada together, permanently, once the application for permanent residence is approved.
Conjugal sponsorship is a method of sponsorship which is available to couples who have been together in a marriage-like commitment for a minimum of 1 year, and who cannot live together in the same country for one reason or another. This is an option available to individuals who would otherwise be eligible under common-law sponsorship because they are unmarried, but, it is not possible for the couple to live together. The Canadian government does not wish to keep couples from sponsoring each other to live together for reasons which are out of the couple’s control. Therefore, there is the option of conjugal sponsorship. To be eligible for this, both applicants must be 18 years of age, as you would not be permitted to be married under 18 in Canada. Similar to the other applications, you must prove the intent to be together is genuine, and it does not serve the purpose of achieving permanent residence in Canada. Also, you must prove financial stability to support yourselves and your lives in Canada.
We understand that applying for spousal sponsorship can be very confusing, and overall, a very stressful process. It is essential that you have met all of the aforementioned requirements before you attempt to apply for a spousal sponsorship, to avoid any unnecessary delays. Most of all, it is important that you do not overlook any aspect of the application, especially the parts involving close family members, as your misunderstanding could lead an immigration officer to believe you intentionally left information out. This is a disastrous mistake to make, as you will likely be accused of misrepresentation, and ultimately this will make you ineligible to sponsor any individual in the future, or make you inadmissible to Canada if you are the principle applicant. Spousal Sponsorship applications are difficult applications to pursue on your own. Therefore, if you have any questions about the process, it is highly recommended you contact an immigration professional. Here, at Akrami & Associates, we work and have experience with many different immigration issues. We have helped many of our clients obtain permanent residency in Canada through the spousal sponsorship. If you believe that you may be eligible to sponsor your spouse, please feel free to contact Akrami & Associates at our office at 416-477-2545 for more information or if you would like to book a consultation with an immigration professional for more advice.
With Akrami & Associates, there is always a way!