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For most, one of the biggest joys in life is spending quality time with family. With a holiday designated specifically for family time, it is clear that Canadians take their family time seriously. However, there are still many people whose spouses are in another country; therefore, their dreams of joining the valued Canadian family experiences are on hold. But why wait? There are various ways of sponsoring that could ultimately lead to your spouse joining you in Canada, such as the inland application and the overseas application.
An inland spousal application can be filed when the spouse is in Canada. This would involve obtaining a visitor visa to be in Canada, and then applying for the inland application from within to the Canadian office. If the application for a visitor visa is denied, then the applicant cannot file an inland application and may only file an overseas spousal application which would mean that the spouse is residing outside of Canada. This would have to be sent to the visa office within the country where the spouse has lived for at least one year.
A spouse in Canada may apply for an overseas visa, but a spouse in another country may not apply for an inland visa. However, the application may require an interview which will be held in the country where the spouse to be sponsored resides; if the spouse lives in Canada but applies for an overseas visa, he or she will have to travel back overseas to attend the interview.
Inland applications are handled by the Canadian visa office. Overseas applications are handled by the visa office within the country of which the spouse to be sponsored resides or their country of nationality. In the event that the spouse is living in a country that is not their country of nationality, they can choose which of the two they would prefer to handle their application. If not specified, it would be the country of nationality. The application fees and requirements are the same regardless of which visa office handles the case; furthermore, the chances of approval do not differ amongst offices. The strongest difference, however, is processing time. Generally, overseas applications are processed faster than inland applications. However, this is not always the case. Refer to http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/information/times/index.asp to see the approximate processing time for your country’s visa office.
There are various benefits as well as disadvantages for each type of application. Choosing the application is dependent on the unique circumstances of the specific applicant. Factors to consider include:
If an inland application is refused, the applicant does not have the option to appeal the decision. However, if an overseas application is refused, the applicant may appeal the decision and the spouse could still come to Canada if that appeal is won.
Time constraints might restrict the type of application, as processing times are different for inland and overseas applications. Times are dependent on the visa office handling the application. For visa-exempt countries, inland applications will allow the spouse to live in Canada while the application is processing. If approved, the spouse will not have to leave; if refused, the spouse will have to return back to the country in which they resided.
The freedom to travel is dependent on the application type. With inland spousal applications, the applicant must be within Canada; thus, travelling to other countries is risky. Though it is not forbidden, there is a chance that the spouse may be denied re-entry to Canada, which would negatively impact the application. Overseas applicants have the freedom to travel as they please. For those that do not want to travel at all, inland applications would be a better option (as overseas applications will require travelling to another country for interview purposes).
An applicant will have the option to apply for an open work permit, only if they opted for an inland application. If the permit is granted, the spouse will be able to work for any Canadian employer while their application is being processed. The opportunity to apply for an open work permit is not available for an overseas application; thus, if there is an immediate need to work within Canada for the spouse, an inland application may be more suitable.
Generally, if a faster application and freedom to travel is required, an overseas application may be more suitable. If there is an immediate need to live and work in Canada, an inland application may be more appropriate. The type of application is dependent on the spouse’s situation.
There are various factors that may cause the rejection of an application. The most common reason for rejection is if the officer doubts the genuineness of the relationship. The onus is on the applicant to prove that the relationship is true. This involves providing additional and strong evidential documents, such as: marriage certificates, letters, wedding photos, phone logs, e-mails, etc. Furthermore, the eligibility of the sponsor may affect the application. Criminal records, reliance on social assistance, and financial issues may cause issues with your application.
Rather than leaving a response area blank, it is important to instead record “N/A”. Blank responses may affect the approval
All responses on the application must be truthful
The sponsor is the individual that currently resides in Canada. The spouse is to be sponsored to come and reside in Canada with their partner
Applications are updated often, so ensure that the application you are using is the most updated version by checking the date on it.
Applications are provided on the government website for the public to access. Thus, anyone can apply. However, legal firms provide valuable assistance that could greatly improve your chances of approval. Consulting an experienced representative, such as those at Akrami and Associates, will help you decide what type of application to use or help you proceed with creating a strong application (regardless of which application you decide). This involves any unique circumstance you may be in; for example, sponsors with criminal records may wish to discuss how to proceed with a consultant.
With Akrami and Associates, there is always a way!