In Canada, family is at the heart of everything the country stands for. The country understands the significance of keeping families united. This is why the spousal visa sponsorship exists and it holds a special place in the country’s immigration system.
Canada recognizes the emotional significance of being with your loved ones and strives to ensure that the process is as smooth and efficient as possible. If you are a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, you can sponsor your partner (through the spousal visa sponsorship) to come to Canada and live permanently.
What is the meaning of a spouse visa for Canada?
This is a type of visa that allows you to help your partner come live with you in Canada forever. When your sponsorship is accepted, your partner can move here, work, and stay for good. If you are interested in sponsoring your partner, here is how to apply for the spousal visa.
How do I apply for a spousal visa in Canada?
Understand different relationships
First things first, you need to understand the types of relationships Canada recognizes for spousal visas:
- Marriage: If you’re legally married to a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, you can apply for a spousal visa.
- Common-law partnership: Have you been living together in a committed relationship for a year? If yes, you’re eligible as common-law partners.
- Conjugal partnership: If special circumstances keep you from living together but you’re still committed, this is the category for you.
Gather your papers
To begin, you’ll need some documents to prove that your relationship with your partner is genuine:
- Identification papers: Grab your passports, birth certificates, and any official IDs for both you and your partner.
- Proof of love: Collect photos of you two together, texts, emails, letters – anything showing your strong bond. Financial documents you share also help.
- Medical check: Both of you need to visit an approved doctor for a medical checkup.
- Police clearance: Get a police clearance from any place you’ve lived in for over six months since you turned 18.
Fill out forms
The main form here is the “Application to Sponsor, Sponsorship Agreement, and Undertaking” (Form IMM 1344).
These forms permit you to sponsor your partner, on the other end, your partner will also need to submit the “Application for Permanent Residence” (Form IMM 0008).
Pay the fees
The fees included a sponsorship fee of CAD 75 and a principal applicant processing fee of CAD 825. But remember, these numbers can change with time, so check the latest on the official Canadian immigration site.
If you’re sponsoring your spouse, common-law partner, or conjugal partner, and they have kids who depend on them, you’ll need to pay an extra $150 for each child included in the application.
Send your application
With your forms complete and fees paid, send your application to the right Canadian visa office. You can also submit your application via mail or through IRCC’s new PR application portal. Make sure you follow the current submission guidelines from the official website.
Wait for a response
The processing time for a spousal visa varies depending on your relationship type and the number of applications received by the immigration authorities. It usually takes 12 to 24 months for a spousal visa to be processed.
The final steps
If your application is approved, your partner will get a Confirmation of Permanent Residence (COPR). They need to show this to the immigration officer when they arrive in Canada.
They might also need a medical checkup and a police clearance at this point.
Is an interview required for spousal sponsorship?
No, an interview is not required for spousal sponsorship applications in Canada. The application process is mainly based on the documents and information you provided in the application forms and supporting documents.
Can I cancel my spousal or partner sponsorship application?
You can cancel your spousal or partner sponsorship application at any time as long as your partner isn’t yet a permanent resident of Canada.
Does a spouse visa allow you to work in Canada?
Yes, a spouse visa in Canada allows the spouse of a Canadian citizen or permanent resident to work in Canada while their application for permanent residency is being processed.
The visa is often referred to as a spousal open work permit.
This work permit is usually issued along with the spousal sponsorship application and provides the spouse with the ability to work for any employer in Canada.
What are the rules for a spouse visa in Canada?
- Genuine relationship: The relationship between you and your spouse must be genuine, committed, and not entered into solely for immigration purposes.
- Eligibility of sponsor: The sponsor must be a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident of Canada and meet the financial requirements to demonstrate their ability to financially support the sponsored spouse if needed.
- Eligibility of sponsored spouse: The sponsored spouse must be eligible for immigration to Canada and meet health and character requirements.
- Income Requirements: As a sponsor, you need to demonstrate that you meet the minimum necessary income level, this shows that you can financially support your spouse and any dependent children.
Reasons a spouse sponsorship application is refused
There are several reasons why your spousal sponsorship visa application might be refused in Canada.
- Incomplete or Inaccurate documentation: If you fail to provide complete and accurate documentation, it can lead to a refusal.
- Insufficient proof of relationship: If the immigration authorities are not convinced that your relationship with your partner or common in-law is genuine and bona fide, they will not approve your application.
- Financial ineligibility: Before you can sponsor your partners, you need to meet the financial requirement, if you don’t meet the necessary income threshold, the application will be rejected.
- Criminal or medical inadmissibility: If either you or your partner has a criminal record or a serious medical condition that can pose a risk to Canadian society or public health, your application will not be granted
- Misrepresentation: If you provide false information or withhold relevant information on the application, it will be rejected.
- Fraudulent or sham marriages: If there is a strong suspicion that your marriage or relationship is fraudulent or solely for immigration, your application will likely be refused.
Applying for a spousal visa to Canada might seem overwhelming, but if you follow the steps here, you will get your application approved.
You can always check the official Canadian government website for updates or consult an immigration expert if you need any help.