Spousal Sponsorship

Whether it is due to studies, work, or just life, some people are meant to relocate miles away. Moving far away can manipulate every aspect of your life. You have to replace your language, job, friends, eating habits, and general lifestyle. However, there is one thing that can never be replaced…

For many couples, immigration can be incredibly scary. It is difficult to let go of a loved one when they relocate to a new country, not knowing when you will see them again.

But here’s the good news - if either you or your significant other are destined to live in Canada, you don’t have to worry about leaving them behind. Canada is regarded as one of the top countries to respect human rights and has laws that take every lawful step to reunite families. The reunion of couples in Canada is termed as “spousal sponsorship” in articles of Canadian immigration law and requires specific eligibility criteria and requirements on both sides of the sponsor and sponsored.

 

Benefits to Sponsorship

There are benefits endowed to your spouse when you sponsor them. Most importantly, your spouse will gain legal status in Canada. By sponsoring them, they will obtain permanent residency of Canada, then after fulfilling the required residency obligation, they can also become a citizen of Canada. Having a legal status like permanent residency will give you rights equal to Canadian-born citizens. This will allow you to open a personal bank account, have a governmental health insurance, study and work without asking for permissions, buy property, and ask for loans, bursaries, or mortgages. More importantly, a spouse with a legal status can exit and re-enter Canadian borders without being asked for a visa.

 

From the Legal Perspective

Based on Canadian immigration law, there are steps to complete when filing for spousal sponsorship. The first step is to ensure your relationship is considered valid by Canadian law in terms of age, duration and authenticity. To guarantee you and your spouse meet the age requirements, you must be at least 18 years of age. Any marriage or common-law partner below the age of 18 does not meet Canadian laws and is considered invalid. Couples are also expected to live together. However, if certain conditions have caused them to live apart, it should not have been for more than one year (in specific cases, exceptions may apply). For your relationship to be considered authentic, those who are engaged in a married or common-law partner relationship should not be married or have a conjugal relationship with another person at the time of their marriage to the sponsor or sponsored. In short, a spousal sponsorship request should be for a valid spousal or common-law partner relationship, not for the circumvention of immigration law by attaining or assisting someone in attaining permanent residency in Canada. By following these steps, you will win the trust of the immigration officer by establishing your good intentions of reuniting with your loved one.

 

Other Requirements

The sponsor should also convince the immigration officer of their behavioural eligibility to sponsor their spouse/common-law partner. The eligibility criteria they are asked to prove is related to their behavioral suitability as a Canadian resident or citizen which affects their ability to sponsor a foreign citizen. You can prove your good behavior by obtaining a police certificate verifying that you have not been convicted of any crimes, including the use of violence or any other sort of physical abuse of relatives, friends, your spouse’s relatives, or previous romantic relationships. If the sponsor has been previously sponsored by another Canadian citizen or permanent resident, they will not be eligible to sponsor their spouse for a minimum of five years. 

 

No Financial Undertaking?

When reuniting with your spouse, Canada does not ask for a high income. However, there are still some requirements to meet. The sponsor must show that they can support their spouse when they arrive to Canada. This is to prevent the sponsor from having to receive social welfare, in which case, the sponsor would be liable to pay back the government.