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Sponsoring a Spouse, Common-Law or Conjugal Partner to Canada

According to Canadian Public Policy, the family class immigration program is designed to reunite Canadian Citizens and Permanent Residents with their close family members.

There are two parties involved in the process:

  • “Sponsor”: the Canadian Citizen or Permanent Resident that wants to bring their spouse, common-law or conjugal partner, or any other eligible family member into Canada; and
  • “Applicant”: the foreign national applying to come to Canada and wishes to live in Canada on a permanent basis.

Sponsoring a Spouse, Common-law or Conjugal Partner

A spouse is defined as an individual to whom the sponsor is legally married.

What if the sponsor has more than one spouse? In some cultures, one party can be legally married to more than one spouse; therefore, the question arises as to whether the sponsor can bring all their spouses to Canada under the family class.

Simply stated, having more than one spouse in Canada is illegal. Canada does not recognize polygamy; therefore, our immigration laws permit a person to sponsor only one spouse.

5-year bar to sponsor spouse: If you were sponsored by your spouse and are now divorced, you can not sponsor a subsequent spouse from outside of Canada for a period of at least 5 years. The law is the same for Permanent Residents and Citizens.

Common-law partners can be defined as those parties who are not legally married and have been living together in a common-law relationship for at least 1 year. In addition, there must be an intent to live as common-law partners. Although there are a few exceptions, the general rule is that Common-Law partners should be living in Canada.

Conjugal partnership: If by reason of war, immigration barriers, religion, sexual orientation, or for any other justifiable reason, a couple can not marry, but there is sufficient proof of permanence and commitment to each other in a conjugal relationship, and you can prove the relationship’s existence for at least 1 year, the Canadian partner can sponsor the overseas partner under the family class.

Canada recognizes same-sex marriages and relationships. Canada has given recognition to same-sex couples. As of July 20, 2005, same-sex couples can be legally married in Canada. Same-sex couples, irrespective of the type of relationship categorized above, may qualify for immigration under the family class.

Understanding the 2-step process

Step 1 – Assessment of Sponsor’s Eligibility

Step 2 – Application for Permanent Residence

Although there are two steps to the process, all the required forms and related documents are filed together at the same time.

Inland Sponsorships

An Inland sponsorship is when the Applicant and the Sponsor are physically present in Canada. For Inland Applications, the applications are processed for both steps in Canada.

Outland Sponsorships

Outland sponsorship occurs when the Applicant is applying from outside of Canada. The procedure for both the Inland and outland sponsorship is similar. However, for outland applications, the first step is processed in Canada, and the second step usually takes place at a foreign location.

Helping you prepare accurate and complete documentation

Once it is determined that you are eligible to sponsor your spouse, common-law or conjugal partner, you will need to gather all necessary documentation and complete the sponsorship application. This can be an extremely complex process, and ensuring you have provided all the required information and documents is important. An immigration lawyer at the Edmonton Law Office can help you gather and prepare the necessary documentation and ensure your application is complete and accurate.

If your sponsored spouse, common-law or conjugal partner is granted a permanent resident visa, they can come to Canada and live with you permanently. However, certain conditions must be met for the sponsorship to be successful.

For example, you must be able to provide for the basic needs of your sponsored spouse, common-law or conjugal partner and any dependent children and meet certain income requirements. Book an initial consultation with us, and we’ll help you understand these requirements and ensure they are being met.

Professional legal assistance every step of the way

Edmonton Law Office and its experienced immigration lawyers can provide invaluable assistance to foreign nationals and families seeking to immigrate to Canada through the family class sponsorship program. We’ll help you determine your eligibility, advise you of what documents should be gathered and prepared, and assist you in navigating the various stages of the process, among several other things. With the help of an experienced Canadian immigration lawyer, you can increase your chances of a successful outcome toward Permanent Residence and reuniting with your loved ones in Canada.

photo of an Asian female, a spouse who was recently sponsored by her partner to immigrate to Canada
Are you unsure how to sponsor your spouse or partner? Edmonton Law Office can help. Our experienced team of Immigration lawyers will guide you every step of the way. Contact us today to learn more.

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