Skip to: site menu | section menu | main content

English | 中文 | 한국어 | 日本語 | Tiếng Việt

Moses Law Office

Providing Canadian Immigration Services since 1988

Currently viewing: Moses Law Office » Home » Sponsorship » Spouse, Partner or Children

Spousal Sponsorships

An application will be processed if: 1) the person being sponsored is married to a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, and 2) the spouse of the person being sponsored has submitted an Undertaking in support of this person's Application.

An application will be refused if: 1) the person being sponsored married in order to become a permanent resident of Canada, 2) the spouse of the person being sponsored withdraws the sponsorship, such as often happens when there is a divorce or separation, 3) the spouse is unable to support the person being sponsored and the person being sponsored is unable or unwilling to support himself/herself except by resorting to welfare, or 4) the person being sponsored or any dependent child of the applicant has a serious criminality inadmissibility issue and/or violated certain sections of the immigration act and/or regulations, or is a security threat to Canada. Note that the person being sponsored and their dependents must have a valid passport or travel documents.

A sponsor can sponsor a spouse if: 1) the sponsor is a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, 2) the sponsor is at least 18 years old when the Undertaking is submitted, 3) the sponsor (if a permanent resident) is living in Canada, and 4) the sponsor did not default on any previous Undertaking, by not properly caring or looking after the person(s) previously sponsored.

In addition to the situations stated above, a sponsor cannot sponsor a spouse in these additional situations: 1) the sponsor has previously sponsored a spouse in the last 3 years, 2) the sponsor was sponsored by a spouse or partner and became a permanent resident less than 5 years ago, 3) the sponsor is in prison or there is an outstanding criminal charge not yet resolved, 4) the sponsor has previously been charged with domestic or spousal assault.

There are two kinds of spousal sponsorship:

  1. Spousal sponsorship application within Canada

If the spouse is already in Canada, it is possible to have the spousal sponsorship application processed within Canada. The sponsored spouse or partner may apply for and obtain an Open Work Permit while the sponsorship application is being processed.

  1. Spousal sponsorship application outside Canada

Sponsor and the applicant can choose to have the spousal sponsorship application processed outside Canada. In such case, the application is processed at the visa post responsible for the country, which the applicant is a citizen or has legally resided for at least a year. The applicant is able to reside in Canada while the sponsorship application is in process outside Canada, as long as the applicant is able to maintain legal status in Canada.

Spousal sponsorships are often seen as simple. In many cases, a person will marry someone overseas and shortly thereafter apply to sponsor that spouse to come to Canada. Unfortunately, despite being legally married and having a marriage certificate to prove it, the overseas visa post is allowed to reject the sponsorship application on the grounds that the marriage is not 'real' or 'genuine', that is, that the visa-officer believes that the marriage is one of convenience in order to improperly facilitate a person's entry into Canada.

Although the visa-officer may be right in many cases, there are many cases where the method of presenting the application to the visa-officer misleads the visa-officer to doubt the validity of the marriage. For example, at an interview one spouse may embellish some aspect of the relationship or add some falsehoods, in the belief that it would help the application, not aware that these embellishments and falsehoods were not needed but having been added, lead to failure of the application. The visa-officer will often look at the credibility of the spouses, and also look for inconsistencies between what one spouse states and what the other states. It is often better to just be honest and forthright in presentation at the interview. Too much creativity is often the undoing of what is otherwise a genuine marriage. Oversimplified explanation of events or marital matters may also lead to a rejection by the visa-officer. Proper explanation of peculiar aspects of the marriage is very important to avoid the visa-officer rejecting the sponsorship application. The adage that 'honesty is best' is very applicable in these cases.

Final Note:

Immigration authorities have become stricter in applying the sponsorship rules and regulations. As always, the prospective immigrant and/or his/her sponsor, should seek proper and honest legal advice in order that the prospective immigrant does not lose the opportunity to come to Canada.