One of the most common questions asked by an immigrant is how long it will take to get spouse visa for Canada. The process of getting a permanent resident visa is a long and tedious one. For people who are sponsoring their spouse or partner, it can take 12-24 months before you get your PR (permanent resident).When you are immigrating to Canada as a spouse, there are a few things you have to consider before starting the process. One of the first is how long it takes to get spouse visa for Canada. This time period can vary, so I will explain what affects it and what you can do to
How Long It Takes To Get Spouse Visa For Canada
Canada is among the most popular destination for people who want to move away from their home country and settle in a new place. The social security, educational institutions and recreational facilities in Canada have enhanced its appeal among people who want to move abroad. As per estimate in 2011, more than 362,000 international migrants had immigrated to Canada from different countries around the globe. Therefore, such an influx of foreign nationals has made it difficult for immigration officials to issue visa depending on the workload condition.
Who can sponsor their spouse, conjugal partner, or common-law partner under the spousal sponsorship program?
You may be eligible to sponsor your spouse, conjugal partner, or common-law partner if you are a Canadian citizen or permanent resident and meet the following conditions:
- Are at least 18 years old
- Live in Canada, or planning to return to Canada once your spouse or partner becomes a permanent resident of Canada
- Are able and willing to provide for the basic financial needs of your spouse or partner for three years
In Canada Sponsorship Class
You should apply under the Spouse or Common-Law Partner in Canada Class (Inland) if:
- You live with the sponsor in Canada
- You hold a valid immigration status in Canada
- You would like to apply for an open work permit in order to work in Canada while the application is in process
If your spouse or common-law partner is out of status in Canada, they may be able to submit under this stream as well while being protected under a public policy that allows them to stay in Canada until the application has been fully processed. The disadvantage to this particular stream, however, is that the applicant should refrain from travel outside of Canada while the application is in process.
Family Class (Outland) Sponsorship Class
You should apply under the Family Class (Outland) sponsorship option if:
- Your spouse/common-law partner (i.e. “the applicant”) lives outside of Canada
- You are currently living in Canada with the sponsor but do not plan to stay in Canada for the duration of the application process
A downside to using this stream is that, until your application has been approved, living with your spouse may be difficult. However, your spouse can apply for a temporary visa to come to Canada while their outland sponsorship application is being processed.
How long does it take to sponsor your spouse or partner to Canada?
Sponsorship applications take approximately 12 months to process from start to finish. They are typically not processed much faster than 12 months, but they can take longer, depending on the nature of your case.
If you have a complicated case, or the visa office requires additional proof of your relationship, this will delay the processing of your case and it will take longer.
The best way to ensure your sponsorship application is processed as quickly as possible is to make sure it is done right the first time. The lawyers and legal professionals at Canadim have helped thousands of spousal sponsorship applications. Find out how Canadim can help bring your loved ones to Canada by taking our free online assessment.
How much does It cost to sponsor your spouse, conjugal partner, or common-law partner to Canada?
The government processing fees to sponsor your spouse, conjugal partner, or common-law partner in Canada are listed below. If you are sponsoring your spouse, conjugal partner, or common-law partner and they have dependent children, then an additional $150 payment will be required for each child included in the application.
Sponsorship fee $75
Principal applicant processing fee $475
Right of permanent residence fee $500
If the sponsor resides in Quebec or intends to reside in Quebec upon the issuance of permanent residence, an additional fee of $289 CAD will need to be paid in addition to the fees mentioned above.
What is common-law sponsorship?
Under Canadian immigration law, common-law relationships are viewed as the same as conventional marriages. In order for your relationship to be eligible for common-law sponsorship, you must prove that as a couple, you have lived together for a year or longer in a marriage-like relationship.
What is conjugal sponsorship?
Under certain circumstances where you are unable to marry or live with your partner as common-law, you may be eligible to sponsor a conjugal partner. In order to sponsor a partner, you must have been in a conjugal relationship for at least one year but were unable to live together or get married for reasons beyond your control.
What are my ongoing obligations if I sponsor my spouse, conjugal partner, or common-law partner under spousal sponsorship?
When sponsoring a spouse, conjugal partner, or common-law partner, you are responsible for fulfilling the basic needs of your partner, including their everyday and health needs for three years.
You must make sure that your sponsored spouse, conjugal partner, or common-law partner does not require social assistance from the government before signing the undertaking agreement. If your spouse, conjugal partner, or common-law partner does require financial help from the government, you must pay back he full amount they received while you were legally responsible for them. If you do not pay back the full amount, you will not be permitted to sponsor another eligible family member until you do.
Your financial obligation will stay in effect even if:
- your sponsored spouse, conjugal partner, or common-law partner becomes a Canadian citizen
- your relationship ends
- your spouse, conjugal partner, or common-law partner moves to another country or province
- you experience financial problems
Do I need a job to sponsor my spouse, conjugal partner, or common-law partner in Canada?
You do not need a job to sponsor your spouse, conjugal partner, or common-law partner to come to Canada. Unlike other sponsorship programs, there is no minimum income requirement for spousal sponsorship. However, as you are required to sign an undertaking agreement, promising to fulfil the basic financial needs of your partner, the immigration officer may assess whether you have sufficient funds to sponsor. As such, you should provide some proof of how you will support your spouse, conjugal partner, or common-law partner in Canada.
How much money do you need to sponsor your spouse, conjugal partner, or common-law partner to Canada?
Unlike most other forms of Canadian sponsorship, you do not need to demonstrate a minimum amount of income to sponsor a spouse, conjugal partner, or common-law partner. However, whenever you sponsor a family member to Canada, you must sign an undertaking, in which you promise to provide financial support for the basic needs of your sponsored family member.
The length of the undertaking depends on the category of sponsorship. For spousal sponsorship (including spouses and common-law or conjugal partners), the length of the undertaking is 3 years from the day the sponsored individual becomes a Canadian permanent resident.FIND OUT IF YOU ARE ELIGIBLE TO SPONSOR OR BE SPONSORED FOR CANADIAN IMMIGRATION
Does my spouse, conjugal partner, or common-law partner need a job offer to be sponsored under the spousal sponsorship program?
Your sponsored spouse, conjugal partner, or common-law partner does not require a job offer in Canada to be eligible under the spousal sponsorship program.
Does my spouse, conjugal partner, or common-law partner need to demonstrate English or French language proficiency?
Your sponsored spouse, conjugal partner, or common-law partner is not required to demonstrate their proficiency in English or French.
However, your spouse, conjugal partner, or common-law partner will likely need to take a language proficiency exam when later applying for Canadian citizenship.
My spouse, conjugal partner, or common-law partner has a serious medical condition, can I still sponsor them?
As long as your spouse’s medical condition is not a danger to the public health or safety, they will likely not face any issues with their sponsorship application.
There are three kinds of medical inadmissibility: excessive demand on health or social services, danger to public health, and danger to public safety. Medical inadmissibility for excessive demand does not apply to sponsored spouses or common-law partners.
How do I submit a spousal, conjugal, or common-law sponsorship application?
Applications for spousal sponsorship may be submitted via mail or by IRCC’s new permanent residence application portal.
Can I leave Canada while my spousal sponsorship application is processing?
The person being sponsored may leave Canada for short periods of time while awaiting a decision on their In Canada Sponsorship application. However, as residing in Canada in the requirement for In Canada Sponsorship Class, it is risky to leave the country in the case that you are not able to re-enter. This has increasingly become a concern since the COVID-19 pandemic with the frequent implementation of travel restrictions.
Another consideration is if the sponsored spouse has applied for an open work permit and is currently on maintained status in Canada. If this is the case, they will lose their maintained status once they leave Canada and must wait until their work permit application is approved to return.
If you are a permanent resident, you must stay in Canada during the processing of a common-law sponsorship application.
What documents do I need to submit a spousal, conjugal, or common-law sponsorship application?
When applying to sponsor a spouse, you can expect to submit the following:
- Completed application forms;
- Proof of status in Canada;
- Identity documents;
- Marriage certificate;
- Police Certificate and Clearances from all countries your spouse has lived in for six months or longer past the age of 18;
- Medical certificate for your spouse;
- Proof of payment for applicable government fees;
- Digital photo;
- Relationship Information and Sponsorship Evaluation questionnaire;
- Marriage certificate (see common-law if you are not married);
- Wedding invitations and photos;
- Birth certificates or adoption records for any children you and your spouse have together;
- Proof of registration of marriage with a government authority
To demonstrate your relationship, you should provide at least two of the following documents:
- Proof that you and your spouse own property together
- Shared bank accounts,
- Utility bills with both of your names,
- Copies of government-issued IDs,
- Car insurance,
- Pay stubs or tax forms that show that you live at the same address
If you are in a common-law relationship and looking into sponsoring your partner, immigration officers will expect to see the following evidence:
- Relationship Information and Sponsorship Evaluation questionnaire
- Birth certificates or adoption records for any children you and your common-law partner have together
- Photos of you and your common-law partner that demonstrate that you are in a conjugal relationship
- Proof that you have lived together for at least one year
And at least two of the following documents:
- Documents that indicate that you are recognized as each other’s common-law partner, such as employment or insurance benefits
- Evidence of financial support or shared expenses between you and your partner
- Proof that your relationship is recognized by family and friends (letters, emails, social media)
If you can’t provide all the documents outlined above, get creative. Find ways that demonstrate your relationship and provide them. Provide letters of explanation or sworn declarations from family or friends that can attest to your common-law status. The final decision regarding your common-law documents will be at the discretion of the visa officer but the more proof you can provide, the better your chances of being accepted.
If you are in a conjugal relationship and looking into sponsoring your partner, immigration officers will expect to see the following evidence:
- Shared residence
- Economic support, including joint financial arrangements, shared bank accounts, etc.
- Evidence that your friends and family recognize that the two of you are in a relationship
For both conjugal and common-law relationships, there is no legal documentation or a specific point in time that solidifies your commitment to one another. Instead, immigration officers will expect to see evidence of significant emotional and interpersonal ties that demonstrates that you are in a serious, committed relationship with the intention to remain in that relationship long-term.
Can my spouse, conjugal partner, or common-law partner include their family members on our spousal sponsorship application?
Your spouse, conjugal partner, or common-law partner may include any accompanying dependent children on their application for permanent residence.
Is an interview required for spousal sponsorship?
Immigration interviews are rare for spousal sponsorship cases and are the exception rather than the rule. That said, spousal sponsorship immigration interviews usually occur when there are lack of documents supporting the relationships, contradicting information on the forms vs. documents, age and religious difference, a short period of time between meeting your spouse and marriage, or little or no cohabitation.
Although the final decision to interview a couple is at the discretion of the visa officer, using the services of a qualified immigration attorney can prepare your application in the best possible light and minimize any questions they have about the validity of your relationship.