Can I Sponsor My Spouse (Wife/Husband) to Immigrate to Canada?
One of the objectives of the IRPA, or rather the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act of Canada, is “to see that families are reunited in Canada” (see s.3(1)(d) of the IRPA). The Act further describes Family Reunification as an acceptable method of immigration under subsection 12(1):
IRPA s.12(1) Family Reunification “A foreign national may be selected as a member of the family class based on their relationship as the spouse, common-law partner, child, the parent or other prescribed family member of a Canadian citizen or permanent resident.”
As you can see, a spouse (a husband or wife) or a common-law partner is considered a family member under the immigration law. Therefore, if you are a Canadian Citizen or Permanent Resident who qualifies to sponsor a family member, you may sponsor your spouse to immigrate to Canada and become a permanent resident.
Who is a Spouse or Common-law Partner?
A spouse’s simple definition is somebody you are married to under the foreign country and/or Canadian laws. A common-law partner is somebody with whom you have entered a conjugal relationship for at least 12 uninterrupted months (i.e. cohabiting, intimate relationship, and financial dependency). A conjugal partner is somebody who has been in a spouse-like relationship with you both physically and emotionally. The following article explains these terms in more details:
According to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations, certain relationships are excluded from the definition of spouse. Consult with a lawyer or an Immigration Consultant to make sure your case does not fall under any of those circumstances.
Who Can Sponsor Their Spouse?
To qualify as a sponsor, you need to meet certain criteria. The “Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations” (Part 7, Division 3) outlines such criteria. For example, you must…
- be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident
- be at least 18 years old
- reside in Canada (under certain conditions, you may not reside in Canada at the time of application)
- file the sponsorship application according to the guidelines
- do not owe the government of Canada or your provincial government money or other obligations due to previous sponsorship
- not be in another marital relationship at the time of marrying your spouse or applying for your spouse
Many other conditions apply. For example, you need to show that your application is genuine, and you intend to reunite with your spouse. If the sponsor is in jail, they will be denied. If the sponsor has committed a crime, then there is very likely that they are not eligible to apply (certain conditions exist).
There are cases where your residence province may have entered some agreements with the federal government to govern the sponsorship program. I strongly suggest consulting with an immigration consultant or a lawyer to make sure you qualify to sponsor your spouse.
- Immigration to Canada: Spouse, Conjugal and Common-law Partner definition
- Can I sponsor my brothers or sisters (siblings) to immigrate to Canada
If you wish to visit or move to Canada, please fill out our free assessment form. We will review it for free, but we will contact you only if we find an opportunity for you. Alternatively, you may book a consultation session. Consultation sessions are not free, but you will receive formal advice from a licenced practitioner.
This article provides information of a general nature only. Considering the fluid nature of the immigration world, it may no longer be current. Of course, the item does not give legal advice. Therefore, do not rely on it as legal advice or immigration advice. Consequently, no one could hold us accountable for the content of these articles. Of course, if you have specific legal questions, you must consult a lawyer. Alternatively, if you are looking for immigration advice, book an appointment.
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