Marrying a Canadian comes with its set of responsibilities – the biggest being the spousal visa. Relocating to Canada is a life-changing decision. It is not simple to pack your belongings and go to the land of the Maple Leaf, as it is with most life decisions. That is why we have an A-Z guide carrying things you should know about a spousal visa so you can decide if it is suitable for you.
What is Canadian Spousal Sponsorship
For those who don’t know, spousal sponsorship is a Canadian immigration program generated to keep loved ones together. In brief, if you are married to a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, they can sponsor your spousal visa application for permanent residence in Canada if the criteria are met.
The first thing you should take away from this is that your spouse does not have to be a citizen of Canada yet. If your spouse has previously immigrated to Canada as a permanent resident, you can still apply for a spousal visa.
If you want your spouse to sponsor you, you must complete the following requirements:
- You must be at least 18 years old and a Canadian citizen or permanent resident;
- You must be able to financially assist anyone they have previously sponsored;
- Must not be a government financial assistance recipient;
- You must not have been convicted of a violent or sexual crime; and
- It is forbidden to be imprisoned.
It is also worth noting that both spouses and common-law partners can be sponsors. It means that you do not even need to be legally married if you can show that you have been in a serious relationship for at least 12 months.
How to Prove Your Marriage is Real?
The validity of the marriage or common-law partnership is one of the most important aspects of a successful spousal sponsorship. You will have to show that your relationship with your partner is genuine. Many people get into phony marriages with Canadians to immigrate to Canada; thus, the government strives to avoid abuse by scrutinizing the connection closely.
You will also need to provide supporting proof to verify your relationship is legitimate, in addition to supplying all of the other documentation for your application. It could be anything, such as:
- Wedding photos, honeymoon photos, travel photos, or any other photos of the two of you together;
- Records of emails and phone calls; and
- Affidavits attesting to the existence of the relationship
In the case of common-law partners, there is no marriage document or other public representation of your connection, such as a ceremony, proving the existence of a common-law partnership might be more difficult. The following types of evidence are favored by government officials for a spousal visa application:
- Accounts in a shared bank or any other joint account;
- Property co-ownership;
- Cohabitation records, such as shared home expenses and rental payments;
- Official documents, such as IDs, that state the same address for both parties; and
- Calls on the phone
The ideas mentioned above are only a few examples of what you can do to establish your connection is genuine. The list goes on and on, and you can provide as much or as little documentation as you wish. If you’re unsure, we’re here to help you file for a spousal visa in an error-free manner to reduce the chances of rejection.
They might also take your interview about your relationship. Do not be concerned! The best advice we can give you is to relax, be yourself, and answer all their questions honestly. If they discover that you lied on your spousal visa application or during the interview, you will be restricted from entering Canada for the next two years. Simply be honest, and you will ace the interview.
How to Apply for a Spousal Visa?
Because the spousal visa application process might be lengthy, you must fill out all your paperwork entirely and precisely. Your entire spousal visa application will fail if you make even the tiniest mistake, and you will be pulled from the line and forced to start over. Worst of all, your rejected application could sit at the CIC for months before you are informed of the problems. The spousal visa application process can be divided into two scenarios, each of which differs somewhat.
Application for a Spousal Visa from Within Canada
When both you and your spouse or common-law partner are in Canada when you apply for a spousal visa, this is the case. The best thing about this situation is if you have filed your spousal visa application, you can stay in Canada after your guest visa expires. The disadvantage is that if you leave, you will not be able to return. As a result, make every effort to remain in Canada until the procedure is completed.
Surprisingly, applications submitted from within Canada take longer to be processed. If you adopt this method, it will take at least 12 months for you to be granted permanent status.
Following the approval of your spousal visa application, the CIC will send you a request for your passport to issue you your visa. To have your visa verified, you must leave Canada before it expires and return. To meet this criterion, you can simply cross the border and return.
Application for a Spousal Visa from Outside of Canada
Your spousal visa application will be handled much more quickly if you apply from outside of Canada. You should expect your application to be processed in around 6 months after you submit it to CIC.
The CIC must approve both you and your sponsored spouse. First, your spouse will be subject to approval within 4 months, and if he and she are approved, you will be granted a file and a customer ID number. Then it is your chance to be evaluated by immigration officials. If you are authorized, you will be asked to present your passport for the visa, and you will be required to exit and re-enter Canada, similar to the scenario described above.
Toronto Immigration Law Firm – For Spousal Sponsorship
If you are married to a Canadian citizen and wish to immigrate to Canada, you will require professional assistance. Fortunately, we have a lot of experience with spousal visa applications. The first stage in the application process is to determine your eligibility. Start today, and do not leave your partner alone – book a consultation now! Contact us at (647)-264-2019 to get in touch with our expert team of immigration lawyers!