Moving abroad and leaving your loved ones on opposite coast is not easy. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) strongly supports family reunification, thus spousal sponsorship application processing is given the highest priority at Canadian Visa Offices.
One of the objectives of Canadian government is to see that families are reunited in Canada. Spousal sponsorship program is the most demanded stream under family class immigration. Processing time was recently reduced from 26 to 12 months for 80% of applications for both in-Canada and outside of Canada cases.
The spouse, common-law partner or conjugal partner looking to immigrate to Canada under spousal sponsorship category must be sponsored by a Canadian citizen or permanent resident. If you applied to sponsor spouse outside Canada, once decision is made and sponsorship application is approved, Canadian immigration authorities will issue the applicant Canada Spouse Visa (a confirmation of permanent residence).
The following relationships with a Canadian citizen or permanent resident are considered functionally equivalent under Canadian law for the purposes of immigration to Canada.
YOU CAN BECOME A SPONSOR IF YOU ARE:
- Spouse: To qualify as a spouse, you must be legally married to the sponsor. The marriage must have been considered valid when it was entered into under the law of the jurisdiction where you were married and under Canadian law, regardless of where you lived after you were married. An example of a marriage that might be recognized abroad but not in Canada would be a marriage in which one of the partners was legally married to two or more partners at the same time under the law of a foreign country.
- Common-Law Partner: You are considered a common-law partner under Canadian law if you have cohabited with your partner in a conjugal relationship for at least one year (12 consecutive months, not necessarily an entire calendar year). This 12-month period does not have to be absolutely continuous; short absences for business or family reasons are acceptable. Since you will not be able to provide a marriage certificate, Canadian immigration authorities may require additional evidence of the authenticity of your relationship. Keep in mind that "cohabitation" means more than simply living in the same dwelling; you must have combined your affairs, including your financial affairs.
- Conjugal Partner: The conjugal partner category is designed for partners who would have qualified under the spouse or common-law partner categories but were prevented from doing so by local law or other factors beyond their control such as an immigration barrier or marital status. For example, if you were married to another person and were not permitted to divorce under local law. Failure to cohabit due to unwillingness by one or both partners to quit school or quit a job to be with the other partner does not qualify as an acceptable reason for not living together. Moreover, you cannot qualify as a conjugal partner if you have lived apart from your partner for a year or more and either one of you is the conjugal partner or common-law partner of someone else.
• A Canadian citizen, a person registered in Canada as an Indian under the Canadian Indian Act or a permanent resident,
• At least 18 years old
• Living in Canada:
• If you’re a Canadian citizen living outside Canada, you must show that you plan to live in Canada when your sponsored relative becomes a permanent resident.
• You can’t sponsor someone if you’re a permanent resident living outside of Canada