Spouse Visa In Canada

Spouse Visa In Canada: All You Need To Know

Uniting hearts across borders, Canada’s spouse visa is the cupid’s arrow for couples dreaming of a life together in the land of the maple leaf. Need to know how to get this visa? Don’t Worry! We’ve got you covered!

If you’re navigating the waters of love and longing for a reunion under the Canadian skies, you’re in the right place. This guide offers a lantern in the foggy journey of securing a spouse visa, ensuring your love story gets its Canadian chapter.

Let’s dive in!

What Is A Canadian Spouse Visa?

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The Spouse sponsorship program enables Canadian citizens or Canada PR visa holders to sponsor their spouses or common-law partners as Canadian permanent residents. 

After the respective partner receives sponsorship, they can live, work, or settle permanently in Canada. 

A person with Canadian citizenship or a Canadian permanent resident can apply for spousal sponsorship and reunite the family, according to Canadian immigration law.

Spousal sponsorship applications are a challenging task. The Canadian government has a lot of eligibility requirements, and you must submit documents during the process. 

All immigration matters in Canada are handled by IRCC (Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada).

The spousal sponsorship visa can be categorized into two types:

  • Inland Sponsorship: It allows Canadian citizen or permanent resident to sponsor their spouse if both legally live together in Canada
  • Sponsorship: Canadian citizens or permanent residents can sponsor their spouses outside the Canadian border.

What Are Some Basic Details About Canadian Spousal Sponsorship?

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Canada Spouse Visa enables permanent residents to sponsor a spouse of a marital partner at least 18 years of age and living outside Canada.

A conjugal partner is a person who is of the opposite or same sex and has lived in a conjugal relationship for a minimum of one year with the sponsor. 

Moreover, you must have lived continuously for at least 12 months, except for exceptional reasons and short business trips.

The Canada Spouse visa lets you sponsor your partner or spouse, who can apply for the Canada PR. 

You must be financially strong enough to support your spouse to achieve this. Furthermore, your partner can handle social assistance from Canada.

What Are The Eligibility Requirements To Sponsor A Spouse Or Dependent?

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The following are the requirements one needs to have to sponsor their spouse, 

  • You must be above the age of 18 to participate.
  • You must be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of the country or a person (Indian) registered in Canada under the Canadian Indian Act.
  • You should prove that you are not getting social assistance except for your disability.
  • You must be in the low-income category.
  • You should be legally married to your spouse.
  • Your relationship with the dependents must be “genuine and durable”.
  • You can provide essential financial needs for three years for the person you want to sponsor.
  • Your child must be under the age of 22 to sponsor them.

Factors That Can Prevent You From Sponsoring Your Spouse

  • If your age is below 18 or getting to marry somebody at the time of the marriage to a sponsored applicant
  • If you have not provided financial evidence to support your previous sponsorship
  • If you and your spouse live separately and are involved in a conjugal or common-law relationship with a third person. 
  • Not examined by CIC, but admitted to Canada.

Note: Importantly, you must prove your legitimate relationship to be eligible for spousal sponsorship. 

Immigration officers will consider different factors to determine whether your relationship is genuine. 

Some involve you providing wedding photos where your family are present. If your marriage is not conventional, you need to provide additional evidence as proof of the genuineness of the relationship. 

Letters of explanation are needed to explain why your marriage does not have all the elements that exist from the cultural background.

What Are The Factors That Can Terminate Your Chances Of Sponsoring Your Spouse?

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For some reason, your spouse’s visa can be rejected. Here are some reasons why your sponsorship application could be denied.

  • Ineligible To Sponsor: you should meet the minimum income requirements for three taxation years preceding the sponsorship application.
  • Ineligible To Be Sponsored: The family member who is being sponsored must fulfill the basic eligibility requirements that apply to all PR applicants. This is to filter the ineligible applicants who need help to pass the requirements.
  • Permanent Resident Living Outside Canada: The sponsorship is not only for the sponsor residing outside Canada. The Canadian spouse visa application will only be allowed if they prove they reside in Canada.
  • Undeclared Family Members: The person applying for Canada PR should declare all the family members in the PR application. If failed to do this, the sponsorship application can be denied.
  • Misinterpretation In The Application Form: All parties involved in the sponsorship application should provide the correct information in the application. Any misrepresentation may lead to application rejection.
  • Marriage Of Convenience: Canadian permanent residents can sponsor their foreign spouse with an application vetted to prevent marriage fraud. 

It contains detailed information about the sponsor’s relationship with the spouse.

These include details of relationship commencement, description of the marriage solemnization, and other aspects assessing the fundamental nature of the relationship.

How Do You Apply For A Canadian Spouse Visa?

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You must consider two applications to sponsor your spouse, partner, or child. 

First, you need to apply to become a sponsor. Second, Your spouse, partner, or child has to apply for permanent residence (PR). Follow the given 4 steps to sponsor your spouse, partner, or child.

Step 1 – Apply To Become A Sponsor

  • The sponsor must download and complete the PDF forms in the application package. Also, the sponsor must sign digitally with the person you are sponsoring.
  • The principal applicant (the person you are sponsoring) will upload those forms in their online application. And sign the entire application electronically.
  • The application package contains – document checklists for the sponsor and the person being sponsored, which forms the sponsor.

The people who are being sponsored have to be filled out, and instruction guides to fill the forms correctly.

Note: The sponsorship application fee to process the application will not be refunded.

Step 2 – Apply To Be Sponsored By A Sponsor (Permanent Residence)

  • First, you need to sign in or create a permanent residence online application portal account
  • You have to fill out the following digital forms online
    1. Generic Application Form for Canada (IMM 0008
    2. Schedule A – Background/Declaration (IMM 5669)
    3. Additional Family Information (IMM 5406)
    4. Supplementary Information – Your travels (IMM 5562)
  • You need to have one photo for each person on your application. Follow the instructions online to scan and upload both sides of the photo.
  • Use the web form if you need help with technical difficulties when applying. Choose technical difficulties from the drop-down menu of type of application/ enquiry.

In the text box, you need to specify the program you are applying to. And you have to upload screenshots of the pages you are having problems with and the error messages you got. 

Note: The application needs to be fully completed. If the application is incomplete, then IRCC will return it without processing the application.

Step 3 – Paying Your Application Fees

You need to pay fees, which include,

  • Processing fee for you, the person you want to sponsor and their dependants
  • Fee for the right of permanent residence
  • The biometric fee

Based on your situation, you need to pay third-party fees, which includes

  • For Medical exam
  • Police certificate

Step 4 – Send Additional Information During The Processing

You need to submit the following documents of the person you are sponsoring,

  • Medical exam
  • Police certificate
  • Biometrics: Your spouse or family member has 30 days to give their biometrics at their closest collection point. 

If IRCC needs further information, they could ask for an in-person interview anytime.

And, you must tell IRCC if there is any change in circumstances, such as birth or adoption of children, marriage/ divorce/ separation, or death of an applicant or dependent. 

Note: Before applying, ensure you answered all the questions, signed electronically, included a processing fee receipt, and uploaded all the supporting documents.

What Is The Application Processing Time For Canadian Spouse Visa?

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Spouse Visa processing time in Canada is between 7 and 9 months. The application processing time for a spouse visa depends on the application type and other conditions. 

As per the family application type, if you sponsor a spouse or common-law partner living inside Canada, it will take 14 months to process. 

On the other hand, if you are sponsoring a spouse or common-law partner living outside Canada, 16 months will be the processing time. 

The processing time includes:

  • To provide your biometric information.
  • To assess the sponsor and the person being sponsored.
  • To verify your eligibility requirements.

What Is The Canadian Spouse Visa Fees?

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The Canada spouse visa fee varies depending on how many dependents you wish to sponsor. 

The table below provides the government processing fees to get a dependent visa for spouses and other relations. 

  • Sponsorship fee ($75)
  • Principal applicant processing fee ($490)
  • Right of permanent residence fee ($515)

  • Sponsorship fee ($75)
  • Principal applicant fee ($490)

  • Sponsorship fee ($75)
  • Processing fee ($75)

Include Any Dependent Child

Including dependent child on an application with your spouse or partner

  • Processing fee ($155)

Biometrics Fee

  • Biometrics – per person
  • Biometrics – per family (two or more people)
  • Biometrics – per group ( 3 or more performing artists)

Note: Spouse sponsorship fees have to be paid online. A payment receipt must be included with the sponsorship application. 

What Are The Changes In Spouse Immigration To Canada 2023?

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The Liberal Government of Canada declared several essential changes in the family sponsorship immigration process.

  • Faster Processing times
  • Flexibility for spousal applications has increased
  • An application is common for all candidates inside or outside Canada
  • Simplified relationship questionnaire (fewer questions)
  • Exemption from Medical Exam
  • Police certificates are only required from the country you reside in and where you lived most of your adult life.
  • Can access real-time information online regarding the application with an application status tracker. 

IRCC is putting efforts into approving more Canadian sponsorship applications in line with Canada’s dedication towards family reunification. 

The government is actively working to reduce the backlog and increase the allocation of resources under the spousal immigration program.

How Long Does It Take To Get A Spouse Visa In Canada?

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If you are eligible, you can sponsor your spouse to become a permanent resident of Canada. The immigration officer will assess your spouse’s eligibility. 

Usually, the processing time takes 6-12 months. Your spouse may need to give biometrics after they apply. 

This processing time includes the time they need to give their biometrics.

What Is The Income Requirement To Sponsor Your Spouse In Canada?

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There is no such income requirement to sponsor your spouse to Canada. 

It is a common misconception that there is a specific income requirement before you can sponsor your spouse to Canada.

Can You Sponsor Your Spouse If You Don’t Have A Job?

If you do not have a regular income or are unemployed, you need a co-sponsor. 

If you have enough assets to meet the affidavit of support requirements, you don’t need a co-sponsor to sponsor your spouse.

What Are The Benefits Of A Canadian Spouse Visa?

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The most significant advantage of a spouse visa in Canada is the applicant receives unconditional permanent residency. 

Read below about more benefits of the program:

  • Easy Requirements: the sponsor and the applicant must not undergo stringent requirements like the other immigration pathways.
  • No Points System: No point or merit system exists to choose the qualified applicant. If you meet the requirements, you will receive the permit.
  • No IELTS: There are no requirements to provide English language proficiency. It makes the process easier, faster and cheaper.
  • Faster Process: The applicant can conclude the entire process within one year.
  • Social Benefits: Selected applicants will receive an unconditional Canada PR Visa and social services such as free healthcare, family and child benefits, etc.
  • Job Opportunities: Once you arrive in Canada, you can easily apply for an open work permit. With this permit, you can apply for any Canadian job without restrictions.

Is It Difficult To Move To Canada?

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Moving to Canada is not too difficult. 

Because Canada is open to welcoming new immigrants and offers several immigration programs, it’s easier for you to qualify for one immigration stream. 

Still, you must meet the requirements for the pathway you want to apply for. 

You must also remember that while moving abroad may not be too difficult, living in another country is another story; you must be well prepared financially, mentally, and socially for the move.

What Are The Important Things To Know When Moving To Canada?

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As a new resident in Canada, you have to be aware of a few essential things: 

  • Renting/Buying In Canada: When you first move to Canada, you can use temporary housing such as hotels, hostels, or Airbnb while you find your footing. Then, you can look into a more permanent situation. Renting is always preferred over buying during the initial stage of the move; the average price for a one-bedroom apartment goes around CAD 1,500. But it would help if you remembered that big cities’ prices are much higher than average. 
  • Opening A Bank Account: After you move to Canada, you will need a bank account to complete money transfers and transactions. To open a bank account, you must have an identity card. In your case, a permanent resident card will suffice. To make this easier for you, the following banks offer specific “newcomer” programs: 
    1. National Bank of Canada. 
    2. Bank of Montreal. 
    3. Royal Bank of Canada. 
    4. Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce. 
  • Healthcare: Canada offers free healthcare for its citizens and residents, but your national healthcare may not be available until about three months after your move to Canada.For this reason, you should purchase private healthcare for that initial period. Also, remember that national healthcare in Canada does not cover all services, such as dental care, ambulance services, prescription medications, etc. 
  • Taxes: In Canada, you have to pay taxes at the federal, provincial, and municipal levels. Income tax is deducted from your salary automatically, but if you’re self-employed, you must pay your taxes in a single or several payments. In Canada, you must also pay a sales tax for every purchase. So don’t be surprised if the price changes at the cash register when you’re shopping. 

Conclusion

And there you have it—a compass to guide you through the spouse visa process in Canada, designed to turn your dreams of togetherness into reality.

With patience, paperwork, and a bit of Canadian charm, you’re not just securing a visa; you’re opening a new chapter of your love story in one of the most welcoming countries on the globe.

Love Wins!

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