Can I travel to Canada after I submit a Spousal Sponsorship Application?

Can I travel to Canada after I submit a Spousal Sponsorship Application?

This is one of our most frequently asked questions, particularly as Windsor immigration lawyers. 

Yes, you can travel to Canada after submitting a spousal sponsorship application. 

This is because Canada allows “dual intent” as a visitor. This means that someone can intend to permanently immigrate to Canada while also have temporary intent to visit while the permanent resident application is ongoing. Temporary intent can be had while in Canada as a tourist, student, or worker. 

The border officer will still assess whether you intend to leave Canada after your period of authorized stay. Below you will find what factors the border officer will assess when deciding if you should be admitted into Canada and some helpful documents you can have to make border crossing easier. 

Questions you may be asked by a border officer when traveling to Canada after spousal sponsorship submission:

  • How long will you be staying in Canada?
  • How will you pay for your stay in Canada?
  • Do you have obligations or ties to your home country? For example, do you have a job abroad?
  • What is the purpose of your travel? 
  • What is the context of your stay? For example, what is your travel history to Canada?
  • Do you have supporting documents to support your answers?
  • What is your immigration history? Do you have a history of overstaying your visa or working without authorization? 
  • Has your spousal sponsorship application been approved? 
  • What stage of processing is your spousal sponsorship application?
  • What is your plan if your spousal sponsorship application is denied? 
  • Have you given biometrics in the past? 

If the border officer has any doubts or concerns about your answers, you should be given an opportunity to respond to the officer's concerns. The best way to do this is with supporting documentation. 

Helpful documents for crossing the border to Canada after a spousal sponsorship application has been submitted:

  • Return travel documents (for example, plane ticket for the return)
  • Bank documents from home country to show you can afford to pay for your stay and also to show you retain ties to your home country. 
  • Employment letter from abroad.
  • Pay stubs from abroad.
  • Investment documents from abroad. 
  • Evidence of family ties abroad - parents, children, etc. 
  • Itinerary of your trip. 
  • Documents (itinerary) of past travel. 
  • Calendar showing you are keeping track of days inside Canada and abroad. 
  • Copy of spousal sponsorship. 
  • Copy of affidavit submitted with spousal sponsorship to show what your plans are while sponsorship application is in process. 

Please note that if you have never travelled to Canada or had a visa to Canada, it may be more difficult to obtain a temporary visa after you submit an application for permanent residence, such as spousal sponsorship. 

Do you have any more questions?

Schedule a strategy session to discuss your specific situation. 

Learn more about our Spousal Sponsorship services, and check out our blog series and spousal sponsorship roadmap!

Check out our Dual Intent Border Crossing Guide to help you navigate border crossing during the sponsorship processing period with confidence. This guide includes 20 common reasons for denials at the border, what to do when things go wrong, and tips on supporting documentation to show that you are eligible to enter Canada.


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