This series will help you discover how you can sponsor your spouse for Canadian Immigration. Part 2 will focus on "Where to Start: gathering evidence of relationship and documents required".
Canada’s spousal sponsorship program is available to a spouse, common-law partner, or a conjugal partner of a Canadian citizen, Canadian permanent resident or Indian under the Canadian Indian Act. The end goal is to obtain permanent residence for the spouse, common-law partner, or a conjugal partner.
If you missed it, Part 1 discussed, "Who is eligible to be sponsored and who may sponsor".
Where do I start?
After you checked your eligibility (see part 1 of this series), the first step is to gather documents. Each couple will require a slightly different set of documents.
To get a list of the documents you will need, see Canada's application package page. The application packages differ based on the countries the principal applicant (person being sponsored) has resided or where that person has been issued documents such as passports, birth certificates, and other civil documents.
The application package can also contain specific instructions for that country. For example, some forms are only required for certain countries. Also, original documents are required from some countries, while photocopies are acceptable for other countries.
Overview of documents required to sponsor your significant other to Canada
The following list outlines documents that are included in most country-specific packages, to help you get started:
- A photocopy of both sides of the sponsor’s Permanent Resident Card or other
- proof of permanent residency, or a copy of the sponsor’s proof of Canadian citizenship (such as passport, or birth certificate);
- A photocopy of every page of the principal applicant's passport;
- Two passport-sized pictures of the principal applicant;
- Any proof of the principal applicant's immigration status is Canada, if applying from within Canada;
- Proof of payment of fee for the application;
- Photocopy of the marriage license or certificate if applying as a spouse;
- Proof of validity of the relationship, such as photographs, letters of support from people who can attest to your relationship etc. if applying as common-law partners;
- Proof of sponsor’s financial capacity to support the partner, including a Notice of Assessment from the previous year and a letter of employment attesting to the employment currently held;
- Police clearance certificates, where applicable;
- Proof of medical examination;
- All relevant official application forms.
A sponsorship application requires a lot of immigration forms and these are a really important part of the application. If you miss a line on a form or if you accidentally forget to sign it, it can cause many months of delay as your application will likely be returned.
Another thing to watch out for is that the forms are continuously revised by the government. Sometimes, the form will change after you have already completed it. The government of Canada does allow a bit of a transition period. However, to be on the safe side, it is best to check that you have completed the most recent version of the forms before submission. You can check for the most updated version of the forms here.
Immigration Forms Process
To avoid delays, it's a good ideas to include several review cycles into your application. If possible, it is also a good idea to get other people to check things over to ensure everything is complete.
At Sisu Legal the forms process typically works like this:
- You will fill out an online questionnaire for each required form.
- I review your responses for completeness.
- A member of my team inputs your data into the official form.
- I review the completed forms.
- You review the completed forms.
- We set up an appointment to discuss any questions and to go over the forms and any agreements and declarations contained within them.
- If original signatures are necessary, there may be some couriers involved.
- Before submission, we ensure that we have the latest form and adjust if necessary.
Part 3 of How to Sponsor your Significant Other for Canadian Immigration will discuss "Translating Documents - Who, What, How". Stayed tuned.