Sponsoring your husband or wife to move to Canada
A Canadian citizen or permanent resident has the right to sponsor his or her husband or wife to become a permanent resident of Canada. A permanent resident of Canada can live in Canada, work in Canada, or attend school in Canada. All permanent residents of Canada are entitled to free medical care. After three years, a permanent resident can apply for Canadian citizenship if he or she chooses to do so, or may remain a permanent resident.
Canada also recognizes common law relationships. A common law relationship means you have lived together with your partner for at least one year, and intend to remain in an exclusive committed relationship, but not in a formal legal marriage. Canada also recognizes all legal same sex marriages, and same sex common law relationships.
Sponsorship is not automatic. You do not have the right to live in Canada just because you marry a Canadian. You must file an application. Once the application is filed, Canada will determine whether the marriage is a legal and genuine relationship. Canada will also perform criminal and security checks to be sure the sponsored person is admissible to Canada. There is also a required medical exam to find out if the sponsored person poses any risks to public health in Canada as the result of a communicable disease or mental health issue.
The purpose of sponsorship is to allow married people and common law couples to live together in Canada. If your sponsor is a permanent resident of Canada, the sponsor must be living in Canada at the time the sponsorship is filed. If your sponsor is a citizen of Canada, the sponsor may be living outside Canada when the sponsorship is filed, but must intend to move back to Canada at the time the immigrant visa is approved.
There are two types of sponsorships. It is important to pick the right category when you file the application. The “Family Class” application is filed by persons who are not living in Canada. Persons who live in Canada may also choose to file a family class application. The “Spouse in Canada” application can be filed only by persons who are living in Canada. In the recent past, family class applications have been processed much faster than spouse in Canada applications. Beginning in December 2015, the Canadian government started a “pilot program” that allowed spouse in Canada applicants to apply for a work permit while waiting for their cases to be processed. This is not available to family class applicants. To get a work permit, the spouse must be in legal status.
In December 2016, the government announced new measures to speed up the processing of both family class and spouse in Canada applications. The government announced a goal of processing both types of cases from start to finish within twelve months. Family class applications filed in the United States typically take well under twelve months.
Our law office has many years of experience successfully processing Canadian marriage cases. We are U.S.-based Canadian immigration lawyers. We can help move your application faster by getting the required information and documents efficiently, and filing them correctly. We can help with related issues such as taxes and customs concerns. We can also advise on all U.S. immigration issues, which often arise in the course of many U.S.-Canadian marriages. Let our experience work for you. We can help get your Canadian marriage visa quickly. CLICK HERE TO SEND US AN EMAIL for help with your case.