Canada is a popular destination for immigrants who want to enjoy a high quality of life, a multicultural society, and a stable economy.
Many people dream of becoming Canadian citizens, but the process can be long and complex. However, there is one way that can make it easier: marrying a Canadian citizen.
If you are married to a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, you can apply for spousal sponsorship, which allows you to become a permanent resident of Canada. This means that you can live, work, and study in Canada without any restrictions.
You can also access social benefits such as health care, education, and pension. And after three years of living in Canada as a permanent resident, you can apply for Canadian citizenship.
But before you pack your bags and book your flight to Canada, there are some things you need to know about the spousal sponsorship process. Here are some of the main steps and requirements:
- You must be legally married to your Canadian spouse. This means that your marriage must be valid in both your country of origin and in Canada. If you are not married yet, you can apply as a common-law partner or a conjugal partner, depending on your situation. A common-law partner is someone who has lived with you in a marriage-like relationship for at least one year. A conjugal partner is someone who has a committed and exclusive relationship with you, but cannot live with you due to circumstances beyond your control.
- You must prove that your relationship is genuine and not for immigration purposes. This means that you must provide evidence that shows that you love each other, share responsibilities, communicate regularly, and have met each other’s families and friends. Some of the documents that you can use to prove your relationship are: photos, letters, emails, phone records, travel tickets, joint bank accounts, joint leases, joint bills, etc.
- You must meet the eligibility criteria for both the sponsor and the sponsored person. The sponsor must be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident who is at least 18 years old and lives in Canada or plans to return to Canada when the sponsored person arrives. The sponsor must also have enough income or savings to support the sponsored person financially and make sure they do not need social assistance from the government. The sponsored person must also be at least 18 years old and pass medical, criminal, and security checks.
- You must submit an application package that includes all the required forms and documents. You can choose to apply online or by mail, depending on your preference. The application package consists of two parts: the sponsorship application and the permanent residence application. You must pay the fees for both applications, which are $1,080 for a spouse or partner and $150 for a child. These fees increased on April 30, 2022.
- You must wait for the processing time of your application. The processing time depends on several factors such as the country of origin of the sponsored person, the completeness of the application, the volume of applications received by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), etc. The current processing time for spousal sponsorship applications is about 12 months. However, this may change depending on the situation. The sponsored person may need to give biometrics (fingerprints and photo) after they apply. They may also need to attend an interview with an immigration officer or provide additional information if requested.
Marrying a Canadian citizen can be a great way to start a new life in Canada. However, it is not a guarantee of citizenship or permanent residence. You must follow the rules and regulations of the spousal sponsorship program and prove that your relationship is real and not fraudulent.
If you do so, you can enjoy the benefits of being a permanent resident of Canada and eventually become a Canadian citizen yourself.
I hope this article was helpful for you. If you have any questions or need more information about spousal sponsorship or immigration to Canada in general, please visit Canada.ca or consult an immigration lawyer or consultant. Thank you for reading!