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Canada is a place with excellent opportunities for your career, education, and self-improvement.
In 2017, Canada had over 286,000 permanent residents, and this number is growing every year. When you follow your dream of a better life in another country, like Canada, you should be prepared to change your mindset and leave your parents, friends, partner, and child (if you have one).
However, Canada offers something special; in this case, a family reunion program. It is an extended, traditional family and bonding program that allows residents and citizens to reunite with their family members.
Photo by Ali Tawfiq
Canada strongly supports families being together whenever possible. Therefore, the government offers many immigration programs that enable Canadians or residents to sponsor their loved ones in Canada.
If you are legally married to your partner, who lives in Canada, your spouse might be eligible to apply for a spousal sponsorship. The Spousal Sponsorship Program is part of the Family Class immigration category.
Under this program, a Canadian or permanent resident may sponsor and provide financial support to his or her spouse when he or she comes to Canada.
If you want to get a visa, the sponsor and the foreigner must be approved by Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). You should prove that your marriage is genuine and not just arranged to become a permanent resident of Canada.
Sometimes you do not have to be legally married to be able to sponsor your loved one coming to Canada. In Canada, this is called a civil-law partnership.
A civil partnership is someone with whom you have lived with for at least a year but have not legally married.
Because civil marriage presents a higher risk of fraudulent immigration applications, the rules require a more extensive range of evidence, which includes different types of documents showing cohabitation as well as relationships. You should prove that you are a genuine couple, committed to each other, having an exclusive relationship.
Another potential option for spousal sponsorship is the Internal route. This is suitable for a couple who live together in Canada.
In the Internal Sponsorship category, the foreign partner must have a valid temporary status in Canada, either as an employee, student, or visitor. The person being sponsored can be eligible for an Open Work Permit, which will allow them to work in Canada while the sponsorship application is being processed.
The relationship between the sponsor and the person who is sponsored must be either a legal marriage or a civil or spousal partnership. For a marriage to be considered legal, it must be legal in Canada as well as the country it was done in.
When your spouse lives outside of Canada, you can apply for sponsor status.
Spousal sponsorship applications must meet the requirements for both the Canadian sponsor and the sponsored.
Most applications are processed within 12 months. However, applicants from an Outland Province may still be in Canada and may be allowed to travel to and from Canada throughout the application process.
In some cases, the couple may not fit into the above categories but has “marriage-like” characteristics and an exclusive relationship.
A spousal partner is a foreign national who lives outside of Canada and has been in a spousal relationship with their sponsor for at least one year. This category is not suitable for people who have just met and intend to get married at a later age.
You need to have a relationship that looks like a marriage. You must have a shared history, share a property, travel together, perhaps publicly express your devotion to each other through a ceremony, and provide evidence of limitations that prevent you from living together or getting married.
To learn more about assessing the marital relationship, click here.
In addition to the Family Class Sponsorship, governments currently offer over 80 programs available for immigration to Canada. There are many categories for professionals and employees, including the Federal and Quebec Skilled Worker programs, the Provincial Nominee Programs, the Canadian Experience Class, the Quebec Experience Class, and the Federal Self-Employed program.
Several federal programs help foreign workers, who have specific skills and qualifications to obtain permanent residence or immigrate to Canada.
As a country committed to family reunification and loved one’s preservation, Canada offers a range of immigration programs that enable residents to sponsor their loved one in Canada.
The Canadian government is a firm believer in keeping families united – having policies and processes geared towards uniting families.