While Canada prefers to place great importance and preference upon immigrants who wish to enter the country to work, they are not opposed to letting families be re-united within their borders. Family cohesiveness is an important aspect of Canadian culture and Canada also recognizes the importance of other cultures, something it embraces. As a Permanent Resident or citizen you can help your spouse immigrate to Canada.
In many instances you will be able to bring your significant other with you on a work visa, but if you already reside within Canada you will need to sponsor their Permanent Resident Card.
As of October 25, 2012, new regulations have been put in place regarding spouse sponsorship for Permanent Residency to further curtail potential fraud in the Canadian immigration system. Every spouse sponsored to live in Canada and obtain a PR Card must be in a legitimate relationship with their spouse for at least two years after their PR Card is granted. If it is less you will be risking removal. This is the rule for all sponsored spouses in Canada as of the October announcement.
Generally you can be a sponsor for your significant other if you are able to support them financially and neither of you have committed any crimes. Financial support is probably the most important aspect of this because the Canadian government is not willing to take on unnecessary burdens into its society. This is not to say that you or your family can never take advantage of any social programs, rather you must prove that you intend to fully support your family.
There are really two applications that you must submit to help your spouse move to Canada. Your spouse must apply for permanent residence at a Case Processing Center in Canada and you must also submit an application to sponsor him or her at the same time. Keep in mind that any applicant for Permanent Residency in Canada will have to go through medical screenings and background checks. If they do not pass these tests they will not be permitted to enter Canada.
How Long Does Spouse Sponsorship Take?
After your applications are submitted it takes a little over a month for them to be processed. At the end of this period you will be informed of whether or not the applications were accepted or granted or otherwise. This is why it is important to use care when applying. If you make an error, your application might not be rejected, but it will still take longer for it to be granted.
What to Do While You Wait for Approval:
You will want to track the progress of your applications with the CIC and get ready for your spouse’s entry into Canada. The landing spouse (the one entering Canada on their new Permanent Resident Card) should keep all of their immigration documents on them when they enter the country.
This article is really just a general overview of the process and for more information be sure to check back in with Immigration Direct for future articles and blog posts.