The Canadian government has dual interests in its immigration policy which must be balanced:
- Canada wants immigrants to come into the country because they add to the quality and strength of the society overall.
- Illegitimate immigration applications compromise Citizenship and Immigration Canada’s system potentially disenfranchising valid immigrants.
When speaking about marriage visas this means that spouses should be allowed to come to Canada, however, the system is designed in such a way to deter illegitimate applications through things such as marriages of convenience.
Here we will discuss some of the process for filing for family members (particularly spouses and the children of those spouses) to come to Canada.
Spouses, common-law partners, conjugal partners and dependent children may all be sponsored under this process by a Canadian permanent resident or citizen. However, all of the people involved in this process are required to meet certain qualifications and undergo medical and criminal background checks.
To be a sponsor you must be 18 years old, at least and either a Canadian permanent resident or citizen. You must also sign a sponsorship agreement with the person you are sponsoring. A guarantee and ability to support the sponsored immigrants is also necessary.
Conditions that may prevent you from being able to sponsor a family member include:
- If you broke a sponsorship agreement in the past,
- If you were not able to financially support someone in the past under court-order,
- If you receive government assistance,
- If you committed a serious crime,
- If you were sponsored under this type of visa and became a permanent resident less than 5 years ago,
- If you are formally bankrupt.
Documents that must be filed include:
- IMM 5443, Document Checklist;
- IMM 1344, Application to Sponsor and Sponsorship Agreement;
- IMM 5481, Sponsorship Evaluation;
- IMM 0008, Generic Application Form for Canada;
- IMM 0008DEP, Additional Dependents declaration if you are declaring dependent children;
- IMM 5406, Family Information;
- IMM 5669, Background check declaration;
- IMM 5285, Spouse Questionnaire.
If you use a representative, such as an immigration lawyer you will need to include IMM 5476.
For additional information on the process of applying for sponsorship and Marriage visas in Form IMM 5289, the Application for Permanent Residence from within Canada Spouse or Common Law Partner in Canada Class Instruction Guide.
Marriage Visa Fees
For a family-class visa application there are several associated fees that you may need to consider:
- $75 for each sponsorship application.
- $475 for the principal applicant. However, it is only $75 if the principal applicant is a dependent child under the age of 22.
- $150 for each family member of the principal applicant if they are under the age of 22.
All values are in Canadian dollars. The fees can be paid online and it is necessary for you to include the receipt (IMM 5401) in the application package.
Mailing the Forms
The completed application package can be mailed to:
- Vegreville, Alberta’s Case Processing Center provided that the family members live within Canada.
- Mississauga, Ontario’s Case Processing Center provided that the family members live outside of Canada.
The estimated amount of time it takes for the assessment of the sponsor to take place is approximately 28 days. The total processing time will vary depending upon the backlog at the Case Processing Centers.