Canada places a priority on family unification. Hence, they encourage when people have the intention of bringing their spouses to come to join them. There are ways where your foreign partner can join you in Canada.
The family class application is a good example of such ways. The family class application is a way for a permanent resident or citizen of Canada to sponsor their spouse or common-law partner to immigrate to Canada.
How to Sponsor Your Partner to Canada
To sponsor your partner you have to be a permanent residence (PR), holder. Also, Canada does not discriminate against your sexuality when it involves migrating. Canada’s spousal sponsorship regulations apply to both opposite and same-sex spouses and partners. Same-sex marriage is legal in Canada.
Although before you think of how to start sponsoring you to need to know if you are eligible for it. To be eligible, you have to either be a Canadian citizen or a PR holder. In addition, you have to be at least 18 years.
If you are residing in the Quebec province then there are other guidelines you are expected to adhere to. Furthermore, you have to show proof that you will be able to take care of the basic amenities of the person you intend on bringing into Canada.
You are ineligible if you did not meet the requirements of sponsorship in the past. Also, if you have declared bankruptcy this will put a halt to it. This is because the government feels you are not financially capable of securing the persons’ welfare.
Now, back to the question asked and everyone is seeking answers to.
There are three main categories of immigration for loved ones who are citizens of other countries:
- Spousal Sponsorship;
- Conjugal Sponsorship;
- Common-Law Sponsorship.
If a Canadian citizen (or permanent resident) marries a foreign citizen and that citizen is at minimum 18 years old and is living with a Canadian citizen who is at minimum 18 years old in Canada, the spouse may apply for Spousal Sponsorship. The marriage must be legal in the country in which it was performed. The foreign spouse will not be ruled out to come into the country but will undergo series of examinations (criminal and medical). The Canadian sponsor, however, will need to be without assistance and must be able to cater to the needs of the foreign partner.
Moreover, the relationship needs to be proven genuine and not just for immigration purposes. This is a bit hard as the officer-involved needs to be convinced of your love for each other.
A conjugal partner is a foreign national residing outside Canada who has been in a conjugal relationship with their sponsor for at least one year. This category is not appropriate for those who are dating, or considering getting married at a later date – you will not likely succeed with a conjugal application. You need to have proof that you are likely to get married soon. Proofs like shared assets.. travel together, public display of affection (PDA).
There are no specific criteria a sponsor can use to determine if your conjugal application will be accepted. As with all immigration applications, the assessment will be based on your individual circumstances. You will likely be required to have an interview with a visa officer.
Common-law sponsorship is the appropriate category for partners who are not married but have been living together continuously for at least one year in Canada. Also, like other types of sponsorship, you will need to show proof of affection and show that you have been living together for a year or more. Therefore, to get this proof you can either show utility bills that show your both names together and shows the same address. This tells the officer that you are actually cohabiting for the said year.
Proof of a committed and exclusive relationship depends entirely on your unique circumstances. Shared assets, travel together, meeting each other’s families, traveling to each other’s countries all help. Document all the things you can that will help prove that your relationship is a genuine one.
NOTE: Partner sponsorship to immigrate to Canada can be a complex area and each situation is unique. Seek legal advice from an immigration lawyer before you apply to sponsor your partner, as this article only covers the very basic regulations.