Question: I want to sponsor my common-law partner or conjugal partner or my spouse (wife or husband) to Canada. What can I do?

Answer: First you must decide on what application is best suitable for your situation.

There are three types of application, common-law partner, conjugal partner or spousal (married). For all three (3) types you must demonstrate that your relationship is genuine. In a common-law relationship you need to demonstrate that you and your partner have lived together for at least one (1) year before submitting your application. For a conjugal relationship, you must demonstrate that you have joint affairs and that there are bona fide immigration barriers or other barriers preventing you from living together or getting married. For example, your partner can obtain a visitor visa to visit Canada for 6 months and then apply for an extension to obtain one full year in Canada, even if the visiting partner cannot work, that is not considered an immigration barrier. An immigration barrier can sometimes exist if your partner tries to get a visitor visa to visit Canada and is repeatedly refused. However, other factors are to be considered than merely having your partner visa repeatedly refused.

Outside of Canada or/ Inside of Canada Application?

Once you have decided what type of application you will submit, you will need to decide if you will submit your application outside of Canada or inside of Canada. If your partner is not inside of Canada and cannot obtain a visa to come to Canada, you must apply outside of Canada. You will need to submit your application to the case processing centre in Mississauga, Ontario and they will decide if you are eligible to be a sponsor. If you are approved as a sponsor, the application is sent to your partner overseas visa office. If your partner is residing in a country other than the country of their nationality, you may choose which of the two visa offices you want submit the application to. Otherwise the application will be processed based on your partner’s country of nationality. If the application is successfully, your partner will join you in Canada. If the application is refused, you can appeal the application since the application was made outside of Canada. However, if you submitted an inside of Canada application and the application was refused, you cannot appeal the immigration officer’s decision.

Note that you can also submit an outside of Canada application if your partner is inside of Canada. However, your partner may have to return home during the application process.

Inside of Canada Application

If your partner is inside of Canada as a visitor, or does not have a valid status in Canada, you can choose to apply to sponsor your partner from inside of Canada. The outside of Canada application processing time is normally faster than the inside of Canada application and the outside of Canada application has appeal rights.

The inside of Canada application would be mailed to Vegreville, Alberta and if you are eligible to be a sponsor, you would obtain a first stage approval. Once approved to be a sponsor, your application would be sent to your local Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) office where you live.

If an interview is required for an inside of Canada application, the Vegreville office may not provide first stage approval, but instead will send the application to the local CIC office without the approval and you will have to wait for CIC to schedule your interview. If you obtain first stage approval, your spouse may be eligible for health care and an open work permit.

The option of submitting your sponsorship application will depend on your situation. However, as mention if your partner’s country of nationality has a long processing time or your partner does not want to have to travel back to his or her country for a possible interview, then an inside of Canada application may be best suited. For faster a processing time of the application, and an appeal right you can choose to submit the application outside of Canada.

Question: I would like to immigrate to Canada, but my spouse wishes to remain behind and will join me later. Is this possible?

Answer: Your spouse and your dependent children will have to undergo and pass a medical examination and a security clearance. Your spouse may then decide not to receive his or her immigrant visa. You would at a later time have to sponsor your spouse when he or she wants to immigrate to Canada. It is therefore more practical for your spouse to obtain their permanent resident visa as per the normal process, as the visa will be valid for up to one year and your spouse may be able to wait up to one (1) year before immigrating to Canada. This course of action would eliminate delays and your spouse having to apply and go through the immigration sponsorship procedures once your spouse wishes to join you in Canada.

Question: Can I bring all of my children to Canada if I am approved for immigration?

Answer:You may include your dependent children in your immigration application, particularly children who are not 22 years of age and unmarried. If you have children who are ages 22 or older, that child must have been in enrolled as a full-time student since the age of 22 and are financially dependent upon you. On the other hand, if your children over the age of 22 have a physical or mental disability and are not able to care for themselves, that child may qualify as dependent child and can be included in your application.

Question: Can I sponsor my brother or sister (siblings) to come to Canada?

Answer. Generally, you cannot sponsor your brother or sister to Canada since they are not considered a member of the family class. Members of the family class are normally your spouses, common law partner, children, parents or grandparents. However, siblings can immigrate to Canada by applying on their own through Canada’s Federal or Provincial Nominee Programs.

Question: I want to sponsor my spouse (wife or husband), but my annual income is low and falls under the required level set out in the Low Income Cut-Off (LICO) Chart. Can I sponsor my spouse?

Answer: Yes, you may apply to sponsor your spouse. Under the Spousal and Common Law sponsorship rules, you can be exempt for meeting the LICO as long as you are not receiving social assistance.

Question: My dependent child has a serious non-communicable illness that will require rigorous hospital care. Can I sponsor my child?

Answer.You may sponsor your dependent child to Canada. Medical inadmissibility based on the nature of health care system is not a factor for Family Class Sponsorship.

Question: I would like to invite my friend to visit me in Canada. What are the chances for success?

Answer.Although, inviting your friend to visit you in Canada can help your friend chances for success to obtain a visitor’s visa, there are other factors that must be considered. In a visitor visa application the condition of the applicant friend and the ties to his or her country is the most important factor that a visa officer examines. A visitor’s visa is considered a temporary visa and the overseas visa office will want to insure that the applicant friend will return to their country at the end of their visit to Canada. A person who wants to visit Canada that is not able to demonstrate ties to their country, such as close family relationship, a job, attending school, ownership of property, may likely be refused a visitor visa. Thus, it is important for applicant to provide strong evidence of his or her ties to their country of citizenship when applying for their visitor’s visa.

Question: I am a permanent resident of Canada and I wish to leave Canada temporally. How long am I allowed to stay outside Canada?

Answer: Based on various degrees of exceptions, as a permanent resident you must be physically present in Canada for at least 2 years in the 5 years immediately preceding your return to Canada.

Question: I would like to immigrate to Canada as an entrepreneur. Is there a minimum amount of money that I require to invest in purchasing or establishing a business in Canada?

Answer: There is a minimum amount of money you must show, which is a net worth of $300,000 CDN. As an entrepreneur, you must demonstrate to the visa office that you have enough business experience and net worth to full fill your business goal and successfully establish a business in Canada. However, the actual net worth required will be based on the type of business being established in Canada.

Question: I sponsored my spouse to immigrate to Canada. However, their application was refused by the overseas visa office. The visa post did not believe that our marriage was genuine. What can I do?

Answer:Sometimes spousal sponsorship applications are refused because of lack of evidence supporting a marriage, or the spouse attending the immigration interview abroad did not provide adequate details to the interviewing officer to convince the officer that the marriage is genuine. Frequently, the cause for this is due to the uneasiness of the spouse who has never been at an immigration interview. Regularly, applicants do not understand how significant it is to prepare and bring to the interview documentation to prove that their marriage or common law relationship is genuine such as, wedding photos, telephone bills, etc. Moreover, in some cultures many marriages are arranged marriages and even though genuine and legitimate, both spouses may not know each other that well, simply because they have not yet had the opportunity to spend a great deal time with each other. As a sponsor the recourse you have is to appeal the decision of the visa officer, if the application was made outside of Canada.

Question: I was giving a job offer from a company in Canada who wishes to hire me for a temporary period of employment. What can I do to obtain authorization to work in Canada?

Answer:Often an employment authorization must first be approved by Human Resources & Skilled Development Canada. If an approval is obtained, it simply means that there are no other permanent resident or Canadians qualified to fill the position. Once you have obtained approval you can then proceed to obtain a work permit, which is another authorization document that allows you to work in Canada for the employer that provided you with the job offer.

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