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Canada Inland Spousal/Common-Law Sponsorship

The Spousal Sponsorship program is a subsection of the Family Class immigration category, under which a Canadian or permanent resident (the sponsor) may sponsor his or her spouse or common-law partner (the sponsored person) for Canadian permanent residence.

Inland sponsorship is a form of spousal sponsorship available to couples who are already in cohabitation in Canada where the spouse/common-law partner has temporary status in Canada, either as a worker, student, or visitor.

Individuals of foreign nationality being sponsored for Canadian permanent residence by their spouse or common-law partner could also be eligible to place an application for an open work permit.

In order to apply for an open work permit, the foreign individual must be applying for spousal sponsorship from inside Canada through the inland spousal sponsorship process. As well, applicants should make sure that they meet the complete eligibility criteria required for the program.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) aim to process applications submitted through the Spousal Sponsorship program within 12 months.

If an individual of foreign nationality is successful in their application for a work permit, they’re going to be issued an open work permit granting them the authorization to work for multiple employers in any location in Canada while their permanent residency application is processing.

The application procedure for the spousal sponsorship open work permit varies depending on the applicant’s status in Canada and the stage of their permanent residency application.

Individuals of foreign nationality cannot work in Canada without the proper authorization. Engaging in any sort of employment in Canada without the right working papers is unlawful and can jeopardize future immigration applications.

Eligibility Criteria For Canadian Inland Spousal Sponsorship

In order to be eligible to apply for a spousal sponsorship open work permit, an individual of foreign nationality must have applied for permanent residency sponsorship from within Canada through the inland stream of the spousal sponsorship program.

If you’ve not submitted your sponsorship application: The sponsorship, permanent residence, and open work permit applications may all be submitted together in a single envelope in hard copy text.

Applicants are to make sure that all supporting documentation and required proof of payments for all applications are included. The applications should be submitted to the Case Processing Centre in Mississauga (CPC-M), Ontario.

If your permanent residence application is submitted but has not yet received approval in principle: The open work permit application could also be submitted in hard copy text to the Case Processing Centre in Vegreville (CPC-V), Alberta.

If your permanent residence application has been approved in principle: The open working papers application could also be submitted online or in hard copy text to the Case Processing Centre in Vegreville (CPC-V), Alberta.

Approval in Principle (AIP) means a person’s permanent residence application has been cleared by IRCC as meeting the eligibility requirements, but the applicant has not yet passed through the process for medical exams and security/background checks. While this suggests the applicant has successfully passed several stages of processing, permanent residency might still be denied after receipt of the AIP.

An individual of foreign nationality is required to have a valid status in Canada (visitor, student, worker, etc.) so as to submit a work permit application at an equivalent time as their permanent residence application.

If an applicant is out of status in Canada, they are required to wait until their permanent residence application has received approval in principle to submit their work permit application.

Canada Spousal Sponsorship Processing Time

As aforementioned, prior to 2020, the time interval for processing spousal sponsorship applications in Canada was approximately 12 months (common-law partners and conjugal partners, as well). Of course, the precise time interval may vary from application to application.

Do You Need an Employment Offer to Sponsor Your Spouse in Canada?

No, it’s not a mandatory requirement for you to have an employment offer in order to sponsor your spouse in Canada (or common-law partner, or conjugal partner).

How Much Does it Cost for SpousalSponsorship in Canada?

It costs about $1,050 (Canadian Dollars) to sponsor your spouse for Canadian immigration (the same for common-law partners and conjugal partners). This amount only includes mandatory immigration fees:

  • CAD$75 – Sponsorship Fee
  • CAD$475 – Processing Fee
  • CAD$500 – Right of Permanent Residence Fee

You should expect other costs associated with the immigration process, including costs associated with obtaining documents, postage, and the services of an immigration representative (if you decide to work with one).

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