Canadian Immigration: Marriage-Based Green Cards
Spousal sponsorship is a popular method for obtaining a green card. At Berardi Immigration Law, we understand the importance of uniting with your significant other and will make every effort to ensure it happens. Below you’ll find some information regarding the process of receiving a marriage-based green card in Canada.
Who can I sponsor?
The Canadian government permits you to sponsor your spouse, common-law partner, or conjugal partner.
Your spouse must be legally married to you, and at least 18 years old.
Your common-law partner:
- Isn’t legally married to you
- Is at least 18 years old
- Has been living with you for at least 12 consecutive months, without long periods apart
Your conjugal partner:
- Isn’t legally married to you or in a common law relationship with you
- Is at least 18 years old
- Has been in a relationship with you for at least one year
- Lives outside Canada
- Can’t live with you in their country of residence or marry you because of significant legal and immigrant reasons such as
- Their marital status
- Their sexual orientation
Is the person you are sponsoring eligible?
- They must provide all required forms and documents with their application
- Any additional information requested during processing including medical exams and biometrics
Please note: You can’t sponsor someone who is inadmissible to Canada
Are YOU eligible to sponsor your spouse or partner?
- You must be at least 18 years old
- You must be a Canadian citizen, a permanent resident of Canada, or a person registered in Canada as an Indian under the Canadian Indian Act
- If you are a Canadian citizen living outside Canada, you must show that you plan to live in Canada when the person you want to sponsor becomes a permanent resident
- You can’t sponsor someone if you are a permanent resident living outside Canada
- You must be able to prove that you are not receiving social assistance for reasons other than disability
- You can provide for the basic needs of any persons you want to sponsor
If you live outside Quebec:
- To become a sponsor, you must promise to financially take care of the person you are sponsoring for a period of time; this promise is called an undertaking.
- The undertaking commits you to providing financial support for your sponsored spouse or partner starting when they become a permanent resident
- You are committed to repay any provincial social assistance your sponsored spouse or partner receives during that time
- You and your sponsored spouse or partner must agree to certain responsibilities during the undertaking period; this is called a sponsorship agreement.
- The sponsorship agreement means that you will provide for the basic needs of your sponsored spouse or partner
- The person you sponsor will make every effort to support themselves and their families
If you live in Quebec:
- You meet Quebec’s immigration sponsorship requirements after the Canadian government approves you as a sponsor. You must sign an undertaking with the province of Quebec.
There are TWO different methods for Canadian sponsorship: “Inside-Canada Sponsorship” and “Outside-Canada Sponsorship.” Depending on your situation, there may be a sponsorship that is better suited for you. Each program has its advantages and disadvantages.
- Inside-Canada (Spouse or Common Law partner in-Canada Class Application)
- Common option for those Canadian Citizen or Permanent Resident Sponsors whose spouse/common-law Partner is physically in Canada and is residing with them at the time of the application
- Ability to apply for a Work Permit while awaiting decision
- Little to no flexibility to travel outside Canada for long intervals
- No right to appeal if application is refused
- Outside Canada (Family Class Application)
- Applicant may be residing in or outside of Canada at the time of application
- No ability to apply for a Work Permit while processing
- Flexibility to travel outside of Canada for longer intervals
- Applicant has the right to appeal if application is refused
We understand that this may be a lot of information to take in. If you have any questions about Canadian marriage-based green cards, please give us a call today to schedule a consultation with our Canadian immigration attorney!