Spousal and family class FAQ

What is a common-law partner?

A common-law partner is "an individual who is cohabiting with the person in a conjugal relationship, having so cohabited for a period of at least one year."

How long does it take for a sponsorship application in the family class to be processed?

The government's aim is to process applications within 6 months of the date they are received.

Can my partner work once the sponsorship process is started?

In the case of an inland application, if they applied for an open work permit when they submitted the application they can expect to receive that work when they receive "Approval in Principle". In the case of an application processed outside Canada, which is normally processed much more quickly, they will need to wait until final approval of their visa and your partner is entitled to work in any job after taking up permanent residence.

I am a permanent resident of Canada. Can I sponsor someone even though I am currently living outside Canada?

The Federal program only allows a permanent resident to sponsor if they are currently residing in Canada. Some Provincial prorams for sponsorship are available in specific cases, however given that you do not appear to be resident in any Canadian Province, none of those programs will allow you to sponsor either.

Although I am sponsoring my husband, he is soon to be my ex-husband as we are getting divorced. What happens to the sponsorship appplication

If you have already submitted a complete application with a valid sponsorship agreement, you are bound by that agreementand the sponsorship process will continue.

Why is the time required to sponsor parents so long, and what can be done about it?

Unfortunately for parents, priority is given to spousal cases, and cases involving dependent children or orphaned children. If there are adequate arrangements for parents and they have their own medical cover in Canada, it is often possible for them to stay in Canada as visitors while their application is processed.

My spouse is in Canada but there permission to stay has expired - what can be done about it?

An application for Restoration of Status can be made within 90 days of your spouse falling out of status in Canada. Beyond that date, they can be sponsored via an inland process even if they are out of status, provided they have not worked ilegally in Canada.

What can be done if the government refuses my sponsorship application?

An Appeal may be filed timeously with the Immigration Appeal Division if the Processing of the permanent residence application is occurring outside Canada. Otherwise there is a process to apply for Leave to Appeal in Federal Court, but the latter Appeal does not allow new information about the sponsorship to be reviewed, of the visa officer's decision process to assure there was procedural fairness and no mistakes of Law. Unlike a proceeding before the Immigration Appeal Division, the merits of the application will not be reviewed by the Federal Court.

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