Spousal Sponsorship Canada: Understanding Inland And Outland Sponsorship Law

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Canada is considered one of the most stable and secure countries in the world. With high-quality education, health care, and an abundance of nature, Canada is often ranked among the top ten countries in the world for quality of life. It is no wonder that people are looking for ways to move to Canada.

If you’re married or planning to marry a Canadian, you might have come across the term – spousal sponsorship. This is an immigration program created for a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident who wants to sponsor their loved one’s application for permanent residence in Canada. It is a very important and popular program in this country which helps families stay together. However, certain criteria must first be met.

In the text below, we offer you an insight into better understanding what inland and outland law sponsorship means, which are a major part of the program.

First up – Understanding how it works

The so-called Canadian Spousal Sponsorship Immigration Program is part of the Family Class category which means that a citizen or permanent resident of the country of Canada may sponsor a spouse or common-law partner to apply for Canadian permanent residence. Through this program, Canada has been welcoming a significant number of new residents to the country.

You should know that the Canadian citizen or permanent resident (the ‘sponsor’) and the foreign national (the ‘sponsored person’) must be checked and accepted by Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) for the sponsored person to get the visa.

To obtain this visa, the sponsor and sponsored person must provide evidence that their relationship falls under these three categories: Spouse,  Common-law Partner and Conjugal Partner.

Who can sponsor their spouse?

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There are certain requirements that a permanent resident or Canadian citizen must meet to be eligible for a spousal sponsorship. The requirements include:

  • They must be at least 18 years old;
  • They must be a Canadian citizen, a permanent resident living in Canada, or a person registered in Canada with an Indian Status under the Canadian Indian Act;
  •  They must be able to prove that they don’t receive social assistance for reasons other than a disability; and
  • They should earn enough to provide for the basic needs of any grandchildren (this could be dependent children of a dependent child) of the principal applicant.

In case you are a Canadian living abroad, you must demonstrate that you plan to live permanently in Canada when your spouse or partner obtains permanent residence.

Understanding Inland Spousal Sponsorship

There are two terms used to describe the types of submitted applications used for Canadians sponsoring spouses. They are called Inland Sponsorship and Outland Sponsorship.

The Inland Spousal Sponsorship Program enables Canadian citizens and residents to sponsor their spouses and be permanently together in Canada.

Individuals applying for this sponsorship visa can stay in Canada during the application process. The processing time for applications for inland spouse sponsorship has been significantly reduced to 12 months from the date of submission. Add another two months to this period in case of unforeseen circumstances, such as accommodating requests for additional information from the Department of Immigration.

Inland sponsorship allows the sponsored person to work and have an open work permit in Canada while the application is being processed.

Understanding Outland Spousal Sponsorship

The Outland Sponsorship application is generally pursued and most suitable to choose when the sponsored partner is living outside Canadian borders.

However, such applicants can still be in Canada and apply through the Outland Sponsorship program, while having the opportunity to travel in and out of the country throughout the application process.

These kinds of applications are processed through the visa office that serves the applicant’s country of origin, or where they have resided legally for at least one year.

How much income must I have to sponsor my spouse?

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Even though you must submit some type of proof that you can sponsor your spouse or partner and provide for the basic needs, mainly for a three-year period, there is still not a definite or set amount of money presented as an income requirement.

During this period, you’ll need to provide the sponsored person with food, clothing, accommodation, and everything that falls in the category of basic living things.

Certain aspects of care that are not covered by public health services must be taken into consideration by the sponsor as well. Also, if the sponsored person receives social assistance from Canada’s government during this period, you are financially liable for this.

Inland Vs. Outland Spousal Sponsorship: Advantages and Disadvantages

The benefit of filling out an inland application is that your spouse is, in general, free to stay in Canada until the final decision is reached as there is a requirement that both partners must live together in the country. If one of you decides to leave the country, your application can be rejected.

The biggest advantage of the inland sponsorship applications is that it provides your spouse with an open work permit while the application is undergoing the process. This makes it possible for them to engage in almost every field of work while waiting.

The disadvantage is that you are unable to appeal a rejected application and in that case, you will be forced to leave the country.

When compared, an outland sponsorship application might be better since the application is given higher priority compared to inland applications since the government wants to reunite families faster. And as a bonus, unlike inland sponsorships, you are allowed to appeal a negative decision on an outland application.

This will be a better choice for you, especially if your partner is not granted a visitor visa that is necessary to enter Canada. This option is also better if your partner can travel to Canada but cannot stay in the country while the application is being processed due to work or personal reasons.

The downside of this option is that living together while your spouse is in Canada may be testing in the period until your application is approved.

Closing words

We have learned that both inland and outland sponsorship can be done in Canada, all in favor of getting two committed partners to come together and carry on with their shared life.

The article above has the goal of helping you determine what the best option is for you and your spouse. Before launching the process, study the two options carefully as they have significant differences, advantages, and disadvantages.

In the end, doing your homework will help you get a higher chance of having your sponsorship granted and get you to open the next chapter of your life in the beautiful country of Canada.

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