Canadian citizens and permanent residents who marry foreigners must know that the fact of the marriage doesn’t give an automatic right for the foreigner to receive a permanent status in Canada. Foreign spouses must be “sponsored” by their Canadian wives or husbands in order to receive a Canadian status meaning that both, a Canadian and a foreigner, must be eligible under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act to receive a status in the country. Among other factors, a Canadian spouse (they will be referred by immigration officials as “the Sponsor”) and the foreign spouse (“the Applicant”) mustn’t have certain types of serious criminal history, have means of support to live in Canada (the Sponsor cannot be on welfare assistance and the Applicant must demonstrate that they will be economically sustainable in Canada). A Canadian spouse does not have to demonstrate certain level of income, however the government officials may ask how the Applicant will be financially secure in Canada.
There are two ways of submitting the application: if the foreign spouse is already in Canada, the Sponsor can start the process from inside Canada. The waiting period for the application to be finalized is longer comparing the application which is submitted in the country where the foreign spouse is a national. Therefore, before starting the process, the Sponsor is encouraged to obtain legal advice from our immigration counsels (lawyers and/or licensed paralegals). The positivity of submitting the application “from within Canada” is that the spouses will live together in Canada until their applications are finalised, but the Applicant would not be able to work, study or have health coverage from the government of Canada until the immigration officials give special permission (for health coverage, the Applicant must wait for their application to be finalised).
Sometimes, the prospective clients ask questions on why law firms charge so much for just, in their opinion, filling the application forms. Well, the immigration counsel does not just fill the forms, he or she analyses the case in its entirety and builds a solid foundation for the case in order for the process to go smoothly and without any discrepancies. Mistakes on the application may cost dearly,- the process might be delayed or the application refused. The immigration authorities do not provide legal advice on how to present the application. It is the Sponsor’s and the Applicant’s burden to prove their case.