Immigrating to Canada through marriage involves a process that can lead to permanent residency, but it’s essential to understand the requirements and steps involved. Keep in mind that Canadian immigration laws and policies can change over time, so it’s essential to consult the official website of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) for the most up-to-date information and guidance. As of my last knowledge update in September 2021, here are the general steps:
- Eligibility: To sponsor your spouse or common-law partner, you must be a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident. You must also be at least 18 years old and not be receiving social assistance for reasons other than a disability. Additionally, you must demonstrate that you can financially support your spouse/partner and any dependent children.
- Marriage: You must be legally married to your spouse, or you must be in a common-law relationship. Common-law relationships usually require living together for at least 12 consecutive months.
- Sponsorship Application: As a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, you will need to submit a sponsorship application to IRCC. This application is for you (the sponsor) to sponsor your spouse or partner (the sponsored person). You can find the sponsorship application package on the IRCC website.
- Processing Time: Processing times for sponsorship applications can vary, so it’s essential to check the current estimated processing times on the IRCC website. Be prepared for potential delays.
- In-Canada or Out-of-Canada Application: Depending on your spouse’s current immigration status, they may apply from within Canada (in-Canada application) or from outside Canada (out-of-Canada application). The requirements and processing times may differ.
- Medical and Criminal Checks: Your spouse will need to undergo a medical examination and provide police clearance certificates from any country they have lived in for more than six months since the age of 18.
- Interviews and Biometrics: Depending on the specific circumstances, your spouse may be required to attend an interview or provide biometrics (fingerprints and photographs).
- Decision and Visa Issuance: Once the sponsorship application is approved, your spouse will receive a permanent resident visa (if applying from outside Canada) or a confirmation of permanent residence (COPR) if applying from within Canada.
- Arrival in Canada: After receiving the visa or COPR, your spouse can travel to Canada to become a permanent resident. They will need to show their immigration documents upon arrival.
- Conditional Permanent Residence: In some cases, sponsored spouses may be subject to conditional permanent residence. They must live with their sponsor for two years from the date they become a permanent resident. After two years, the conditions will be removed, and they will have full permanent resident status.
Please note that immigration rules and requirements can change, so it’s crucial to check the IRCC website and consider consulting with an immigration lawyer or consultant to ensure you meet all the current requirements and to navigate the process successfully.