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Inland Spousal/Common-Law Partner Sponsorship

Inland Spousal/Common-Law Partner Sponsorship program allows a Canadian citizen or permanent resident to sponsor his or her spouse/common-law partner for permanent resident status living together in Canada.

Canadian Spousal Sponsorship is all about bringing families together. This program is a subsection of the Family Class immigration category wherein a Canadian or permanent resident may sponsor his or her spouse/common-law partner who is already in Canada for Canadian permanent residence. Similar to most of immigration programs, this application requires extensive paperworks, documentation, proof of your relationship to make sure that your application will succeed.

There are two parts to the spousal sponsorship application:

  • First, the Canadian or permanent resident applies to sponsor his or her spouse or common-law partner.
  • Secondly, the spouse or common-law partner applies for permanent residence.

The Inland sponsorship category requires that the foreign spouse/common-law partner must have valid temporary status in Canada, either as a worker, student, or visitor. If the sponsored person already has a work or study permit, he or she may continue to work or study as long as the permit is valid. Working and studying in Canada without valid immigration status are illegal and may result in serious consequences for the sponsored person or in a worst scenario, he/she may face deportation.

Opposite to Outland applications (where the spouse is residing outside Canada), the person being sponsored through the Inland application may be eligible for an Open Work Permit while his or her application is being processed. This program can help lessen the consequences of a long application process by allowing the sponsored person to work for a Canadian employer, without any offer of employment. Applicants who would like to obtain an open work permit should apply for one at the same time when they send their application for permanent residence. However, IRCC states that if a sponsored spouse or common-law partner has not submitted an application for an open work permit at the same time as their permanent residence application, he or she may still submit an application for an open work permit at a later time as long as they have a valid immigration status.

If the sponsored person or the applicant leaves Canada at any point while the application is being processed, there is no guarantee that he or she will be allowed to re-enter Canada, especially if he or she requires a visitor visa. IRCC aims to process applications submitted through this program within 12 months.

It could either be Inland or Outland sponsorship, both the sponsor and the sponsored person must meet a number of specific requirements in order to be considered eligible.