What is the Difference Between Inland and Outland Spousal Sponsorship
MAY 18, 2023
Starting a life together with your partner in the Great White North is a dream for many couples. The Canadian government recognizes the importance of family reunification and provides various pathways to ensure that families can live together in Canada. One such method is Spousal Sponsorship Canada, which enables Canadian citizens or permanent residents to sponsor their spouse or common-law partner to become permanent residents of Canada. This article will delve into the intricacies of inland and outland spousal sponsorship, the eligibility criteria, the application process, the required documents, and common mistakes to avoid, ensuring a smooth process for you and your partner.
Spousal sponsorship is a way to ensure that families stay together and helps strengthen Canadian society. This article will discuss the differences between inland and outland spousal sponsorship Canada, the eligibility criteria, the application process, the required documents, and common mistakes to avoid.
What Are Inland and Outland Sponsorship?
Spousal sponsorship is a process under Canada's Family Sponsorship program that allows a Canadian citizen or permanent resident to sponsor their spouse, common-law partner, or conjugal partner to come to Canada and live permanently. Here's a quick breakdown of how the family sponsorship program works.
Two types of spousal sponsorship Canada exist - Inland and Outland. Inland sponsorship is for couples who are already living together in Canada. In this case, the Canadian citizen or permanent resident sponsors their foreign spouse, common-law partner, or conjugal partner to become a permanent resident.
The Canadian defines the three different accepted types of "spouse" as follows:
A spouse is a person you are legally married to, either of the opposite or same sex.
A common-law partner isn't legally married, can be either sex, is 18 or older, and has been continuously living with you for at least 12 months.
A marital partner is someone with whom you have a sexual or physical partnership, but the sexual or physical relationship is not the only qualifying criterion. Other factors, such as emotional and financial interdependence, are also considered.
If sponsored, your spouse can stay in Canada during the application process. In addition, the sponsored person can obtain an open work permit.
On the other hand, Outland sponsorship is for couples not living together in Canada. This application is for foreign nationals who are residing outside of Canada. The sponsoring partner is a Canadian citizen or permanent resident who applies for their spouse, common-law partner, or conjugal partner to become a permanent resident in Canada. The Outland option allows the sponsored person to travel to and from Canada during the application process.
Inland Sponsorship: Keep Your Spouse in Canada
Inland sponsorship is for immigrant couples who live in Canada together already. Inland spousal sponsorship enables candidates to permanently extend their lives in Canada while processing their application for permanent residence. Canadian citizens or permanent residents already living with their spouses in Canada can apply to sponsor them through the inland spousal sponsorship stream of the family sponsorship program.For Canadian citizens or permanent residents to be eligible to sponsor their spouse or common-law partner, they must:
- Be Canadian permanent residents or citizens residing in Canada.
- At least 18 years of age when submitting their Canada spouse visa applications
- Not have been sponsored for Canadian permanent residency in the last five years.
- Not be in prison, charged with a serious offense, or declared bankrupt.
- Should they be Canadian permanent residents, they must not be under a removal order.
- The prospective sponsored spouse or partner's status in Canada must be valid through a study permit or visitor visa.
How to Apply
The sponsorship application process for inland and outland spousal sponsorship is generally similar. The sponsor must submit a sponsorship application to Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). The required documents to apply successfully include application forms, supporting documents, and a processing fee. Sponsors must provide proof of relationship with their spouse or partner through supporting documentation such as:
- Provide proof of their Canadian citizenship or
- Show proof of permanent residency and their financial ability to support the foreign spouse or partner.
- Make sure their spouse or partner has a valid status in Canada through a visitor visa or study permit.
- Provide proof of relationship with their spouse or partner through marriage certificates, letters, and photographs.
- Ensure their foreign spouse or partner provides proof of their identity through medical exams, a passport, and criminal background checks.
Once the sponsorship application is approved, the foreign spouse or partner can apply for permanent residency.
Inland sponsorship generally takes longer than outland sponsorship, but the couple can live together while the application is being processed. The current processing time for inland sponsorship is approximately 12 months. You can learn more about Canadian immigration processing times here.
Traveling abroad while your inland sponsorship application is being processed is not recommended, even if it is permissible. Should the sponsored candidate be denied re-entry into Canada after traveling outside the nation's border, their sponsorship application may be abandoned. You must submit a new sponsorship application if this occurs.
Pros and Cons of Inland Sponsorship
|The couple can live together in Canada.||Longer processing times.|
|The foreign spouse may be eligible for an open work permit.||The foreign spouse must have temporary resident status in Canada.|
|If you travel outside Canada, the foreign spouse may face difficulties re-entering the country.|
|If the application is refused, there is no right to appeal.|
If your spouse is living with you, but you are unsure if you can sponsor them, you could hugely benefit from a complete eligibility evaluation from a certified immigration professional like a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (RCIC). An RCIC can help analyze your visa application and submit it on your behalf. They are members of the College of Immigration and Citizenship Consultants (CICC), which is the official regulator of immigration and citizenship consultants in Canada. Working with an RCIC can help smooth the Canada spouse visa process and increase the chances of success.
Outland Spousal Sponsorship: Bring Your Partner To Canada
Outland spousal sponsorship takes applications from candidates from sponsors living outside of Canada. The process allows the foreign spouse or partner to apply for permanent residency outside Canada. This type of sponsorship is preferred by couples not living together in Canada and the foreign spouse or partner living in their home country. The Outland Spousal Sponsorship Stream of the family sponsorship program enables eligible Canadian permanent residents or citizens to sponsor their common-law partner or spouse for permanent residency status in Canada, regardless of where they reside outside of Canada.
Due to Canada's commitment to reunite families swiftly, many applications are processed within 12 months. Although created for sponsored individuals living abroad, applicants residing in Canada may also apply for the outland spousal sponsorship. This may allow them to gain entry back into and out of Canada while processing their applications.
Eligibility Criteria for Outland Spousal Sponsorship
To be eligible for spousal sponsorship in Canada, the sponsor, and sponsored spouse or partner must meet specific spouse visa requirements. This includes:
- The sponsor must be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident,
- They must be at least 18 years of age.
- They must provide financial support to the foreign spouse or partner for three years after they become a permanent resident of Canada.
- Not have received spousal sponsorship to Canada in the five years preceding their application.
- Not be in prison, charged with a serious offense, or bankrupt
- Not be under a deportation order, if they are a Canadian permanent resident
- The foreign spouse or partner must not be deemed inadmissible to Canada.
- Outland spousal sponsorships don't need the sponsor to satisfy the Minimum Necessary Income (MNI) to apply for this program if they sponsor their spouse.
- They must have a genuine, ongoing relationship with the sponsor.
How to Apply
Inland and outland spousal sponsorship application processes are similar. However, as the sponsor, you must submit a sponsorship application to Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). This includes:
- The sponsor must provide proof of their Canadian citizenship or permanent residency.
- Sponsors must also prove their financial ability to support the foreign spouse or partner via salary/payslips, bank statements, etc.
- Do not need to hold a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) due to sponsored partner common-law partner residing outside Canada.
- As a sponsor, you must also show proof of your relationship with the foreign spouse or partner through marriage certificates, photos, and letters.
- The foreign spouse or partner must show legal proof of their identity through passports, medical exams, and criminal background checks/police clearance documents.
The sponsor must provide proof of their relationship with their spouse or partner. Once the sponsorship application is approved, the spouse or partner can apply for permanent residency. The foreign spouse or partner must take a medical exam and undergo a criminal background check to prove their admissibility to enter Canada.
Application Processing Times:
Outland sponsorship is faster, but the foreign spouse or partner can only live in Canada once the application is processed. Application processing times for outland sponsorship are approximately nine months.
One common mistake in inland and outland spousal sponsorship applications is submitting incomplete or incorrect forms. Therefore, ensuring that all forms are filled out completely and accurately is essential. Another mistake is not providing enough supporting documents to prove the relationship between the sponsor and the foreign spouse or partner.
Providing as much evidence as possible to support the relationship is essential. Finally, not meeting the eligibility criteria is a common mistake. Therefore, ensuring the sponsor and the foreign spouse or partner meets all the eligibility criteria before applying is vital.
Pros and Cons
|Faster processing time||Difficult to live together until the application is processed|
|Sponsorship, regardless of location||No open work permit eligibility|
What Other Programs Can You Use to Bring Your Spouse or Partner to Canada?
Simultaneous and dual applications where you and your spouse apply to move together to Canada are possible through immigration visa programs such as the Express Entry and Provincial Nominee Programs.
Which is Preferable: Inland or Outland Sponsorship?
Inland and Outland Sponsorship are two spousal or common-law partner sponsorship options in Canada. Here are some differences between the two:
- The couple must live together in Canada during the application process.
- This option is better if you want your spouse to stay with you in Canada while their application is processed.
- The processing time is longer than Outland Sponsorship, typically around 12 months.
- The couple does not need to live together in Canada during the application process.
- This option may be better if you plan to leave Canada during the processing time.
- The processing time is generally quicker than Inland Sponsorship.
It's important to note that both options have advantages and disadvantages; the best choice depends on your circumstances. For example, if you want your spouse to stay with you in Canada during the application process, Inland Sponsorship may be the better option. On the other hand, if you plan to leave Canada during the processing time, Outland Sponsorship may be more suitable.
Start a New Life With the One You Love
Spousal sponsorship is a beautiful way to help your loved one join you in your home country, fostering a stronger, more united family. Participating in the Inland or Outland Spousal Sponsorship Programs takes a significant step towards building a future together, breaking down barriers, and nurturing your relationship.
Sponsoring your spouse provides them many opportunities and contributes to your community's cultural diversity and richness. Don't let distance keep you apart; embrace the chance to sponsor your spouse and embark on this incredible journey together. One of the best ways to do this is to utilize the experience and expertise of an RCIC. Applying for a Canadian visa independently can be difficult due to the complicated vocabulary, short application deadlines, and high application fees. The services of a Canada immigration consultant, such as an RCIC, can make an already-complicated procedure much more accessible while increasing the chances of a successful application.