Bringing a Jamaican Partner to Canada
If you are a Canadian permanent resident or citizen who wishes to marry someone from another country and bring them back to Canada, you will need to be aware of the steps necessary to successfully do so. The process involves first obtaining a marriage license, which may require showing proof of your Canadian citizenship, as well of your unmarried status. Depending on the country of your future spouse’s origin, additional paperwork may be required.
The process for applying for a marriage license in Jamaica will include showing proof of citizenship for both parties, such as birth certificates, as well as proof of divorce or death of your previous spouse. The motions for obtaining a marriage license with your Jamaican partner are fairly simple. Then, once your application has been approved, you will have three months to proceed with the marriage before it becomes invalid. This is also a good time to prepare the sponsorship application, so you can get started on the process immediately after you are married.
Sponsoring Your Jamaican Spouse
Depending upon where you obtained your marriage license, you have the option of marrying in Jamaica, if you got a Jamaican marriage license, or marrying in Canada. You can have a wedding ceremony in either country or both. If you wish to have your spouse or partner visit you while you await their permanent residence status, they will need a visa. Once you can prove you are legally married or in the process of becoming married, you can apply to sponsor your spouse or partner so they can become a permanent resident, and eventually a citizen, of Canada.
However, for you to be considered as a sponsor for a foreigner, you must meet the following requirements:
- You can prove you are a Canadian citizen or permanent resident
- You permanently live and work in Canada
- You are sponsoring your spouse/partner or spouse-to-be and can legally prove this
- You are not going through any bankruptcies, defaults in your finances
- You are not currently incarcerated
- You can prove that you can adequately provide financial support to your spouse/partner and any dependants that are coming with them, such as children or grandchildren
- You have never been convicted of dangerous sexual or violent crimes.
- You have not sponsored another spouse or partner within the last 3 years, even if you are no longer legally together
- You do not currently receive social assistance (aside from disability)
The Canadian sponsorship program is ideal for immediate family members (excluding siblings) of Canadian permanent residents or citizens who wish to obtain their own personal residence status. This will allow them to live, work, travel within Canada. Of course, aside from you providing your credentials and proof of marriage, your spouse or partner will also be required to show their passport, birth certificate, or other documentation to prove their identity. A medical and background screening is also required for all applicants. Please keep in mind that any applicant with a criminal record will not be considered or allowed to enter Canada.
As a sponsor, you will be in responsible for the general welfare of your spouse or partner and any dependants they have brought with them. Essentially, you are agreeing that you will be their sponsor; that you will provide for them financially. You and your spouse or partner will have to sign a legal pledge that states that the sponsor agrees to provide shelter, clothing, food, water, hygienic products, personal items, health care, and take care of finances. In turn, the person being sponsored will agree not to turn to the government for assistance.
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