Currently living in the U.S.A. with my wife, we want to move to Canada - What are our options?

goldfinger

New Member
Hey there - my wife and I are currently living in the United States, and want to move back to Canada. I am the Canadian, and she is an American citizen.

I was thinking that we could do the outland process from here, but I read in another thread that we are likely to be denied if we do so? I plan on moving back to Canada (conceivably before approval, because I want to return and plant some roots,) and could likely submit proof in the form of a job offer (I was planning on working at my family's business when I return) but it sounds like that has a high likelihood of being refused based on what I read.

Is that the case? I'd like to know. I'm trying to orchestrate a situation where we aren't apart for a long time. We've been married and have lived together since 2013 and that would be less than ideal.

Let me know. Thanks!
 

Riley Haas

Well-Known Member
Hi,
So you have three options in your case:
  1. Do outland as you said, in which you will have to show plans to settle in Canada such as working at your family's business (and buying/renting property)
  2. You move back without your wife and submit the application (also "outland") and your wife either waits for her PR or attempts to join you
  3. You both come to Canada and submit while she's here, aka inland.
This is a different situation than it is for most people because your wife is American. Your wife does not need a visa to travel to Canada so, in theory, she can come to Canada and enter without the same level of scrutiny. This means it is more likely (though hardly guaranteed) that she could either come with you to allow you to submit an inland application or come during the processing of an outland application.

But she needs a reason to come to Canada other than just getting sponsored for PR. That is not an acceptable reason, in itself, for the CBSA (Canada's border agency).

If it were me, I'd look at options 2 and 3 seriously before considering option 1.

Does this make sense?
 

goldfinger

New Member
Hi,
So you have three options in your case:
  1. Do outland as you said, in which you will have to show plans to settle in Canada such as working at your family's business (and buying/renting property)
  2. You move back without your wife and submit the application (also "outland") and your wife either waits for her PR or attempts to join you
  3. You both come to Canada and submit while she's here, aka inland.
This is a different situation than it is for most people because your wife is American. Your wife does not need a visa to travel to Canada so, in theory, she can come to Canada and enter without the same level of scrutiny. This means it is more likely (though hardly guaranteed) that she could either come with you to allow you to submit an inland application or come during the processing of an outland application.

But she needs a reason to come to Canada other than just getting sponsored for PR. That is not an acceptable reason, in itself, for the CBSA (Canada's border agency).

If it were me, I'd look at options 2 and 3 seriously before considering option 1.

Does this make sense?
That does make sense. Why would you avoid the first option, however?

Let me know. Thanks!
 

Riley Haas

Well-Known Member
So, option 2 and 3 require the same evidence: proof that the two of your are married and this marriage is legitimate (and not to commit immigration fraud).

Option 1 requires you to further prove you intend to live in Canada. In Immigroup's experiences, these types of applications (where even the sponsor is outside of Canada) are rarely approved. That doesn't mean they aren't ever approved just that, in our experience, we don't see it much (and strongly recommend not going this route). The burden of proof for the sponsor moving to Canada is high, in my understanding: proof of property and a job, and probably some other ties.
 

goldfinger

New Member
So, option 2 and 3 require the same evidence: proof that the two of your are married and this marriage is legitimate (and not to commit immigration fraud).

Option 1 requires you to further prove you intend to live in Canada. In Immigroup's experiences, these types of applications (where even the sponsor is outside of Canada) are rarely approved. That doesn't mean they aren't ever approved just that, in our experience, we don't see it much (and strongly recommend not going this route). The burden of proof for the sponsor moving to Canada is high, in my understanding: proof of property and a job, and probably some other ties.
I see. Have you seen many of these cases? I’ve asked around a few other forums, and other people say that both parties being outside of Canada shouldn’t impact approval as long as you provide evidence, but you seem fairly confident that it’s not a good idea. What informs that? (Are you personally involved with this forum, or have you been monitoring many cases, etc.)

I’m not trying to push back. In fact, you seem quite confident, but I’m curious as to what you’ve seen to say that.

Also, if we were to apply that way and be denied, would we be able to apply again after I moved to Canada?

Let me know. Thanks for your help! I appreciate it!
 

Riley Haas

Well-Known Member
So I've seen that too and I have asked more than one of our consultants and both of them said it's a really bad idea. But that was a couple of years ago and I haven't checked in with either of them to see if their opinions have changed on the matter. It would be interesting to know if these people on the forums are speaking from personal experience - if they are then I would say, by all means, go ahead and try. The problem, as I see it, is whether or not you have enough evidence of an intention to move to Canada. And that's up to the person reviewing the application. It's at their discretion. So, in theory, one IRCC officer might be more inclined and another might be less inclined, given your hypothetical evidence. But the only way to really know is to apply. (Or to find someone who has successfully done it recently.)

So why not go the easier route? As I said, you are in a special situation: your wife is American and can travel to and enter Canada extremely easily. So inland is an option for you which it isn't for many people. It's worth thinking about. (I understand why conventional outland is not appealing, given that you would not be together.)
 

goldfinger

New Member
So I've seen that too and I have asked more than one of our consultants and both of them said it's a really bad idea. But that was a couple of years ago and I haven't checked in with either of them to see if their opinions have changed on the matter. It would be interesting to know if these people on the forums are speaking from personal experience - if they are then I would say, by all means, go ahead and try. The problem, as I see it, is whether or not you have enough evidence of an intention to move to Canada. And that's up to the person reviewing the application. It's at their discretion. So, in theory, one IRCC officer might be more inclined and another might be less inclined, given your hypothetical evidence. But the only way to really know is to apply. (Or to find someone who has successfully done it recently.)

So why not go the easier route? As I said, you are in a special situation: your wife is American and can travel to and enter Canada extremely easily. So inland is an option for you which it isn't for many people. It's worth thinking about. (I understand why conventional outland is not appealing, given that you would not be together.)
I agree with you on not really wanting to apply outland while I'm outside of the country. The other people talking about it don't seem like they are speaking from experience, and I'm pretty inclined to trust your opinion. At bare minimum, it seems like an additional pain having to prove your intention to move back. My parents own a business and I'd be going to work for them, so I could get an offer letter for a job, but I don't know that I'd have a lot of great evidence otherwise. I only really have my friends/family knowing that I'm going to move, and other things like that. I have a vehicle that I'd be importing, so that's something, but honestly, I wouldn't be liquidating that much of my life in the United States until I was guaranteed that my wife would be joining. My plan was to live at my parent's house so I could find a place while I'm there, so I won't have any Canadian leases or rental agreements or anything until I'm actually there.

I am extremely tempted by the inland route. I'd love nothing more than to wait out the immigration timeline in Canada with my wife. I'm anxious to get back, and don't want to be separated.

My big concern is actually crossing the border and representing yourself while doing so. I've seen a pretty prominent case wherein an American lady was handed an exclusion order for attempting to come to the Canada for inland sponsorship application. See this - https://britishexpats.com/forum/immigration-citizenship-canada-33/visiting-canada-under-dual-intent-intending-inland-sponsorship-please-read-893909/

https://decisions.fct-cf.gc.ca/fc-cf/decisions/en/item/218891/index.do?r=AAAAAQAHVmlzaXRvcgE

Mind you, my situation is fairly different. My wife and I are already married, and have been since 2014. We have a house in the United States, with both names on it, about 3 hours away from her family which has her name on it along mine. I am the main financial support, which seems to be a factor in the case above.

It's scary, because an exclusion order is a pretty frightening potential outcome.

A part of me is wondering if I shouldn't just move back to Canada, apply outland, and have my wife bounce back and forth as a visitor. It honestly seems like the least risky situation.

What do you think?

Edit* I also wanted to thank you for your help. It's nice to receive such engagement with such a complex topic.
 
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Riley Haas

Well-Known Member
So outland is the safest, for sure. Dual intent is tough. And, as you can see by the decision, it's very much up to the discretion of the officer about whether or not they believe it.

However I am not a lawyer and so I shouldn't interpret that decision.

There is a risk in her traveling to Canada. If the only reason she was coming to Canada is to get sponsored, she will be denied entry. If she is traveling to Canada for another reason, that might be a different story. But the important thing is: she needs to be honest if she is asked about sponsorship. (Because, if she isn't, that could, in theory, affect the outcome of either the sponsorship application or a future citizenship application.)

The long and the short of it is: conventional outland is safest, inland is best for you if she can manage it, both of you outland is an additional burden of proof.

Hope this helps.
 
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