Sponsoring my girlfriend

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mmarkovs

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Sponsoring my girlfriend
« on: February 26, 2015, 11:35:47 AM »
Hello,

I have read through the forum and it seems as I have found some answers, but I wanted to post my specific situation to get the best answer, so please bare with me.

I am 25, a Canadian citizen, and a university graduate with a relatively good paying job. I met my girlfriend in Macedonia a couple years ago, and we have kept a close relationship ever since. She applied for a tourist visa in September 2014, and was granted a 5 year tourist visa with the maximum time spent in Canada during those 5 years to be 6 months. In November 2014 she came to visit me in Canada for about two months. She left on January 7th 2015. Therefore, she has basically 4  months left on her tourist visa.

We would like to start a life together here in Canada, and I want to marry her and sponsor her. I am just a little confused on the process in terms of the timeline and what rights she has here before everything is finally approved. If she comes to visit me using her tourist visa, and we get married while she is here, does she need to make sure to bring any specific doucmunets from Macedonia so we can get married? Also, once we are married legally, what is the next step? Can she stay here and work or go to school, as if she was a canadian citizen? Thanks,

Mike

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Riley Haas

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Re: Sponsoring my girlfriend
« Reply #1 on: February 26, 2015, 12:44:32 PM »
Hi there,
First of all, as long as your girlfriend's visa is "multiple entry"she can come back for another six months, and then another six months at a later date, until Septemer 2019. It's not six months total, it's six months at a time. Unless it's "Single Entry"and then she cannot come back on it and will have to get a new one. (Please note, however, that a visa is permission to travel to Canada and there is always the potential she could be denied entry, at the discretion of the border officer.)

If you marry here, she will need what is known as a "single status document" from Macedonia attesting that she is free to marry.

Once you are legally married in Canada, you can apply for sponsorship. At that time you can also submit a work permit or study permit application for her, and those are usually approved with 2 months (whereas the sponsorship application will take a couple years).
http://www.immigroup.com/news/work-or-study-canada-while-you-wait-your-sponsorship-application-be-approved
http://www.immigroup.com/news/work-canada-while-your-sponsorship-application-process

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mmarkovs

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Re: Sponsoring my girlfriend
« Reply #2 on: February 27, 2015, 02:50:01 PM »
Hi Riley,

Thank you so much for your prompt response. My girlfriend's visa is multiple entry indeed, however I had no idea that meant she could come for 6 months at a time, not 6 months total. Is that for sure? Is that how they all are? I will definitely ask her to make sure, but that would be great. In regards to the fact that the she could still be denied entry by the border officer, is there something to be done to make sure that doesn't happen? I was under the impression once she had the visa she was guaranteed entry.

Also, you mentioned that she will need to being what is knows as a single status document when she comes her next if we plan to get married. Is that the only thing she needs? Does she not need some sort of medical and police check documentation?

Sorry for the questions but just one more thing in regards to her working or studying while waiting for sponsorship approval. So once we submit the sponsorship application after we are legally married, we would attach a work or study permit (or both) to the application. This would then be approved within 2 months, which means at thgat time she can immediately strt working or studying in canada? In regards to studying, does this mean she is eligible for student loans? Is she treated as an international or domestic student for tuition? Thanks a lot, I really appreciate your help, as we were very stressed not knowing what to do and you seem to be very helpful.

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Riley Haas

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Re: Sponsoring my girlfriend
« Reply #3 on: February 27, 2015, 03:34:48 PM »
Hi again,
As long as her visa is multiple entry, then she can indeed keep coming to visit. The issue is not with the visa, but with the CBSA agents at the border. If she comes to visit you every 7 months for 6 months (for example) eventually they will get suspicious and may deny her entry. Unfortunately entry is always up to the officer. Visas are commonly misunderstood as permission to enter, but it is only permission to travel and what you might call a "recommendation" to the border officer to allow her to enter.

She will need her passport - sorry if I forgot to mention that - or some other photo ID that an official here will recognize. The more ID the better, though. (So, if it were me: Birth Certificate, Passport and any other ID I brought with me.) And yes, that single status document is key. No idea what it is called in Macedonia, however.

If you marry in Canada and then apply via the "īnland" route, then you submit an application to change her status (either to student or worker, there are two different forms) at the same time. As of 2015, CIC is actively trying to get these processed as fast as possible, and this means less than two months, usually. (It used to be longer than two months.) She has to wait until the application is approved and she has the permit before she does anything, however. I can't answer the question about international or domestic - I suspect international - but let me check with one of our consultants and I will hopefully have an answer for you Monday.

By the way, inland takes a lot longer than overseas, just so you know. Inland currently takes slightly more than 2 years whereas overseas (in your case) would be closer to 20 months. So half a year difference. (As of today.)

Hope this helps.

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Riley Haas

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Re: Sponsoring my girlfriend
« Reply #4 on: February 27, 2015, 03:54:54 PM »
Sorry to say we're pretty close to 100% sure she would still have to pay international student fees. Only way to be 100% sure would be to call a school.

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mmarkovs

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Re: Sponsoring my girlfriend
« Reply #5 on: February 27, 2015, 04:04:37 PM »
Hi Riley,

Thanks again. youve been great. So to clarify, al lshe needs to bring here in order to get married and then proceed to apply for the work/study permit would be those ID documents? No medical or background check documents?

Would she be able to get both a study and work permit, so that she can work and study at the same time? Also, is she eligible for any OSAP/scholarships?

You also mentioned that the inland route takes longer. However, is it not easier in terms of the fact that she could continue to live here and study/work as the process is ongoing? Once she gets the work/study permit, does that change her visa status?
Is he no longer here on a visitor visa? For example, what if her program in school is a 2 year program? Would she be allowed to stay until it is over? Im just a little confused on the rights she has here as we are waiting for the sponsorship approval. Thanks again, and sorry if it is confusing.

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Riley Haas

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Re: Sponsoring my girlfriend
« Reply #6 on: March 02, 2015, 08:51:48 AM »
Hi,
The medical and background checks are often required for immigration. So she'll need them for the sponsorship application (though she can have her exam in Canada) but for the marriage itself, she just needs ID and single status proof.

I can't answer the OSAP question, you'd have to contact them. There may be other scholarships that are available to "temporary residents".

A study permit allows her to work 20 hours a week. It's an "open" work permit which means she is not restricted to one employer.

Inland is easier for some. It really depends on what you want to do. Since you want to get married here it sounds like it makes more sense for you. Getting the permit changes her status from visitor to student or temporary worker, it does not give her permanent status. The study permit may or may not be granted for the length of the program. Sometimes it is. If it isn't (i.e. if they have reason to suspect she won't stick with it) then she will just have to renew it before it expires.

Hope this helps.

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mmarkovs

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Re: Sponsoring my girlfriend
« Reply #7 on: March 02, 2015, 10:20:36 AM »
Hi Riley,

Yes it helps, you have been great. Just to do a quick recap of what I have learned:

1) With my girlfriends visitor visa, she is able to come here to visit me for 6 months at a time, not 6 months total.
2) The next time she comes here with the visitor visa, and we decide that she wants to stay here and immigrate to Canada, we would get married. For this she will need ID and a single status document.
3) Once the marriage takes place and is official, we submit the sponsorship application along with both her application for permanent residence and her application for a study permit.
3) The study permit should be approved within 2 months, at which point she can apply to schools and also work. Now from my understanding, if she gets the study permit, she will no longer be here on a visitor visa, but instead on a student temporary visa. At this point, she will be able to study and work here, and if the visa isn't for the duration of her studies, she can apply to extend it and continue to stay in Canada to study and work once it is in fact extended.
4) While all this is happening, we are waiting for the sponsorship to be approved, which will take about 2 years. Once it is approved, she is a permanent resident and does not have to worry about visa.

Is this all correct? Once again, sorry if you have to repeat yourself but it is a lot of information and a little confusing. Thank you,

Mike

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Riley Haas

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Re: Sponsoring my girlfriend
« Reply #8 on: March 02, 2015, 10:51:03 AM »
Hi Mike,
It's mostly correct. The only things I'll mention again:
As to 1) it is very important that it's a multple entry visa, as single entry visas also exist, and in those cases she wouldn't be able to come back once she left.
As to 3), the sponsorship is her application for permanent residence. But it's a big package as you'll see (if you haven't yet downloaded the forms).
As to 4), according to the current timelines it will take over 2 years. Once it is approved she will not have to worry about a visa (or paying international student fees, if she is still in school). You will have to stay together for two years (I think it's two years) in order for her to retain her status.

Glad I could help.

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mmarkovs

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Re: Sponsoring my girlfriend
« Reply #9 on: March 02, 2015, 11:23:13 AM »
Thank you so much. One last question I promise haha. What kind of rights does she have while if she is approved for the study permit while we wait for sponsorship to be approved? Specifically Im referring to OHIP? Does she have to pay for all medical visits and such? Or is she covered under something else? Also for something like a drivers license. Is she able to do all that testing and obtain a license ? Thanks again!

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Riley Haas

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Re: Sponsoring my girlfriend
« Reply #10 on: March 02, 2015, 01:54:14 PM »
Well she has certain rights that everyone residing in Canada has (that's a long story...).
Healthcare depends on the province, so if you are living in Ontario (I believe you are), I believe there is a residence requirement to be eligible for OHIP. I think it might be three months. You'll want to check with the ministry. Before that she will have to pay for everything. (And, honestly, I'm not sure if this applies to temporary residents. She might not be eligible until she's a PR. Really not sure, sorry.)
I think she can go get a driver's license right away provided her license meets a certain standard and she drives on the same side of the road at home. You should look into international driver's licenses. Maybe if she has one, they will give her the Ontario license right away (without the testing). This is something you should ask the ministry about. I know if it's a license from another Canadian province they just give the equivalent.
Sorry I cannot be of much help here.

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mmarkovs

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Re: Sponsoring my girlfriend
« Reply #11 on: March 03, 2015, 10:36:54 AM »
Thank you. You have helped a lot. Its pretty frustrating that it takes over 2 years for the approval, but it is good news that she will be able to stay here under the study/work permit until the permanent residence is approved. Thanks again,

Mike

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mmarkovs

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Re: Sponsoring my girlfriend
« Reply #12 on: March 03, 2015, 10:40:50 AM »
Hi, sorry, i just realized one more thing I wanted to clarify.

In terms of her applying for a study permit, does she have to apply and be accepted to a university/college before she can get the permit? Or is it the other way around where applies for the permit with the sponsorship application, and once she receives it she then applies to the school? Thanks again!

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Riley Haas

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Re: Sponsoring my girlfriend
« Reply #13 on: March 03, 2015, 11:52:05 AM »
She would be applying for an "open" study permit, which means that she would be able to apply for school (or just get the acceptance letter) after applying for the permit. This is only true of inland sponsorship cases. Usually study pmiert applicants have to have been accepted already.

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mmarkovs

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Re: Sponsoring my girlfriend
« Reply #14 on: April 06, 2015, 11:23:28 AM »
Hello Riley,

I had previously inquired about the procedure for an inland sponsorship for my girlfriend who is from Macedonia. You were a great help and answered all my questions. However, we are quite young and were wondering if there is any other way she would be able to live here in Canada, and go to school, without us having to get married right away. This is where I thought of the live in caregiver option.

Do you think that would be a feasible thing given the situation i described before? What are the requirements to be a live in caregiver? My grandparents are very old and do need some live in help. Would she be able to apply and receive the live in caregiver visa? If she were to get it, how does that work? Is she able to go to school? And how long does the visa last? Thanks,

Mike

 

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