Bringing a Vietnamese Partner to Canada
It is not uncommon to travel to another country and fall in love with a local citizen. In fact, it happens all the time. If you are a Canadian citizen who chooses to marry and bring that person back to with you to Canada, you can do so by sponsoring your spouse or partner. Sponsorship is not a responsibility to be taken lightly and there a number of steps that must be completed before you can apply to sponsor your spouse or future spouse.
In order to sponsor a person from another country, you must have a certain relationship with that person for Canada to even consider your request to sponsor. This includes spouses and same-sex spouse, common-law partners, fiancées and conjugal partners that for whatever reason cannot wed in their home country, as well as dependants such as the children or grandchildren of either you or your spouse. In this case, we are discussing bringing your Vietnamese partner from Vietnam to live with you in Canada. In order to do this, they must obtain a permanent residence status, which can be done via sponsorship.
First things first, you must go through all the necessary channels within Vietnam to obtain a valid marriage license to show as proof to the Canadian government that you are wed or intended to be wed. Please keep in mind that the permanent residence status may take up to several years to obtain, so your spouse or partner will need a travel visa to visit you in Canada during the process. Once the necessary paperwork has been obtained in Vietnam, you can proceed with the application to sponsor them to become a permanent resident.
Sponsoring Your Vietnamese Spouse for Permanent Residence in Canada
This applying for sponsorship of a foreign citizen is fairly straightforward, albeit time-consuming. As long as you are a Canadian citizen or permanent resident and you can prove that you have a spousal or dependent relationship with the person you are sponsoring, you are eligible to be considered. It is also required that you can financially support Vietnamese spouse or partner once they receive their permanent resident status.
Some other requirements include:
- You are actively living and working in Canada
- You are unmarried and can provide paperwork stating that you have either never been married, have been divorced, or have been widowed
- You have not defaulted in your finances, filed a bankruptcy, or are in jail or prison
- You have never been convicted of some sexual or violent crimes.
- You have not, within the last 3 years, previously sponsored a spouse or partner from another country
- You do not currently receive social assistance (aside from disability).
The idea behind sponsorship is to help keep families together within Canada. You can sponsor your new spouse or partner so that they can become a permanent resident with the intention of eventually becoming a Canadian citizen. You will need to provide paperwork proving your marriage, such as your marriage license, as well as passports and birth certificates for both parties. The person applying for the permanent residence status will be required to have a medical and background screening done to ensure they are eligible to enter Canada.
As a sponsor, the Canadian citizen or Canadian permanent resident will be legally required to take responsibility for the overall well-being of the person being sponsored. In this case, the person being sponsored is your Vietnamese spouse or partner and any possible dependents (such as children or grandchildren) they may have. Essentially, you are agreeing to be their provider and sponsor and consent to providing the person you are sponsoring with food, shelter, utilities, clothing, money, personal requirements, health care, and overall support. Your spouse must agree to turn to their sponsor in the event that they need financial, medical, or similar personal support before turning to government assistance.
This article was commissioned by George Laczko.