Two Major Changes to Sponsorship Regulations - Updated
Two major regulations brought in by the previous federal government to prevent immigration fraud have just been repealed as of May 3, 2017. This repeal has a big affect on future spousal/partner sponsorship applications.
End of Conditional Permanent Residence
From 2012 until May 3, 2017, sponsored spouses or partners who received their permanent residence only received it conditionally, on the condition that both spouses or partners live together for two years. The only exceptions to this rule were if you had a long enough relationship, or you had a child together. For those who have received conditional permanent residence, only after 2 years, does the permanent residence becomes unconditional.
The current government believes that this regulation did not actually prevent marriage fraud. They also claim that it put sponsored spouses/partners in a bad position, if they were abused. The abused partner or spouse could not leave the home for fear of losing status in Canada.
Now that the change is approved and the regulation repealed, sponsored spouses/partners become permanent residents unconditionally upon approval of the sponsorship application.
Dependent Child Age Raised Back to 21
Until August 2014, children of the sponsored spouse or partner who were 21 or younger were considered dependants and eligible to be sponsored as well. As of August 2014, that age was lowered to 18. The regulation change also returns this age back to 21, to allow children between 18 and 21 to be sponsored along with their parent, instead of them having to stay behind in their home country, which is currently the case.
The current government believes that these adult children can help look after the younger children and allow the sponsored spouse/partner to work more easily once they have arrived in Canada.
If your sponsorship application is currently in process and you submitted the application to IRCC on or before July 31, 2014, you can now include dependent children who were between the ages of 19 and 21 on the day you submitted your application in your application.
What Does This Mean?
Sponsored spouses are now granted permanent residence immediately upon approval. So if your application is approved after the regulation change (expected spring 2017), you will not have to go through 2 years of conditional permanent residence.
It also means that children between 18 and 21 are now able to accompany their parent, which was not possible for the last two years.