By Hubert Burda Media [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Married Couple by Hubert Burda Media / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0

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When you want to sponsor your spouse to Canada, you have two options:

  1. You can marry your spouse in their home country or any other country outside of Canada, then file the spousal sponsorship application at the Canadian visa office in your spouse’s home country. This is called overseas spousal sponsorship. OR
  2. You can bring your spouse to Canada on a visitor visa and then file their sponsorship application within Canada. This is called inland spousal sponsorship.

Both options have pros and cons, so you have to decide which option fits you best given your own personal circumstances.

One important thing to remember is that if you apply through overseas spousal sponsorship and the application is refused, you can appeal the decision and may still be able to bring your spouse to Canada if you win the appeal. But, if you file through inland spousal sponsorship and the application is refused, you are not allowed to appeal this decision at all.

This is a very important thing to consider if there are issues with your application which increase the chance that the sponsorship will be refused, such as criminal history or medical problems for the person you are sponsoring, or a lack of documentation showing that your relationship is genuine.

Another factor to consider is that the processing time for overseas spousal sponsorship applications is usually shorter than inland spousal sponsorship applications. Here are some examples:

Processing Time for Overseas Spousal Sponsorships
Country of Origin Sponsor Assessment Sponsorship Processing Time
China 27 days 9 months
Philippines " 14 months
India " 11 months
Pakistan " 31 months
United States " 18 months
France " 9 months
United Kingdom " 11 months
Korea " 14 months
Egypt " 18 months
Colombia " 15 months

 

Processing Time for Inland Spousal Sponsorships
Country of Origin Sponsor Assessment Sponsorship Processing Time
Any 11 months 8 months

 

Also, keep in mind that even if your spouse is currently visiting you in Canada, you can still file their sponsorship application overseas at the Canadian visa office in your spouse’s home country. This way you can take advantage of the possibility of appeal if necessary, and the shorter processing time. But, if your spouse is selected for an interview as part of their sponsorship application, they will have to return to their home country to meet with an immigration officer at the Canadian visa office.

If your spouse is from a visa exempt country, one benefit of the inland spousal sponsorship stream is that your spouse can come stay with you in Canada while the application is processing, and then they never have to leave if the application is approved. Also, when the inland sponsorship application is approved in principle, your spouse can apply for an open work permit and then get their SIN number and health card before the final approval is issued for the sponsorship application. (For more information on the difference between open and closed work permits, click here.)

If your spouse has applied for a visitor visa to Canada and was refused, you have no choice but to file the overseas sponsorship application.

Whether your spousal sponsorship application is submitted overseas or inland has no effect on the chances of approval. The application fees and requirements are also the same for both types of sponsorship applications.

What was your sponsorship experience? Why did you choose to file inland or overseas?

 

Overseas Sponsorship

 

Inland Sponsorship

Sponsorship Review

Immigroup will review your completed spousal sponsorship application for $550+HST. Immigroup will make sure you have not made any mistakes on your application or in gathering the documentation of your relationship. We will assess your sponsorship letter and give you peace of mind that you are submitting an application with a very good chance of success. Don't lose sleep at night worrying about whether you've done enough. Call us at 1-866-760-2623 for a review.


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