Marriage to a Spanish Citizen
Every country has its own laws that apply to its citizens marrying a person from a different country. Getting married to a Spanish citizen with the goal of eventually bringing them to Canada to live is a process with many steps.
If you want to bring your Spanish spouse or partner to live in Canada, you must then file a sponsorship application for them to become a permanent resident. If they would like to visit you in Canada while their application is in process, they must also apply for an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA). For more information, please see our family sponsorship page and our visitor visa page.
Once the necessary documents are gathered, it usually takes the Spanish government up to 3 weeks to authenticate the documents.
If you then file a Canadian sponsorship application for your Spanish spouse or partner, this application takes an average of 10-12 months.
An eTA for your spouse or partner to visit you in Canada while the sponsorship applications are processing can be applied for online and is granted instantly if approved.
Spanish Marriage Basic Requirements
In order to marry a citizen of Spain, you must demonstrate to the Spanish government that you are eligible to do so. This includes:
- Proof of country of birth
- Proof of single status
- Proof of age requirement
Spanish Marriage Ceremony
The marriage ceremony to a Spanish citizen can legally take place in Spain, Canada, or any other country as long as both parties have the necessary visas to enter this country legally. This marriage can then be recognized when applying for a permanent residence or a visitor visa for your Spanish spouse. To learn more about ceremony customs, see below.
If your Spanish spouse has dependent children, this does not affect the Spanish Marriage document application.
If you have dependent children, they have no effect on the application to marry a Spanish citizen.
List of Spanish Consulates in Canada
Canadian Consulate in Spain
Embassy of Canada in Madrid
Telephone: (34) 91 382 8400
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Consulate of Canada in Barcelona
Placa de Catalunya,9,1st,2nd
Telephone: 34 93 270 3614
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Consulate of Canada in Malaga
Telephone: 34 95 222-3346
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Marriage in Spain
Canadian diplomatic and consular officers are not permitted under the law of Canada to solemnize marriages nor can they allow the solemnization of marriages in the consular premises
Application for a civil marriage must be made, depending on the city, either to the Civil Registry or to the District Court (Juzgado). In Madrid the authority is Registro Civil, calle Pradillo 66, metro Alfonso XIII.
Please note that, in order to be married in Spain, at least one of the two applicants must be a resident of Spain.
Both parties to a marriage are usually required to each submit the following documents:
- An application form to be obtained from the Civil Registry, or Court in whose jurisdiction the marriage is to take place
- An original birth certificate, legalized and translated into Spanish
- A certificate of non-impediment to marriage. A declaration of bachelorship may be made at the Civil Registry in certain regions of Spain. Where this is not possible, a “Statement in lieu of a certificate of non-impediment to marriage” issued by the Embassy is usually accepted.
- Divorced/widowed: Original marriage and death or divorce certificates, as the case may be, which must be legalized and translated into Spanish. Divorces obtained outside of Spain must be convalidated, that is the Exequatur must be obtained from the Sala 1ª del Tribunal Supremo, through a lawyer.
- Posting of banns: The Embassy or Consulates may issue a letter saying that this is not required in Canada
- Certificate of residence: Residents of Spain may obtain this document from the Tenencia de Alcaldía in the district of residence. For non-residents, a sworn statement declaring the addresses of the last few years may be signed before a Canadian consul
- A certificate of consular registration: Issued by the Embassy or Consulates upon presentation of a valid Canadian passport and completion of a registration card, this certificate must include an address in Spain.
All required documents must be submitted at least 8 days before the desired date of marriage although the average delay is 35-40 days.
All translations into Spanish should be done by an official translator. The Canadian Embassy does not provide translation services.
The currency of Spain is the Euro.
How to Call Canada From Spain
Calling Canada from Spain – Direct Dialing Numbers
To make a direct call to Canada from Spain, you need to follow the international dialling format given below. The dialling format is the same when calling Canada mobile or land line from Spain.
To call Canada From Spain Dial
00 – 1 – Area Code – TEL #
Follow the dialling format shown above while calling Canada from Spain.
- 00 – Exit code for Spain, and is needed for making any international call from Spain
- 1 – ISD Code or Country Code of Canada
Area code – There are 18 area codes in Canada. The area code is the first three digits of your telephone number.
|Alberta||403 / 587 (southern Alberta)
587 / 780 (central and northern Alberta)
|BC||236 / 250 / 778 (majority of BC)
236 / 604 / 778 (Metro Vancouver)
|Ontario||226 / 519 (southwestern Ontario)
249 / 705 (northeastern Ontario)
289 / 365 / 905 (Greater Toronto Area)
343 / 613 (eastern Ontario)
416 / 647 (Toronto)
807 (northwestern Ontario)
|Manitoba||204 / 431||PEI||782 / 902|
|New Brunswick||506||Quebec||418 / 581 (eastern Quebec)
438 / 514 (Montreal)
450 / 579 (Greater Montreal)
819 / 873 (remainder of Quebec)
|Newfoundland and Labrador||709||Saskatchewan||306 / 639|
|Nova Scotia||782 / 902|
How to call Spain from Canada
Calling Spain from Canada – Direct Dialling Numbers
To make a direct call to Spain from Canada, you need to follow the international dialling format given below. The dialling format is the same when calling Spain mobile or land line from Canada.
To call Spain from Canada Dial
011 – 34 – Area Code – TEL #
Follow the dialling format shown above while calling Spain from Canada.
011 – Exit code for Canada, and is needed for making any international call from Canada
34 – ISD Code or Country Code of Spain
Area code – There are 52 area codes in Spain. If there is an area code dial area code of the city in Spain you are calling after dialling ISD Code. The format is dial 011 + 34 + phone number
|Santa Cruz de Tenerife||922|
Time difference with Canada
The Time zone in Spain is +1 UCT.
|Canadian Time Zone||# of Hours
Spain is Ahead
|# of Hours
|Pacific (BC, Yukon)||9 hours||9 hours|
|Mountain (Alberta, western Nunavut, Lloydminster, Saskatchewan)||8 hours||8 hours|
|Saskatchewan||8 hours||7 hours|
|Central (Manitoba, Northwest Territories, central Nunavut, northwestern Ontario)||7 hours||7 hours|
|Eastern (most of Ontario, most of Quebec)||6 hours||6 hours|
|Atlantic (Labrador, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, PEI, eastern Quebec||5 hours||5 hours|
|Newfoundland||4.5 hours||4.5 hours|
The Canadian Embassy in Spain offers 24-hour emergency service to Canadians in Spain who are in distress. For emergency assistance after hours, call either Canadian Embassy in Madrid, Canadian Consulate in Barcelona or Canadian Consulate in Malaga in Spain and follow the instructions. The emergency services offered vary depending on the nature of the emergency. The emergency services offered by the embassy falls under the following categories:
- Arrest or Detention
- Child Abductions
- Natural Disasters and Civil Emergencies
- Financial Assistance
- Lost or Stolen Belongings
- Medical Matters
- Missing Persons
- Transportation Accidents
Other Emergency Numbers in Spain
Emergencies do happen and it’s always wise to have a list of numbers at hand that might save someone’s life:
Call 112 (no area code needed)
Call 061 or 112
Call 080 or 112
Tourist police in Madrid
Call 91 548 85 37
Tourist police in Barcelona
Call 93 290 33 27
Call 900 123 505
Call 900 775 757
Call 900 150 000
Call 900 248 248
Spanish Wedding Traditions
Spain is a nation of many regions with different cultural traditions, most of which were once independent countries; therefore wedding traditions and customs sometimes vary from regions to region.
Traditionally, the groom gives a watch to the bride’s father when his marriage proposal is accepted.
Traditionally the groom was expected to wears an embroidered shirt, handmade by his future wife. Though some brides still uphold custom by embroidering their groom’s wedding shirt, the practice is somehow diminishing. Today’s Spanish brides generally choose white wedding dresses for themselves for their weddings rather than the black lace or silk gowns that were traditionally popular. No matter what colour the dress, lacey mantillas secured with combs often complete the ensemble. In Andalucía which is also known as Andalusia, sometime brides wear a frilled, flamenco style dress in homage to the distinctive regional dance. The veil is part of the wedding dress and symbolizes God’s protection.
Flower selections vary from region to region, for instance, in Seville (Sevilla), where richly-scented orange trees abound; brides wear orange blossom wreaths or carry generous bouquets to represent the promise and fulfilment of the orange tree. Brides in Andalusia prefer pink and white rose garlands, while Castillian brides wear white flowers.
The wedding ceremonies in Spain are often held in the evening hours just as it is also a custom for people in the Mediterranean to dine late in the evening. According to the Spanish traditions, the bride’s father escorts his daughter to the church after having ensured that the groom has not seen her the night before the ceremony. The groom’s mother walks down the aisle with her son too. Spanish weddings do not include bridesmaids or groomsmen. The couple stands together at the altar with no one else in attendance. There is no Best Man or Maid of Honour. Also, the groom’s mother sometimes accompanies him down the aisle. Bridesmaids are not a traditional part of Spanish weddings, but with western cultural influences, they are becoming so
Spanish wedding ceremonies are marked by an exchange of 13 gold coins in a special purse or box. The belief behind this custom varies from region to region, but even today it is readily possible to buy reproduction coins to honour the tradition. Whether gold or imitation, these coins are blessed by the officiating priest. They are said to represent Jesus Christ and his apostles, so they not only have a religious connotation but also a practical one since they represent a dowry, a pledge of the new groom’s willingness to support his wife.
The bride and bridegroom exchange wedding rings as well. These are worn on the ring fingers of their right hands.
As they emerge from the church, the newlyweds are often greeted with firecrackers. Once the reception begins, the festivities continue into the night with dining and dancing. The wedding dance is called “sequidillas manchegas” in Spanish. Guests, who dance with the bride, traditionally give her money, but pieces of the groom’s tie or the bride’s garter may also be auctioned off for good luck. The custom of cutting the groom’s tie into pieces and then auctioning it off for good luck is still actively practised today by the groom’s closest friends.
Though the Spanish bride throws her bouquet to whomever will be next to marry, she also hands out pins with a flower motif to unmarried ladies who attach them to their clothing upside down. The hope is the pins will be lost during the dancing, and therefore indicate the lady will soon marry.
During the banquete de bodas or convite (wedding feast/reception), the bride and groom circulate from table to table carrying a basket with small detalles (wedding favours), that they personally hand out to each guest. The men will be offered a cigar or a mini-bottle of wine and the women a little present, usually something which looks and smells nice. This may be the time in which guests also give back through wedding gifts, the preferred wedding gift which is usually money in sobres (envelopes). Some couples also send out the number of a bank account along with the invitation. Spanish people don’t have speeches at all at the wedding reception.
Spanish delicacies are always on the reception menu. Paella, a delicious seafood and rice stew, is popular along the coast while sangria, a red wine punch, is found at most Spanish gatherings. The wedding sponge cake is rich with fruit and almonds.
Spanish Traditional Wedding Dresses
Apart from black colour, other colours that are also allowed are white and red so the bride will be fine in any of these
A truly traditional Spanish wedding dress is a silk black with lacy mantillas to show their devotion until death.
A black shawl draped over one’s shoulders may turn out to be a good addition to the bridal gown as long as it complements the gown’s colour
Spanish bridal gown is not only made from silk. Chiffon, taffeta, organza and tulle are some of the favourite materials from which the gowns are made
The different designs will then be adorned by additional features such as crystals, beadings, diamante and various exquisite embroideries
Religion in Spain
Roman Catholicism is the largest denomination in Spain. According to an October 2011 study, about 70.1% of Spaniards identify themselves as Catholics, 2.7% other faith, and about 25% identify with no religion. Most Spaniards do not participate regularly in religious worship. This same study shows that of the Spaniards who identify themselves as religious, 56% goes to mass few times a year, 15% go to mass many times a year, 9% some time per month and 16% every Sunday or multiple times per week. Although a majority of Spaniards are Catholics, most, especially those of the younger generation, ignore the Church’s conservative moral doctrines on issues such as pre-marital sex, sexual orientation and contraception.
Though Catholicism is the main religion in Spain there are also some Jews who have settled in Madrid, Barcelona, Cordoba and Sevilla. There are also some Anglicans in Spain as well. There has been a lot of dispute between the Catholics, Muslims Jews and Protestants. Catholic religion was taken as the religion of the state when a Concordant was signed with Vatican.
Franco was given the right to give names to the Roman Catholic bishops. In 1953 the Church became very powerful and acquired many privileges. Canonical marriages were made compulsory for all the Catholics.
The Church was also freed from the obligation of paying taxes. They also received subsidies for construction of new buildings. It also got the opportunity to establish universities.
It is very much evident that the Spanish religion laid emphasis on the pain of Christ. This is done to show the courage and sacrifice which Christ had shown for the common man. During the holy week many people walk in processions barefooted and with blackhats. They carry some sort of burden in the same way in which Christ carried it. The Catholic in Spain church is always proud because it had contributed immensely in the provision of services in the area of education, health and social fields
The recent waves of immigration, especially during and after the 1990s, have led to an increasing number of Muslims, who have about 1 million members. Nowadays, Islam is the second largest religion in Spain, after Roman Catholicism, accounting for approximately 2.5% of the total population. Hindus and Sikhs account for less than 0.3%. Other religious faiths represented in Spain include the Buddhist and Bahá’í Communities. Jews account for less than 1 percent of the population, mostly in Barcelona, Madrid and Murcia. Protestantism has also been boosted by immigration, but remains a small testimonial force among native Spaniards. Spain has been seen as a graveyard for foreign missionaries among Evangelical Protestants. Protestant churches have about 1,200,000 members.
Samples of Churches in Spain
Basílica de Santiago
Catedral de Santa María la Real de la Almudena
The principle church of the Diocese of Madrid, the Catedral de Santa María la Real de la Almudena, is a relatively modern building, started in 1883 and not completed until 1993. The nearest Metro station is Opera, and the Cathedral is open to the public from 10am to 7.30pm, though it is closed to visitors during Mass. On Sundays, it is open from 10.30 -12 midday, and in the afternoon from 1.30pm to 7pm.
Basílica de San Francisco el Grande
The enormous dome of this basilica is its most prominent feature – it is the 3rd largest dome in Europe. The church is located just a short distance from the Catedral de Santa María la Real de la Almudena and just round the corner from the Puerta de Toledo
Colegiata de San Isidro el Real
The Baroque Church of San Isidro el Real (Colegiata de San Isidro el Real) was Madrid’s cathedral until La Almudena became the official cathedral in 1993. It was originally built between 1622 and 1664 as the church of the Colegio Imperial de la Compañía de Jesús (Jesuit College), according to a design by Pedro Sánchez.
Monasterio de las Descalzas Reales
Monasterio de las Descalzas Reales (literally, the Monastery of the Barefoot Royals) lies in the centre of Madrid, in the Plaza de las Descalzas square and within a short stride of the Gran Via and the Puerta del Sol square. The 16th century building is situated within the former palace of Carlos I and Isabel of Portugal, and was founded as a convent in 1557 by their daughter Juana.
Romantic Places in Spain
Hermosilla 2, Madrid, Madrid, 28001 Spain
Gran Melia Fenix
Located in the Plaza de Colón and surrounded by the most luxury shopping and gastronomic area, just 10 min. walking from Gran Via, and the important museums such as Museo del Prado, Reina Sofia and Thyssen. The Hotel offers free internet in all rooms (cable connection) and Wifi into all common areas. You can also enjoy in your room DVD, CD player, Ipod lock, Plasma Tv and an elegant decoration
Carrera San Jeronimo 34, Madrid, Madrid, 28014 Spain
This luxury hotel is 150 meters from the Congress of Deputies and 500 meters from Puerta del Sol. Just a few minutes away from the museum triangle and the Queen Sofia Museums. Urban offers an outdoor pool and a steam room and has a business centre. The hotel has a restaurant, a terrace bar, and an oyster bar and offers 24-hour room service. Private parking is available (surcharge). Guestrooms at Urban offer minibars, LCD TVs with DVD players, and complimentary high-speed Internet access. Bathrooms offer telephones, bathrobes, and slippers.
Arturo Soria 14, Madrid, Madrid, 28027 Spain
High Tech Arturo Soria
Located in one of the best areas of Madrid, close to major shopping centres between Arturo Soria and Alcala streets, very well connected to the downtown of Madrid (by metro) and close to the airport and IFEMA. The hotel has 44 rooms, equipped with the latest technological innovations, plasma televisions, hydro massage showers, makeup mirrors, laptop computers, free WIFI in all rooms , as well as support for i-POD.
Claudio Coello 67, Madrid, Madrid, 28001 Spain
This luxury hotel is located in Madrid (Salamanca – Serrano), near the airport, ABC Serrano, U.S. Embassy, and National Library. Also nearby are Congress of Deputies and Spanish Senate. In addition to a restaurant, Unico Hotel features a health club. Other amenities include a bar/lounge and a concierge desk. Flat-panel televisions in guestrooms come with satellite channels. Bathrooms feature shower/tub combinations, makeup/shaving mirrors, and designer toiletries.
Hotel Arts Barcelona
A duplex Spa located on 42nd and 43rd floor just a few metres from heaven, an oasis of peace and tranquillity with stunning panoramic views of Barcelona and the Mediterranean sea. With more than 1,000 square feet of terraces and gardens, outdoor jacuzzi, and only 100 meters from the beach, the Hotel Arts enjoys a very attractive natural environment for its guests.
The Hotel Murmuri is located in the very center of Barcelona, on Rambla de Catalunya, home of the best place in shopping, Gaudi monuments. It is a sister property of the renowned 5 Star Grand Luxe Hotel Majestic. It opened in March 2008, this boutique hotel offers the highest quality Asian cuisine.
Jumeirah Port Soller Hotel and Spa
Located on a dramatic hill-top adjacent to the sea, the Jumeirah Port Soller Hotel&Spa includes nine separate buildings comprising 120 beautifully-adorned guest rooms, four distinctive restaurants, a Talise spa, two swimming pools, three meeting rooms and a naturally lit ballroom.
Palma De Mallorca, Spain
St Regis Mardavall Mallorca
The St Regis Mardavall Mallorca Overlooks the Mediterranean Sea and offers The Finest Personalized Service. The hotel is Just A Few Minutes Walking Distance from the Exclusive Marina Harbour, Puerto Portals. It has a Spacious Spa with 4,700 Square Meters set in the Balearic Islands. It also has 2 Well Known Golf Courses and Restaurants.
Playa de Las Catedrales, Galicia
This is the best beach in Galicia. The rock formations created by the sea are truly exceptional. The nearest town is Ribadeo, while Foz is nearby.
Playa del Silencio, Asturias
Playa del Silencio was voted the best beach in Asturias
Ses Illetes beach, Formentera
Ses Illetes is considered to be the best beach in Formentera
Sitge is considered to be the best beach in Barcelona Spain
Nerja, Costa del Sol, Andalusia
How to Sponsor your spouse to Canada
Canadian citizen can sponsor a spouse and dependent children to come and live with them if they are outside Canada. Therefore Canadians are free to get a marriage visa to marry their Spanish spouses and sponsor their application for marriage immigration to Canada provided that they meet all the requirements set forth by the Canadian Government. If you were married in Spain the marriage must be valid under the Spanish law and under the Canadian law. A marriage performed in a Canadian embassy in Spain must comply with the laws of Spain.
Requirements a Canadian must meet in order to Sponsor his Spouse from Spain to Canada
- The Canadian immigration law requires that you must prove that you are a Canadian citizen or a legal permanent resident of Canada and of age 18 years or over in order to qualify to sponsor your Spanish spouse to Canada
- The Canadian immigration law requires you as a Canadian citizen and as a sponsor of your Spanish spouse, you must prove that you are financially stable in order to support her for 3 years after she attains her permanent residency
- The immigration law further requires that if you as a Canadian citizen have dependent children with your Spanish spouse, you must also support them for 10 years or until they are 25 years of age
- The law requires that you must prove that you have adequate housing where you, your Spanish spouse and any dependent children can live without relying on state assistance
- The law also demands that as a Canadian citizen and as a sponsor, you must prove that you did marry your Spanish wife in Spain and intend to live in Canada with her.
- The Canadian immigration law further requires that as a Canadian citizen and also as a sponsor, You must prove that you are not on any Social Assistance program provided by the government
- The immigration law also requires that as a Canadian citizen and as a sponsor you must prove that you are not in any way breached any previous sponsorship agreement
The Canadian Immigration law may deny a Canadian citizen his/her right to sponsorship under the following circumstances.
- The law may prevent a Canadian citizen from sponsoring his Spanish spouse if he failed to provide financial support to his Spanish spouse as he pledged when he signed a sponsorship agreement
- The law may also deny him this right if he previously breached the law by failing to support a dependent child as a result of a court order
- The law may also deny him this right if he received government financial assistance for reasons other than a disability. This amounts to fraud and consequently a breach of law
- A Canadian citizen may be legally robbed of his sponsorship right if he was previously convicted of an offence of a sexual nature, a violent crime, an offence against a relative that results in bodily harm or an attempt or threat to commit any of such offences.
- The law may also deny him the sponsorship right if he previously sponsored as another spouse, common-law or conjugal partner and the said person became a permanent resident of Canada less than 5 years ago
- The law can also deny a Canadian citizen his right of sponsorship if he defaulted on an immigration loan, delayed in payment or missed payments as stipulated by the law
- The law may also deny a Canadian citizen his right to sponsor his Spanish spouse if he has been legally declared bankruptcy.
If you live in Quebec, you must also meet Quebec’s immigration sponsorship requirements, after Citizenship and Immigration Canada approves you as a sponsor
Permanent Residence Application
How a Spouse and dependent children can get permanent resident status
For a spouse or a dependent child (s) to get a Canadian permanent resident through a sponsor, they have to submit application according to the Canadian immigration law
The application process involves two parts:
If you are a citizen or permanent resident of Canada, you must apply to sponsor them.
Your spouse or dependent children must also apply for permanent residence.
If you sponsor your spouse and your dependent children as a group, all of their applications for permanent residence must be filled out at the same time to be mailed together.
The applications for both sponsorship and permanent residence should be filled out and sent at the same time. There are two steps to process the application forms:
The sponsorship application is processed by the Case Processing Centre (CPC) in Mississauga, Ontario (for family members living outside Canada), or the CPC in Vegreville, Alberta (for family members living inside Canada).
If you are approved as a sponsor, the permanent residence application is sent to the appropriate Canadian visa office.
If you live in Quebec, you must also meet Quebec immigration sponsorship requirements.
Obtaining an application package
You will need an application package for sponsorship and an application package for permanent residence for your spouse or dependent child.
Depending on whether your spouse is in Spain or live in Canada, the application packages for sponsorship and permanent residence are different. Be sure to choose the correct application package. For instance:
If your spouse or accompanying dependent child lives with you in Canada, use the Application for Permanent Residence in Canada—Spouse or Common-law Partner.
If your spouse, partner or dependent child lives in Spain, use the Application to Sponsor a Member of the Family Class.
Complete the application forms and attach the necessary documents.
Be sure to provide all the documents listed in the Document Checklist. If information or documents are missing, your application may be delayed.
As the sponsor, you will sign an agreement that commits you to supporting your Spanish spouse for three years. If you sponsor a dependent child, you will commit to supporting the child for 10 years or until the child is 25 years old, whichever comes first.
- Your Spanish spouse must promise to make every effort to become self-supporting.
- If you sponsor your dependent children who are not accompanying your Spanish spouse, you will have to complete a separate application and pay the applicable fees for each of these children.
- You must ensure that your Spanish spouse and children if any that you are sponsoring completes the application for permanent residence.
- You must ensure that your Spanish spouse and dependent children if any that you want to sponsor completes the medical examination requirements. Instructions are in the application package.
Assemble the final application for permanent residence, including applications, supporting documents, and proof that the medical examination has been done.
Pay the fee and get the necessary receipt.
The application processing fee is payable in Canadian funds only.
Payment of fees on the Internet is the preferred method of payment.
The Spouse’s visa application fees are as follows:
- $75 for you as a sponsor
- $475 for your Spouse
- $150 for a dependent child your wife who is under 22 and not married
- $550 for a dependent of your wife who is 22 or older, or who is under 22 and married $490 for the right of permanent residence fee which your spouse will have to pay before the status is granted.
In order to successfully pay your fees using the internet, you need to ensure that you have a PDF Reader, a printer, an email address and a Visa, MasterCard or American Express credit card. After you have made your payment, print the “receipt of payment” page and include it with your application.
In order to pay your fees at a financial institution in Canada, you need to ensure that you obtain an original payment receipt form (IMM 5401). This form can be ordered online or you can contact the Call Centre in order to get it. After receiving the receipt form, fill it and bring it with you when you go to pay your fees at the bank. You need to attach the completed payment receipt form (IMM 5401) with your application and send.
If you live in Spain, you are able to pay your fees using the Internet or you can also obtain an international money order or bank draft. You must ensure that the money is in Canadian dollars and must be payable to the Receiver General for Canada. You must ensure that you made the payment right by ensuring that on the front of the money order or draft, you have written the financial institutions’ name, complete address (not a post office box number) and account number(s). After this is done, you can now submit the money order or draft with your application.
5. Mail the application and documents.
The application package has the address you need for mailing your application to the Case Processing Centre (CPC) in Mississauga, Ontario (for family members living in Saint Lucia) or CPC in Vegreville, Alberta (for family members living inside Canada). You can find information on how long it will take to process your application here.
The application assessment process
The Case Processing Centre in Mississauga (CPC-Mississauga) will review your sponsorship application. If it is approved, your spouse or relative’s application for permanent residence will be forwarded to the visa office responsible for their home country or the country where they have lived for more than one year.
You, the Sponsor, will be notified in writing of the decision and of the visa office to which your spouse’s application has been sent.
CPC-Mississauga will inform you whether or not your sponsorship application is approved. If you do not meet the sponsorship requirements (mentioned above), the spouse you want to sponsor may continue with their application for permanent residence, but it may not be approved. If you are approved as a sponsor, but the application of the spouse you are sponsoring is refused, you will receive the reason for the refusal and information about appeal rights.
You may withdraw your sponsorship application at any point in the process before the relative or spouse you are sponsoring are issued permanent resident visas. You may be eligible for a refund of the sponsorship fee and/or the permanent resident application fees if processing of your application has not yet begun.
How to check the Status of your Application
To check the status of your application, you will need your Unique Client Identifier (UCI) or Application Number which will be on any correspondence you receive from CIC)
When to contact CIC
You must notify CIC of any changes in your application, such as:
- Changes in your personal circumstances such as a birth or adoption of a child, or a divorce,
- Change in contact information (email, mailing address, phone number),
- Appointment or change of immigration representative or designated individual, or,
- Decision to withdraw your application.
How to contact CIC
To change contact information: Please use CIC’s online form to change your contact information. Do not send change of address information to CPC-Mississauga, it will not be acknowledged and your contact information will not be updated. This could lead to a delay in processing your application.
Custom Duty and Wedding Presents
If you like traveling abroad and love shopping in the process like many Canadians, you must remember that there are set rules and regulations that you must follow, as well as duty you have to pay when you are bringing those goods across the Canadian border.
If you are a Canadian resident coming from Spain, you are eligible for a personal exemption, which allows you to bring a certain amount of goods into the country from Spain without paying any duty.
Personal exemptions are based on the amount of time you have spent in Spain. These exemptions apply if:
- You are a Canadian resident returning from a trip to Spain
- You are a former resident of Canada returning to live in the country from Spain
- You are a temporary resident of Canada.
If you were away on a trip to Spain for at least 24 hours, you are allowed by law to claim goods worth up to $50 Canadian (excluding alcohol and tobacco) and if you were away for 48 hours, you are allowed to claim goods worth up to $200. If you were in Spain for seven days, you can claim goods worth $750. Children and infants who have also came back to Canada from a trip in Spain are also eligible for personal exemptions; parents or guardians can make the declaration on behalf of the child, as long as the item is for the child’s use.
You are allowed by law to bring back any amount of goods into Canada from a trip in Spain except for certain restricted goods such as explosives and Firearms. If the amount of items you bring into the country is more than that of your personal exemption, you are required by law to pay duty and any provincial or territorial assessments that apply as far as those goods are concerned. If the law has not conferred upon you any personal exception right, you will have to pay duty on the entire amount of the goods you bring in the country.
You must declare all gifts to the Canada Border Services Agency. Gifts worth CDN $60 or less each may be brought into Canada duty-free and tax-free, but they must be declared. For gifts worth more than CDN $60, you may have to pay duties and taxes on the excess amount. Tobacco and alcohol cannot be imported as gifts.
If you got married in Spain within three months before coming to Canada or if you plan to marry no later than three months after arriving in the country, you can bring in your wedding gifts free of duty and taxes. However, you must have owned and possessed the gifts while in Spain and before you arrived in Canada. At this instance, the requirement to have used the goods does not apply. These same conditions apply to household goods you bring in as part of a bride’s trousseau from Spain.
Ownership, possession and use requirements
To import goods duty- and tax-free, settlers must have owned, possessed and used the goods prior to their arrival in Canada and Former Residents must have owned, possessed and used the goods for at least six months before returning to resume residency from Spain.
It is important that you meet these three requirements. For example, if you owned and possessed the goods without using them, the goods will be subjected to duty and taxes. Please note that leased goods are subject to duty and taxes because the Canada Border Services Agency does not consider that you own them. If you have bills of sale and registration documents, they can help you prove that you meet these requirements.
Exceptions to ownership, possession and use requirements
If you are a former resident then the six-month stipulation will be waived if you have been absent from Canada for five years or more. Therefore, you only need to have owned, possessed and used your personal and household effects/items for any period of time before you return to Canada from Spain.
Replacement goods imported by Former Residents from Spain are also exempt from the six-month requirement. However, they must have owned, possessed and used the goods in Spain before returning to Canada to resume residency. To qualify for the exemption, the goods must be replacements for goods that would have met the six-month ownership, possession and use requirements, except for the fact that they were lost or destroyed as a result of a fire, a theft, an accident or due to other unforeseen circumstances.
In addition, replacement goods must be of similar class and about the same value as the goods they are replacing. You will need to show proof in order to support your claim. If you intend to claim replacement goods and to ensure that they qualify, you should call the agency responsible for requirements.
Declaring your goods
You must give your list of goods to the border services officer when you arrive at your first point of entry in Canada from Spain even if you have no goods with you at the time. The officer will complete a Form B4 , Personal Effects Accounting Document, assign a file number to it and give you a copy of the completed form as a receipt based on the list of goods you submit. To claim free importation of your unaccompanied goods when they arrive, you will need to present your copy of this form. Goods to follow may be subject to import restrictions before you can import them.
To facilitate the clearance process, you can complete Form B4, before your arrival at the first port of entry in Canada. You can obtain a copy of the form from the Canada Border Services Agency’s web site at http://www.cbsa.gc.ca/
Disposing of goods you imported duty- and tax-free
If you import goods duty- and tax-free into Canada and if you sell or give the goods away within the first year of importing them into Canada, you will have to pay the applicable duty and taxes immediately. If you divert the goods for commercial use, the same rule applies.