Marry a Canadian Girl now and get your Instant Permanent Residency Visa to Canada

Marriage to a Canadian citizen is one pathway to obtaining permanent residency and, eventually, citizenship in Canada. However, it is important to have realistic expectations about what marriage to a Canadian entails from an immigration perspective. 

The Spousal Sponsorship Application Process

If you are married to or in a common-law partnership with a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, your spouse or partner can sponsor you to become a permanent resident of Canada on the basis of your relationship. The general steps in the sponsorship process are:

1. Meet the Eligibility Criteria

First, the sponsor (your Canadian spouse or partner) and your relationship must meet specific eligibility requirements set out by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). Key criteria include:

  • The sponsor must be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident.
  • You and your sponsor must be married or in a conjugal relationship for at least one year.
  • You and your sponsor must live together in a genuine relationship and intend to live together in Canada upon approval of your application.

2. Prepare and Submit Sponsorship Application

Once eligibility criteria are met, the sponsor must complete and sign the appropriate sponsorship forms. Key forms include the Application for Sponsorship and Undertaking and various supporting documents like proof of income, relationship, etc. The complete application package is then submitted online or by mail to IRCC.

3. Application Processing

IRCC reviews the application to verify all eligibility criteria and documents are met. This can involve background checks, interviews, home visits, and more. Processing times vary greatly, but the average is 12-18 months currently.

4. Obtain Permanent Residency

If approved, you will receive a Letter of Approval allowing you to apply for permanent residency from within Canada as a sponsored spouse/partner. This prompts the final step of obtaining a permanent resident card with proof of landing.

This end-to-end process can take 2-3 years from start to finish depending on individual circumstances and pending volumes. Let’s explore some key considerations in more detail.

Relationship Genuineness is Critical

Establishing the genuine nature of your relationship with the sponsoring spouse is paramount. IRCC conducts thorough checks to verify marriages or partnerships of convenience are not used solely for immigration purposes. Some factors that may be assessed include:

  • How you met and dated before marriage
  • Shared finances and assets like property, accounts, insurance
  • Frequency and duration of in-person meetings for long-distance relationships
  • Knowledge of each other’s families, friends, backgrounds
  • Plans and intentions to live together permanently in Canada
  • Emotional and physical intimacy indicators

Even long-term married couples can face relationship scrutiny. Spouses must be prepared to fully prove their case if questioned by an IRCC officer. Marriage solely for the visa risks permanent inadmissibility to Canada. Relationship and living details must align for smooth approval.

Sponsor’s Solvency Plays a Key Role

In addition to verifying relationship genuineness, sponsors must demonstrate adequate financial means to support you and any dependents moving to Canada without relying on social assistance. Minimum income thresholds are set by family size that sponsors must meet or exceed based on Low-Income Cut Off (LICO) amounts.

For example, in 2022 a single sponsor for 1 adult must have over $22,960 annual income while a family of 4 would need over $44,320. Income can come from employment, business, pensions or investments – but informal cash employment may require further proof. Sponsors are financially responsible for any costs of care should sponsored family members require social benefits in the future as well.

Prove All Application Details Without Doubt

With so many consequences for unsuccessful sponsorship applications, it is crucial to present an absolutely complete and compelling case to IRCC without any apparent inconsistencies or doubts in your documentation. Some best practices for vetting your application include:

  • Obtain certified translated versions of all foreign documents
  • Include supplementary evidence beyond the minimum requirements
  • Provide thorough explanations for any periods lacking documentation
  • Anticipate all possible questions during eligibility or integrity checks
  • Meet with a registered immigration consultant for an application audit

Remember – IRCC officers review thousands of applications each year. Yours must stand out as straightforward and valid and leave no ambiguity unaddressed if it hopes to sail through processing. Leaving any stones unturned could result in a Request for More Information or even a refusal.

Post-Landing Obligations Remain

While permanent residency approval concludes the sponsorship process, certain obligations remain even after you move to Canada. Namely:

  • You must live with your sponsoring spouse continuously for two years from the landing date unless separated for acceptable reasons like abuse.
  • The sponsor is responsible for any social assistance costs during those two years should you require benefits like healthcare or income support.
  • Your sponsor can face penalties, including repayment of costs or loss of status if the marriage fails within the first two years in Canada through no fault of their own.

So while the immediate sponsorship hurdle ends at approval, adhering to status and relationship maintenance rules is key for the sponsor, even if things change with time and experience living together in a new country. Divorce or separation too early carries risks.

Provincial Nominee Programs Speed Things Up

Some Canadian provinces operate Provincial Nominee Programs (PNP) that can accelerate spousal sponsorship processing to as little as 6-8 months from start to landing. In these scenarios:

Marry a Canadian Girl now and get your Instant Permanent Residency Visa to Canada
  • The sponsor and sponsored spouse apply jointly to the relevant PNP stream along with the main federal sponsorship application.
  • PNP nomination is granted based on factors like the spouse’s skills, education, work experience, language ability, etc.
  • Once nominated, the already-supported federal application receives priority processing under the distinct PNP case.

Popular spousal PNP streams exist in Ontario, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, British Columbia, and more. While additional criteria apply for nomination, obtaining it means significantly reduced visa wait periods for sponsored spouses of Canadians living in the nominating province.

So in summary – marriage sponsorship is a definite pathway but requires proper planning, documentation, and understanding of roles and timelines. With care given to all areas, it can result in the cherished prize of Canadian permanent residency. However, issues can arise if eligibility is underestimated or responsibilities are not fully comprehended from the onset.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What happens if my relationship ends before two years in Canada?

If the marriage ends through separation, divorce or annulment within the first 2 years of being a permanent resident, you may lose status or face other penalties like repayment of healthcare costs. Your sponsor is also responsible to IRCC for costs of any social assistance received. So a failed relationship too early brings risks of status loss or debt obligations.

2. Can I work or study while waiting for a sponsorship application decision?

No, as a sponsored spouse applicant waiting for a decision, you cannot work or study in Canada. You are only permitted to be in visitor status, which does not allow employment or education enrollment. Once approved for permanent residency, you gain an open work and study permit with your status.

3. How do I prove my relationship is genuine if we meet my spouse’s family for the first time?

If you have not yet met extended family members in person due to distance, you need strong supplemental evidence of your relationship, like proof of regular contact over time, shared property, finances, or vacation plans together. Provide any documentation of video calls, messages, and gifts exchanged with family as well. A personal letter from your spouse emphasizing intentions to build family connections can also help alleviate potential relationship doubts.

4. If I divorce my sponsor after obtaining Canadian PR, what happens to my status?

You would be able to keep your permanent resident status even if the relationship ends after the mandatory 2 year period with your sponsoring spouse in Canada. At that point your status is not tied to the relationship and you can apply independently for Canadian citizenship down the road if otherwise eligible.

5. Can I sponsor family members like parents or siblings from overseas?

As a sponsored spouse, you cannot directly sponsor another family for permanent residency in Canada. Only Canadian citizens or permanent residents with minimum income requirements can act as sponsors. However, after living in Canada with your sponsor spouse for the mandatory 2 years and meeting other eligibility criteria, you may apply to sponsor a new spouse or partner of your own.

In conclusion, while marrying a Canadian partner presents a direct pathway to Canadian permanent residency, it is important to fully research and understand all sponsorship requirements and implications. With diligent preparation and documentation of a valid relationship, a future living together as residents of Canada can become attainable through the spousal sponsorship program. Taking shortcuts or underestimating eligibility assessments, however, risks significant consequences like refusal, debts, or even loss of status. Proceeding carefully and transparently gives the best chance of a smooth transition to permanent resident status in Canada based on your Canadian spouse.

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