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Spousal Sponsorship for Canadians living outside of Canada: Income and Residency Requirements.

Spousal Sponsorship Q&A

Question: I am a Canadian Citizen. I am married to a foreign citizen. I want to sponsor him/her to Canada but I do not have a high income. The reason my income is low is because I am mostly living outside of Canada to be with my spouse. I am afraid that if I sponsor my spouse, the case will be refused if Citizenship and Immigration knows that I am not in Canada all the time and I do not have a stable job. 

Spousal Sponsorship requirements

Answer:As a general rule, you must reside in Canada and continue to do so when the person you want to sponsor and his or her family members become permanent residents. However, there is an exception to this rule. According to section 130(2) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations, a sponsor who is a Canadian citizen and does not reside in Canada may sponsor their spouse, common-law partner, conjugal partner or dependent child who has no dependent children if the sponsor will reside in Canada when the applicant becomes a permanent resident. Therefore, in as much as you are living outside of Canada presently, you will be able to sponsor your spouse as long as you can prove that you will return to Canada once your spouse acquires permanent resident status in Canada.

With respect to your income, the general rule is that you must have an income equivalent to the minimum necessary income. In your case, the minimum requirement is $26,396.00 (for the year 2009) However, there are exceptions to this rule. The exception that is applicable in your case is that when a spousal sponsorship is made, the sponsor is not required to show that he/she earns the minimum required level.

According to the Operational Manual for Overseas Processing 2, section 10.3:“Sponsors of dependent children and of spouses, common-law partners or conjugal Partners (unless they have dependent children who have dependent children of their own) do not have to meet financial requirements, but they do undertake to provide for the basic necessities of the sponsored applicants so that the applicants do not need social assistance.”

Therefore, you do not have to prove that you earn the minimum necessary income in order to sponsor your spouse but you will have to sign an undertaking to provide for the basic necessities of your spouse under spousal sponsorship.

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About Michael Niren

Michael is a graduate of Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto. He is a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada, the Canadian Bar Association’s Citizenship and Immigration Section and the Associate Member of the American Bar Association. Read more

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12 thoughts on “Spousal Sponsorship for Canadians living outside of Canada: Income and Residency Requirements.

  1. Tima

    Hello I’m Canadian citizen living outside of Canada and I want to sponser my husband. And we both are working in the current country we live in. What do we need to prove for the income. I did all my income tax for the years I wasn’t living in Canada. If I put money in my bank in Canada for sponsering to proof to take care of my husband till he gets his PR?? Will this help us for the application

    Reply
    1. Immigration Lawyers

      Hi Tima,

      Thank you for contacting us at VisaPlace! We have helped thousands of clients with sponsorship, and we may be able to help you! Unfortunately, we cannot give legal advice over the internet. Hiring an immigration lawyer will help you get answers to all of your questions, plus it will increase the chance of getting a visa approved. Please, complete this form for me http://www.visaplace.com/immigration-assessment/ it is just a quick and easy way for me to learn more details about you and your situation so that I will be able to advise you accurately and determine the best avenue for us to take to give you the best legal advice.

      The above response is for informational purposes only and does not form a lawyer-client relationship nor should it be construed to be legal advice.

      Reply
  2. Valeria

    Hello, I´m Canadian living in Argentina. Want to go live back there with my husband and child. Should I complete a sponsor form or family class? Do you know if their passport must be translated also? Thank you!

    Reply
    1. Immigration Lawyers

      Hi Valeria,

      Thank you so much for contacting us! I can understand how the sponsor process can be very complicated. I have helped thousands of clients in similar situations like yours. I would love to help you and your family gain status in Canada. Please Deep, complete this form for me http://www.visaplace.com/immigration-assessment/ it is just a quick and easy way for me to learn more details about you and your situation so that I will be able to advise you accurately and determine the best avenue for us to take to get your family status here in Canada.

      The above response is for informational purposes only and does not form a lawyer-client relationship nor should it be construed to be legal advice.

      Reply
  3. Steven

    Hi I’m just wondering what proof I need of running a business abroad. By the time I apply for Brazilian wife to come here to live my books won’t be done. Will government accept bank statements showing payments from companies and cash deposits into my business account as proof of income . Also with a Canadians 1 year old does that increase income requirements since he is Canadian? I now live here and am working for past month

    Reply
    1. Muga Rajbhandari

      Hello Steven. There are several methods of proving that you have a business abroad. I am going to suggest that you contact us to make an appointment to talk with one of our immigration professionals who will be able to plan the best strategy for you. The income requirements are determined by the number of dependents that you have. You can book an appointment by calling us at 1-855-886-8472 or online at http://goo.gl/JFZqPm
      Regards, Muga

      Reply
  4. Josee Huard

    Hi I’m about to sponsor my husband from Tunisia to Ottawa. I’m a little scared about the income requirements. I have my T4 of last year from my old job which i made 29,700. They laid me off in December of 2015 but because they laid me off they paid me until Mai of 2016. I started my new job in February of 2016. I make 16/hr for 40 hrs a week. I will be making more money with my new job. I am not sure what to write in the annual income on IMM5481. When i enter the amount is it the gross income or the net income after tax?

    Reply
    1. Muga Rajbhandari

      Hello Josee. The spousal sponsorship application can be complex, and not only because of the financial considerations, but also because of the amount of information that is required to show that the relationship is a valid one. I am going to suggest that you contact us to make an appointment to talk with one of our immigration professionals who will be able to plan the best strategy for you. You can book an appointment by calling us at 1-855-886-8472 or online at http://goo.gl/JFZqPm
      Regards, Muga

      Reply
  5. Rida

    I was in the exact same position but got my PR card. We showed intent of return and everything. But 5 years down we still haven’t moved back to Canada as life happened. Now that we are gearing up for the PR-card renewal I am apprehensive whether there will be any issues as we did not move Canada just yet.

    Reply
    1. Muga Rajbhandari

      Hello Rida. There are specific residency requirements that must be met to renew a PR card. If those requirements are not met, you will need to provide a strong argument supporting your absence. I am going to suggest that you contact us to make an appointment to talk with one of our immigration professionals who will be able to plan the best strategy for you. You do not want to make a mistake and jeopardize your PR status. You can book an appointment by calling us at 1-855-886-8472 or online at http://goo.gl/JFZqPm
      Regards, Muga

      Reply
  6. Kate

    Hello! I am a Canadian citizen who is about to apply to sponsor my husband through the out of Canada spousal sponsorship stream. The problem is that I am living with him in his country and as so I have not filled my income taxes for a number of years now. It says that I need my most recent notice of Assessment (Option C printout)and t4 slips. What should I do as I don’t have any of those? Please advise me, this is the last thing we need before we apply.

    Reply

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