Marrying a Canadian Citizen or Permanent Resident
People have often asked, “if I marry a Canadian citizen, can I live and work there?” While a successful sponsorship case will allow this, becoming a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada does not automatically happen when you marry a Canadian citizen. You need to go through an application process. It is a common misconception that people who marry Canadians are automatically granted citizenship or residence of some kind.
So what happens when you marry a Canadian citizen or permanent resident? Even if you have legitimately married a Canadian citizen, obtaining permanent residency of your own is not easy. The first step, however, is applying for spousal sponsorship. Over the years, a few cases of immigration marriage fraud have led the Canadian government to impose stricter rules on all spousal sponsorship cases, even if they are legitimate marriages. Therefore, it is important to ensure all the documentation requirements are fulfilled.
Applying for Spousal Sponsorship for Canada
There are two main ways of applying for spousal sponsorship for Canada if you are married to a Canadian citizen. (This is a different matter from moving out of Canada to the US however).
If you are already living in Canada legally on a visa such as a work permit or study permit and have married a Canadian citizen, you can remain in Canada while the application for spousal sponsorship is being processed. This is referred to as inland spousal sponsorship.
If you are not living in Canada you can come to Canada once you have obtained your permanent resident visa. In this case, you will be sponsored while outside of Canada in a process called outland spousal sponsorship.
First, your sponsor will apply to sponsor you to Canada as their spouse, common-law spouse or their conjugal partner. You will then apply for permanent residency in Canada. Once you are a permanent resident for the required amount of time and have satisfied all residency requirements, you may then be eligible to apply for Canadian citizenship.
Unfortunately, love in spousal sponsorship cases is not enough to prove the validity of a marriage, nor is a marriage certificate. Couples must go to great lengths to demonstrate to the Canadian government that their marriage is legitimate when it comes to spousal sponsorship cases, and this can be very difficult and require a lot of documentation.
What Are the Benefits to Marrying a Canadian Citizen?
The most important benefit is that you can access the permanent residence visa without the need of demonstrating sufficient financial resources to immigrate to Canada. This is possible because the processing performed by the spouse or sponsor assumes, to the ministry of immigration and citizenship, every responsibility for his or her client.
By choosing this way, the foreign person will not be rejected according to their professional qualities. In this case, the government’s intention is not to get qualified, but the preservation of the family organization.
What Are the Disadvantages to Marrying a Canadian Citizen?
The main problem is in proving the legality and legitimacy of the marriage. Although, to show that a marriage is legal, it is enough to provide a valid certificate of marriage and cohabitation is some evidence as well, such as photographs. The real problem is to prove the legitimacy of the relationship, which is essential for evidence that the relationship is maintained over time.
As a sponsor, you must provide financial support for your partner for 3 years from the time they become a permanent resident, and financial support for a sponsored child for 10 years, or until the child turns 25, whichever is first.
Why Hire an Immigration Lawyer?
In order to prevent your application from being delayed or denied, speak with a licensed immigration lawyer for assistance with your application. Our team at VisaPlace is experienced in dealing with such cases, and we would be happy to assist you in making your application process as easy and successful as possible. If you would like to book a consultation you may do so online. You are also welcome to fill out our free online assessment first. By doing so, we can better understand your particular case to determine how we can best assist you.
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