What Happens When You Marry a Canadian Citizen?
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.
Even if you have legitimately married a Canadian citizen, obtaining permanent residency of your own is not easy because 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.
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.
If you are not living in Canada you can come to Canada once you have obtained your permanent resident visa.
First, your sponsor will apply to sponsor you to Canada as their spouse, common-law spouse or their conjugal partner. You would then apply for permanent residency in Canada.
Unfortunately, love in spousal sponsorship cases is not enough, 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. In order to prevent your application from being delayed or denied, speak with a licensed immigration lawyer for assistance with your application. You can call us at the telephone number above, or by using the web form on the left.
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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