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Spousal SPonsorship with_Citadel_Global_Immigration

With people moving to Canada either through Study or Express Entry, immigrants find themselves in long-distance relationships or leaving their partner in their home country. Many people do not know that they can reunite with their partner and family by processing their application through the Spousal Sponsorship Program.

I have a guest feature with a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant from Citadel Global Immigration to explain in detail everything you need to know about the application process for Spousal Sponsorship.


Introduce yourself

My name is Simi Adewunmi, and I am a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (RCIC) I am the lead consultant at Citadel Global Immigration, Inc. located in Toronto, Canada. 

At Citadel, we provide Educational and Immigration assistance to interested candidates. We also assist with settlement services in some locations through partner agents. We offer a wide array of services. More information about what we do and how to contact us can be found on our website: or our Instagram page @citadelglobalagency


A lot of people are moving to Canada and people underestimate the role of a RCIC. What do you have to say about that? 

The amount of information out there about Canadian Immigration is unlimited, a lot of which is coming from non-regulated agents. It is very important that individuals ensure that the information they are getting is accurate and complete. One thing that people do not realize is that everyone’s situation is different.

At Citadel Global Immigration, Inc., our services includes admission processing both to Canada and the UK, immigration services which include: Study Visas, Work Permits applications, Visiting Visas, PR Applications (Express Entry, Provincial Nomination Program [PNP]) Business Investor Programs, Spousal Sponsorship, Humanitarian and Compassionate applications, Restoration of Status, Citizenship applications, Permanent Residence renewal application etc) 


Applicants need to know that a lot of these applications are decided on a discretionary basis, which is why it is important to engage the services of a consultant who can review your situation and provide professional assistance as needed. 

At Citadel, our goal is not only to help you migrate to Canada, but we also do frequent follow up on our clients to ensure they are complying with the Immigration requirements. 


There are so many ways to migrate to Canada through different routes, such as the Express Entry and the PNP. One that is often not mentioned is Spousal Sponsorship Program. Tell us about it. 

Canada has over 80 Immigration programs and not a lot of people are aware of the other programs besides Express Entry and PNP. 

A spousal Sponsorship application is an application for those who are married, in a common-law or conjugal relationship. This application allows couples to be united. The application provides in-Canada applicants, who are already on a Temporary resident status the opportunity to apply for an open work permit without the requirement to have a job offer while their Permanent Residency (PR) application is being processed.

It is a really good program for those who have Canadian or Permanent Resident spouses or a common-law partner (If you have lived with your partner for more than one year).  The program is solely premised on uniting families together which is one of Canadian Immigration cardinal principles. 


Does one automatically qualify as a PR or Citizen if they get married to a Canadian Citizen? 

You do not automatically qualify as PR or Citizen, as I mentioned earlier, you would still need to fulfil some other criteria to be successful. You would need to show you have lived in Canada for a period of 1095 days to become a citizen or 730 days if you want to renew your PR


Who is considered a spouse or partner under Spousal Sponsorship?

A Spouse is a person:

    • who is legally married
    • can either be male or female.
    • who is at least 18 years old.


A partner on the other hand is a person:

    • who is living in a marriage-like relationship for at least one year but are not legally married.
    • can either be male or female. 
    • who is at least 18 years old.


Who is allowed to sponsor a partner or spouse in Canada? 

If you are:

  • Canadian or Permanent Resident, 
  • above 18 years of age, you are allowed to sponsor your partner or spouse to Canada. 
  • Living in Canada or in the case of a citizen who plans to return to Canada once the person being sponsored becomes a PR. 
  • I should say that a Permanent Residence living outside of Canada cannot sponsor their spouse. So, you have to be living in Canada as a Permanent Residence to sponsor your spouse. 


What is the processing time for Canada’s Spousal Sponsorship? Can one cancel their Spousal Sponsorship application?

  • Processing time is usually about one year.  However, this may take longer depending on your circumstance or how complex an application is.
  • The processing of your application depends on whether you are in Canada or outside Canada. 
  • For In-Canada applicants, your application will be processed in Mississauga, Ontario, usually one year or longer as well in terms of the processing time. If you are outside Canada, your application will be processed in the nearest Canadian Visa Office
  • Accra for example takes longer than one year even though they say one year processing time. 
  • You can always cancel your application at any time before a decision is made. The only caveat is that you may have to forfeit the processing fee if the processing of the application has already begun. 


How Much Does It Cost to Sponsor Your Spouse to Canada? 

  • Sponsorship Fee is $75
  • Biometrics Fee: $85 (Per person) & $170 (2 or more persons) 
  • Principal Applicant fee is $475
  • Right of Permanent Residence Fee is $500
  • Additional Dependant is $150 per child

Total Cost: $1135 (excludes dependants)


What documentation is required for the Spousal Sponsorship application?

Generally speaking, you need :

  • A valid marriage license or proof of marriage registered.
  • Birth certificates (If applicable)
  • Valid Passports
  • Passport Photograph
  • Photographs (Proof of relationships) 
  • Utility bills etc. 
  • Proof of living together (Common law relationships)
  • Application forms + Checklist, 
  • Supporting letters from relatives

Documentation will also depend on people’s situations. For example, if there have been previous marriages, arranged marriages etc. The documentation required will be different from a first-time married couple. It is usually a daunting and cumbersome process. You would think that just because you are married, a marriage certificate is enough to prove your relationship and make your application successful. It takes more than that to get a positive decision and this is because of the growing number of fraudulent applications the government has received, so it is not as easy as it used to be. 

At Citadel Global Immigration, Inc. we are very experienced with putting together a spousal application together so we can definitely assist you if you feel overwhelmed with the application or confused with what’s required.  

spousal sponsorship documentHow does one prove a common-law partner in Spousal Sponsorship application?


  • You would need to show at least some sort of proof of both partners living together (Utility bill, driver’s license etc.) for a period of one year. 
  • Supporting letters from individuals who know about your relationship. 
  • Birth Certificates (If applicable) 

We usually compile a list of documents on a case-by-case basis so you can contact us for a consultation to see how we can assist you.  


Can the spouse or partner come to Canada while waiting for approval?

Yes, if you have a visiting visa, you can definitely come and also apply for an open work permit while waiting for approval. 


What are the common reasons for the refusal for Spousal Sponsorship?

  • Poor Documentation 
  • The officer is not convinced that the marriage is genuine.
  • Conflicting information during the interview stage. 
  • Breakdown in the marriage. 
  • Criminal Record 
  • Misrepresentation
  • Incomplete forms or outdated forms (Usually this means your application will be returned and not processed.) 
  • Other Inadmissibility issues


Do international students or post-graduate work permit holders qualify for Spousal Sponsorship if they get married to a PR or Canadian citizen?

Regardless of your status, you can qualify for Spousal Sponsorship even if you are out of status or a refugee claimant. 

If you have a spouse or partner who is a Canadian Citizen or PR and is above 18, you would be qualified for this program. Obviously, your spouse has to meet some other requirements to be able to sponsor you but for the most part, your status is not a deterring factor for a Spousal Sponsorship

And as I mentioned earlier, if you are in Canada, you are eligible for an open work permit if you already have a temporary resident status (Visitor, worker or student) If you are out of status, on the other hand, you may still be able to get the work permit with good professional representation. This was the case for one of our clients who was out of status, we were still able to get him a work permit. 


If a PR/Citizen has sponsored an ex-partner in the past, can the person sponsor a new partner?

Yes, but only after 3 years of your ex-partner becoming a permanent residence. 


In a case of divorce, what happens to the person who came to Canada under Spousal Sponsorship?

Nothing, if they have concluded the application and received the PR, then you are okay. Your PR cannot be rescinded on grounds of a divorce. Only if you have misrepresented your information but this is applicable to any Immigration PR application. 


Share one useful tip for those applying for a Spousal Sponsorship.

The Spousal Sponsorship process can be a very tedious one, just ensure you provide any and every document that can demonstrate to the officer that your marriage is genuine. Go above and beyond with your documentation and if you can, seek professional assistance.  


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