Pathways for Couples or Partners in the Canadian Immigration Journey

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Spousal Sponsorship

Spousal sponsorship is an efficient way for couples to immigrate to Canada, particularly if one is already a Canadian citizen or permanent resident. If your spouse meets specific criteria, they can sponsor you to become a permanent resident. The sponsor must be at least 18 years old, a Canadian citizen or permanent resident living in Canada. Additionally, the sponsor must not have sponsored a spouse to Canada within the last five years. Proving the relationship is crucial and falls into three categories: legally married spouses, common-law partners living together for at least one year, and conjugal partners facing exceptional circumstances hindering their recognition as common-law partners or spouses.

Express Entry

Within Canada’s Express Entry system managing three main immigration programs (Federal Skilled Worker Program, Federal Skilled Trades Program, Canadian Experience Class), couples can apply for permanent residency in two ways: the main applicant lists the spouse as a dependent or names them as a secondary applicant. It’s important to note that dependents are allowed only in FSWP and FSTP applications, not in CEC. When declaring a spouse as a dependent, the main applicant provides proof of sufficient settlement funds, and the spouse’s details do not impact the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score. CRS scores determine invitations for permanent residence, and if the spouse qualifies for Express Entry, they can apply as a secondary applicant, gaining an additional 40 CRS points. Before applying, evaluate which partner has a stronger CRS performance to determine the main applicant.

Open Work Permit

Spouses of Canadian citizens or permanent residents can apply for an open work permit while their permanent residence sponsorship is in progress. This allows them to work for any employer in Canada, supporting themselves and their family financially during the immigration application process. To qualify, the foreign applicant must be a principal applicant under the Spouse or Common-Law Partner in Canada Class or a family class partner accepted for processing by IRCC after meeting completeness criteria and not being refused or withdrawn. The applicant and sponsor must share the same residential address in Canada and meet all eligibility requirements under spousal or common-law partner sponsorship.



Disclaimer: The information from the newsletter is directly derived from IRCC. The material and information contained on this website is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as professional advice. Although best efforts have been made to ensure the accuracy of the information at the time of writing, we cannot guarantee the completeness or accuracy of all information. As information may change without notice, always refer to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada’s website for the most accurate and up-to-date information.