Canada is growing daily from the inflow of immigrants eager to work and contribute to the Canadian economy and society. As the world grows more interconnected, there will be more inter-marriages and since Canada is growing as a worldwide hub for skilled immigrants, then the push for a spousal visa is also bound to grow.
There are many Canadians with Indian spouses and this is because India and Canada have a rich history under British rule.
As members of the Commonwealth, being former British Colonies, both India and Canada have historically traded together, sharing intellectual and economic networks.
There are many services online purporting to help people to get spousal Visas and some of these services are proven to be scammers.
This article will guide you through the processes required to get a spousal visa and the fees you will likely pay.
What is so unique about Spousal Visa?
A spousal visa allows Canadians with spouses or common-law partners outside Canada to immigrate to Canada easily.
Through the Department of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), applicants can nominate their spouses and make the necessary applications to ensure their spouses get the sponsorship visa.
Requirements to Qualify as a Sponsor
Not everyone who lives in Canada can apply for their spouse in India or elsewhere to receive a Canadian Visa.
The applicant or sponsor must first be a Canadian citizen, a permanent resident of Canada, or a person registered in Canada as an Indian under the Canadian Indian Act.
For this article, an Indian refers to a Native American Indian and not a citizen of India. The other requirements are:
- The applicant/sponsor must be an adult of sound mind.
- The applicant must not be bankrupt.
- The applicant should not be incarcerated.
- The applicant should not be under a removal order.
There is an expectation that the sponsor will be able to take care of their spouse once their spouse gets to Canada. The non-bankruptcy requirement is a means to ensure the sponsor is financially capable of not only taking care of themselves but also taking care of their spouse and any other dependant the spouse might come with under the sponsorship.
How to Know if Your Common Law Marriage Enough to Qualifies for a Spousal Visa?
The term, ‘Common Law Marriage’ is foreign to people outside Commonwealth countries. Common-Law is a British legal term referring to legal procedures and laws that arose from precedents. A Common Law marriage is one whereby the couple hasn’t gone through a church wedding, but whose relationship fit the definition of marriage.
In Canada, a common-law marriage is one where the couple has lived together as a married couple for a year or more, even without a marriage certificate. This also applies to conjugal relationships whereby the couple lives together, intermittently or not, and has valid reasons why they have not yet solemnized their relationship.
What Does the Application Process Entail
The first process is to ensure you have the right documentation to support your marriage or common-law union. Because it is difficult to ascertain whether the application is truthful, the IRCC will require a valid marriage certificate to show a valid marriage is in place.
Marriages conducted in India are valid in Canada and therefore the Indian marriage certificate will suffice. If there is no marriage, then any documentation showing cohabitation for a year and above will also suffice.
Since most documents provided in India will likely be in Hindu, you should make sure there are sufficient translations for all documents. Ensure the documents are certified by a notary public through documentation that is IRCC certified.
Once you have the right documentation, you will need to apply through the IRCC or at the Federal level, where you will need to submit two different applications; one for the Canadian resident and the other for the non-resident. You will then be required to pay a family sponsorship fee of $75 and a processing fee of $75.
Is the process different if you are a Canadian living in India?
Most applicants for family sponsorship tend to live in Canada after a short stint in a foreign country. In fact, for most marriages between a Canadian and an Indian, this is usually the case, and the applicants tend to be residing in Canada at the time of the application.
However, if the applicant or both spouses are still residing in India, then the process is not so different. The only addition is that the applicant must prove their intention to move back to Canada once their spouse receives a Permanent resident visa.
If the applicant is a permanent resident in Canada then the application must be done in Canada. There is a risk of the spouse losing their permanent resident visa if they delay moving to Canada.
The IRCC will conduct sufficient background checks with the relevant diplomatic channels and embassies to ascertain that the documents supplied by the applicants are valid.
Make sure you send your applications to the correct address since there are a lot of fraudsters online who can easily copy the official government website but redirect payments and applications to another mirror site.
Visas to Canada are a lucrative business and it is not a strange concept that people have found ways to earn money fraudulently. One of the avenues of fraud is through fake marriages to Canadian citizens resulting in thousands of Indians searching for love online with very disastrous results.
In conclusion, spousal sponsorship is a fast and easy way to become a permanent resident in Canada. However, if this process is fraudulent, then the applicants risk facing criminal charges.
The IRCC has created enough avenues to ensure this process is fast and stress-free. It will take about 12months for the entire process to conclude, after which a permanent residency visa will be granted to the applicant.
A permanent move to Canada is a great step forward and successful applicants have managed to sponsor their family members to move to Canada and contribute positively to the society.