Spousal Sponsorship in Canada offers a route for Canadian citizens and permanent residents to sponsor their foreign spouse or common-law partner’s immigration to Canada. There are two primary types of applications – Inland and Outland sponsorship. This article will explore these two types in detail, looking at their eligibility criteria, application processes, pros and cons, and the factors you should consider when choosing between them.
Defining Inland and Outland Applications
An Inland Spouse Sponsorship application refers to the process where the sponsored spouse or common-law partner is residing in Canada during the application process. On the other hand, an Outland Spouse Sponsorship application is made when the sponsored individual is living outside Canada.
For an Inland application, both the sponsor and the sponsored spouse must be living in Canada at the time of the application. The sponsored spouse must have valid immigration status in Canada as a visitor, student, or worker.
For an Outland application, the sponsored spouse or common-law partner can be living either inside or outside Canada at the time of application. However, they usually reside outside Canada.
The application process for both Inland and Outland sponsorship involves completing an application package available from the Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) website. This package includes forms detailing information about the sponsor and the sponsored spouse, along with supporting documentation, such as proof of relationship and financial documents.
Upon submission and payment of the necessary fees, the IRCC reviews the application. Processing times vary depending on the type of application and the sponsored spouse’s country of residence.
Pros and Cons of Inland Applications
An Inland application allows the sponsored spouse to remain in Canada with their partner during the application process. If eligible, the sponsored spouse can apply for an open work permit, allowing them to work in Canada while waiting for a decision.
However, the Inland application has its drawbacks. The primary one is that the sponsored spouse is advised not to leave Canada during the processing period. If they do, there’s a risk that they won’t be allowed to re-enter, which could affect their application.
Pros and Cons of Outland Applications
An Outland application generally has faster processing times, especially for countries with Canadian visa offices. Unlike the Inland application, the sponsored spouse can travel in and out of Canada during the processing period.
However, the downside of an Outland application is that the sponsored spouse can’t apply for an open work permit while waiting for a decision. This means they can’t work in Canada during the application process unless they have a valid work permit.
Factors to Consider when Choosing between Inland and Outland
Choosing between an Inland and Outland application largely depends on the couple’s circumstances. If the sponsored spouse is already in Canada with valid status and wishes to stay with their partner during the processing period, an Inland application might be more appropriate.
However, if the sponsored spouse lives abroad and wishes to continue doing so during the application process, or if there is a need for travel during this period, an Outland application could be more suitable.
Consider a couple where the sponsored spouse is already working in Canada on a temporary work permit. An Inland application, coupled with an open work permit application, would allow them to continue working while waiting for a decision.
Contrarily, consider a couple where the sponsored spouse resides outside Canada. An Outland application would be more suitable, allowing the sponsored spouse to travel and stay in their home country during the processing period.
Troubleshooting and Overcoming Challenges
Both types of applications have their challenges. However, thorough preparation can help overcome them. Ensuring all required documentation is correctly completed and submitted, and avoiding any breaches of immigration rules, like leaving Canada during an Inland application, can help prevent complications.
Choosing between an Inland and Outland Spouse Sponsorship application is a significant decision that depends on individual circumstances. Understanding the advantages and disadvantages of each can help couples make informed choices and navigate the sponsorship process smoothly. Remember, while this guide provides a general overview, it’s always best to consult with an immigration expert or refer to the IRCC’s resources for personalized advice.