A Spousal/Common-Law Sponsorship application may be submitted by a Canadian citizen or permanent resident on behalf of their foreign spouse, common law partner or conjugal partner, and their dependent children, if applicable. This includes same-sex spouses and partners. Common-law partners are not married but have cohabited for a continuous period of at least 12 months, and conjugal partners share the same degree of commitment and intimacy as spouses and common law partners but are prevented from marrying or cohabiting. To be a sponsor, you must be over 18, and not be in receipt of social assistance, unless related to disability. Although there is no financial threshold for spouses, the sponsor and applicant should show how the applicant will be financially supported in Canada. A sponsorship applicant can be submitted within Canada (inland sponsorship), or from overseas, resulting in different procedures and requirements. Both options should be carefully considered for their pros and cons in your personal circumstances. It is acceptable for a sponsor who is a Canadian citizen (but not a permanent resident) to be living abroad as long as the couple shows intent to move to Canada after the application is approved.
Several issues may arise in this type of application, such as medical or criminal inadmissibility, allegations of misrepresentation, and the question of genuineness of your relationship. Immigration, Refugee, and Citizenship Canada heavily scrutinizes spousal sponsorships; if the officer is not satisfied that you are in a bona fide relationship, you may be required to attend an interview or provide more documents in support of your case. With the help of a lawyer, you can optimize your chances of your application being approved without delay, ensuring that each step is completed properly and within the stipulated deadlines.