Applying for Inland Spousal Sponsorship means that the foreign spouse or common-law partner is inside Canada when applying to become a permanent resident. The inland route can have advantages like being together while waiting for the process to complete, and the possibility for the sponsored spouse to apply for an open work permit. However, there are also considerations to keep in mind, especially regarding travel outside of Canada.
Risks and Consequences if the sponsored spouse decides to leave Canada after applying for Inland Spousal Sponsorship:
Possible delays in spousal sponsorship application processing: Leaving Canada may cause delays in the processing of your application, especially if there are any complications or additional information required.
Risk of Re-Entry: Leaving Canada does not affect the Inland Spousal Sponsorship application per se, but there is always a risk when trying to re-enter Canada. Border officers have the discretion to deny entry if they believe the foreign spouse doesn’t have a genuine intention to stay temporarily (given the pending permanent residency application).
Application Abandonment: If the sponsored spouse is called for an interview related to their application while they are outside of Canada and they fail to attend, their application might be refused for abandonment.
Continued Eligibility for Open Work Permit: If the sponsored spouse applied for an open work permit alongside their sponsorship application, leaving Canada won't invalidate the work permit. However, they should still be cautious about re-entry, as mentioned above.
Implications for Permanent Residency: If the foreign spouse leaves Canada and, for some reason, cannot come back, the application can potentially be converted into an Outland application. This would change the dynamics of the application, and the sponsored spouse might not benefit from the provisions unique to Inland applicants, like applying for a work permit.
Travel Documents: If the foreign spouse's visa expires while they are outside Canada or if they come from a country that requires a visa to return to Canada, they'll need to ensure they have the necessary travel documents to re-enter.
Avoiding Long Absences: If the absence is extended, it may raise questions or concerns about the genuineness of the spousal relationship, although this is more of a concern if both the sponsor and the sponsored individual are outside of Canada for extended periods.
Consider Bridging Visas: If the foreign spouse's current temporary status (like a visitor visa) is about to expire, and they expect their permanent residency to be approved soon, they might be eligible for a bridging visa. This would allow them to maintain their status while waiting for a decision.
Exceptions and Special Circumstances
Dual intent policy: The dual intent policy allows applicants to have both temporary and permanent residence intentions. This means that if the applicant holds a valid temporary resident visa, they may be able to leave and re-enter Canada without jeopardizing their inland sponsorship application.
Essential travel and family emergencies: In some cases, immigration authorities may allow the applicant to leave Canada for essential travel or family emergencies. However, it is crucial to communicate with the immigration authorities about your travel plans and ensure you have the necessary documents to re-enter Canada.
Tips for Minimizing Risks When Traveling
Country Specific Requirements Spousal Sponsorship and Visa Requirements
Before leaving Canada, it is essential to research the country-specific requirements for spousal sponsorship and visa requirements. This will help ensure that you have the necessary travel documents and visas to return to Canada without any issues.
Communicating with the Immigration Authorities
It is crucial to communicate with the immigration authorities about your travel plans, especially if your situation falls under the exceptions and special circumstances mentioned earlier. Informing the authorities can help avoid misunderstandings and potential complications with your application.
Ensuring Timely Return to Canada
To minimize the risks associated with leaving Canada during the inland sponsorship application process, it is essential to plan your trip carefully and ensure a timely return. This will help maintain your status in Canada and prevent delays or complications with your application.
First Stage Approval and Approval in Principle Spousal Sponsorship
Understanding the Approval Process
First stage approval and approval in principle spousal sponsorship occur when IRCC approves the sponsor's eligibility to sponsor their spouse or common-law partner. At this stage, the applicant's admissibility to Canada will be assessed, and they may be required to provide additional information or attend an interview.
Importance of Maintaining Status in Canada
Maintaining your status in Canada is crucial during the spousal sponsorship application process. This includes ensuring that you have valid temporary resident status, such as a visitor visa or work permit, and abiding by the conditions of your status. Failure to maintain your status may result in the refusal of your inland sponsorship application.
Alternatives to Inland Spousal Sponsorship
Outland Spousal Sponsorship
Outland spousal sponsorship is an alternative option for couples where the applicant is living outside Canada. This type of sponsorship allows the applicant to travel freely during the application process, as their application is not dependent on their presence in Canada.
Dual Applications for Inland and Outland Sponsorship
In some cases, couples may choose to submit both inland and outland sponsorship applications simultaneously. This approach can provide additional flexibility, as the applicant can continue with the outland application if they encounter issues re-entering Canada after leaving during the inland application process.
Pros and Cons of Each Option
Both inland and outland sponsorship options have their advantages and disadvantages. Inland sponsorship allows the applicant to remain in Canada during the application process and apply for an open work permit, while outland sponsorship allows for more freedom to travel. However, inland sponsorship may involve a longer processing time, and there are risks associated with leaving Canada during the process. Outland sponsorship, on the other hand, may have a shorter processing time but requires the applicant to be outside Canada during the process.
Before deciding on the best option for your situation, it is essential to weigh the pros and cons of each and consider your individual circumstances and priorities.
Leaving Canada after applying for inland spousal sponsorship carries potential risks and consequences, which can include delays in the application process, difficulty re-entering Canada, and interruption of an open work permit. However, in some cases, applicants may be allowed to travel under specific circumstances or with the proper documentation.
To minimize the risks associated with leaving Canada during the inland sponsorship application process, it is essential to understand the requirements and potential consequences, communicate with immigration authorities, and consider alternative options such as outland sponsorship or dual applications. Consulting with immigration professionals, such as those available through the sponsorship eligibility tool, can provide personalized advice and guidance based on your unique situation.
By carefully weighing the risks and benefits and thoroughly understanding the requirements and potential consequences, you can make an informed decision about whether to leave Canada after applying for inland spousal sponsorship and take steps to minimize any potential issues.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Is there a maximum time I can be outside Canada?
A. There is no specific maximum time set for applicants who leave Canada during the inland spousal sponsorship process. However, it is crucial to return to Canada in a timely manner to maintain your temporary resident status and avoid jeopardizing your application.
Q. I already left Canada and I was denied re-entry, what do I do now? What happens to my inland application?
A. If you are denied re-entry to Canada, your inland sponsorship application may be at risk. You should contact Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to inform them of your situation and seek guidance on your next steps. Depending on your circumstances, you may need to submit an outland sponsorship application instead.
Q. Can I change my application from inland to an outland sponsorship? Or from an outland sponsorship to an inland sponsorship?
A. Yes, it is possible to change your application from inland to outland sponsorship or vice versa. However, you will need to inform IRCC and submit the necessary documentation for the new application type. In some cases, submitting dual applications for both inland and outland sponsorship may be a more flexible option.
Q. What is the processing time for inland spousal sponsorship applications?
A. Processing times for inland spousal sponsorship applications can vary depending on factors such as application volume and complexity. Some applications may take several months, while others can take over a year.
Q. How do I apply for an open work permit during the inland spousal sponsorship process?
A. Applicants for inland spousal sponsorship can apply for an open work permit concurrently with their sponsorship application. This allows them to work in Canada while waiting for their application to be processed.
Q. What are the financial requirements for sponsoring a spouse or common-law partner?
A. Sponsors must demonstrate that they can support their spouse or common-law partner financially for a specified period. This includes meeting minimum income requirements and providing evidence of financial resources.
Q. Can I sponsor my spouse if I have a criminal record?
A. Sponsoring a spouse with a criminal record can be challenging, but it is not impossible. For more information on this topic, visit sponsoring your spouse with a criminal record.
Q. How can I prove the genuineness of my relationship with my spouse or common-law partner?
A. Applicants must provide evidence of the genuineness of their relationship, such as photographs, communication records, joint bank accounts, and affidavits from friends and family members.
Q. What is the difference between a spouse and a common-law partner?
A. A spouse is someone you are legally married to, while a common-law partner is someone you have been living with in a conjugal relationship for at least one year.
Q. Can I sponsor my conjugal partner?
A. Yes, you can sponsor your conjugal partner under certain circumstances. For more information, visit conjugal partner sponsorship Canada.
Q. Can my spouse or common-law partner work while their sponsorship application is being processed?
A. Yes, if they apply for and receive an open work permit, they can work in Canada while their sponsorship application is being processed.
Q. What happens if my spouse or common-law partner's application is denied?
A. If your spouse or common-law partner's application is denied, you can appeal the decision or submit a new application with additional documentation and evidence to address the reasons for the refusal.
Q. Can my spouse or common-law partner travel within Canada during the inland sponsorship application process?
A. Yes, your spouse or common-law partner can travel within Canada during the inland sponsorship application process, as long as they maintain their temporary resident status and comply with any conditions associated with their status.
Q. What happens if my spouse or common-law partner's temporary resident status expires during the inland sponsorship application process?
A. If your spouse or common-law partner's temporary resident status expires during the application process, they must apply for an extension to maintain their status. Failure to maintain their status may result in the refusal of their inland sponsorship application.
Q. How can I check the status of my inland spousal sponsorship application?
A. You can check the status of your inland spousal sponsorship application online using the IRCC website or by contacting the IRCC call center. You will need your application number and other identifying information to access your application status.
At IMMERGITY Immigration Consultant, we are committed to reuniting families in Canada using our specialized skills and unwavering devotion. Our team of legal professionals offers expert services in sponsoring family members including spouses, partners, children, parents, and grandparents, as well as the Super Visa program. If you require assistance with family sponsorship, please don't hesitate to reach out to us for support.