IMMERGITY Immigration Consultant
Apr 25, 2023
*Processing time and fee are variable
Second Stage Approval of Spousal Sponsorship
Definition of Spousal Sponsorship
Spousal sponsorship is a legal process that allows an individual, who is a citizen or permanent resident of a country, to sponsor their spouse or common-law partner for permanent residency. The objective of this process is to help families reunite and stay together, ensuring the well-being of both the sponsor and the sponsored spouse.
Understanding the First Stage Approval Process
Understanding the first stage approval process is crucial for applicants and their sponsors, as it provides a clear roadmap of the steps involved and the requirements to be fulfilled. Being informed about the process helps reduce anxiety, prevents potential delays or complications, and increases the chances of a successful application.
What is the First Stage Approval of Spousal Sponsorship?
A. Definition of First Stage Approval
The first stage approval of spousal sponsorship is the initial step in the application process where the immigration authorities assess the eligibility of the sponsor and the genuineness of the relationship between the sponsor and the applicant. This stage ensures that the sponsor meets the necessary financial and legal requirements and that the relationship is legitimate.
B. Purpose of First Stage Approval
The primary purpose of the first stage approval is to verify the sponsor's eligibility and the authenticity of the relationship. This step helps immigration authorities filter out fraudulent or ineligible applications, ensuring that only genuine cases move forward in the process. It also enables the authorities to assess whether the sponsor can financially support the sponsored spouse, preventing any undue burden on the country's social assistance system.
C. Timeline for First Stage Approval
The timeline for first stage approval varies depending on the country, the specific immigration office handling the application, and whether the application is filed inland or outland. Typically, first stage approval can take anywhere from a few weeks to several months. Applicants and sponsors are advised to keep track of processing times on the relevant immigration authority's website and be prepared for possible delays.
What Happens Next After First Stage Approval?
A. Definition of Second Stage Approval
The second stage approval is the final step in the spousal sponsorship application process, where the immigration authorities assess the applicant's admissibility to the country based on their background checks, medical examination, and other required documents.
B. Purpose of Second Stage Approval
The purpose of the second stage approval is to ensure that the applicant does not pose any security, health, or financial risks to the country. This stage verifies that the applicant meets all necessary requirements for permanent residency and integrates seamlessly into the country.
C. Timeline for Second Stage Approval
The timeline for second stage approval varies depending on the country, the specific immigration office handling the application, and whether the application is filed inland or outland. Generally, second stage approval can take several months to over a year. Applicants and sponsors should monitor processing times on the relevant immigration authority's website and be prepared for potential delays.
Second Stage Approval
A. Evaluation of Submitted Documents
During the second stage approval, immigration authorities evaluate the following submitted documents:
Police certificates from every country the applicant has lived in for six months or more since turning 18.
Medical examination results conducted by an approved panel physician.
Proof of relationship, such as marriage certificates, common-law partnership agreements, or other relevant documents.
B. Possible Interview Requirement
In some cases, an interview may be required during the second stage approval process. This interview allows the immigration officer to further assess the genuineness of the relationship and verify any additional information about the applicant or sponsor.
Factors Affecting the Spousal Sponsorship Approval Process
A. Complexity of the Application
Complex applications, such as those involving sponsoring your spouse with a criminal record or conjugal partner sponsorship, may take longer to process due to additional documentation and background checks.
B. Errors in the Application
Errors or incomplete information in the application can lead to delays or even refusals. Applicants should thoroughly review their application and use the sponsorship eligibility tool to ensure they meet all requirements.
C. Delays Caused by the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC)
Processing times can be affected by the volume of applications received by the IRCC, staffing issues, or other unforeseen circumstances. To stay informed about the latest processing times, visit the IRCC website.
Tips for a Smooth Spousal Sponsorship Approval Process
A. Be Prepared and Organized
Being prepared and organized throughout the application process can significantly increase the chances of a smooth and successful outcome. Keep all relevant documents and information easily accessible, and create a checklist to track progress.
B. Ensure All Required Documents
Are Submitted Ensure that you submit all required documents in the correct format and within the specified deadlines. Missing or incorrect documents can lead to delays or even refusal of the application.
C. Avoid Common Mistakes
Common mistakes such as incomplete forms, lack of supporting evidence, or inconsistencies in the information provided can lead to complications in the application process. Double-check your application and supporting documents for any errors or inconsistencies.
D. Seek Professional Assistance
Consider seeking professional assistance from an immigration consultant or lawyer with expertise in spousal sponsorship applications. They can help guide you through the process, answer any questions you may have, and ensure that your application is complete and error-free.
Preparing for Life After Sponsorship Approval
A. Moving and Settling In
Once the spousal sponsorship application is approved, the sponsored spouse should prepare for their move to the new country. This includes arranging for housing, transportation, and other logistical aspects of the move. Researching local customs, laws, and cultural practices can also help ease the transition to the new country.
B. Social Integration and Support Networks
Social integration is crucial for the sponsored spouse to feel comfortable and welcomed in their new home. Actively participating in community events, joining clubs or organizations, and making new friends can help create a strong support network. The sponsor can also introduce their spouse to their friends and family members, fostering connections and helping them feel at home.
C. Legal Obligations as a Sponsor and Sponsored Spouse
Both the sponsor and the sponsored spouse have legal obligations to fulfill after the sponsorship approval. The sponsor is required to provide financial support for the sponsored spouse for a specified period, ensuring that they do not become a burden on the country's social assistance system. The sponsored spouse, on the other hand, must obey the laws of the country and meet the conditions of their permanent residency, such as not engaging in criminal activities or misrepresenting their identity.