Are you applying to sponsor your spouse to come to Canada? Some people opt to hire a Registered Canadian Immigration Consultant (RCIC) to handle their case while others opt to complete their application themselves. While it is possible to handle your own application, it is a lengthy and complicated process. Today, we have identified the top ten common mistakes we have found on our clients’ spousal sponsorship applications. These mistakes can lengthen application processing time, or result in the application being returned/refused.
Top 10 Mistakes
Using the wrong version of the application forms. It is crucial that you ensure the application forms you have completed are the newest versions. Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) frequently update forms (up to three times per year). If you submit a dated version of your sponsorship application, this may result in IRCC returning your application. You would then need to re-fill and resubmit these forms, ultimately lengthening the time it will take for your application to be processed.
Answering questions incorrectly on the application forms. Be sure to read all questions carefully and fully before writing your response. A common error made by those applying for spousal sponsorship is incorrectly identifying which party is the sponsor and which is the applicant. To clarify, the applicant is the person who is applying to immigrate to Canada. The sponsor is the person who is currently a Canadian citizen or permanent resident.
Leaving questions blank on the application forms. If you encounter a confusing question on your application forms, it is best to seek clarification. Some applicants opt to leave these fields blank, which could result in their application being returned or denied.
Note: Questions that are not applicable to the applicant can be indicated as such by writing “N/A” or “Not Applicable” in the appropriate field.
Incomplete or inadequate documents. Applicants must provide documentation to prove the veracity of their relationship with their sponsor. These documents may include reference letters from friends, family members, and coworkers. Other forms of documentation may include photographs of the couple at social events/gatherings with friends and family members. Failure to submit adequate supporting documents may result in the application being returned or denied.
Fingerprints done incorrectly. Immigration Canada has strict regulations about where applicants can have their fingerprints taken. If the applicant is already in Canada, they must submit their fingerprints and photographs to a biometric services collection point. If the applicant is still in their native country, they must find a reputable collection point.
Invalid medical examination. Doctors who can perform these medical exams are called panel physicians. Immigration Canada provides a list per country of the doctors available to perform these exams, you can find the list by clicking here.
Submitting your document under the wrong category. A spousal sponsorship application must be submitted under the family class.
Submitting documents that contain false information. Do not submit an application that contains information that is untruthful – this is considered a federal crime. Not only will your application be denied, it could impact the status of future applications you submit.
Applying to sponsor a spouse when you’re not yet divorced from your previous spouse. You must be divorced from your previous spouse before applying to sponsor your current partner.
Submitting your application to the wrong address. Some applicants submit their application to the wrong visa address. You must submit your application to a different office for Inland and Overseas applications. Be sure to find the correct address for the office you need to avoid having your application returned or lost.
How can you be sure your application is successful?
Make sure to read the documents carefully and follow instructions as they are written. We also have a few resources you can use to be sure that your application is completed properly and you have the highest possible chance of success.
Get an application package from the government of Canada. If you follow the previous link, you will be prompted to select who you are sponsoring, and what country the person you are sponsoring resides in. Based on this information, you will be provided with a document checklist to follow to ensure that your application is prepared.
Follow the government of Canada’s basic guide for sponsoring your spouse, partner, or child.
Pay your application fees in a timely fashion. Before you send your application to the appropriate office, be sure to pay your fees. You can do this online through the Government of Canada website.
Want a surefire way to avoid mistakes in your sponsorship application? Hire a professional to handle the paperwork for you.