Canada is Still Accepting Spousal Sponsorship Applications
Spousal Sponsorship During COVID-19
The Government of Canada has announced that immigration applications will still be accepted and processed on a delayed schedule amid COVID-19. Included in the applications that will be processed are spousal sponsorship applications.
On March 18, 2020, the Government of Canada announced travel restrictions to help slow the spread of COVID-19. This travel restriction prevents most individuals who are not Canadian Citizens or Permanent Residents from crossing the border.
The Government of Canada later announced exemptions to these restrictions, which includes:
seasonal agricultural workers, fish/seafood workers, caregivers and all other temporary foreign workers
international students who held a valid study permit, or had been approved for a study permit, when the travel restrictions took effect on March 18, 2020
permanent resident applicants who had been approved for permanent residence before the travel restrictions were announced on March 18, 2020, but who had not yet travelled to Canada
close family members of Canadian citizens
close family members of Canadian permanent residents
a person registered as an Indian under the Indian Act
members of the Canadian military, visiting forces and their family members
See the full list of those exempt from travel restrictions.
Reuniting With Your Spouse
Both spouses and common-law partners are considered immediate family, which means they are still allowed to enter Canada. Travellers should be prepared to identify themselves to airlines and border officers. We suggest bringing supporting documentation to demonstrate their immediate family members status in Canada and their relation.
Documents that can prove your relationship to a Canadian citizen or Permanent Resident include:
Marriage certificate or evidence of common law status
Canadian Passport or Permanent resident Card
Other documents that demonstrate an immediate family connection
It’s important to note that Immigration Canada has stated that those travelling by air will need to pass a health check conducted by airlines before boarding a flight. Anyone who shows symptoms of COVID-19 will not be allowed to enter Canada by air.
Upon arriving in Canada, travellers’ health will be assessed before leaving the port of entry. Everyone must also isolate for 14 days even if they have no symptoms. This is mandatory.
Travel documents are still required and therefore travellers must ensure they have either a tourist visa or electronic travel authorization as needed.
Getting Married Amid COVID-19
It is possible to get married during COVID-19. However, couples will need to find a city clerk office that continues to hold civil ceremonies that respect the country’s requirements for social distancing.
With the appropriate marriage documentation, the couple can proceed with a spousal sponsorship application. The application will be submitted to Immigration Canada online. The application is also expected to exceed the posted processing times as a result of service disruptions.
Incomplete Spousal Sponsorship Applications
Immigration officers are extending the 30-day requirement for applicants to submit additional documentation with their application. Additional documentation includes police certificates, biometrics, passports, and medical examinations.
What you need to know:
Officers will send a request letter and allow 90 days for the applicant to respond;
If a request for additional documentation was sent but the applicant was unable to comply within the deadline, officers will allow an additional 90 days for the applicant to respond;
The Biometrics Instruction will still advise applicants to submit biometrics within 30 days, however, applicants will be allowed 90 days to submit biometrics
For more information, you may find these pages helpful:
CBSA (Canada Border Services Agency)
Calver and Associates is a leading provider of Canadian Immigration services in Durham Region. We serve clients in Oshawa, Whitby, Ajax, and beyond. Our Registered Canadian Immigration Consultant has over 10 years of experience in Canadian Immigration law and over four years of experience serving those in the Oshawa area.
We can provide assistance with applications for both temporary and permanent residency in Canada. We handle applications for study permits, permanent residency, family class sponsorship, visitor visas, work permits, and Canadian citizenship. We also handle criminal inadmissibility cases by developing remedies for refusal.