• Calver & Associates

Spousal Sponsorship Case Study | Cuba

The Canadian Government offers a Family Class Sponsorship pathway to permanent residency for non-Canadians who have Canadian spouses or children. Many of our clients are Canadian citizens looking to sponsor their spouses or partners who hold Cuban citizenship. While Canada’s spousal sponsorship program does not discriminate based on country of origin, we’ve found that the process can sometimes be more complicated for Cuban principal applicants (the individual being sponsored). As such, we have put together a case study guide for Canadian citizens or permanent residents who wish to sponsor their Cuban spouse.




Getting Married to a Cuban National


Getting a travel visa for a Cuban partner to come to Canada can be difficult. As a result, we typically see our community and clients travel to Cuba to marry their partners. Canadian citizens who wish to marry non-Canadians in Cuba must follow specific directives so that their marriage will be recognized:

  1. Documents required:

  2. If you are single before this marriage

  3. Birth Certificate

  4. Affidavit of Single Status

  5. If you were divorced before this marriage

  6. Birth Certificate

  7. Divorce Certificate

  8. If the divorce took place more than two years ago, you may need an Affidavit of Single Status. Contact Notary at the International Law Office to learn more.

  9. If you are widow

  10. Birth Certificate

  11. Marriage Certificate

  12. Death Certificate

  13. Any Affidavits must be issued within six months of the marriage

  14. If the Canadian spouse wasn’t born in Canada, they must obtain a letter from the Consulate or Embassy of their country of birth, stating that the document can be considered valid. Present the birth certificate at the Legal Department of Global Affairs Canada for authentication.

  15. All documents must be translated into Spanish and taken to the Legal Department of Global Affairs Canada for authentication (111 Sussex Drive K1N 1J1).

  16. Present the documents at the Consulate for legalization

  17. The fee for legalization is $176.00 CAD per document

  18. Pay an extra $40.00 CAD fee if the application is sent by mail

  19. The ceremony must be held at the International Law Office


Options for Same-Sex Couples


Unfortunately, we must note that same-sex marriage is not legally recognized in Cuba. However, this does not mean that Canadian spousal sponsorship is impossible for same-sex couples. Under Canadian immigration law, there are 3 types of "marital status" defined within the Immigration Act: married couples (spouses), common-law partners, and conjugal partners. Conjugal partner status allows those in marriage-like relationships to be sponsored. In order to obtain this status, a couple must show that the other two categories (spouse and common-law) are not possible for them to qualify for. For example, if the Cuban partner cannot get a travel visa to marry elsewhere where same-sex marriages are legal, and the Canadian partner can’t live with them common-law in Cuba, then the couple can claim conjugal partnership and still apply for sponsorship.



Once married


Once a Canadian and Cuban resident or citizen are married, they are eligible to submit a spousal sponsorship application to return to Canada. The process typically takes twelve months in total for an application to be approved.

Link application to your online account



What We’ve Learned from Submitting Applications from Cuba


  • A medical exam is required in addition to biometrics

  • Panel physicians and biometric facilities aren’t available in Cuba, so applicants will have to travel outside of Cuba to have these done at a cost to the application. This is mandatory and the application will not be approved without it.

  • Interviews are common when applying

  • Cubans must submit original documents to IRCC when applying for sponsorship

  • A police certificate is required for anyone applying to become a permanent resident or citizen in Canada. Applications will need to provide a copy of the contract that you obtained with your police certificate from Cuba.


Our Services


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.



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