Canadian citizens or permanent residents can sponsor their Pakistani spouse or common-law partner for permanent residence.
Enabling families to be reunited is one of the pillars of Canada’s immigration system. One of the primary means of achieving this goal is through the Family Class immigration program, which allows recent immigrants and long-established Canadians to be reunited with their family members. Each year, Canada seeks to welcome approximately 80,000 immigrants through this category.
If you are a Canadian citizen or permanent resident and you are married to someone from Pakistan or have lived together with that person for one year as common-law partners, you can sponsor him or her for permanent residence (PR) in Canada.
Obtaining PR in Canada will give your spouse from Pakistan the opportunity to live, study and work in Canada and to access health care and social services.
Eligibility Criteria for Sponsorship
The first thing to consider is the age restriction on sponsors, who must be at least 18 years old.
Secondly, you must be a Canadian citizen, permanent resident, or registered as an Indian under the Indian Act of Canada.
In addition, a Canadian citizen currently living abroad will need to demonstrate to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) that he or she intends to live in Canada with his or her spouse once they become a permanent resident.
As for permanent residents seeking to sponsor a loved one, they must be residing in Canada at the time they submit their sponsorship application.
While there is no minimum financial requirement to sponsor a spouse, you will have to show that you have a plan to financially support your family—which includes yourself as well as the person you are sponsoring. You can do so by showing that you have sufficient income, savings, or assets to support all members of your family unit. It is also important to note that under Canadian immigration law, individuals receiving social assistance are not eligible to sponsor family members except if it is due to a disability.
The sponsored spouse also has to be over 18 years old and must pass background, security, and medical checks. People with criminal convictions are generally not allowed to come to Canada, but there may be options to overcome criminal inadmissibility.
Sponsorship Process in Canada: What You Should Know
One of the most important steps in the process of sponsoring a spouse to Canada is to provide the required documents to prove that your relationship with the sponsored person is genuine.
If you are married, you will have to provide mandatory documents such as a marriage certificate in addition to other documents. Marriages that were legally performed in Pakistan are generally valid in Canada. If you are in a common-law relationship, you will have to provide documented evidence of your 12 month cohabitation period in lieu of a marriage certificate.
If your supporting documents are in a language other than English or French, you will need to provide a translation of these documents. These translations must be certified and meet IRCC’s requirements.
The family sponsorship process consists of submitting two applications to IRCC: the sponsorship application and the permanent residence application. IRCC requires that you submit both applications at the same time.
You should make sure you send your application to the correct address. You will find this information in the sponsorship guide that you can download from the government website.
Sponsors who live in Quebec will have to meet eligibility requirements at the provincial level as well.
Immigration applications are subject to fees that must be paid upon submission of your application.
On average, it takes IRCC about 12 months to process a sponsorship application.
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