Canadians wanting to sponsor foreign nationals have to decide whether they want to apply as a member of the Family Class or as a member of the Spouse or Common-Law Partner in Canada Class.
To be a member of the Spouse or Common-Law Partner in Canada Class, applicants must:
- be the spouse or common-law partner of a sponsor and cohabit with that sponsor in Canada;
- have a temporary resident status in Canada; and
- be the subject of a sponsorship application.
Said v. Canada (Citizenship and Immigration), 2011 FC 1245 recently confirmed an important point for people considering applying under this class.
You have to be cohabiting. If there is no cohabitation then there is no possible sponsorship. There is no requirement for immigration officers to consider whether a marriage is genuine if the couple are not cohabiting.