It is generally well known that Canadian citizens or permanent residents wishing to sponsor their spouses or common-law partners from abroad can typically do so. As well, most people know that Canadians who live with their spouses or common-law partners who are inside Canada as legal visitors, workers or students can sponsor them as well. What is less known is that they can also sponsor those who are in Canada without status.
Canada since 2005 has had a public policy in which Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada will process permanent residence applications from the spouses and common-law partners of Canadian citizens and permanent residents in Canada who do not have legal immigration status. The objective of the policy is to facilitate family reunification and facilitate processing in cases where families are already residing together in Canada. It is to prevent the hardship caused by family separation.
Lack of legal immigration status includes people who overstayed visas or permits, people who worked or studied without authorization from the government to do so, people who entered in Canada without required visas and people who entered Canada without valid passports. The most typical situation involves people who travelled to Canada, became romantically involved with a Canadian, and then forgot that they needed to leave Canada by the end of their authorized stay. It also frequently occurs where people did try to extend their status in Canada, but their applications were returned due to incomplete forms or incorrect fee payments.
The public policy does not extend to those who were previously deported and returned to Canada without authorization, those who entered Canada with fraudulent or improperly obtained passports or visas and those who are facing deportation for reasons such as misrepresentation or criminality.
People submitting sponsorship applications under the public policy need to meet all other immigration requirements,Read more ›