Spousal Sponsorship for Canadians living outside of Canada: Income and Residency Requirements.

Spousal Sponsorship Q&A

Question: I am a Canadian Citizen. I am married to a foreign citizen. I want to sponsor him/her to Canada but I do not have a high income. The reason my income is low is because I am mostly living outside of Canada to be with my spouse. I am afraid that if I sponsor my spouse, the case will be refused if Citizenship and Immigration knows that I am not in Canada all the time and I do not have a stable job. 

Spousal Sponsorship requirements

Answer:As a general rule, you must reside in Canada and continue to do so when the person you want to sponsor and his or her family members become permanent residents. However, there is an exception to this rule. According to section 130(2) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations, a sponsor who is a Canadian citizen and does not reside in Canada may sponsor their spouse, common-law partner, conjugal partner or dependent child who has no dependent children if the sponsor will reside in Canada when the applicant becomes a permanent resident. Therefore, in as much as you are living outside of Canada presently, you will be able to sponsor your spouse as long as you can prove that you will return to Canada once your spouse acquires permanent resident status in Canada.

With respect to your income, the general rule is that you must have an income equivalent to the minimum necessary income. In your case, the minimum requirement is $26,396.00 (for the year 2009) However, there are exceptions to this rule. The exception that is applicable in your case is that when a spousal sponsorship is made, the sponsor is not required to show that he/she earns the minimum required level.

According to the Operational Manual for Overseas Processing 2, section 10.3:“Sponsors of dependent children and of spouses, common-law partners or conjugal Partners (unless they have dependent children who have dependent children of their own) do not have to meet financial requirements, but they do undertake to provide for the basic necessities of the sponsored applicants so that the applicants do not need social assistance.”

Therefore, you do not have to prove that you earn the minimum necessary income in order to sponsor your spouse but you will have to sign an undertaking to provide for the basic necessities of your spouse under spousal sponsorship.

Any information provided here does not constitute legal advice and is intended for general information only. Should you require legal advise, you are encouraged to contact a lawyer directly. All blog postings are public and are not subject to solicitor/client confidentially. Case results depend on a variety of factors unique to each case, and case results do not guarantee or predict a similar result in any further case undertaken by the lawyer.

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About Fadi Minawi

Fadi is a graduate of the University of Toronto and the University of Toledo College of Law. He is called to the New York State Bar and is registered as a Foreign Legal Consultant with the Law Society of Upper Canada. He is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) and is currently serving as the Media Liaison for the Canadian Chapter of AILA. Fadi has extensive experience in US immigration matters and is the firm’s lead in the area of US immigration. He is specialized in corporate and family immigration, as well as issues dealing with US inadmissibility.

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