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  • Tetiana Karbovanets, RCIC

Top 6 mistakes you can make when sponsoring your spouse to become a Canadian Permanent Resident


Each year, more than 60 thousand applicants immigrate to Canada through the spousal family sponsorship program. Although it is generally easier to meet the requirements for this program than for economic immigration programs (e.g. Express Entry), a lot of applications are being rejected or refused due to unintentional mistakes or omissions. Usually, those mistakes can be easily fixed but you would need to resubmit your application, which will result in unnecessary delays and frustration. We collected the top 6 mistakes applicants make when submitting their applications. Reading this list will save you a lot of time and energy when getting ready to submit your application.


1. Failing to include a marriage certificate


IRCC is very specific about documents they accept with the sponsorship application. Make sure that you are submitting a copy of your marriage certificate and not the marriage licence with your application. You don’t need to submit an original document unless it is listed in country-specific requirements. If you got married abroad, keep in mind that a certified translation into English or French is required.


2. Missing to pay all of the required fees


When it comes to the fees to be paid, it is important to make sure that you are not missing any of the required fees. If you are applying for a spousal work permit along with your Permanent Residency application (for in- Canada applicants), don’t forget to pay Open Work Permit Holder fee on top of your work permit processing fee to your application. Failure to pay the required fees may result in your application being rejected.


3. Sending your application to the wrong address


There are 2 immigration offices responsible for spousal sponsorship applications, depending on whether you are applying from overseas or from inside Canada. Make sure to choose the correct address in order to avoid unnecessary delays in processing. Besides, you should use a different address if you mail your application by regular post or send it by courier service.


4. Using the wrong checklist


There are different document checklists for spouses, common-law partners or conjugal partners. Selecting the wrong checklist will result in your application being rejected as incomplete. Plus, don't forget to check all of the boxes on the checklist. Even if you added a document, but forgot to check the box in the checklist, your application will be returned. Add " not applicable or N/A" next to the line that does not apply to you.


5. Not checking country-specific requirements


For some countries, there are additional document requirements for sponsorship applications. You should check the requirements for your spouse's country of residence and/or country of citizenship. If you got married in the third country, you should also check country-specific requirements for the country your marriage took place.


6. Using outdated forms


From time to time, government updates government forms required for immigration. Sometimes, preparing your application takes a while. It is crucial to always check if you are using the latest forms available before sending your application. And don’t forget to sign and date all of the forms as required.

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