Inland Spousal/Common-Law Partner Sponsorship

The inland spousal/common-law partner sponsorship program allows any Canadian citizen or permanent resident to sponsor his or her spouse of common-law partner to obtain Canadian permanent residency status in Canada if the couple had been living together in Canada.

The inland spousal/common-law partner sponsorship is not an immigration program by its own. It is a part of the Spousal Sponsorship program which falls under the Family Class immigration category. Under this program, any Canadian citizen or permanent resident may sponsor his or her spouse of common-law partner to obtain Canadian permanent residence status in Canada if the couple had been living together in Canada at the time the application is made. However, for the sponsored person to receive the permanent residence (PR) visa, both the sponsor as well as the sponsored person need to be approved by Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).

There are two components for any spousal sponsorship application, and in this case, for the inland spousal sponsorship application. They are:

  • The Canadian citizen or permanent resident applies for the sponsorship of his or her spouse or common-law partner; AND
  • The spouse or common-law partner applying for permanent residence once his or her spouse or common-law partner has applied for spousal sponsorship.

Under this program, for the application to be considered valid, the sponsored person should be having a valid temporary status in Canada. It can be a work permit, study permit, or a visitor visa. If the sponsored person already had a work or study permit in Canada at the time the application is made, then he or she may choose to continue the study or work until the permit expires. However, if the work or study expired after the application for inland sponsorship application has been made, then the applicant may apply for an open work permit.

Note: The provision for applying for an open work permit exists only in inland spousal or common-law partner sponsorship program. It is not applicable for the outland spousal or common-law partner sponsorship program.

This provision mitigates the risk of the spouse or common-law partner of the Canadian citizen or permanent resident needing to exit Canada once the work/study/visit visa is expired. And more interestingly, the sponsored person need not have a job offer from any Canadian employer to apply for the work permit. This is because the work permit issued to the applicant under inland spousal or common-law partner sponsorship program is an “open” work permit. Meaning, they can work for any Canadian employer anywhere in Canada.

The applicant is expected to apply for the open work permit alongside the application for permanent residence. However, the applicant may also choose to apply for the work permit while the application for permanent residence is in its processing stage. If required, IRCC may schedule an interview for the sponsored person before the permanent residence visa (PR visa) is issued to the applicant. The date, time, and location of the interview will be communicated by IRCC to the applicant, as well as the documents the applicant need to carry with him or her for the interview.

Despite the fact whether inland or outland sponsorship path is chosen, both the sponsor and the sponsored person is required to meet certain requirements. To learn more about these requirements, click here.

Immigration Regugess and Citizenship Canada (IRCC, formerly CIC) is committed to process spousal/common-law partner sponsorship applications as quickly as possible due to the nature of the application. The process time for these applications are 12 months or less, depending on the context of the application. To know more about intland spousal/common-law partner sponsorship process, contact us.

If you wish to know more or if you have any doubts/questions regarding this topic, you can leave us a message. Our experts will be in touch with you within 24 business hours.