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    Outland Sponsorship

    This sponsorship program allows a Canadian citizen or permanent resident to sponsor their spouse/common-law partner for permanent resident status, regardless of where the spouse is currently residing.

    The Spousal Sponsorship program is a subsection of the Family Class immigration category. Under this program, a Canadian or permanent resident may sponsor their spouse/common-law partner for permanent resident status in Canada. Both the Canadian citizen or permanent resident (the sponsor) and the foreign national (the sponsored person) must be approved by Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC, formerly CIC) for the sponsored person to receive a visa.

    There are two parts to the spousal sponsorship application:

    • The Canadian or permanent resident applies to sponsor their spouse or common-law partner; and
    • The spouse or common-law partner uses for permanent residence.

    The Outland sponsorship route is generally chosen when the sponsored person lives outside Canada. However, it is possible for a spouse/common-law partner living in Canada to apply through the Outland program. This option may permit the sponsored person to travel throughout Canada throughout the application process. However, it is at the discretion of Canadian immigration authorities as to whether the sponsored person may re-enter Canada during the process.

    Outland applications are processed through the visa office that serves the applicant’s country of origin or resided legally for at least one year. Processing times are listed by individual countries where the application is being made, which allows couples to make better-informed decisions on which sponsorship route, Inland or Outland, they should pursue.

    In cases of spousal and common-law partner sponsorships, IRCC is committed to issuing visas as quickly as possible to reunite families rapidly. Therefore, IRCC aims to process applications submitted through this program within 12 months.

    Regardless of the sponsorship path chosen, both the sponsor and the sponsored person must meet several specific requirements to be considered eligible.

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