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5 common mistakes found in sponsorship applications

Canadian Immigration through sponsorship is a safe and guaranteed way to obtain permanent resident status for your spouse or common law partner. The reason we call this application "safe and guaranteed" is because it does not require you to prove your skills as a skilled worker or invest in the foreign investors program.

If the sponsor and sponsored person are both staying in Canada, there is even a chance for the sponsored person to obtain an open work permit while waiting for the sponsorship application to be decided. The open work permit application and sponsorship application can be submitted simultaneously and the open work permit will be processed first.

Although the sponsorship application seems easy to compile at first glance, we often hear about sponsorship applications being returned for being incomplete. This can result in processing time delays and in some cases, the applicant may not be eligible for an open work permit anymore.

To ensure you don't get your application returned, we've listed the 5 most common mistakes found in sponsorship applications:

1. Application forms are outdated

The application forms found on Immigration Canada's website are constantly being updated. If you started to fill out the forms and you only submit your application a month later, you may have to start again as the forms you filled out may be outdated. You should always check the bottom left corner of the forms to see if they are up to date. Furthermore, you should also make sure that your application forms are validated (you will see a page with bar codes once the validation is completed).

2. Sponsored person is not eligible for an open work permit

Not all sponsorship applications allow the sponsored person to apply for an open work permit. You must differentiate between an in-land (In Canada) and out land sponsorship (applying from outside of Canada).

In order to be eligible for an open work permit, the sponsored person must have a valid status in Canada at the time of submission of the application.

3. Sponsor is not eligible to sponsor

You may not be eligible to sponsor your spouse if you have been sponsored yourself to become a permanent resident within the last 5 years. There are also financial criteria to meet if you are living outside the province of Quebec. The most common eligibility mistake is for common-law partners, where you need to have sufficient proof of cohabitation for at least 1 year.

4. In-land sponsored people cannot leave Canada

If you are applying for an in-land sponsorship (sponsored person is in Canada), then he/she cannot leave Canada while the application is processed. This is why IRCC allows for the open work permit application for in-land sponsorships.

5. Common-law relationship is not proven

For applicants and sponsors living in a common-law relationship, you have the same application rights as those who are married but since you do not have a marriage certificate, you need to make sure that you provide enough proof of relationship. This means that you should gather enough evidence to prove that you and your partner have been living together for at least 1 year before the submission of the application.

Although these 5 mistakes seem to be the most common we encounter, there may be more mistakes that you are making which you are not aware of. If you have any doubts regarding your sponsorship application, we suggest you give us a call to avoid having your file returned or refused!

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