Spouse Sponsorship to Canada from Portugal
Family reunification is one of the major goals of the Canadian Immigration system. Every year, many thousands of spouses and partners start a new life together in Canada, including several thousand on Spousal Sponsorship to Canada from Portugal.
Spousal sponsorship from Portugal to Canada is one of the main ways Canada achieves its objective of bringing families together. Canada welcomes over 80,000 new immigrants through family based visas every year, with Portugal being a very popular source of Canada visa spousal sponsorships.
Via the family based spousal sponsorship Canada from Portugal visa system, Canadian citizens and permanent residents are able to apply to sponsor their spouse, common-law partner, or conjugal partner from Portugal to obtain Canadian permanent residence. The Department of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) recognizes same-sex relationships.
Is the Spouse Sponsorship to Canada Application made in Portugal or in Canada?
If the sponsor is a full Canadian Citizen then the application can be made outside of Canada, in Portugal or elsewhere.
If the sponsor is a Canadian Permanent Resident (and not yet a Citizen), the application cannot be made in Portugal and must be lodged in Canada. If you are a Canadian citizen currently living abroad such as in Portugal, you will need to demonstrate to IRCC you intend to live in Canada with your partner from Portugal upon them gaining permanent residence. Permanent residents looking to sponsor their partner from Portugal must reside in Canada at the time of submitting their sponsorship application.
How to sponsor your spouse from Portugal
The eligibility criteria to sponsor your loved one from Portugal is as follows:
- You must be at least 18 years old
- You must be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident
- You must not be on Government benefits (apart from disability)
- You must show you can meet the financial needs of your loved one in Canada, via form 5532
- Sponsored individuals from Portugal must be at least 18 years old
A Canadian Citizen or Permanent resident can sponsor these categories of partners for immigration:
- Spouse: This means your Portugal partner is legally married to you.
- Common-law partner: This means your Portugal partner is not legally married to you, but has been living with you for at least 12 consecutive months.
- Conjugal partner: This means your Portugal partner is not legally married to you, has been in a relationship with you for at least one year, resides outside of Canada in Portugal or elsewhere, and is unable to marry you due to a cultural, religious, or legal obstacle.
How to submit your sponsorship application for your spouse from Portugal
You need to submit two spousal sponsorship applications for your Portugal spouse to the IRCC at the same time.
- sponsorship application
- permanent residence application
Step 1: Confirm you meet the eligibility criteria to sponsor your spouse from Portugal
Step 2: Get the application package from the IRCC’s website
Step 3: Pay all required fees on IRCC’s website. Examples of fees include processing, right of permanent residence, and biometrics fees for you Portugal spouse
Step 4: Send both applications together to IRCC by post
Once the IRCC approves the application to sponsor your spouse from Portugal for Canada Immigration , you and your partner must fulfill certain obligations. You are financially responsible for your loved one from Portugal for at least three years. Your partner from Portugal is not allowed to sponsor another person for five years after they obtain Canadian permanent residence.
Spousal Sponsorship Canada from Portugal Checklist
The first step in Spousal Sponsorship Canada from Portugal is to make sure you are eligible
Are you a Canadian citizen, or permanent resident? Are you over the age of 18? Can you financially provide for your spouse from Portugal, any dependent children, and yourself? These are some of the basic questions that determine your eligibility for Spousal Sponsorship Canada from Portugal. From here, things get a little more specific. For instance, you can sponsor your partner from outside Canada in Portugal yet only if you have full citizenship status. You also have to show in your application that you plan to settle in Canada (not Portugal) when your spouse from Portugal gets permanent residency status. Unlike Canadian Citizens, Permanent Residents cannot sponsor their spouse from outside of Canada.
Financial Requirements for Spousal Sponsorship Canada from Portugal
The Sponsor cannot be receiving Government social assistance unless it’s disability benefit, or maternity, parental, or sickness assistance. In most cases, there is no minimum income cut off for sponsoring spouses from Portugal, common-law partners, and children. There will only usually be an income assessment if your Spouse from Portugal has a dependent child who of their own.
What can make me ineligible for Spousal Sponsorship Canada from Portugal
Certain circumstances could make you ineligible to sponsor your Spouse from Portugal to Canada. As well as violent criminal offenses, you could also be ineligible for other reasons such as bankruptcy, or if you sponsored a previous spouse within three years of your application.
If you were a sponsored spouse from Portugal now with Canadian permanent residency, you cannot sponsor a new spouse within five years of your landing in the country.
Once you confirm your own eligibility, the next step is to make sure that your partner in Portugal is also admissible to Canada.
Is my spouse from Portugal eligible to be sponsored?
- Your spouse from Portugal must be over the age of 18, and pass background, security, as well as medical checks.
- The IRCC will check to see that your spouse from Portugal is admissible. People with criminal convictions from Portugal or elsewhere are generally refused.
- The IRCC will want to be assured you and your partner from Portugal are in a genuine relationship.
Onshore vs Offshore sponsorship for residents of Portugal
We reached out to leading Canada Immigration Expert, Alexander King of Migration Consultant LLC for the lowdown on the Partner Visa Process. Accourding to King, “if your partner is residing in Portugal during the spousal sponsorship application process, you will be considered an offshore applicant. Canadian citizens can live in Portugal while the Spousal Sponsorship from Portugal is being processed. If you are only a Permanent Resident of Canada you must make the application while in Canada. Even if you are a Canadian Citizen living in Portugal looking to sponsor your spouse or partner you must demonstrate clearly your intention to move to Canada after the visas have been granted.
If you and your partner from Portugal are already living in Canada, you will usually be classed as an onshore Spousal Sponsorship case. The benefit of an inshore application is that your spouse from Portugal may be eligible for an Open Work Permit while the case is being processed.
What documents do you need from Portugal
- Birth certificates and any death certificates need to be the original certifications issued by Portugal and on official paper.
- If there is no record of birth registration in Portugal the IRCC will accept copies of Portugal baptismal certificate, hospital or medical birth records, Portugal school records, old passports, or the birth certificate issued by the local civil registrar in Portugal.
- If you were married in Portugal, you will need the original marriage certificate. If you are not married then your partner will need a Certificate of no record of marriage.
What happens after the application is lodged?
The processing of your Spousal Sponsorship Canada from Portugal begins once the IRCC receives your completed application and documents. The Spousal Sponsorship Canada visa processing time is 12 months.
During this time the IRCC asks for biometrics and a medical for the spouse, and may request an in-person interview at any time. It is possible to track and update your application online. The last step is to complete the landing process. After that, you have officially immigrated to Canada via Spousal Sponsorship Canada from Portugal.