SOURCE: Sas and Ing

February 01, 2016 10:00 ET

Vancouver Immigration Lawyers Sas & Ing Advises Spousal Sponsors Have Many Options When Partner Is in Canada

Vancouver Immigration Lawyers, Sas & Ing, Barristers & Solicitors, Immigration Law Centre Counsels Spouses With Partners in Canada to Consider Both Inland Spousal and Family Class Sponsorship

VANCOUVER, BC--(Marketwired - February 01, 2016) - According to Vancouver immigration lawyer Catherine Sas, Family Class sponsorship should be one of two options spousal sponsorship applicants consider when trying to keep their partner in Canada permanently.

Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) advises that spouses with partners in Canada use the Inland Spousal sponsorship category, but they're also able to use the Family Class category, which is the main route for spouses who are currently in another country.

Sas, who is an expert in Canadian immigration law, explained that sponsors can and should consider both options-even when your spouse is already in Canada.

The differences between the Family Class and the Inland Spousal categories are complex, but Sas and her British Columbia (BC) immigration law team are eager to explain the differences to prospective applicants.

Family Class and Inland Spousal sponsorship

The Family Class category is the traditional immigration program to sponsor your spouse from outside of Canada. If your spouse is from a country that requires a visa to come to Canada, it's your only option. 

However, if your spouse is able to come to Canada, you have a choice between applying under either the Family Class or the Inland Spousal category. 

Until recently, the Family Class was a much speedier processing option, and in many cases, still is. However, you're not eligible to work in Canada while you're waiting for processing. You're able to travel in and out of Canada while your application is in process and if the case is refused for any reason, you have a right of appeal to the Immigration Appeal Division (IAD). 

In contrast, the Inland Spousal category was meant to sponsor spouses who were in Canada and hadn't seriously breached parts of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA).

Currently, wait times for internal spousal sponsorship can take up to two years. The processing time involves police clearances, medicals and security checks.

The policy also allowed for spouses in Canada to apply for a work permit. However, until a positive determination on the application, no work permit would be issued. Another difference is that if your application is refused, there is no right of appeal to the IAD.

Although processing times have been slower for Inland sponsorship than the Family Class, spouses were able to be together in Canada. As a result of the significant delays in processing Inland Spousal applications, CIC introduced a pilot project in late 2014 to issue open spousal work permits within four months of application and prior to any decision being made on the merits of the application. 

Whether this pilot project will be extended, cancelled or formalized into a permanent program is yet to be decided.

With the introduction of the work permit pilot project for Inland applicants combined with the slower processing for Family Class applicants, sponsors need to consider both options carefully when deciding which program is best for their specific circumstances.

Catherine Sas, Q.C. is a Vancouver immigration lawyer who has over 25 years of legal experience. For more information go to , or email her at .

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