Family Sponsorship to Canada: Inbound versus Outbound Applications

By Winnie J Luk

When applying to sponsor your spouse or family members for Permanent Residency in Canada, Citizenship and Immigration Canada ("CIC") requires that both the applications for sponsorship and permanent residence be submitted at the same time.
However, the applicant may choose to apply inside Canada (“Inbound Applications”) or outside Canada (“Outbound Applications”). There are two stages to the application. The first stage involves assessment of the Sponsor. The second stage involves assessment of the sponsored applicant. If the CIC requires it, the applicant may be selected for an interview.

Generally, Outbound Applications are preferred because they take less time to process. Stage one takes approximately one month and stage two takes eight months or more depending on the location of the application centre. The sponsored applicant is also free to travel in and out of Canada during the processing time. One disadvantage is that if the applicant is selected for an interview, s/he must travel to a designated interview centre in the country of the application. For example, the only interview centres in the US are in New York City, Detroit, Seattle, and Los Angeles. Medical examinations must be completed by a panel physician approved by the CIC. They exist in most major cities around the world, although there may be more panel physicians in Canada.

Inbound Applications often take longer. Stage one takes approximately one year or more and stage two takes approximately eight months. The waiting time for an inbound interview is approximately one year. The sponsored applicant must normally stay in Canada during the processing period and continue to renew their visitors/work permit. If the applicant leaves Canada, there is a risk of being refused re-entry and terminating the application process.

Common reason for being selected for an interview is for CIC to ask further questions and assess the a) eligibility of the sponsor, b) genuineness of the relationship. Submitting a complete application with quality supporting information and documentation may help the applicant avert interview selection.

Landmark Law Professional Corporation provides immigration consultation services and may assist in family sponsorship applications. When not in Canada, overseas applicants, are carefully guided over Skype/video chat, e-mail and phone conferencing continuously throughout the process to ensure submission of a high quality application.

Disclaimer: This article does not contain legal advice and only provides general information. It is not intended to replace advice from a qualified legal professional and should not be relied upon to make decisions. In all cases, contact your legal professional for advice on any matter referenced in this article before making decisions. Use of this article does not establish a lawyer-client relationship.

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Winnie J Luk, BA, JD, MBA, founder of Landmark Law, is a seasoned Ontario lawyer practicing in Wills and Estates, Real Estate, and Business Law and frequent speaker of free legal education seminar.