In our office, spousal and common-law partner sponsorships are one of the most popular types of applications that get submitted for PR in Canada.
In addition to representing clients and walking them through the application process step by step, we also offer a review service to make recommendations on sponsorship applications that people have already completed.
Here are the most common mistakes that we have found people make on their In-Canada class spousal sponsorship or common-law sponsorship applications:
1. Not including most recent Canadian entry stamp AND copy of flight itinerary to show current status in Canada
The biggest benefit of submitting an In-Canada class sponsorship application is that the principal applicant can get a two-year open work permit.
BUT, in order to be eligible to receive the work permit, the applicant MUST demonstrate that they have valid temporary status in Canada (as a visitor, worker, or student) at the time that the sponsorship and work permit applications are received by IRCC.
If you do not demonstrate that your status in Canada is valid, your work permit application can be refused.
These days, CBSA is not making this any easier as many, many temporary residents of Canada are not receiving a stamp in their passport showing the date of their last entry. If you are entering Canada, you can just ask CBSA to stamp your passport. But if you forget, don’t worry.
Include a copy of your flight itinerary to show the date you departed and the date that you arrived in Canada. We also recommend including an explanation of why you don’t have an entry stamp just to make sure there is no doubt that you are in valid status and eligible for your work permit.
2. Not including ALL step-children, step-siblings, and half-siblings on the Additional Family Info form (IMM5406)
If the sponsor has children, don’t forget this makes them the principal applicant’s step children and they should be included on the family info form.
If the principal applicant has half or step-siblings, make sure they’re included on the form and specified as half-siblings – no one should be left off the form.
3. If your native language does not use the Latin alphabet (Chinese, Russian, Vietnamese, Urdu, Hindi to name a few), make sure to write all names on the Additional Family Info form IMM5406 in their native language.
This is a tricky one – if you leave the native language off of the form, the application will be returned as incomplete.
Make sure that the names of all family members listed are written in the native language. If you don’t have the characters of the native language on your computer, you can write them in by hand after you have printed out the form.
4. Not making sure that the sponsor’s employment history and address history go back the full 5 years on the relationship info form IMM5532
A really common mistake that people make is either leaving gaps in the history or not taking the history back far enough.
Even a gap of one month can cause the entire application to be deemed ‘incomplete’ and returned. All historical accounts should be included with no gaps in between the occurrences.
For example, if you finished one job in April and then started a new one in June, you would still need to include that during the month of May you were unemployed.
5. Make sure that any previous application refusals are discussed in the Schedule A form IMM5669
No matter the reason for any previous refusal of an application such as a refused visitor visa or work permit, this refusal MUST be disclosed on the Schedule A form.
Failure to disclose a prior refusal could lead the applicant into the territory of misrepresentation, which is the absolute worst case scenario in Canadian immigration. Those found to have misrepresented face a 5-year bar from becoming a permanent resident. Don’t ever do it!
6. Translations MUST meet all of the requirements for Canadian immigration, regardless of where they were done. This includes a certified copy of the original foreign-language document and translator’s declaration as necessary.
Problems with translations happen most frequently when translations are done outside Canada. Translation services in Canada can be very expensive, so having the documents translated in their country of issue can sometimes save a lot of money especially if you have a lot of documents to translate.
However, translators abroad frequently are not familiar with the Canadian government requirements. If you submit an application with translations that do not meet the requirements, the application can be returned or you can be required to provide new ones.
The easiest way to avoid translation problems is to use a certified Canadian translator. If you still want to use a translator who is not certified, make sure you are completely clear on the requirements.
7. Making sure that you have enough proof that you reside together, and that you have done so for at least one year if you are common-law partners.
It’s extremely common for applicants and sponsors to live together with other family members such as parents or siblings, or even other roommates, in order to save money on rent. This is not a problem for your sponsorship application.
However, you do need to show that you currently live together and confirm how long this has been the case.
If you do not have a formal lease, your landlord can write a letter confirming when you moved in together even if they are your family member.
If you decide to have one of our consultants review your In-Canada sponsorship application, they will go over all documents, forms, and relationship evidence in detail and provide you with written notes for changes and improvements which can make your application stronger and keep it from being returned.
The cost for sponsorship application review is $595 + HST.