How to immigrate to Canada as a couple

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Canada, known for its diversity and opportunities, welcomes couples who wish to make it their new home. Whether you’re engaged, married, or in a common-law relationship, there are various immigration pathways tailored to accommodate couples. Below, we outline the key routes couples can take to immigrate to Canada together.

Spousal Sponsorship

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Spousal sponsorship stands as one of the most effective ways for couples to immigrate to Canada. This option is ideal if one partner is already residing in Canada as a citizen or permanent resident, or if they are a citizen or permanent resident themselves.

Eligibility Criteria for Sponsors

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– The sponsor must be at least 18 years old.
– They must be a Canadian permanent resident or citizen.
– They should not be imprisoned, bankrupt, under a removal order (for permanent residents), or charged with a serious offense.
– The sponsor should not have sponsored a spouse to Canada within the last 5 years.

Proof of Relationship

The relationship must be proven under one of the following categories:

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– Spouse: Legally married with valid documentation.
– Common-law Partner: Cohabited continuously for at least one year.
– Conjugal Partner: Partners in a mutually dependent relationship for at least one year, unable to qualify under other categories due to exceptional circumstances.

Express Entry

Express Entry manages three main immigration programs: the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP), the Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP), and the Canadian Experience Class (CEC).

Application Process

– The main applicant can list their partner as a dependent.
– Alternatively, the partner can apply as a secondary applicant, creating their own profile.

Considerations

– Declaration of dependents affects the proof of settlement funds.
– CRS score calculation may vary depending on the application strategy.

Provincial Nominee Program (PNP)

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PNP is offered by nearly every province and territory in Canada.

Application Strategy

– The partner with stronger qualifications should apply as the main candidate.
– The other partner can be declared as a dependent.

Alternative Approach

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– Both partners can apply separately and withdraw one application upon receiving an ITA.

Open Work Permit for Spouses

Spouses and partners of Canadian citizens or permanent residents can obtain an open work permit during the sponsorship application process.

Eligibility

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– Applicants must have submitted a permanent residence application or a sponsorship application.
– They must have a valid temporary resident status in Canada or be eligible for restoration of status.

Conclusion

Immigrating to Canada as a couple offers numerous opportunities for a fresh start in a welcoming environment. By understanding and navigating the various immigration programs available, couples can embark on a journey to build a new life together in Canada. Whether through spousal sponsorship, Express Entry, the Provincial Nominee Program, or obtaining an open work permit, the path to Canadian immigration for couples is diverse and accommodating.

Finally, while the process may seem daunting, with the right information and guidance, couples can successfully navigate their way to starting a new chapter of their lives in the Great White North.

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