The Canadian immigration system gives priority to bringing families together for its permanent residents, allowing Canadian citizens to sponsor their spouse, common-law partner, or children to reside with them in the Land of Opportunity. 

Programs like the Spousal Sponsorship falls under the Family Class category, and the immigration system is one of the best in the world, it is still a complex process. There are various qualifications and requirements that the sponsor and the one being sponsored need to meet, all of which can be time-consuming. 

Understanding the Difference Between Inland and Outland Spousal Sponsorship in Canada 

A spousal sponsorship counts married couples that include both opposite and same-sex relationships. There are other ways to be eligible too, such as common-law partnership and conjugal partnership. Both require you to provide proof of living together for a minimum of 12 consecutive months, but there are also other factors to consider. 

There are two terms that describe the appropriate application you should submit: outland sponsorship and inland sponsorship.

What is Inland Sponsorship?

This refers to the sponsored person who lives in Canada with the sponsor under temporary status, be it as a worker, student, or visitor. Inland sponsorship applications must be directed to the IRRC’s Case Processing Centre in Mississauga, Ontario, wherein both couples can appeal to live together as permanent citizens. 

One of the best benefits of inland sponsorship is that the sponsored person can continue to work in Canada while the application is under review, so long as the work permit is still valid. 

What is Outland Sponsorship? 

On the other hand, outland sponsorship describes the person being sponsored as someone residing outside Canada. It’s the most common situation for most applicants, wherein Canadian citizens are hoping to bring their foreign partners to Canada. In this case, all applications must be submitted to the IRCC’s Case Processing Centre in Sydney, Nova Scotia. 

One of the advantages of outland sponsorship is that the processing time is significantly shorter compared to inland sponsorship applications, which is why people who are eligible for inland sponsorship also pursue outland sponsorship. 

How Long Does a Spousal Sponsorship in Canada Take? 

The waiting time is always the killer when it comes to anticipating the results from your spousal sponsorship application. There’s no clear-cut benchmark for the exact processing time as it varies from application to application, though it generally stretches for 12 months for spouses, common-law partners, and conjugal partners. 

Outland sponsorship often takes between 15 to 18 months from 2011 to 2016, while inland sponsorship can last for as long as 27 months. Fortunately, the government was able to streamline the processing time for spousal sponsorship in 2017 and now has an average of 12 months for both types of spousal sponsorship. 

Spousal Sponsorship
Spousal Sponsorship

The Bottom Line: Understanding the Process Partner Sponsorship to Canada 

The immigration process for spousal sponsorship is rarely a straightforward one, which is why it helps to have a professional by your side to guide you through the complex forms and documentation for a smooth-sailing experience. 

If you’re looking for professional help from a trusted immigration firm in Canada, please contact us at or call 1-888-404-8472.

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