You’re from the other side of the world, and you’ve fallen in love with a Canadian. The two of you end up getting engaged and then, ultimately, married. Congratulations! However, now you have to figure out how you can move to Canada to spend the rest of your life together in wedded bliss. 

Canada Spouse Immigration

Naturally, one would be inclined to apply for a fiance visa. However, Canada does not have this. It is crucial that would-be immigrants follow the requirements as stated under the law and apply for an immigration visa beforehand. Border officers will thereby expect a spousal sponsorship application to be filed by the domestic spouse. On the part of the foreign spouse, they should have gone to the Canadian consulate in their country of origin and gotten an immigrant visa from there prior to flying to Canada. If the wedding is held in Canada or abroad, it makes no difference. The foreign spouse still has to make the application from abroad, returning to Canada as a sponsored immigrant.

Based on compassionate and humanitarian grounds, there is a procedure some married couples may choose to do for spouse immigration in Canada. It is an exemption that usually applies to a foreign spouse already in Canada based on a student or work permit. This will allow the foreign spouse to become a permanent resident without needing to fly abroad to apply for an immigrant visa. 

Since the foreign spouse has a legitimate reason to be in Canada already, the request for an exemption is considered acceptable. However, due to semantic issues, someone with a temporary resident visa or who flew in as a visitor (even from the United States and other visa-exempt countries) cannot do this.

This is due to the word visitor as defined under the terminology of Canadian immigration. People with a temporary resident visa are basically in the country for, well, a temporary period, and then fly out. It is not possible for a visitor to be able to permanently remain in Canada. Any indication of intent to stay makes the person ineligible to even be defined as a visitor, which means their entry into Canada cannot be permitted.

When a would-be foreign spouse declares that they intend to marry and apply for permanent residence within Canada, using the aforementioned inland spouse method via their Canadian spouse applying, their entry will more than likely be denied fully. Inland processing is absolutely not meant for the visa of any visitor, and is rather inappropriate. For them to be able to enter the country at all, they need to be able to prove to the border officer that it is purely a visit, and in the end, they will be leaving Canada. 

One of the best and easiest ways for this requirement to be met is through a return ticket. Additional evidence that the spouse’s life abroad was not fully abandoned is also necessary, such as proof of investments, studies, and the like.

Immigration consultants advise those travelling to Canada for Compassionate Travel purposes not to fear the process.
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Spousal immigration in Canada does not run on fiance visas because those do not exist. A foreign spouse must apply as an immigrant from abroad sponsored by their domestic spouse. The only exception is for people who are already legitimately in Canada through studies or work.

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