Canada’s Family Class Sponsorship Program allows its citizens to bring their foreign families with them into the country. One subcategory of this program is the Spousal Sponsorship Program, a program that helps citizens reunite with their spouses in Canada.

People who are eligible for this program are those who have Canadian citizenship or permanent resident status. There are two types of application processes for this, which are the inland and outland applications. The most common one is the outland application.

What is Outland Application?

An outland application is one type of spousal sponsorship process that allows citizens living in Canada to sponsor their spouses to migrate into the country. As the name implies, it applies to beneficiaries who are residing outside Canada.

Here are some basic things you should know about outland application:

1. Your spouse can go in and out of Canada while the application is in process

Your spouse is allowed to travel in and out of the country as a visitor while the application is ongoing. They will only need a valid visitor visa to visit if they come from a country that necessitates a visa for visiting Canada.

However, having a valid visa doesn’t wholly guarantee an entry. They will still be treated and processed like a regular foreign visitor. Officers can refuse their entry if it seems necessary.

2. Application is processed through a visa office

Unlike with an inland application, outland applications are processed through the visa office which serves your spouse’s geographical region. This is why it is relatively faster than inland applications. Generally, its processing time will take about 12 months.

The processing time may take longer, depending on how many applications are being processed at the visa office. Before submitting your application requirements, double-check your documents, making sure they are complete and correct.

3. You can appeal your denied application

In an event where your spousal sponsorship application has been rejected, you can appeal your application to the Immigration Appeal Division of the Immigration & Refugee Board of Canada (IRB). You would need a copy of the refusal notice sent by the visa office to your spouse to process your appeal.

Before you send your appeal application, it is important that you know why your application got denied in the first place. Most commonly, the officers deny requests if they believe or have found evidence that the marriage is not genuine.

4. Your spouse’s visitor visa doesn’t allow them to work legally 

Whether your spouse has travelled to Canada with or without a visa, they would not be allowed to take jobs. As mentioned previously, they will be treated as regular visitors, and visitors cannot work with their visitor visas as well.

Instead, you can use this time to tour them around the country. Take this as an opportunity to spend time together while you are both waiting for your spousal sponsorship application result.


Canada is one of the countries that give the best benefits and opportunities for immigrants. Many foreign nationals are continually coming to Canada to find stable work. As such, the population of foreign families in Canada is growing as well.

The spousal sponsorship program is just one of the several programs that Canada has made to help reunite citizens or permanent residents with their spouses outside the country. If you are preparing to submit a spousal sponsorship application in Canada, you should look for an immigration advisor for assistance.

Looking for professional help from a trusted firm? Please contact our immigration consultants in Toronto at or call 1-888-404-8472.

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