Demystifying 5 Myths About Spousal Canadian Citizenship

Work Permit for Spouse in Canada

Canada is the world’s second-biggest country, with abundant beautiful landscapes and exquisite sites for travelers to explore. The demand for Canadian visa applications has steadily increased in the last few years. It includes Canadian Business Visas, Tourist Visas or TRV (Temporary Resident Permit), Work Visa Sponsorship in Canada (Work Permits), Study Permits, and Work Permit for Spouse in Canada, which is known as Spousal Open Work Permit (SOWP). 

Every year plenty of individuals immigrate to Canada as spousal sponsors. Canadian citizens and permanent residents can sponsor their spouse, common-law or conjugal partner for permanent residence in Canada. At times, the confusion surrounding the complexity of the Canadian immigration process could give rise to numerous immigration myths which could misguide individuals. Let’s deflate these myths and bring up factual guidelines to circumvent people falling prey.

Myth 1: I Can Apply for Citizenship of My Spouse Only While I Am in Canada:

Canadian citizens or permanent residents can sponsor their spouses to become permanent residents of Canada. After completing three years, a permanent resident can apply for Canadian citizenship. If you are not living in Canada at the time of sponsorship application, you need to select the “Family Class” application. 

The other category of “Spouse in Canada” application should be opted for by persons living in Canada. Family class applications have been processed much faster than spousal applications recently. Both these categories are applicable when considering sponsorship for Canadian immigration with family.

Myth 2: Marrying a Canadian Warrants You Canadian Citizenship

No, one doesn’t automatically gain citizenship by marrying a Canadian citizen. The Canadian citizen needs to sponsor you to become a Permanent Resident (PR status), after which you can apply for citizenship. One can apply for Canadian citizenship if the person is a legal permanent resident of Canada and has stayed in Canada for three years (1095 days). Living with a Canadian citizen spouse outside or within Canada does not count, even if this is considered living in Canada to preserve your permanent resident status.

Myth 3: Express Entry is a Pathway to Citizenship:

No. Express Entry is an online gateway system used by individuals aspiring to immigrate to Canada and acquire Canadian Permanent Residency (PR status). It doesn’t entitle the individual to citizenship. Before becoming a Canadian citizen, you must first become a Canadian permanent resident. You will be issued a Permanent Residence (PR) card. PR cards are primarily valid for five years; however, some could be issued for one year. You need to apply for the renewal of your PR card within six months of its expiry date. To meet its residency obligation, the individual must be physically present in Canada for at least 730 days within five years. 

An individual holding a Canadian PR can access the same social benefits as any Canadian citizen, including healthcare coverage. They can exercise the right to live, work, and study anywhere in Canada and also get the use of protection under Canadian law and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. However, Canadian permanent resident cannot apply for a Canadian passport and doesn’t have the right to vote. 

Myth 4: A Cap on the Number of Spousal Sponsorship Applications Accepted by Canada for Citizenship:

There is no restriction on the number of applications received for spousal sponsorship in Canada. Canada continues to accept spousal sponsorship applications throughout the year, unlike the PGP (Parents & Grandparents Program), which has an annual cap.

Myth 5- A Spouse Needs a Job to Be Eligible for Citizenship:

Holding an employment status is not mandatory to become eligible for obtaining Canadian citizenship. Once an individual has gained Canadian citizenship or permanent residency, they have the right to sponsor their spouse to be a permanent resident of Canada. After completing three years of living, a permanent resident can apply for Canadian citizenship. It would help if you met all the standard eligibility criteria for applying for citizenship. However, holding a job is not mandatory.

Eligibility Criteria for Canadian Citizenship in a Nutshell:

  • Possess language proficiency in either one of two of Canada’s official languages-French or English
  • Possess Permanent Residency (PR) in Canada
  • Must fulfill the requirements of living in Canada as a permanent resident for a minimum of 1095 days out of the five years stay before the date of application
  • Should have filed taxes for a minimum of three years out of the last five years from the date of application and not owe any income tax

IRCC (Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada) has the right to return any application that doesn’t fulfill the above-listed criteria for citizenship application.

So, here we have addressed some common myths surrounding Canadian citizenship requirements for the spouse. Now the journey of your Canada immigration with family can be hassle-free & you can get more in-depth guidance on related matters from experienced immigration consultants.

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