“Which is faster, Inland vs. Outland Spousal Sponsorship Canada?”
The Canadian government provides immigration routes for spouses of Canadian permanent residents and citizens. This includes two specific types of Canadian spousal sponsorship programs: inland spousal sponsorship and outland spousal sponsorship.
As a Canadian permanent resident or citizen, you can use one of these programs to help your spouse get permanent residence in Canada. However, you must be careful in choosing because these immigration routes differ in a few ways.
For 80% of applications, both inland and outland have a standard processing time of 12 months. But there are a few things that may affect the processing times.
In this guide, we will go over both the inland and outland spousal sponsorship routes to help you determine which is suitable for your spouse.
Inland Spousal Sponsorship:
Pros: Sponsored spouse can stay and work in Canada during the application process, the potential for faster reunification.
Cons: Both partners must remain in Canada during processing, limited travel for the sponsoring partner, and possible work permit restrictions.
Outland Spousal Sponsorship:
Pros: Sponsoring partner can travel outside Canada during processing, both partners don’t need to be in Canada, no work permit restrictions.
Cons: Sponsored spouse must reside outside Canada; may take longer for reunification.
What is Inland Spousal Sponsorship?
The inland spousal sponsorship route is for Canadian citizens or permanent residents with foreign spouses who currently reside in Canada. These spouses are usually present in the country under a valid temporary resident status such as a work permit, student visa, or temporary visitor visa.
Such people will be required to leave Canada once their status expires unless they have been granted permanent residence. However, spouses whose permanent resident applications are currently being processed can apply for a particular work permit that allows them to stay and work in Canada until they receive their application decision.
You can sponsor your foreign spouse for permanent residence under this method if the following requirements are met:
You are a Canadian citizen or a Canadian permanent resident
You and your spouse are both at least 18 years old
You can financially support your spouse and provide for their basic needs
You can ensure your spouse won’t require financial assistance from the Canadian government
You and your spouse are living together in Canada
Sponsor your Spouse or Partner for Canadian Immigration
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What is Outland Spousal Sponsorship?
In many respects, the outland spousal sponsorship route is similar to the inland route. However, the critical difference is that your spouse must be residing outside Canada when they apply for permanent residence. The eligibility requirements are also essentially the same, except that you and your spouse aren’t currently living together.
Inland vs Outland Sponsorship Canada: Which is Better?
Most people won’t have a choice between choosing inland and outland sponsorship, depending on where their spouse currently resides. However, if your spouse is already in Canada, they can choose between following the inland or outland sponsorship route. In this situation, you might be wondering which is better. We have described various scenarios to help you understand the pros and cons of each type below.
Staying in Canada and/or Working While the Application is Processing
The inland sponsorship route is better if you want your spouse to continue staying with you in Canada while their application is processed. In this scenario, your spouse can also apply for a work permit and work in Canada.
Getting Permanent Residence Quickly
In the past, IRCC processed inland and outland spousal sponsorship applications at approximately the same rate. They began giving inland spousal sponsorship applications priority during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, as of March 2022, they have returned to processing both types of applications at the same rate.
So you and your spouse can expect to receive a decision from IRCC within 12 months regardless of whether they have applied using the inland or outland route.
Having the Option of Travelling Outside Canada While Your Spouse’s Application is Processing
If your spouse chooses to apply using the inland sponsorship route, you won’t be allowed to leave Canada until IRCC reaches their decision on the application. This is due to the requirement that you and your spouse must be living together while the application is processed.
This means you won’t be able to travel outside Canada for business or recreation for a full year until your spouse receives their application decision. Therefore, it may be better for your spouse to apply using the outland sponsorship route if you must travel outside Canada while the application is processing.
Outland Spousal Sponsorship To Reunite With Your Partner
Now you know the difference between Inland vs Outland Spousal Sponsorship Canada. If you plan to sponsor your foreign spouse for permanent residence, contact our experts at ELAAR Immigration. Our specialized team of Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants is familiar with both the inland and outland spousal sponsorship processes and can guide you on the best optimal immigration route for your spouse.