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Family Class (Sponsorship):

What is spouse, common-law partner or conjugal partner?

Spouse - A spouse is defined as a life partner in a committed relationship who is of the opposite or same sex/gender. This person is married to you and the marriage is legally recognized both in Canada and in the country where it took place. CIC (Citizenship and Immigration Canada) has begun recognizing same-sex marriages in processing immigration applications. It only applies to couples where one spouse is a Canadian citizen/permanent resident and to those who marry in Canada.

Common-law partner - A common-law partner is defined as a life partner in a committed relationship who has been continuously living together for at least one year. This person can be either opposite or same sex/gender. This is often referred as a domestic partner or civil partner in certain countries.

Conjugal partner - A conjugal partner is defined as a life partner in a committed relationship for at least one year. No cohabitation is required but a relationship must be interdependent in physical, financial, emotional, and social aspects. This person can be either opposite or same sex/gender. Conjugal partner sponsorship is used to sponsor a foreigner who is unable to either get married or live with a sponsor for at least one year due to a visa requirement. In other words, a foreign partner cannot be from a visitor visa exemption country. Examples of conjugal partners can be same-sex couples who are legally barred from getting married or opposite-sex couples where one of them is legally married and unable to get divorced. Opposite-sex couples who can get married are most likely unable to apply as conjugal partners.

Who is a dependent child?

Dependent child - A dependent child is a blood-related child or adopted child under 22 years old. The only exceptions are physically or mentally disabled children, or full-time college/university students who are financially dependent on their parents.

What is sponsorship eligibility?

In order to sponsor a foreign national, a sponsor (Canadian citizen/permanent resident of Canada) must:-
      •      be 18+ years old.
      •      be a Canadian citizen living in Canada or abroad.
      •      be a permanent resident (formally called landed immigrant) of Canada living in Canada
      •      sign an undertaking agreement to support a sponsored person (foreign national), and have sufficient income to provide basic requirements for a sponsored person.
      •      not be receiving social assistance for any reason other than disability and/or short-term unemployment benefits.
      •      not be in default of any financial undertaking, immigration loan performance bond, or family support payments.
      •      not be in undischarged bankruptcy.
      •      not have been convicted of a sexual offence or an offence involving family violence (unless you were granted a pardon or five years have passed since the completion of your sentence.)
      •      not be under a removal order.
      •      not be detained in a penitentiary, jail reformatory, or prison.
      •      not have been convicted of a serious criminal offence (punishable by a maximum term of imprisonment of at least 10 years).
      •      not have provided false information to CIC (Citizenship and Immigration Canada).

What is LICO?

LICO stands for Low Income Cut-Off. You don't have to meet LICO if you sponsor your spouse/common-law partner/conjugal partner and/or dependent child. However, you do need to meet LICO in order to sponsor your parents, grandparents, grandchildren, orphan brother/sister under 18 years old, orphan niece/nephew under 18 years old, or any blood related relative regardless of the age if you have no relative in Canada.

Size of Family Unit      Minimum Necessary Income
1 person (the sponsor)      $22,637
2 persons      $28,182
3 persons      $36,646
4 persons      $42,065
5 persons      $47,710
6 persons      $53,808
7 persons      $59,907
For each additional person      $6,099

Can I sponsor my sibling (brother/sister)?

If your sibling is an orphan under 18 years (unmarried and not in a common-law union relationship), you can sponsor your sibling (if you are eligible). If your sibling is older than 18 years old, your sibling can try to immigrate based on their own merit as a Skilled Worker/(Independent) or other business categories such as Entrepreneur, Investor, or Self-employed. If your sibling applies as a skilled worker/independent or self-employed, they receive five bonus points for having a relative in Canada under Adaptability.

Can I obtain a fiance visa and come to Canada?

There is no fiance visa category in the Immigration Refugee Protection Act and Regulations. The only categories available are spouse, common-law partner and conjugal partner.

What kind of relationship documents should I submit?

You should submit your marriage certificate, domestic partnership registration, joint house ownership/apartment lease, joint mortgage statement, joint bank account statement, joint credit card statement, joint phone and utility bills, joint recreational memberships, joint health insurance, life insurance, Will, Power of Attorney, pictures, letters from your family and friends stating the relationship, proof of taking trips together such as boarding passes, etc. Please keep in mind that each and every relationship is unique and different, so you may not have everything that is listed above, but you may have other documents that are equally appropriate for documenting your relationship.

What is relationship of convenience (bad faith)?

A relationship of convenience is a marriage, common-law relationship, conjugal partnership or an adoption that is not genuine or was entered into primarily for the purpose of acquiring any status or privileges under the Immigration Refugee Protection Act and Regulations. Individuals involved in a relationship of convenience will not qualify under members of the family class.

I am in a common-law/conjugal partner relationship. Does it strengthen my case to get married?

Not necessarily. Sponsorship is determined by an immigration application with sufficient supporting relationship documentation. For example, a common-law/conjugal partner sponsorship application with the appropriate relationship documents will have a better chance of success than a spouse sponsorship application without enough supporting relationship documentation.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of applying the In Canada or the Outside Canada Applications?

If you live outside of Canada, you must apply under the Outside Canada Application. If you live in Canada, you have the option to apply under either the In Canada Application or the Outside Canada Application. There are advantages and disadvantages to both.

There is no right of appeal to IAD (Immigration Appeal Division) under the In Canada Application. In other words, you need to reapply if your application gets denied. There is a right of appeal to IAD under the Outside Canada Application giving you the right to appeal.
The In Canada Application allows an applicant to stay in Canada by renewing their temporary status. In Canada Application also allows an applicant to apply for a work and/or study permit in the middle of the application process (usually after 5-6 months). The Outside Canada Application does not have this option and an applicant may not be able to stay in Canada if they do not obtain permanent resident status before their temporary status expire. The Outside Canada Applications are often processed at a faster speed compared to the In Canada Applications. It is important to analyze your case and submit the most advantageous application.

What is the definition of marriage?

Skilled Worker (Independent):

I am confused by the points system. Is there a chart that explains the points allocation?

Fill out your online assessment form

I don't have enough points. What can I do to improve my points?

You can improve your points by:-
      •      obtaining a higher education
      •      working more years in an occupation under NOC (National Occupational Classification)
      •      improving your English and/or French language proficiency
      •      working in Canada on a HRSDC, NAFTA/CCFTA or GATS work permit
      •      obtaining an AEO (Arranged Employment Opinion) - if you are outside of Canada

Do I have to take IELTS, CELPIP and/or TEF?

Skilled worker/independent principal applicants should take IELTS (International English Language Testing System), CELPIP (Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program) and/or TEF (Test d'Evaluation de Francais) if their native languages are not English or French. If you submit your application package without the test results, your application package may be sent back to you because your visa officer may not be able to determine your language proficiency.

I am currently working in Canada. Do I obtain points under arranged employment?

You can only obtain points under arranged employment if you are working on a HRSDC work permit or international agreement work permit such as NAFTA/CCFTA or GATS as well as a Postgraduate work permit (for recent graduates who have studied in Canada). You can also obtain points under arranged employment if your arranged job is confirmed by HRSDC. The work permit must be valid at the time of application and when the permanent resident visa is issued.

What is NOC (National Occupational Classification) occupation?

An applicant needs to have work experience (within the last 10 years) of Skill Type 0, Skill Level A, or B under NOC (National Occupational Classification) in order to apply as a skilled worker/independent. If an applicant does not have at least one year of work experience of Skill Type 0, Skill Level A, or B under NOC, their application will be refused.

How much funds do I have to have?

Number of Family Members Funds Required (CAN)

Number of Family Members Funds Required (CAN)
1      $ 10,168
2      $ 12,659
3      $ 15,563
4      $ 18,895
5      $ 21,431
6      $ 24,170
7 or more      $ 26,910 The funds must be available and transferable (such as cash, stocks, bonds, certificates of deposit, etc.) and be unencumbered by debts or other obligations. You do not have to show that you have these funds if you have arranged employment in Canada.

Entrepreneur and Investor:

What does CIC consider as Business Experience?

An entrepreneur and investor applicant must have managed and controlled a "qualifying business" for at least two years within the last five years (period before the date of application or decision of permanent resident visa). "Qualifying business" does not mean a business of deriving investment income (interest, dividend or capital gains) and the business must meet at least two of the following attributes:

Number of full-time jobs      At least two full-time job equivalents
Total annual sales      $500,000 (CAN)
Annual net income      $50,000 (CAN)
Net assets      $125,000 (CAN)

Which category should I apply? Entrepreneur or Investor?

An advantage of applying as an investor is that you will receive permanent residency without any conditions attached. You don't have to establish your business or maintain it. In other words, an investor can "retire" in Canada as long as having made an investment of $400,000 (CAD). However it requires you to have at least $800,000 (CAN). If you have less than $800,000 (CAN) but at least $300,000 (CAN) and plan to manage your business or partnership, apply as an entrepreneur.

Can Entrepreneur manage/establish any type of business?

Yes, as long as it is not primarily targeted at deriving profits from passive investments.

Is my investment refundable if I don't receive an Investor visa?

Yes, CIC (Citizenship and Immigration Canada) refunds your investment if your case is unsuccessful.

Can I immigrate to retire in Canada?

Yes and no. There is no retiree immigration category so the closest category for those who have enough money to invest to retire would be the Investor category. If you immigrate to Canada as an investor, you do not have to establish or maintain a business. In other words, an investor can "retire" in Canada as long as having made an investment of $400,000 (CAD). Skilled workers have the option not to work if they have enough money to "retire" in Canada.


What does CIC consider as Relevant Experience?

A self-employed applicant must have self-employment experience in the fields of culture, athletics or farm management for more than two years within the last five years (period before the date of application or decision of permanent resident visa). This does not apply to those who have participated in a world-class level in cultural or athletics activities for more than two years within the last five years.

I own a small business. Can I immigrate under the self-employed category?

Not necessarily. Only businesses that are in the fields of culture, athletics or farm management can be considered under the self-employed category. Examples of Self-employed categories are music teachers, artists, illustrators, film makers, freelance journalists, choreographers, set designers, coaches and trainers, theatrical or musical directors and impresarios. For example, if you have a small computer programming consulting business or marketing consulting business, you need to apply as a skilled worker/independent instead of self-employed.

Application Process:

What visa office do I apply at?

According to the Regulation 11(1) "Place of Application for Permanent Resident Visa", you need to apply at your country of nationality or the country where you are residing if you have been lawfully admitted to that country for a period of at least one year.

Can I transfer my application to a different visa office?

It is up to a visa officer's discretion to transfer your file to another visa office. You should have a reason that does not compromise the integrity of the file processing such as moving to a different country for at least one year.

Should I submit all the supporting documents together with my application?

It is recommended that you submit all the supporting documents together with your application, so a visa officer can link your application and supporting documents without any confusion. Some visa offices may send your application package back if you don't have every supporting document.

Do I need to translate every document into English or French?

Every supporting document needs to be translated into either English or French by a certified translator if it is not written in either language.

How long is the processing time?

Although there is an average timeline at each visa office, each and every application is different and unique so there is no fixed processing time. The application processing time depends on many different factors such as current workload and backlog at a visa office, how organized your application package is, if your application is error-free, if your application package has appropriate supporting documents, if you are invited for the interview, how fast CIC (Citizenship and Immigration Canada) conclude your security/background check, if you need to re-take the medical exam, etc. If your application package is not organized or has errors and/or incorrect documents, it might get returned or your visa officer might request that you come in for an interview (if your application is not rejected). Resubmitting an application and attending the interview will delay an application processing time.

What happens if there are errors or omissions in my application package?

      •      Your application may get returned to you, and this will delay the application process.
      •      Your case may get rejected if some files are missing and you are unable to provide them on time.
      •      Your visa officer might request that you come in for an interview if your application package is poorly presented with confusing or conflicting information. Attending the interview will delay your application processing time.
      •      You take the risk of indirectly misrepresenting yourself and possibly being banned from reapplying for two years if your visa officer determines that you misrepresented some information. (see below for more information)

Immigration and Refugee Protection Act
40. (1) Misrepresentation - a permanent resident or foreign national is inadmissible for misrepresentation (a) for directly or indirectly misrepresent or withhold material facts relating to a relevant matter that induces or could induce an error in the administration of this Act; 41.(2) Application - The following provisions govern subsection (1): (a) the permanent resident or foreign national continues to be inadmissible for misrepresentation for a period of two years following, in the case of a determination outside Canada, a final determination of inadmissibility under subsection (1) or, in the case of a determination in Canada, the date the removal order is enforced.

How much are the processing fee and Right of Permanent Residence Fee?

Processing Fees: (non-refundable)
      •      Processing Fees: (non-refundable)
      •      Family Class and Skilled Worker: $550(CAD)
      •      Business Class (Entrepreneur, Investor and Self-employed): $1,050(CAD)
      •      Spouse, common-law partner, conjugal partner and dependent child over 22 years old: $550(CAD)
      •      Dependent child under 22 years old: $150(CAD) Right of Permanent Residence Fee: (refundable if your case is unsuccessful)
      •      $490(CAD) for each principal applicant, spouse, common-law and conjugal partner (no fee for a dependent child)

Medical and Criminal:

What types of medical conditions make you become medically inadmissible?

You may be medically inadmissible if you are likely to be a danger to public health/safety or if you are expected to cause excessive demand on health or social services. However, spouses, common-law partners, conjugal partners and dependent children are not inadmissible for conditions considered to cause excessive demand in health and social services with the exception of active TB or Syphilis.

I am HIV positive. Can I immigrate to Canada?

You may be medically inadmissible to immigrate to Canada if you are HIV positive. However, you can still be HIV positive and immigrate to Canada if you are a spouse, common-law, conjugal partner or dependent child of a Canadian citizen/permanent resident and are applying under Family Class. This is because a spouse/partner and dependent child will not be medically inadmissible for conditions considered to cause excess demand in health and social services.

Applying under non-Family Class categories (such as Skilled Worker, Entrepreneur, Investor, and Self-employed) can make your immigration application unsuccessful if you are HIV positive.
It is challenging to pass the medical exam if you are HIV positive and applying under a non-Family Class category. If you are on an anti-retroviral medication, you are most likely considered to be medically inadmissible according to "38(1)(c): might reasonably be expected to cause excessive demand on health or social services". If you are not on any medication, you might be able to pass the medical exam. There is no way to predict the medical exam results unless you apply and take the medical exam. Every body is unique and different; consequently, every HIV positive condition is different. It is up to the medical officers from CIC (Citizenship and Immigration Canada) to determine if you are medically admissible to Canada.

I have a criminal history. Am I inadmissible on criminal grounds?

If you were convicted of or have committed a criminal offense, you may overcome this criminal inadmissibility by applying for a pardon (if the offense occurred in Canada) and/or rehabilitation (if the offense occurred outside of Canada). Pardon (Convictions/Offenses in Canada):

In order to apply for a pardon, a specified period of time must have passed after the end of the sentence imposed (five years for indictment conviction and three years for two or more summary offenses). The sentence may have been payment of a fine, period of probation or imprisonment.
If you have had two or more summary convictions in Canada, you may be deemed rehabilitated and no longer inadmissible to Canada if: :
      •      five years have passed since the sentence imposed was served or to be served;
      •      you have had no subsequent convictions and
      •      you have not been refused for a pardon.

Rehabilitation (Convictions/Offenses outside Canada):
In order to apply for rehabilitation status, a specified period of time must have passed after the end of the sentence imposed (five years for indictment conviction and no rehabilitation for summary offenses). The sentence may have been payment of a fine, a period of probation, or imprisonment.

You may be deemed to have been rehabilitated if a specified period of time (five years for two or more summary offenses and ten years for an indictment offense) has passed since you completed the sentence.

For a conviction punishable by a maximum terms of imprisonment of ten years or more, there is no "deemed to have been rehabilitated" status, so you must apply for rehabilitation.

What is police clearance?

You must submit police clearance (a criminal record check) from every country you lived in for more than six months since the age of 18. Visa offices only accept the original police clearance and it must be submitted as part of your application package.

What is a background/security check?

A background/security check is different from police clearance. It is to verify if you have engaged in any espionage, terrorism, organized crime or been a danger to the security of Canada. Your background/security check could delay your application process if you have lived in a specific country, served in a certain military service or were a member of a specific organization.

Other Relationships:

My partner is still married to someone else. How do I get sponsored?

A person who is married to a third party may be considered as a common-law/conjugal partner providing that his/her marriage has been broken down and they have lived apart from the spouse for more than one year. The relationship with a common-law/conjugal partner cannot be considered to have started until a physical separation from the spouse has occurred. A common-law/conjugal partner relationship cannot be established if one or both parties continue their marital relationship.

I met my partner via Internet. Is Internet relationship okay?


Immigration Business Practice:

Should I hire an immigration consultant?

You have a choice to file the application by yourself or hire an immigration consultant to file it for you. There are definite advantages to hire an immigration consultant. An immigration consultant can:
      •      submit an error-free immigration application package
      •      save your time and headache by filling out your applications and helping you to gather supporting documents
      •      be on top of immigration regulation changes that might affect your application selection, process and timeline.
      •      eliminate the risk of your being requested to come in for an unnecessary interview that will delay your application process
      •      avoid the risk of you indirectly misrepresenting yourself which could result in your being barred from reapplying to immigrate to Canada for two years

If you apply by yourself, it might end up costing more money in the end. This is because your application process might get delayed if there are errors in your application package. In this case, your application might be unsuccessful, get rejected and require that you reapply from scratch. Although you can still reapply, the processing fee is non-refundable so you will lose valuable time and money.

What is the advantage of having an immigration consultant in Canada?

The advantage of having an immigration consultant in Canada is that you can register a complaint against an immigration consultant through The Better Business Bureau of Canada . The Better Business Bureau is a private, nonprofit, self regulatory organization dedicated to promoting fairness and honesty in the marketplace. This option may not be available if you decide to hire an immigration consultant outside of Canada. In addition, you can also file a complaint with the Canadian Society of Immigration Consultants (CSIC).

I live outside of Canada. How do I work with you?

The majority of our clients live outside of Canada. We use e-mail, phone and fax to communicate with our clients. E-mail is free and international calls are very cheap. We are often available on weekends as well.

I live outside of Canada. How do I work with you?

The majority of our clients live outside of Canada. We use e-mail, phone and fax to communicate with our clients. E-mail is free and international calls are very cheap. We are often available on weekends as well.

Disclaimer: Continental is primarily an immigration and visa consulting company that offers advice on worldwide immigration options. We are a company registered under Ministry of Corporatre Affair India (Reg. No. U74140DL2012PTC241103) , and are not affiliated with any govt. agency. but We work only with regulated licensed immigration advisers. All the official fee payment if any and form purchasing will be done from the government offices directly as we dont sell anything that can be procured from any Govt. Office. Continental Immigration will only charge for the consultation services availed from them which are not provided by any Govt. Agency.