Inland Sponsoring Applications

(English transcript of Solicitudes Internas de Esponsoramiento)

Captions: Inland Sponsoring Applications

The people who appear in this video are actors and the situation portrayed is a dramatization. The legal information in this video applies only to British Columbia, Canada, and is accurate as of July 2007.

Information may become outdated as laws change.

[Roxana and her fiancé, Emilio, shake hands with their lawyer, Thomas.]

Roxana: Hello Thomas, this is my husband, Emilio. This is Thomas, my lawyer.

Thomas: It’s a pleasure to meet you.

Emilio: The pleasure is mine.

[Thomas offers them chairs. They sit and hold hands.]

Thomas: So you got married; congratulations. When was the big day?

Emilio: It was New Year's Eve when I first saw her in Viña del Mar. She was so beautiful and I knew at that moment that —

Roxana [smiles, cuts him off nicely]: The civil ceremony was a couple of months ago.

Emilio: I love it here! I can't wait to be Canadian like maple syrup, and I would like to learn how to skate on ice to play hockey.

Thomas: You're a Chilean citizen, aren’t you?

Emilio: Yes, Chilean from my heart!

Roxana: But I heard that once married, Emilio automatically becomes Canadian.

Thomas: No, actually, it takes a few years to become Canadian. First he has to be a permanent resident of Canada for at least three years, to be able to apply to become a Canadian citizen.

Emilio: Three years! Is there some faster way?

Thomas: I'm afraid not.

Roxana: So there’s an in-between step before he can become a citizen?

Thomas: First, Roxana, you must sponsor Emilio to become a permanent resident of Canada. It will probably be faster for you to apply from outside Canada through an embassy.

Roxana: Is there a way for Emilio to stay here and apply in Canada? We don’t want to spend a single moment apart.

Thomas: Yes, there is a way. You might prefer to apply using the In Canada Application for Permanent Residence under the Spouse and Common-Law Partner in Canada Class, but there are some disadvantages.

Emilio: What kind of disadvantages?

Thomas: Well, the process usually takes longer and you cannot appeal the decision. Besides, Roxana would have to take care of you financially if you cannot support yourself, but most importantly, the sponsorship means that she, as your wife, is asking the Canadian government to accept your permanent residency application. You will also have to pay more than $1,000 in fees.

Emilio: So I can't work for three years? That's crazy. I don’t need Roxana’s money.

Thomas: No, no, it's not quite like that. Once you are a permanent resident, you can live and work anywhere in Canada. And as soon as they approve your application for permanent residency in principle, you can apply for a work permit. While you wait for your application for permanent residency to be processed, you are a visitor. Make sure you keep renewing your visitor status, preferably one month before it expires, so that you never end up being here illegally. And you might want to get private medical insurance as well, since you won’t be covered under the provincial medical plan until you become a permanent resident.

Roxana: I make enough to support both of us, so it’s okay if Emilio can’t work until the application is approved.

Emilio: Well, it’s not that bad, once I can work. Look, I would like to be a citizen but it looks like there isn’t a big difference between citizenship and permanent residency.

Thomas: The difference is that permanent resident status can be taken away if a person is found guilty of a serious crime. You also have to live here for at least two years out of every five to keep your status.

Emilio: As long as I can work, it sounds good.

Roxana: Where can we get the application?

Thomas: It's available online. You can visit the Citizenship and Immigration Canada website or you can call Service Canada to get one mailed to you. I have some cards from them [Thomas looks for the cards and gives one of each to them]. Once you have the application, read it carefully, okay? It has many different parts, and it is extremely important that you fill it out properly. Once you have it ready, come back to my office and I will be happy to help you.

Roxana: Thanks, Thomas. I'm so glad we spoke with you.

Emilio: We are having a small party here in Canada with Roxana’s friends to celebrate our wedding, and we’d like for you to be there.

Thomas [smiles]: I'd be honoured.

Narrator: This video does not contain all the information you need. It is possible that applying for permanent residency from within Canada is not your best option. You should get legal advice on your particular case. For more information, you can call Service Canada.


Service Canada: 1-800-O-CANADA

Produced by the Legal Services Society.
Thank you to the Law Foundation of BC, whose generous funding made this video possible.

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