Immigration Consultancy Services

What is a “5-year ban” when sponsoring a spouse

Periodically we are asked questions about the 5-year ban on the right to sponsor a spouse in the event of re-sponsorship (that is, if the same person has already sponsored a previous spouse in the past).

Two categories of “dependent” spouses should not be confused (meaning spouse who is not the general applicant). The first category is the spouse or spouse who came here for family reunification, i.e., they received permanent residency as a result of the signing of financial and legal obligations by the sponsor. The second category is pertaining to a spouse who was originally included in the principal applicant’s package of documents as a member of his family and as an accompanying person.

There is a significant difference between these two categories. Those spouses who received the status of a permanent resident of Canada as a result of the sponsorship process and for whom special financial support obligations were signed are getting under the restriction on the right to sponsor another spouse for the next 5 years after they receive their permanent resident status.

In another case, the principal applicant adds to his immigration file an already existing husband or wife, who receives permanent resident status as an accompanying family member. In this option, the restriction of 5 years in the right to sponsor the subsequent spouse (in case of divorce from the previous one) is not provided. The principal  applicant did not sign any material or legal obligations in obtaining of permanent resident status for the accompanying spouse.

The most important thing in this matter is to understand the difference between the sponsored family member and the accompanying principal applicant. The absence of restrictions on further sponsorship by the applicant who received permanent resident status as an accompanying person does not mean that an immigration officer will not consider in detail his or her application for sponsoring another spouse. The officer will necessarily take into account and consider in detail both those and other relations. That officer will be interested in the length of the relationship at the time the accompanying spouse is included in the immigration file, is there any information that the current relationship has arisen prior to receiving permanent resident status in Canada, how long did the applicant live with the former spouse after their arrival in Canada. These and many other facts will be carefully considered by the officer, even if the sponsor does not get under the 5-year ban on sponsorship.

By the way, it should be recalled that several years ago the Government of Canada canceled the so-called probationary period (or “conditional permanent resident status”) for sponsored spouses. The main idea of this law was that a husband and wife after receiving a permanent residence status under the family reunification program were obliged to live together as a couple for at least two years. Living in a joint residence in Canada. At the moment, this condition is finally canceled and no longer exists in immigration documents.

We wish you good luck!
Emilia & Immigration Project

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