Refused Spousal Sponsorship Application

Rameh Law > Refused Spousal Sponsorship Application

Refused Spousal Sponsorship Application

Avoiding a refusal- submitting a well prepared spousal sponsorship application going through a spousal sponsorship application can be time-consuming and daunting. If the case isn’t straight forward,  it can involve a lot of administrative work. Factors such as arranged marriages, previous marriages, common-law relationships, a marriage that hasn’t lasted for more than two years, and kids from an earlier marriage can complicate the process.

Typically, a spousal sponsorship application can contain up to 150 pages of documents. However, the number can hit 200 if some documents need translations.

Unlike a few years back, the IRCC has become more stringent when granting approvals. It’s because some unscrupulous persons have been taking advantage of Canada’s friendly immigration policies to submit fraudulently acquired documents and forge marriages to obtain the Canadian permanent residency permit.

It’s no longer a walk in the park to prepare spousal application documents that meet the required threshold.

If you intend to apply for Canadian spousal sponsorship, get in touch with an attorney. If you attempt to maneuver the process on your own, you’re unlikely to prepare a robust application that can convince IRCC that the spouse’s relationship is genuine.


You can appeal a refused spousal sponsorship. 

There’re two types of spousal application: inland and outland. Inland sponsorship is one that you apply for within Canada. However, supposing that your spouse is yet to arrive in Canada, they can submit an outland spousal sponsorship application from their country of origin or from where they’re currently residing.

While you can’t appeal a refused inland application, you can reapply. However, an outland spousal sponsorship application is appealable. You must file the appeal at the Immigration Appeal Division (IAD) not later than 30 days after receiving a refusal letter.


What can cause a refusal?

Most applicants blame IRCC for posting the application forms and process online and assuming the process is easy and anybody can do it. However, it’s unfair to blame IRCC for a refused spousal sponsorship application when you can seek legal guidance to help you maneuver through the process.

If IRCC has returned your application for being incomplete or using outdated forms, you may delay the sponsorship process by up to three months.

If IRCC has declined your application, it won’t grant a Permanent Residency permit for over two years. If you used the Outland sponsorship application process and your partner comes from a non-visa-exempt nation, your case can be more complicated. Your spouse will require a Visitor Visas (TRV-Temporary Resident Visa) to enter Canada; they won’t access Canada for at least two years unless they’ve already obtained a TRV visa. Once IRCC rejects an application, it won’t approve your spouse’s TRV visa.


Unfavourable Outcomes:


Returned application

If you submitted an incomplete application, the CPC-M (Case Processing Centre—Mississauga) would return your application after approximately three months. If you follow the Inland application route, and your spouse is looking to take advantage of implied status through OWP (Open Work Permit), they may fall out of status because IRCC won’t process their work permit.

However, a person who has fallen out of status for not more than three months may apply for status restoration and then submit a spousal sponsorship application. If three months have gone since the person fell out of status, they must exit the country.


An interview

 The first in-person meeting can make you panicky and answer questions suspiciously or erroneously when attending an in person interview with the visa official. The officer will keen on the interview and refuse your application if you fail to convince them during the meeting.


Procedural Fairness letter (PFL)

If your application is unsatisfactory and likely to be refused, IRCC can send you a procedural fairness letter, asking you to clarify some issues or send additional information. It would be best to get in touch with an immigration attorney to prepare a convincing reply to the PFL.


You can’t appeal an inland application refusal. Thus, your spouse will have to leave Canada. However, you can either reapply or file a Judicial Review on your first application.

You can appeal an outland spousal application refusal, and it can take up to two years to determine the matter.

Genuineness of relationships

​The Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada scrutinize the authenticity of every marital relationship. The aim is to ensure no one applying for spousal sponsorship isn’t entering a marriage fraudulently to acquire Canadian PR. If you fail to satisfy an IRCC officer that your marriage is sincere, they will reject your application. Moreover, IRCC can ban the person you’re sponsoring from setting foot in Canada for five years for Misrepresentation. 

Some criteria that the IRCC takes into consideration when assessing applications:

Factors that IRCC considers when evaluating spousal sponsorship applications

Reasons for returned applications 

  • ​Mixing up the “Sponsor” and “Principal applicant.”
  • Submission of Incorrect or outdated version of Forms
  • Leaving questions unanswered 
  • Missing evidence, documents, or Required Forms 
  • Inaccurate answering of questions
  • Incorrect picture specifications
  • not using “N/A” where appropriate
  • Wrong application fees paid or missing from the application
  • Missing or erroneous Country—Specific Requirements

Couple-specific issues

  • Co-habitation 
  • The difference in education levels
  • Differences in religious beliefs
  • couple’s compatibility
  • Age difference
  • Length of relationship 
  • Cultural differences

Other likely Issues:

  • ​Matters with divorce records
  • Open Work Permit (OWP) not issued
  • Police checks
  • Applications that don’t link to online accounts
  • Issues with kids from  other marriages