A Canadian citizen or permanent resident may sponsor their partner or spouse who wishes to immigrate to Quebec.
Since Quebec has additional powers with respect to immigration to the province, it also has an additional step in the application process. This means that those who wish to immigrate to the Canadian province of Quebec must go through a process that first requires the filing of an application at the federal level, with Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship (IRCC), and then at the provincial level, with the Ministry of Immigration, Francization and Integration (MIFI).
This will involve sending the specific completed forms, supporting documents and required processing fees to IRCC. In addition, you will need to include the sponsored person’s application for permanent residence along with supporting documents and the required fees.
Once your application is deemed eligible by IRCC, you will need to file an application for an undertaking with the MIFI. The undertaking is a contract that binds you as a sponsor to your spouse or partner and the Quebec government. You will need to download the specific kit from the MIFI website and fill out the forms, attach supporting documents and the required fees.
If your application is approved by the MIFI it will be forwarded directly to the IRCC office that is processing the application for permanent residence of the people you are sponsoring. The persons you are sponsoring will have to meet the health, criminality, and security requirements for IRCC to grant them permanent residence.
Once in Quebec, the person you have sponsored can benefit from the many services offered by MIFI (including information sessions, French courses, assistance from an immigration officer) and will have access to those offered by organizations that welcome and facilitate the integration of newcomers.
Based on published processing times, it takes approximately 12 months for the IRCC to process spousal sponsorship applications, including a two- or three-month waiting period during which the sponsorship application undergoes review.
What you need to know
Anyone wishing to sponsor their spouse or common-law partner must ensure that they are eligible. In particular, they must be Canadian citizens, First Nations people or permanent residents over the age of 18.
As is the case in the rest of Canada, there are no specific minimum thresholds for the sponsorship of a spouse, as there are for the sponsorship of a parent, a grandparent, a dependent who has a child, where you must prove that you have sufficient financial resources for the duration of the undertaking. You will however have to prove to IRCC and the MIFI that you can support yourself, the person you are sponsoring and any dependent children.
To prove that you intend to live or return to Quebec and have the financial ability to do so, you can, for instance:
- provide a bank attestation indicating that you have sufficient funds to support yourself;
- indicate in a letter of explanation the steps you and your spouse intend to take to find a job quickly or provide information on your diplomas and experience, with particular reference to the current job offer in Quebec.
Remember to be as concrete and precise as possible.
Even if you meet all of the above conditions, there are several factors that may prevent you from sponsoring your spouse or common-law partner. If you have committed a violent crime, for example, you cannot be a sponsor. If you are still financially responsible for a former spouse or common-law partner and you are still bound by your three-year undertaking, or if you have declared bankruptcy and have not been discharged that will also affect your ability to sponsor.
While these factors may play a role in your ability to become a sponsor, there are also conditions that your partner will have to meet, such as being over 18 years of age and passing background, security and medical checks.
Finally, note that all forms used by the Quebec government are in French only, so arrange for help to fill them out if you are not fluent in that language.
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