completing a Canadian PR application

2011.04.11 (updated : 2023.09.10)

This is a very simple supplement to the official guides for sponsoring your spouse for permanent residence in Canada. It is by no means exhaustive because it only covers:

This page was written in 2011. If it's many years past that, please ensure that you're getting up to date information.

first steps

Download the forms from the CIC website. There are two processes and therefor two sets of forms, be sure to get the right set. Chances are high that you want the Application to Sponsor a Member of the Family Class, as this:

I have made a special version of the "fillable" PDF's that are in fact fillable. No more read-only or invisible fields that you can't edit. This is useful for completing the forms electronically.

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Hi , I really hope you have an answer for me . I am Greek and my husband is Canadian (by birth). We are married 15 years and we have kids. If my husband go to Canada with his mother who lives in Canada and after 4-6 months make the papers to sponsor me the application going to be "outland" or " inland" . Many people telling us that as I am going to be in Greece with my kids and he is going to be in Canada when he has complete all the applications and photos and proves he can send the envelope from Canada to Mississauga. With this way ....its an " outland" "Inland " is when both we are in Canada. What do you know about that ?

2014.01.15 07:10:43

Yes, definitely "outland" for your case. While neither route is "fast", the outland process is definitely much quicker. Also, it's safer: if something goes wrong, you can re-apply. You can't do that with the inland route. Also, you can usually visit Canada while your outland application is on progress (bring your kids and a copy of your application with you).


I'm in Vancouver BC. My hubby and I are going thought the PR app.. he's from India and hasn't been home since a year Sept. were told he could once he got an open work permit.. long story anyway so much conflicting info throughout from CIC and lawyers I could write a book.. just got apporved in principal, and now did you say up to 20 months? yikes.. how long did it end up taking for you two? I'm wondering if he can go home for family emegency. I'm gonna call Canadaan Border Services. Sheesh.. what an ordeal. Thanks for the info anyway sounded all too familiar. From Jean and Bhagwan aka guilty until proven innocent. I like that!

Jean Sangtani
2011.06.09 00:00:00

Thanks for writing. We aren't through it yet at all, which is why I don't have more information posted. We're only at the phase where I've been approved as a sponsor and the application's been forwarded to the visa office in Japan.

It sounds like you applied via the inland process? That seems to take much, much longer, but at least you don't run the risk of needing an interview in New Delhi. All the best to you!



My Girlfriend and I are in a similar situation with the visa, we are going to get married and just wondering what is the best route.

It seems that the "outland" option is best, however she is worried that if she needs to fly home for a family emergency it could effect the application.

Also, am I right in thinking that we could her PR in about 6-12months plus the time it takes to process the marriage certificate etc?

2011.09.26 00:00:00

The "outland" option is by far the best. Depending on her country of origin, the entire thing could be wrapped up in well under four months (I've witnessed this for people coming from the UK and Austria, for instance). You can also reapply through the outland route if your application fails or if you withdraw. Note that if you leave the country during the outland route there's a good chance that you'll get back in if you simply present yourselves and have a copy of your PR application in hand. That's what my wife did this summer when she returned to see her grandmother, who's not well. We took a chance, though, because it was up to the whim of the individual immigration officer. Do not be fooled, Canada's system is not as flexible and encouraging as its critics would have you believe.

The "inland" process was a more recent addition to the government's policies, and it was created to allow people who'd been living in Canada illegally with a means of landing. It takes about two years. And during that time you absolutely cannot leave the country. Moreover, it's a one-shot thing—if you withdraw your application or it fails for some reason, you can't apply again.

I suggest you join this forum and find some useful threads or start your own:

My other advice:

1. Decide if you can really put up with months and months of waiting in limbo. If she's going to live with you in Canada she will be unable to


I am Canadian can and I sponsor my wife and she got the PR Card and we go to our to her country for almost 4 and half year and her PR card expired and I am back to Canada to stay forever what can I do to bring here back to Canada. she only stay 2 month since she got her PR Card and our child are Canadian so should I sponsor here again or what should I do to bring her back to Canada? Thanks for answer me by email

2014.01.24 04:37:28

I have no idea, my friend. You should contact Immigration directly, and if you can't get any help perhaps contact your member of parliament.


Hi, Just want to use this medium to say a big thank you for support and advice to people. Am a Nigerian residing in south africa,I have a girlfriend who is a canadian,we love each other so much that we are intending to get married on her soonest visit to southafrica.she wants to apply a sponsorship spouse visa for me soon as she returns to canada after the wedding here in southafrica. So I want your advice on the best fastest way 2 apply so the visa can be approved without long it through inland or outland? Thanks

emenike donatus
2014.01.22 07:11:44

There will be long delays no matter which way you go, but you definitely want to file "outland". Have a look through the questions and comments on my site, there is a lot of information there.

Thanks for dropping by,



It took us 8 months from submission of documentation to original PR card received in the mail...from within Canada. My husband is from the USA. One word of caution, your PR card is good for only 5 years. Make sure you start reapplying for a renewal ONE YEAR in advance or you may be without one for a while and won't be able to travel outside Canada. Also, make sure you note in an ongoing diary ALL DATES you leave the country, even if it's for a vacation or a quick trip across the border o/n. You will not only need this info for the new PR application process, but also if you apply for Citizenship. Don't get stuck like we did - looking through photos, emails, charge card statements for the past 5 years to get this info. It will take a minimum of 7 months to get the new PR card, and my husband can't leave (well he could, but he couldn't get back IN to Canada if he did)

2012.02.29 17:28:46

Thanks for the heads-up, L A. I'd already let the fact of the card's expiry drift aimlessly from my mind.

This system's a grim screwy one. My colleagues were amazed that people are now going to lengths such as giving birth in bathtubs to get around the denial of health insurance during The Long Wait.

Some info on the expiry of Canadian PR cards, for those who need it:


Going through the same crap. Canadian perm/res sucks.

2012.03.03 00:00:00

It does indeed. Good luck with your long wait. (P.S. Did you apply inland or outland?)


I will be in that situation. I need to know the route to follow. I reside now in the US going to school. My fiancee lives in the UK and we are planning to move to Canada. He is a UK citizen and I am Canadian. Where I start?

2012.03.19 00:00:00

Hello, Marie;

You can start with this unofficial immigration wiki:

It's been put together by people who have been through the experience. My strongest advice is:

1. Follow the so-called "outland" procedure, some guidance from the gov't is here:

And here are the forms.

(Your v.o. is London, not Buffalo.)

2. Start gathering proof of your relationship such as emails, photos of you together, photos of you with each other's family and friends, records of how you came to be engaged and where you have been seen in public together, if you own any property together, if you have any children together. Start gathering letters of reference (it's better if they're prominent people) in support of your relationship's validity (e.g. we even supplied one from our landlady). It would be best if you can show that you have a job in Canada.

3. Wait. A lot. The current government is not supportive of this entire process, and wait times have been escalating. The whole thing took us from January to October, and we were relatively lucky (e.g. note that several people who applied in April of 2011 still haven't gotten anywhere:


Hi, my situation is a bit different than all the above I'm wondering if you have across it before. I am a Canadian citizen currently residing in the US because I am completing my PhD here. I still have 4 years left To complete my degree and so will be here for those years. I am married and my husband is from the middle east. I have heard and read online that since I am in a situation where I have a legitimate reason to reside outside Canada, my husband who would be accompanying me would have the right to apply for and get a PR status. Is this true? And if so, what avenue is best to take? Would we apply using the Outland process as well? Would I have to sponsor him then apply for PR?

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance!

2012.08.18 00:00:00

I don't think the government in any way questions the "legitimacy" of your living abroad, they just verify that the marriage is real. While I am not a qualified expert on any of these things, I believe that you should check the timing of your application carefully, as it is my understanding that you have to apply under circumstances that a) you can demonstrate the financial means to support your husband (e.g. you have a job waiting for you in Canada) and b) that you intend on relocating to Canada at a specific and upcoming date. In your case I imagine that it would be better to apply much closer to the date you intend to return (e.g. within 18 months of returning). But please don't take my word for these things, have a look at some of the online immigration forums where knowledgeable people hang out and answer questions.

Best of luck, Rita!


Hello Michael,

I am glad to hear it worked out. My wife and I are in a similar situation, all because her previous employer stopped giving out LMO letters a month before we decided to apply. We have submitted once already and realized there were some aspects that needed to be changed, therefore we requested that the application be returned before it was rejected. To date it has been 11 months that my wife has been unable to work, and according the the governments website it will be another 10 months before everything is finalized.

I am truly frustrated with my government and the lack of care they have for their citizens.

Frustrated in CAN
2012.09.24 00:00:00

From the way this lunacy plays out you might almost get the impression that our benighted government WANTS people to work under the table, wouldn't you?

By sad comparison, in Japan (where they openly restrict immigration, and where they only "accept" 25 refugees a year, on average) a spousal visa takes six weeks. Six. Weeks. No interviews, no silently ignoring applicants for months at a time, no confusion about application routes, no arbitrary decisions based on the foreign spouse's country of origin.

It's maddening. I wish you and your wife all the best.


Now I am freaking out! We will do the outbound route as we are currently out of Canada anyway and we can survive where we are for the time it takes.... the thing getting me right now is I don't have a job to go back to and only have enough available cash to support my family for a few months upon arrival...and unless I convince an uncle or a freind to put me on the employment roster "for a while" this could really cause a problem.... like stated in the story, (which was very well written) even if I can convince an employer to hire me while I am not in Canada, how many will accept: Date available to start: "when the gov't approves my wife's PR"?

2012.10.05 00:00:00

First of all, don't freak out. You'll get through this. Find other people going through what you're doing, and follow on the good advice and sense of support/community you'll get from them along the way. Having selected the outland route puts you on the right track.

Figuring out the job/visa chicken-egg scenario isn't easy. But people do it every day. It sounds like you already have some workable ideas. Also, I'd strongly recommend that you start networking like a lunatic: prepare job leads based on people who know you're coming back and who know your skill sets etc. It's what I did for several months before my return, and I had three very solid opportunities take shape in a matter of a couple of weeks. I am still working at the job I selected, nearly two years later, so it doesn't necessarily have to be a desperation thing. When it comes to finding work, things can turn in your favour in the blink of an eye.

Best of luck to you!


Michael, I really appreciate this article you've written.

My girlfriend and I met while she was visiting vancouver, currently we've been apart for going on 3-4 years now—she has come to visit a few times and we've kept up our correspondence—we have kept all our emails and most of our IM chats—while i am working and going to school, eventually i will travel to japan and meet her family and have a small civil ceremony. then we will begin the outland application process.

she is preparing her criminal record check in japan and her medical records—i will attempt to get a criminal record check done for her while she is in canada.

i agree, the application forms are opaque/poorly worded—there is no form that says "i'm a 7th generation canadian and this is my wife—fuck your red tape" ..

anyways, in order to guarantee smooth sailing, any tips? we are going through the manilla office, i suppose? do i still need to go through a 'sponsorship application' if i marry her in japan with a japanese marriage certificate? how high should my income be? currently i live and work in vancouver, so my income is SFA.

there are a few questions i am forgetting, it's 7am; this is how she and i communicate: i lose sleep, every damn night. can't wait to just get it over with.

when i see all the thousands of losers flooding in to the country and defrauding our system it pisses me off even more. she speaks fluent english and we just want to make progress.

any suggestions are appreciated!

Naked Official #9000
2012.11.08 00:00:00

7th generation, yeah you'd think that would do it, wouldn't you. Similarly, I'm the 11th to have lived here and my ancestors settled land all over the eastern half of the country. Nowadays it's all about optics, short-term politics, and pretending the rest of the world doesn't exist. I mean; we had a son, isn't it clear what's going on? /end rant

To answer your question: use the "outland" process; get on some of the forums where people exchange tips and follow their advice; if anything gets jammed up, contact your MP - they have staff for dealing with these very things; gather references inside Canada that know you both (if possible); if at all possible, have someone from your family attend the civil ceremony or the reception (have a reception with her family in attendance.

Since she's Japanese (welcome to the club) she can stay in Canada as long as your application (even an outland application) is underway, but it might make more sense to have her leave every six months (the term for a Japanese citizen w/o standing in Canada, last I knew). But if she has to leave the country it'd be best if she had a complete copy of the application forms and proof with her while re-entering; some of the border people can apparently make a snap decision to send her back. Naturally, with no standing in the country she won't qualify for health care, for an SIN (so no work), and there are no programs for her.

Best of luck!


Michael, I really appreciate this article you've written.

My Girlfriend she is Canadian by birth and i am Indian by birth right now i am in India and she is in Japan on her student visa. she doing her medical practice there. i need your help as suggestion as she can sponsor me visa from Japan. what is best for us where we can get married in India or Canada and how she can sponsor a visa from outside of Canada means from Japan.please suggest a good way of marriage and get a sponsorship and visa.

2012.11.13 00:00:00

I don't think it matters where you get married, but my advice is to:

1. Get married somewhere that family members from both sides can attend, if at all possible.

2. Spend a lot of your time in public in the company of friends (and if possible, family) who will be in your photos, demonstrating that your relationship is public knowledge.

3. Visit with both families prior to the marriage.

4. Download the forms from the Canadian government's website and be familiar with all of the questions they'll ask. You'll want to do all of the things they ask about, like #1-3 above.

5. Pay strict attention to your visa requirements if you decide to come visit in Canada at any time. Do not overstay your visa.

You'll want to choose the "outland" application process, not the relatively new "inland" application process.

If you can wait until she has her medical degree, it might smooth the way if she can show that she has the financial wherewithal to support you for the duration of the sponsorship period plus the two-year visa "gelling" period (due to a brand new law, you must demonstrate that you're living together for two years once you have the visa). A doctor shouldn't have any problems there.

For general advice, check out online forums like the one I reference in the article.

Good luck with your quest!


I seem to be... At a loss. I'm under the impression that you need to have a criminal record check for all the places you've lived for 6 months or more, but I do not know how to go about getting such a thing, because my local police department turned me away, telling me they don't do stuff like that.

I'm really at a loss. Have you come across something like this? This seems to be one of the hugest huddles for us to have to overcome.

2012.11.24 00:00:00

Check with the Canadian embassy or consulate that's managing your application. At the time of our application, the embassy in Tokyo had posted some information, and my wife was able to find the right application form and police department. We then took the police report to the Japanese consulate here in Canada for notarized translation.

It probably varies quite a bit country to country. For instance, here in Canada there are private firms you can go to for a background check. Again, I'd start with the Canadian embassy or consulate handling your case.

Best of luck to you!


Hi Michael,

In my case I have been working in Canada for 5years and have PR.... and I am planning to bring my wife (now fiance from India) to Canada and then Apply thru the In-land application, do you know of any cases where there have been no success of this being approved. Or it just an uncertain process because it is relatively new.

Your advice is much appreciated.

2012.11.29 00:00:00

Join some of the forums that I point to in my website and you'll soon see that there are indeed cases where inland applications are rejected. And once an inland application is rejected, you cannot apply again.

Given the extra time involved with an inland application, and the added risk of not being able to apply a second time, I recommend that you look at the outland application process.

Best of luck, and congratulations on your engagement!


Well i make myself freely after reading your notes... well we have put our file in 28th june,2012. On 11th sept,2012 process done in mississauga but till we have no any mail or email from mississauga nor delhi for further process... so just want to know normally in which time duration they send approved letter or whatever......

Priyanka P Patel
2012.12.03 10:44:16

It all depends on who is processing the claim. If you used the "inland" process, it can take more than a year, from the stories I've read. If you're using the "outland" process it is up to the individual embassy that's processing your claim. Some are so busy that you won't hear anything for a very long time. With others it can be relatively quick. In our case we used the outland process and heard from Mississauga within six weeks or so. Then it was off to the embassy (Tokyo visa office, now closed) and we heard little until it was all over (ten months in total).

Best of luck. Join one of the forums where you can discuss current events with other people going through the process. You'll find plenty from India, for instance.


HELLO my wife has been in canada for the past 4 years and out of that 3 years she has been here with no status.

we just got married and i wanted to apply under the spousal sponsorship from inside canada also she had worked with no work permit but she has got no removal order and cic does not know. can u pls help me out as if i can send in the application for spousal though she has no status for the past 3 years?how do i go about it?

his dad is in malaysia and staying illegal and her mom is in japan where she is originally from.

thanking u in advance


2012.11.30 00:00:00

Hi, Ash.

I saw your comment on my website last week. I've been considering a response since that time but the best thing I think you can do is join a forum like the one below and ask your questions there:


I find myself in the same situation as you—moving to Canada with Japanese spouse + child. I thought getting a spousal visa would be as quick and painless as it was in Japan so I was shocked to see what the process is really like. I have a couple questions

1) While waiting for the PR application, your wife stayed in Canada on a tourist visa ? Do you know if you can stay indefinitely while waiting for the application ? Or does she have to leave every 6 months?

2) While you were waiting—what did you do about health insurance for your wife ?

2012.12.13 00:00:00

Dan, you didn't leave an email address; good luck with your wife's landing.

To answer your questions:

1) Yes, my wife stayed as a visitor (no visa per se). She left the country once just after the six month mark (it should have been before that period, we screwed up) but she was able to re-enter without problem. I frequently encourage people to join one+ of the forums where people discuss these things - you can find out the current rules there.

2) We bought insurance through Blue Cross (and one or two others). It covers only a limited set of things such as emergency response, and not many other things such as hospital care during pregnancy or any kind of medications (to my recollection) though it does cover ambulance transportation, which isn't covered by provincial health care.


Hey Michael,

I am also Michael and I have a Japanese wife. I'm a Canadian citizen and we are thinking of getting a spouse PR in Canada.

As of now, I saw the new rule stating "Effective October 25, 2012, sponsored spouses or partners must now live together in a legitimate relationship with their sponsor for two years from the day they receive permanent residence status in Canada."

We've been married for a year already and in addition, I'll be living in Japan for three years so that will not be a problem. I would like to have a smooth transition when we move to Canada in three years. We do not have any children at the moment. I like to plan ahead so what kind of precaution or any advice would you recommend? When should I start applying?

2013.01.02 00:00:00

Hello, we have a lot in common. 8^)

In addition to the comments that I posted to the web page you found, I would stress:

a) use the 'outland' process, which I suppose for you means applying through Manila (I think you still have to mail the application to the site in Mississauga).

b) make sure you have lots of photo evidence of your relationship being a public one, e.g. you're with friends and both families

c) consider whether you want to arrive in Canada, find work, then apply (still using the outland process); come back to Canada on your own, find work and of course leaving her in Japan while your application is in the works (bear in mind that even after our application was received it took six months, and that was when the Tokyo visa office was still functioning); or somehow find work while still outside of Canada and then apply from there and only move to Canada together. We chose the first option, many people do the latter and are apart for a long time.

Good luck, fellow Michael-in-Japan. I'm actually in Miyazaki prefecture at the moment and am reminded of all that I've left behind in coming back to Canada.


hey guys i have a concern,recenty i have been asked for my spouse processing fee for PR,though i have sent that but made a demand draft on my name.Is this ok or can anybody please suggest me what to do.Is been 2 months now and no reply from the immigration office.

2013.02.07 19:55:15

Hello, Imran, I noticed your inquiry on my website. I'm afraid I don't have much advice other than to keep trying to reach Immigration, either here in Canada at their help line or through the embassy/consulate in your area.

I don't know what a "demand draft" is, but if you've already paid them certainly you should have a receipt of some sort to forward them?


hello,please i need someone who will help sponsor me to canada.i am a graduate here in my country cameroon and i am very hard working.i can do just any kind of job be it intelectual or physican.

please you can contact me through

Best regards

2013.02.08 00:00:00

Hi, Lucien, I saw your comments to my website. My notes were intended for Canadians who have married abroad and are bringing a spouse to Canada. If you're looking for sponsorship under an employment, I suggest you start here:

or here:

or even at unoffical sources like this:

Best of luck!!


hi everyone,

i have a lot of question in mind and i found this site...Thank God :)

me and my boyfriend planing to get married next year 2014 january and he will bring me there in vancouver to apply for spousal sponsorship and we don't know how it works. is it a good decision to get married outside canada? or better to do there the marriage and apply straight away for spousal sponsorship after the wedding ? and can i gather my police clearance here in singapore bef going to vancouver? coz I'm a PR here and staying here for 10 years now, and my other option is to get married here in singapore then go for outland application... where should i apply here in singapore or philippines? coz for philippines it takes only 12mons. and here in singapore it takes 24mons. im just wondering coz im holding a philippine passport but residing here in singapore. if we decide to get married bef 2014 it will be held by june 2013 then apply outland...then after that we going to be separated again coz he have work in vancouver and i have work here and he cannot bring me there to have the PR status right away and it makes us frustrated and sad....we been in this relationship since 2010 and every six months we visit each other..i did visited him in vancouver once, he did the most since he don't need to apply for visa to come over here in singapore and we go back to philippines together most of the time to visit his mother and siblings.. we really don't know what is the best decision... we cannot take it anymore to be apart, please help us to think and help us see the other side of this situation that we are in.

Thanks a lot and God bless us all :)

2013.02.20 00:00:00

I strongly suggest that you arm yourself with all of the official information you can, and then find a support group such as the forums I link to on my website. There are many people from the Philippines doing what you're doing, you're not alone.


Hi, I know the differences between inland and outland applications. However everywhere I am reading suggests to apply outland as it is much quicker. My boyfriend and I just got married here in Canada while he was on a visitor's visa. So now we will start the paperwork. On CIC's website outland process for Jamaica says 18 months. For inland it says stage 1 = 6, then stage 2 = 8 months totalling 14 months. I am thinking to apply inland as it is 4 months quicker. But why does everyone say outland is SO much faster?? Are the time frames wrong on CIC website? To me it is a no brainer to apply inland as it is 4 months quicker for Jamaicans, and once approved as a sponsor my husband can apply for the work permit and health insurance. (Yes I know we cannot appeal if rejected). Am I missing something ?? Thank you for your input.


2013.03.20 00:00:00

The one thing you were missing is a return email address, Jenna! 8^)

But seriously, 14 months is a very, very fast turnaround compared to what people actually experience using the inland route. On the message forums you see stories where inland applications easily range to 2 or even 3 years. It's your choice but I strongly recommend the outland route.


Thank you for the response. Sorry about the email address, I only realized after I hit send that I needed to send it! :) So I guess what you are saying is that inland processing times on CIC website aren't that accurate. I have read tons of messages on forums, but do you know specifically where I could find out about other people's experiences inland vs outland for Jamaicans? Thanks so much! Jenna

2013.03.21 12:58:06

Good to hear from you again. 8^)

I think that the posted times on the CIC website, if they make inland seem quicker than outland, must be pretty optimistic. I have never heard of a country where inland was even close to outland in processing speed. Post a query with your express concerns, you'll get a response, I'm quite sure.

And good luck!


Hi, I know the differences between inland and outland applications. However everywhere I am reading suggests to apply outland as it is much quicker. My boyfriend and I just got married here in Canada while he was on a visitor's visa. So now we will start the paperwork. On CIC's website outland process for Jamaica says 18 months. For inland it says stage 1 = 6, then stage 2 = 8 months totalling 14 months. I am thinking to apply inland as it is 4 months quicker. But why does everyone say outland is SO much faster?? Are the time frames wrong on CIC website? To me it is a no brainer to apply inland as it is 4 months quicker for Jamaicans, and once approved as a sponsor my husband can apply for the work permit and health insurance. (Yes I know we cannot appeal if rejected). Am I missing something ?? Thank you for your input. Jenna

2013.03.21 12:58:18

Those "inland" processing times seem very unrealistic. From what I've read in people's personal experience, I think 18-24 months is more typical regardless of country of origin.


Hi, thank you for your article, it covers all the important points, indeed. I also have few questions as my patience is due to explode. First of all, here is our story: my husband is Canadian citizen by birth, I am from UK and have a child from my previous marriage. we applied INLAND, our application was received in March 2012 which is more than a year ago. Very true that they open the application after 3 months only! Then, if anything is missing, they will let you know. Like in our case we partly paid by bank drafts which on the phone to CIC they said is ok, bet when they opened our application, they decided it's not ok so we had to pay that portion by credit card, as well. The main thing is, they do one action at a time which is once in 3 months, I can't believe it. It's been 13 months now and my husband still haven't got his letter that states he's approved as my sponsor! Because UK is an except country and because we applied INLAND (and I applied for Open Work Permit together with the Spousal Sponsorship Application), I do not have to extend my visitor status as I am protected by the Canadian Law. But, according to their policies after 8 months of waiting, I should of have my Open Work Permit already!!!!! We've got absolutely nothing! They only contacted us in December, telling that I have to mail them original Police Certificates from all the countries I've been residing more than 6 months, also Medical Exam for myself and my child, and Notarized Statutory Declaration from my ex husband who confirms my full custody over my child and that he doesn't mind that we live in Canada. We paid fortune to get these additional documents to get them back and forth from overseas in two weeks time. They got everything on Dec 31st 2012. Today is April 2013 and still nothing. The worst thing is that no Medical Cover, especially for my child. My husband can put us under his Blue Cross, but we have to have our MSP number. Another insane thing is that we can't leave the country. There are many things coming up now like my husband's sister's destination wedding, our friends' destination wedding, visiting my parents in UK etc. To top the story up, I called CIC last week and she said to not contact them by the end of August. If we haven't heard from them by that time, give them a call back. Ain't that against the Law? I can call them every day if I want, can't I? Ridiculous. Also we are in contact with the local MP office, seems absolutely pointlessly, as she does absolutely nothing albeit she could. Anyways, my question of today is, because my husband is filing his taxes, can he put me and my child in his tax form, even though I have no status in this country at the moment, no SIN number, no nothing. And if yes, does he anyhow benefit financially from the government putting me on his taxes as his dependant, 'cause I m not allowed to work here, but it's been 1.5years since we're married in Canada. Thank you for your answer in advance. Dana

2013.04.07 20:44:13


I'm sorry to hear of your struggles, and hope that this hasn't soured you too much on Canada.

First of all, I'm not qualified to answer your tax question in any way.

Secondly, when it comes to the CIC "service" line, I wouldn't push it. That line is specifically geared to answer very basic questions, they are not meant to be looking at anyone's file and answering specific questions. I'm sorry to hear that your MP isn't more help, the office of my MP helped me considerably when my documents went astray and the visa office in Tokyo couldn't/wouldn't respond.

But to the main point - I have been told that the inland process was specifically created (long after the outland process had been established) to process spouses who are "out of status" in Canada. For people from exempt countries like the UK (and in my wife's case, Japan) it's considered to be much more efficient to use the outland process. And cases like yours are the ones that seem to prove the point. I don't know what else to tell you other than to suggest that you find a forum like the ones I reference on the page on my website and find others who are in the same situation as you and disprove the axiom that misery loves company. 8(

All the best with your application. Good luck, and be patient. Maybe it helps that spring should be arriving soon.

P.S. Even though we applied 'outland' (two long years ago this month!), my wife didn't have her PR stamp until 9-10 months had elapsed. Almost everyone in the group who had spouse coming from an exempt European country or the US went through before anyone else. Believe it or not, you would seem to be in the fastest lane for 'inland' applications, all other things being equal.


Wow! I've been online for the past 8 hours reading article after article in numerous forums about moving to Canada, applying for PR, getting spousal sponsorship etc. and found this such a helpful post! Thank you! I am from the US, my boyfriend is Canadian & we've re-connected for the third time in our lives after 14 years! We are planning on getting married. We know its gonna take a lot of time to file for PR for me so my question is this; Would it make sense for us to get married the next time I'm in Canada, start the outland filing process and then I come back here to work until I get the PR status? It's already difficult not being able to see him much now, but I wonder once we're married if the CIC looks unfavorably on the fact that I wouldn't be living with him or does that matter? OR Do I go live with him for 6 months (giving up my apartment which would be my current US permanent address), we get married, then start the outland filing process and ask for an extension to my stay to be there longer after the 6 months is up? I have read hundreds of posts today and still haven't seen this same scenario...thanks so much for sharing your story & for helping others through this arduous process.

2013.04.26 22:16:01

Hello, Diane, thanks for taking the time to write.

Your story isn't really that unique, I would think you'd find arguments for both courses of action among people who've tried one or the other. We did the latter of your two choices because a) we were already married and had only one apartment and b) wanted to stay together - Japan and Canada are many Skype hours apart, and travel cost between them is nuts.

I can't comment authoritatively on whether "the CIC looks unfavorably on the fact that I wouldn't be living with him" but it didn't seem to impact our application at all. Then again, we were already married and had a child (plus, I had been a volunteer with the Canadian consular services with the embassy's emergency warden program - I was more-or-less familiar to the staff at the embassy).

I would suggest that you look at the practicalities: e.g.:

1. If you marry now, would your family and his be able to attend a wedding together - this is the sort of thing that the CIC folk seem to like as proof of a valid marriage.

2. Frankly speaking, consider what six (more) months being apart will be like - remember that you'd possibly have a good deal of difficulty crossing the border with an application in the works. This "seems" (wherever you see me use this word, beware that I'm writing based on the urging of other people I've spoken/corresponded with about these topics) to be entirely in the hands of the individual border guard you talk to upon arrival - your husband would be the one doing all of the travel. Also consider that the strains of the process (and your not being able to work or study in Canada if you're living in Canada) can cause friction between you and spouse. In which of your situations are you more likely to face greater stress and strain, and more likely to overcome the stresses and strains? P.S. I don't know if six months is the real scope of it: these things can drag on in for a good deal longer. Ours was ten months all in.

3. Conversely, the opposite also holds true. We were warned repeatedly that my wife should not attempt to leave the country while our application was in progress. Due, again, to the difficulties some people "seem" to face re-entering Canada if they have a PR application in the works. I was told by several correspondents about horror stories like PR applications needing to be re-started, being forbidden, etc etc. So, if you go with moving to Canada and then go home to see your family, things could go badly for you if you attempt re-entry. We wound up doing this due to a family emergency in Japan (these, you can't plan for) and everyone on the forums told me, "Are you crazy?"

4. If you took the second route, you wouldn't be able to work in Canada, nor have health insurance for the duration plus an additional three month application phase even after you are granted PR status. If you become pregnant, there is no form of health coverage that will cover things adequately. My wife became pregnant during our ten months PR wait, and the only insurance I could buy was strictly for emergencies, not for conditions such as pregnancy.

5. How are you going to find work in Canada if you're in the US? Or can you work remotely for an American employer or work out some other solution.

Whatever you do, I strongly recommend that you use the outland application.

Those are my thoughts. Beware the "seem"s, they may all amount to needless worry. All the best with your undertaking and your new life in Canada. We started all of this just over two years ago, and it's already fading from memory. We're happily together with two children (one born in Japan, one here) and all is going well. I don't know if you've ever lived outside of the US before, but I can tell you from having lived not only in Japan but in Australia as well that living abroad is still living abroad: even a country that's very similar to your own is quite an adventure. Mari likes several things about Canada that have surprised her, it's her first foreign residency.

P.S. Maybe a third solution could be, "Come to Canada, get married, live together, go to the US after your six months are up, and stay in the US for the (hopefully brief) duration?"


HI I am Dr. Bhavik Patel. My wife lives in canada and she is living as permanent residence and she is eligible for citizen of canada. We have applied for spousal PR. CIC has told us that she is eligible for sponsorship and they have sent our application to New Delhi. Now the processing time in New Delhi stats almost 10 months. Its way too long. We already miss each other so much. now she is having vacation of one month from her job. She wants to come back to India for a month. Will it affect our Spousal Application if she returns to India for a month?

Dr.Bhavik Patel
2013.05.26 21:05:55

From what I have read, this sort of thing does not seem to cause any problems. It seems to be an issue when the sponsored spouse makes trips into the country. But that's just my recollection when I was reading about these things two years ago, I'm really not qualified to say.

Perhaps your wife should call the CIC help line and ask them?


i know this is older now, but my wife and I have been trying this now for four years and it never gets easier. Your so right with the wait, we have applied four times and with little or no word from immigration. Once we went through the Canadian embassy in Bern, Switzerland and we have not received anything in the mail.... just nothing. I mean even when you call Canadian immigration the representative on the phone told me that there is NO WAY to tell if they got my application or not until the time of processing. I am Canadian and my wife is swiss we were married in Canada and even our son was born in Canada ($5000 birth). I can live and work in Switzerland no problem immigration there took two weeks SERIOUSLY!!! TWO WEEKS. We just went to the village office and handed them the correct paperwork and 9 days later we got a phone call to come to Aarau for me to get my photo taken for an auslander ausweiss (sp) a week later I got my card in the mail... just like that. The difficult thing is that my wife hates how dense the population is in Switzerland and after spending a summer with me at my parents farm she also wanted to have a more laid back (less stressful) life like that. I have farmed my whole life so when it comes to getting a job in Switzerland I'm at a loss. No papers means no Job, even when you spend 1200 on german courses and a work placement agency. So like yourself I too thought canadian immigration would be a simple venture. 4applications later 4 years 11months and still counting The most heartbreaking thing is about every spring if we never heard anything back from Canadian Immigration ( about every 12 months) we apply again. Well this time my wife asked me if we could immigrate somewhere else besides canada. She hates having to get all our pictures rounded up from our wedding and go in for her ''Yearly'' medical for the soul purpose of waiting and not knowing whether or not we will be approved, plus the fact that after 3months she can't drive in canada just stay at home. I know some couples go for years trying to get their spouse into Canada but I suppose we're the ones that just give up and go somewhere else. Sure makes a fella disappointed in his country. Well I hope everyone else has better luck than we did

2013.05.28 01:25:29

I wish I could say that your story surprises me. Can I ask which method you're using to apply? Sure the "outland" method? I'm just flabbergasted that you've applied repeatedly and have never heard anything?

Can you have your parents contact their MP, perhaps? Surely *someone* can help!


Hi Michael! Your information has been the BEST so far on the internet as it was very detailed and settled my mind a bit. My situation is that I am a Canadian citizen and I want to sponsor my Fiance who is currently in France (he is a French citizen). I am wondering which route would be best to take. He is thinking of applying to a working holiday visa in Canada, and then we would get married THEN apply for the visa. This way he could work up to a year and 6 months within Canada and be free to do as he likes. This would be an inland process. Another option is he comes soon and we get married, he goes back to France and we do the applications outland, while I am here and he is in France. Which option in your opinion is better? Also, he lived and worked in the UK for two years so we would have to get the criminal security clearance before he comes to Canada right? Another thing is I am a Master's student with fluctuating employment in the Government (I'm in the capital) but I hear even if I do not have a job while I am applying if I apply with a family member (like my mom) I can still be considered as a financially capable sponsor, does that work as well? I wish this whole process was easier and more clear but if you could answer my questions and point me in the right direction regarding online resources, it would MUCH appreciated. Thanks in advance, Katya

2013.06.05 16:41:39

Congratulations on your decision to marry, I hope this visa stuff doesn't diminish your happiness in any way. It didn't ours!

And for that reason, I advocate that you try the working vacation visa route and tough it out while you're together. We couldn't imagine having spent a year apart, I don't think it would have worked out.

I can't comment on involving a parent in the application, I've never heard of anyone attempting a third party entering an application. But I can offer you some advice on the inland/outland thing: even if your fiancé is with you in Canada, use the "outland" process. From what I've read, it was always considered the normal route, and the "inland" route was designed for people with no standing in the country. I don't think this is what you want.

But please drop into some of the forums as I recommend on my website. There are some extremely knowledgeable and helpful people there. You've done well to start researching this stuff, keep it up.


Dear Michael, Thank you for answering in advance all my questions. The information found in this forum is gold. However, I couldn't find answer to my situation yet: I wonder how should I process. I know that outland process is faster than inland. I'm canadian and my girlfriend or fiancée is cambodian and lives in Cambodia. We are planning to get married in Cambodia next year in January 5, 2014. The restaurant and the wedding planner have been reserved and deposit have been made, we have of course the receipt or the contract to confirm. My plane tickets has already been bought leaving Canada to Cambodia on Dec. 25. My families plane tickets also have been purchased. However, I find that Dec. 25 is way too long before I see my girlfriend again. Therefore, I'm planning to get her a Visitor visa for 1 month for August. Once she get here, we will get married here in Canada and do the outland process AFTER she's back to Cambodia. By processing that way, I figure it out that her application will be in CIC agent's hand for about 5 months already before we get married in Cambodia. The other alternative is I will go to Cambodia this August and get a civil marriage and then apply outland as well. Of course the wedding planned for January 5, 2014 is still on schedule. Which way is the best in your opinion? Do you think the CIC will grant her the Visitor Visa since we have proof that she will be back for our wedding in Cambodia? If we use the second alternative, would the CIC might grant her her PR even thought we didn't do yet our wedding ceremony? If they required wedding ceremony pictures, would they keep our file on hold and will ask us to send them pictures of our wedding ceremony? Today with the goverment cutting lots of public servant services and jobs, how long would it take generally in your opinion to complete the process compared to 6 months average it used to be? On the website, it say 26 months to process a spouse application at the Singapore visa office, do I really need to wait 26 months?!? I'm freak out, please reassure me, thanks a lot. Thank you SO MUCH for your answer. Sim

2013.06.17 21:31:13


The lastest I heard last week was that the people who do this work at the visa offices were actually on strike. I don't know if that's over, but yes, generally the durations that are posted to the websites are about right! If I were you, I would marry in Canada, have the celebration in Cambodia, then file the application. You want your application to be as strong as possible when you file it. This means lots of evidence that the marriage is real, including photos of her with your family in Canada, photos of you with her family in Cambodia, and if possible, photos of your family and hers together. This also goes for friends. You want to have proof that the two of you are known to be together by her friends and your friends, and that you appear together in public.

I'm very sorry that our government has arranged things like this. In my case it took us a year from when we started gathering the proof and writing the application to when my wife had her PR, was landed, and had her health insurance (just in time, as she was pregnant). 26 months would normally sound insane but I believe it completely.


hey , my name is noureddine , my wife lives in victoria canada we got refuse appeal (sponsership) , now we are going to re-apply , how long we have to wait for do it again , and we are plaining to have a kid , does it will help us ,,? THANKS for reply michael

2013.07.01 15:30:34

Sorry to hear it, Noureddine. I don't really know the answer to your questions, I believe that if you used the Outland process you can apply again. See the CIC website for this sort of thing

Also, you didn't leave me your contact details, I cannot respond.


Hi i'm from philippines my husband sponsoring me and our daughter last year. He send a complete app. In canada last nov.5 2012. June 7 2013 manila canadian embassy requesting my original passport and also my daughter's passport. And july 9 2013 according to ecas "medical result have been made" when i check my email. So what will be the next ? And how long will it take? Thank u and i hope that you will answer my question.

2013.07.12 19:43:26

No one outside the system really seems to know how ECAS is updated. But if the embassy in Manila has asked for your passport that's a very good sign. In fact, the turnaround from November has been excellent!

I'd guess you only have a few weeks left to wait.

Good luck, and welcome to Canada!


I am so glad I came across your article and can get a better understanding of how frustrating this process can be. I have done much research over the last 2 years of dating my fiance. At one point he actually broke it off thinking he couldn't tolerate us living apart, but in the end we were meant to be. We are to be married in October in Canada, and plan on completing all paperwork immediately following. I am applying outland due to the supposed quickness of the application as well as I am going to live in the US to financially support myself/have health coverage and save for him and I to buy a house when I move to Canada. I have heard it is up to the border agent to let me into Canada once the process has been started but more acceptable to come and go into Canada with proof of established residence & work in US compared to applying inland where you are unable to return to Canada once you leave & application is in process. After 2 years of being apart and understanding it will take months, I plan to have all paperwork, letters from family/friends, photos in order to prevent delay in anyway that I can. I pray I am only looking at 8-10 months after marriage of being away from my soon to be hubby and step-daughter, I miss them a ton! Are there any other suggestions or words of wisdom from anyone that has had success with this process?? I never thought I'd be in love and follow someone to another country but I hope Canada's goverment doesn't keep a true genuine marriage/love apart! Good luck to everyone on here! ~Erica

2013.07.14 00:37:24

To speed things along, it would be best to get your background check in your country (and in the US, once you've moved there) initiated as close as possible to the wedding date. They can take a couple of months. Also, schedule your medical tests for around the wedding date. If you're having anyone write letters confirming your relationship, make sure you get those in quickly. Get through all of the application forms and make sure you've got the correct information - don't leave any doubts unanswered. The best bet in that case is a forum (such as the ones I reference on my web page).

In the mean time, collect "proof" (e.g. photos) of the two of you spending time together: in public; with friends; with family.

Good luck with your application!


Hi,i am from husband in Canada and apply 4 PR on Dec 2011. Now after almost 18 months I receive a letter for additional information. Which I send to visa office. Actually I want to now what happens much long time period remains. With due respect I will wait.

2013.07.24 13:04:13

I suggest that you look for a forum where others from Pakistan are going through the same process. You'll doubtless find the information you need there. Have a look at this, for instance:

Check under "family class".


Hello. I was wondering if someone might be able to help me on this one. I'm Colombian and married a canadian citizen, we have a beatiful baby girl and we applied from inside canada, about 6 months ago. My status in the country is legal because I came under a visitors visa and becuse I sent my work permit application with my permanent residency application, I can stay in the country legally. My question is: I have a multiple entry visa and I wish to go back to my country 1 month so my family can meet our baby. do you know if under my circunstances is that possible??? thank you.

2013.07.27 09:58:21


No, I don't know what your status is but the re-entry visa should be valid no matter your application process. My wife was living with me and our son in Canada as a visitor and had her PR application in progress when she went back to her country (Japan). She managed to get back into the country without issue. That said, since Colombia is not an exempt country, you may find that some border services personnel will react differently. Some of our border services people are great, some not so much. My advice: carry your daughter's Canadian passport (do not attempt to leave Canada without your daughter having a passport), whatever proof you have that you're the child's mother, and a copy of your PR application including copies of all of the proofs that you collected, etc. It's a bit of a pain to drag such a folder around, but I've been told that it can save you a lot of grief.

P.S. Congrats on the little one, we have a baby girl as well.


Hi Michael Thanks for all your helpful advice. I am in a same sex relationship and my girlfriend is an american citizen I am a Canadian citizen. We will be getting married next year and I will then begin the process to bring her to Canada. The obvious choice for us would be to take the outland application as it seems to be much quicker process. I know an American can be in Canada for up to 6 months. What I would like advice on is if we are to be married is it best for her to stay here until she is contacted to attend an interview in America. Or; is it best that she returns to America until contacted. I guess our concern is that once she leaves to attend the interview there will be a long wait before she may return. How likely is the border to turn someone away when they are going to visit their wife. What would be an average wait time between the interview and obtaining a pr if approved. Also will she be eligible to apply for a job and care card at that time. Thank you and best regards Christina

2013.08.08 18:26:13

To put the quickest answers first: I don't know how long the wait between two stages of the process might be; but it's not a sure thing that either of you will be called for an interview. My wife wasn't.

As a visitor she will have no rights to work here and will have no access to public health coverage. In fact, she'll have to buy travel insurance. Curiously, while you can do this from Canadian carriers, it's nowhere near as comprehensive as the provincial plan (e.g. my wife had no coverage at all for her pregnancy until the health coverage through the province kicked in near the end). The way it works for adults is there is a waiting period after you've landed in the province: in Ontario this is three months; I understand it's different in other provinces. Once she's got her PR visa in her passport, you'll do the flag-poling thing at the US border and then she can go directly to the various offices to apply for a SIN, provincial health coverage, etc. The SIN takes a few weeks.

Given that she can stay here for six months at a time, it might work out for you to live here together and have her return to the US every six months so that she's not overstaying her visit. I've read a variety of anecdotes about problems with re-entry, but there seem to be many more who have no problem. I get the sense that people who give the appearance of treating the whole thing with due respect seem to have fewer problems. As I advised another visitor to the site recently, ensure that she takes a copy of the application paperwork with her when she leaves, so that she can show all of the forms and gathered proofs etc. My wife did this on an emergency trip to Japan and was fine.


Hi Michael, I've gathered information on your forum but I still have some questions. I have been living in Japan for almost 5 years and I'm a Canadian near the Toronto area. I have a girlfriend who will soon move in with me. We have pictures together, I met her family, she's coming to my brothers wedding next year (March 2014) so she'll get pictures taken with my family. I plan to go back to Canada with her in 1 to 2 years later. What is the best route we should take? The outland route? Should we get married in Japan then after start the outland route in order of her to stay with me in Canada? Any information would be greatly appreciated, Thank you!

2013.08.23 23:07:11

We seem to have a fair bit in common, I was in Japan for five years as well. Yes, you want to do the outland route; I've been told that the inland route was originally designed as something like a perpetual amnesty plan for sponsoring spouses who've been living in Canada without status; it's a one-shot deal, it's slower, etc.

Getting married certainly wouldn't hurt your claim. Other than that, some wrinkles we uncovered (in no particular order):

1. Should she become pregnant, she won't have health coverage in Ontario that will cover pregnancy or child birth expenses until she has standing in. The private coverage you can buy in Canada simply doesn't cover those things.

2. She won't have an SIN until after she obtains her PR visa, so she won't be legally able to work, and I believe that staying here as a visitor she'd also by unable to enroll in school.

3. Flying back and forth during the process can be tricky; if you file the application then come here I'm not sure you can predict the outcome with the border services people; they sometimes seem to bar re-entry. Same thing if you move here, file, then she leaves and re-enters.

4. Living apart seems like a pointlessly difficult burden, but the inability to work/study or otherwise be productive has its strains as well.

Oh; the Tokyo visa office is now shuttered, so you'll be going through Manila. And all of the visa offices are currently undergoing a strike by the staff, so you'll have to watch for news on that front as well.


Hello, I'm Czech and I have been living in Canada for 10months with Working Holiday Visa, which expires at the end of October.My fiancé is Canadian citizen and we are going to marry soon. I have read a lot of forum about this problem etc. so as soon as we get married I should apply for Outland PR (it was suggested for shorter time of processing then the Inland PR), so while the processing I am Not allowed to work in Canada,right? Do you think,that all the processing I have to go through I can do alone, I mean without any lawyer? How does it work with carecard if I live in BC? Any suggestions?

2013.08.29 21:06:55

Hello, Gabriela;

You don't need a lawyer, the actual filing is fairly straightforward, and you've found the forums where you can get a lot of support which is a good start. I've heard of way too many problems with lawyers: despite what they say, they can't speed up the process, for instance; also, there seem to be many lawyers who charge outrageous fees and leave you to do all the work.

Since you already have a working holiday visa, I would have a look at what it would take to get another one or a working visa if possible. I really have no experience in that area, but whatever you do, I recommend that you not try to live in Canada without a visa. If you're here without a visa and you're not from a visa-exempt country (as you know, the Czech Republic requires a TRV), you're both breaking the law and potentially jeopardizing your PR visa application. Speaking as someone who was once ejected from Japan over a visa issue, I strongly urge you to stay legit. ;)

Many people marry, start their application, then live apart for the duration. If you have to spend some time apart because of your visa issue, bear in mind that some sponsored spouses stay in a third country such as the US. Whatever you do, keep the CIC advised of your updates (e.g. where you've moved, if you've become pregnant, etc.).

All the best, and keep learning about the situation and asking questions. 8)


Hi Michael, I'm about to get married in Japan, and my plan is to then go to Canada to live with my wife. I don't have a job yet to support her though. So I guess my best way to do the PR for her is similar to yours? 1. Go to Canada 2. Get a job 3. She joins me in Canada 4. Application for PR About number 4, can we file the application in Canada but still going through the outside country path, if it does make any sense? Or she has to apply in Japan before she joins me? Also, should she do her medical and background test in Japan? Last question! Can she join me right away after I found a job, any advices? Thank you! Regards David

2013.09.01 03:03:59

Your plan sounds good to me. She can do her medical test here or there, but be sure to use one of the approved clinics/hospitals on the CIC's published list. Her background check will go MUCH faster if she does it in Japan (where it's ten days, as opposed to six-ten weeks done here in Canada!).

Yes, she can come join you at any time as long as she keeps to the terms of her visitor status. That is, staying in Canada for no longer than six months on any one visit—that was the duration three years ago anyway. There is a danger that she will be denied entry to Canada should she leave while your visa application is in the works, but I can't quantify that or even explain it. It seems that it's up to the whim of the border services guard you're dealing with. My wife accidentally overstayed her six month period by two weeks, left Japan for a family emergency, and re-entered without problem. But she had with her a) a copy of her entire PR application including all of the evidence (photos, everything), b) our son, who has dual citizenship, and c) a letter from me saying that she had my permission to be traveling with our son.

One other comment: you may find, unless you have a solid network in Canada and your overseas visit was brief, that finding a job after returning from overseas can be a bit of a challenge. For some reason, the "recent Canadian experience" thing may be applied to you in spades. I can't explain it. I was thirty years old, an experienced IT hand, and had never seen a job search take more than two weeks when I first came back to Canada (after fifteen months in Australia). It took me three years (in the midst of the post 9/11 mess, mind you) of dealing with "What, you went overseas?" If I were you, I'd start working on rekindling your network here and perhaps be ready to make more than one trip to Canada for the purposes of finding work.

All the best, and congratulations on your engagement.


Hi I am a Pakistani and my husband has applied Immigration for me in may 2012, now it has been 16 months we applied, and at that time the processing time was 26 months but now it has increased to 31 months, I want to ask is it going to affect us as well? As we applied it was with all documents completed in every respect.

M. Khan
2013.09.16 15:43:00

Yes, the changes in processing time apply to everyone who is currently in the process. If you find your case going beyond the 31 months, your husband might do well to contact his member of Parliament just to inquire as to where the application sits. Also, be sure to send the government any updates along the way (such as: changes in residence; pregnancy; etc.). It's obscenely long, isn't it? We really should be able to do better than this as a country.

All the best to you and your husband!


Yeah, well, Immigration at Mississauga lost my application. Mail tracking shows a guy signed for it in May 2013. I will need to do everything over again. My wife doesn't want to come now. So trust me, it could be worse. Much worse.

Ignatius Tremere
2013.09.17 20:33:20

That's terrible. Sadly, it's not the first such case I've heard.

Where's your wife from?


Hi Michael, I just sent off my wife's sponsorship. we have been married over a year and living together 3 years in Kingston,Jamaica. Also we have two beautiful daughters together. I felt alone on this as to why the heck do they need 20 months i sent everything except blood and stool. We have never been apart for more than 3 days in 3 and half years of being together. I am now prepping for the sponsorship application being accepted. I am currently n Alberta and got work within 72 hrs of landing. just curious people who work for CIC and other agencies of government for Canada have told me for past few months now Canada doesn't like separating families and that our sponsorship will be priority and we could get approved within 8-12 months time not 20 months time. i don't know how valid this is coming from these sources could be a case of poor Chinese telephone. just want to know is there anything i can do to help speed up the process or send in to help them validate that our marriage is genuine. I was told once they deem our relationship genuine it should get approval. I m ranting here a bit but everything has been easy for me since i been back except not being with the family. skype helps and unlimited international calling helps but i missed the birth of our second daughter and she will be 4 months next tuesday. any advice will be appreciated. currently our application status on the CIC website is 'Application Received". How long does it take to transition to the next stage and what would the next application statuses be? My first daughter has her Canadian Citizenship and Canadian Passport already. once my second daughter can sit up for a photo i will send for her citizenship and passport which in itself takes almost a year altogether. I understand why they make the process so difficult mainly because so many are getting married just to come here. I feel like the good are suffering for the bad. I'm assuming why each country is given a months time table is dependent on how many applications received from that country. thanks for your time. -Brandon

2013.09.24 02:34:14


First, there's nothing you can do to speed up the process once it's begun. As I've advised other readers, be ready to provide any changes in your situation as soon as they occur (e.g. change in residence, a pregnancy, etc.).

Secondly, I seriously doubt that you'll find that the processing time will be shorter than the posted times on the CIC website. With the strike by CIC staff ongoing, the waits can't go down!

If I were you, I'd take a look at some of the online forums where people discuss these matters. You'll pick up a lot of useful insights, and you'll get a better sense of what the real wait times are like right now for Jamaica. If nothing else some tips on how to stay sane during the time apart etc. I have a link or two on the article you found on my website.

Good luck to you and your family. I know it's tough, but this is the system we have. And congratulations on your marriage and on the birth of your child!


Hi Michael, I dropped my partner at Glasgow airport this morning for a flight to Calgary. He is a Canadian Citizen and I am British. We have lived together in Glasgow, Scotland for the last 10 years and we have been together for 13 years. Fortunately for us he is now also a British citizen. He has been offered a wonderful job opportunity in Calgary and decided to take it up. He has applied to sponsor me as common law partner and we have waded our way through the forms, collected photos and testimonies from friends and family and provided copies of our joint mortgage and bank accounts here in the UK. I've done my police check and medical and I guess now we just keep our fingers crossed and wait. Being apart will be very hard however we didn't feel that me moving to Canada and being unable to work was a good idea and I certainly would rather be in the UK working and surrounded by friends and family while the whole process is ongoing. I am planning to travel to Canada to visit him for holidays so I am hoping there will be no issue with this. Do you know if you have to declare that you have a PR application in progress? Anyway it is interesting to hear everyone's stories and hopefully we will not experience too many problems but I guess you just never know. I will try to stay positive and keep busy during the wait. Thank you for sharing your experiences of this. Best wishes, Fiona

2013.09.25 10:19:17

> I am planning to travel to Canada to visit him for holidays so I am hoping there will

> be no issue with this. Do you know if you have to declare that you have a PR

> application in progress?

I really don't know, to be honest, but since you're from a visa exempt country I don't expect that there will be a problem. My wife didn't have any problems, and she was living with me in Canada for the duration of our application (and not working). If I were you, I'd plan to declare the application's in progress for sure, and I'd bring a copy of the application and a all of your evidence etc just in case. Also, you didn't mention any kids but if you're travelling with your Canadian-citizen child(ren) that should help (just be sure to have a signed letter from your husband permitting you to travel with the kid(s)).

Thank you for sharing as well, and all the best to you and your husband. I hope you enjoy Calgary, I lived there myself for nine years.


Hi Mike, Nice forum! I have a couple of questions. My wife is Canadian and I am a US citizen. We plan to move to Canada soon. I am confused about the Inland VS. Outland process. If she applies while we are in Canada what are the pro and cons. When she applies, can I get work permit, would you know the timelines? If She applies while we are in the USA, what are the pro and cons Regards Saad

2013.09.27 01:37:13

Hi, Saad. Do not use the "inland" process, I've been told it is primarily intended for families in which the foreign half of the couple has been living in Canada without status. The major drawbacks include that it's one time - if you fail you can't re-apply; this is unlike the standard "outland" process. The other major difference is that the the inland process takes 2x to 5x the time.

You'll need a work visa if you want to live here and work here, obviously. Canada and the US have reciprocal agreements, you'll have to figure out a strategy with the CIC website or perhaps by asking around on the forums.

If she applies while you're both in the US, you'll be able to stay together and you'll both be able to work. That's a pretty big advantage - my wife was unable to work for the first 10-11 months we lived here because we applied when we were already here. It makes no difference to the application process where you live - what will make more difference is the completeness of your application and how convincing you are as a married couple. I thought that given we had a child that things would be very quick, but it took quite a while.

Good luck whatever you do!


Hello Michael, First let me thank you for all you do. I need your help with a couple of questions. I am a Canadian and our family is now six generations in Canada. I am now in the Philippines as a tourist this is my second trip. I was married on Sept.2 and Jovelyn, my Filipina wife, gave birth to our daughter Sept.13. So very beautiful. I am waiting for their passports and then all documents will be complete to submit the Spousal Application. Here is the Question ... Do I take the completed Application to The Canadian Embassy in Manila or to a courier and have it sent to Mississauga ? What is best ? ............ If I use a courier and have it sent straight to Mississauga from the Philippines and not use the Canadian Embassy is it still considered a outland application ? Or must I take it to the Embassy in Manila for it to an outland application. Thank you kindly and respectfully. Murray

Murray Flach
2013.09.30 19:10:04

Having a look at the CIC website in Manila, I see that it says to mail everything to Mississauga. This is what I did for my wife's PR, and she's from Japan (one of the countries now managed by Manila, by the way). Your application will still be considered outland. I believe the inland applications are sent to somewhere in Alberta.

Here's the site, you should have a good look at specific instructions that they might have (the old Japanese CIC site, when it existed, had some country-specific notes).

P.S. You're very welcome, I do what I to help other people navigate this mine-field.


hi I'm from Philippines, my husband sponsoring me last year (october 19, 2012), and now it's been a year since he filed our application, i just had my medical done last august 15, 2013 and they ask for my passport already and sent to Canadian embassy manila last Sept. 2, 2013. I sent an email to their office and it says: " we confirm received the submission containing passport. please be advised that your application is currently queued for review by the visa officer. Should I expect for my visa? How long will I wait before they release my visa? Thank you.

2013.10.10 10:39:58

When I was going through the process with my wife, it seemed that Manila was one of the offices that asked for the passport very early in the process but then held it a long time. Hopefully that's now changed, and it's more the way that Tokyo was, where the asked for the passport as the very last step and the PR stamp comes back in the passport in a matter of weeks.

If I were you, I'd go to one of the forums that I mention on my website, and ask around for fellow Filipinos/as and see how it's been going recently.

All the best with your application, and I hope the rest of your transition to Canada goes smoothly. Who knows, maybe you'll be here just in time for the crippling cold. 8^D


I hope this forum is still open for questions as of November 13, 2013? I am a handicapped female Canadian senior citizen and my husband is American. He is in Canada on a one-year Visitor Visa which expires in July of 2014. I filed my outland application for Sponsorship in March of 2013. I have a letter from CIC stating I have been approved as his sponsor and that the application has been forwarded to the Visa office in the USA. The only note in our e-CAS states that my husbands' medical results have been received. We are hoping his PRV will be granted SOON on compassionate grounds. I have two questions. 1. In order to determine approximate processing time, how do I determine which US Visa office is processing the application to sponsor my husband (who is from Minnesota)? Would that be LA (because he is west of the Mississippi River? 2. would it cause a problem with CIC if my husband were to sign up with a Canadian Doctor (he is already registered with my family physician) and have a copy of his medical records forwarded from Minnesota to Ontario while waiting for his PR Visa? any help you can provide would be very much appreciated! Thank you in advance. thank you in advance.

2013.11.13 15:08:58

The quick answers to your questions are "I don't know".

For question 1, I would turn to the forums I mention on my website. You'll find others where an American spouse is being brought to Canada, and can compare notes and learn from that experience.

For question 2, I believe that that would not be a problem at all. My wife, being Japanese, was able to stay for up to six months at a time, so she lived in-country with me (and our son) while the application drifted through officialdom. She didn't have to transfer any medical records, but she certainly was fully inducted into the medical field here, as she became pregnant during the PR process. No one batted an eye at someone without any status living in Canada, nor did they care about her lack of health coverage, as we simply paid cash. You and your husband would likely experience the same thing, as the only insurance he'd be able to attend would be something like Blue Cross travel insurance (which covers ambulances and hospitalization).

(Again, bear in mind that I'm just some guy on the 'net.)


Hi Michael, My situation is a bit different due to the following factors. I have been married for three years, known my husband for nearly six and have spent most of my relationship with my husband travelling back and forth from the UK on my passport and staying for the six month term they allow on my own savings. We have not attempted to apply for a spousal visa either in Canada or the UK because until January of last year my husband was on a medical benefit for depression/anxiety/stress (before this he was a civil servant for the British military). This meant he was unable to sponsor me to come to the UK on a spousal visa (as they dont allow someone on benefit to sponsor their spouse) and I was afraid that because of his age (53) and his medical history that he would be refused entry to Canada on medical grounds. We decided that in order for us to be together I would apply to move to the UK and he would need to come off his medical benefit and find work. It has been a process from him switching from a medical benefit in the UK, to searching for work. He had to "prove" he was well enough to work, he had all kinds of forms to fill in, medical evaluations he to go to and tell his doctor that he was well enough to job seek. He then had to sign on for a Job Seeker's Allowance and try to obtain a job which in the current economic market (and because of the space of time he was out of work) has been near to impossible. He was finally switched from a medical benefit to Job Seekers Allowance in the UK in January of last year. He has been job searching to no avail since. The UK also put in place in July 2012 a stipulation that to sponsor a spouse you must either make over 18, 600GBP or have that in savings. Any place we have gone for advice pretty much states that unless I am seeking asylum or if my husband is a refugee, they will not help us. Its been a nightmare to put it simply. Right now that amount is in appeals but will not go to the high court until March. I fear putting in my application because my passport will be stuck in a limbo with me unable to travel and we will lose our entire processing fee if I need to ask for it back and I could still be stuck waiting for months to see my husband. Him being on JSA means he cannot take a holiday outside of the UK or even that will be taken away from him. This entire time we have tried to do things the legal way, but now considering that he is still job searching and no longer on benefit, I am considering trying to bring him to Canada. Being apart is becoming unbearable. What is the medical exam like? Should I apply for him while he is still in the UK? or should I buy a ticket for him to "visit" and try to apply while he is inland? How long is the general wait time if I apply for him while he is still in the UK? The stress of this all has been unbelievable and the work we have had to do to try to be together should be proof enough our relationship is real and viable. I have felt so disappointed in both the UK and Canadian processes and when reading the forms have been left confused and unsure of what to do. Any recommendations you have would be appreciated. Thank you!

2013.11.15 14:43:19

It's not clear to me whether you now want to sponsor him to come to Canada, or whether you're still trying to find a way for him to sponsor you, but I'll relay something from our experience:

1. The medical exam is straight-forward, there's a chest x-ray and a thorough exam - bloodwork, everything. You have to go to an approved site to do this.

2. Applying with him already living in Canada is not technically illegal. You can file through the outland process with him in Canada as a visitor as long as he doesn't overstay the terms as a visitor. For my Japanese wife, this meant she could not stay longer than six months. The danger comes in the form of being barred re-entry should a Border Services agent decide to refuse your husband re-entry on his nth time while your application is in progress. The good news is that since he's British, he'll be among the very fastest applicants to receive approval. You can look up the wait times on the CIC website (the CIC website for the British embassy may be helpful in this regard, if it exists). Your husband will not be able to work in Canada, nor have provincial medical insurance. You will have to buy travel insurance for him while he's here, and its coverage is limited.

I strongly suggest that you go to the official sources and the forums I reference on my website and learn everything you can. You'll find plenty of Canadians with a British spouse on the forums. Appropriately armed, you'll be able to make a strategy accordingly.

Yes, the spousal sponsorship program (and in particular those forms!) are a mess all right. Canada has a very strange relationship with its expat community (demanding that expats sever all economic, material, and professional ties to be deemed non-resident for tax purposes, for instance) and a very inconsistent approach to immigration. Immigrants and expats don't/can't vote, I suppose.

I hope this has helped in some way.


Hi, I just have a few questions regarding outland sponsorship. My husband and I got married in July. I have lived in Toronto for the past 7 years as an international student. However, my visa expires in September 2014. I was wondering whether we could start the outland application now, even though I still live in Canada. Once my visa expires we plan to go back to my country (we are having a baby in June, so it'd be nice to spend some time with my family). Hopefully I would receive my PR before September 2015, but if it takes longer, could I apply for another study permit to start my master's in Toronto?

Juliana Ramírez
2013.11.20 08:30:03

Applying via outland application, and then being back in your country until the visa arrives makes sense - just be sure that you know where the passport will be routed once the stamp's been inserted. ;^)

I can't comment on the second question about the student via, I'm just someone who sponsored his wife, not a visa expert. That said, I've never heard of an outland application taking nearly two years, I imagine you'll have your PR stamp well before then (very processing time for the visa office that handles your country).

Congratulations on your wedding and the baby!


Thank you Michael for shareing your experience. Once completed and submitted the application you feel like you become an expert, that's at least the way I felt a couple of months ago when we finished the sponsorship application within Canada for my PR. At that moment, the worst is yet to come; as you tell, the applicant has no right to work, no health care... It´s simply very hard. In my case, I am from Spain and don´t have kids but I would like to take this "empty" time to have a child. I wonder if there is any kind of medical assistance for immigrants or if somebody could give me advice on private insurance. Thank you, Maria

2013.11.26 04:18:10

Well, a child will certainly fill your time! 8^)

You can buy the sort of travelers insurance meant for people vacationing in Canada through companies like Blue Cross:

It does *not* cover pregnancy-related costs, so you will pay for all of your clinic visits and other things out of pocket. It will, however, cover the costs of any emergency hospitalization (and unlike provincial coverage, covers the cost of ambulance trips). I don't know why Canada's health insurance system works like this, but your choices are very limited.

Your child, born to a Canadian parent in a Canadian hospital, will have coverage from birth.

Congratulations, and all the best on your new life in Canada.


Hi Michael, Thank you for sharing your experience and knowledge with us, all of you comments are very helpful. My Fiance is a Canadian citizen and I am a Chinese citizen. I have a Canadian visa with multiple entries valid until 2017 and I visited him in Canada this year for a few months and met his family and friends. We went to church together there and took a pre-marriage counseling course together. He has met my family and friends too in China. We are planning to get married in Canada this coming summer in 2014 and I plan to fly to Canada in Jan 2014 to plan the wedding. We will apply for PR right away after the wedding or honeymoon. So my questions are: 1. If we cannot book everything for the wedding within the 6 months of my next visit, should I apply for extension of my stay (as we read on CIC's website that you can apply for an extension 30 days prior to your status' expiry)? We figured, if the extension allows me to stay for another 6 months, then surely we will be able to get the wedding done. 2. After our wedding, when I am still in Canada, should we apply "inland" or "outland"? We read on CIC that for our situation, inland would take 22 months while outland would take about 10 months. If to apply "outland" when we are both in Canada, how do we do that? Do we need to mail everything to CIC in Ontario or the Canadian Visa Office in China? Or do I HAVE TO fly back to China to apply? (tickets are expensive and flight is so long and exhausting…) It frightens me that there's no appeal if you got rejected applying "inland" (which makes no sense!!! Are they going to separate a couple forever???!), even though I can't think of any reason why they would possibly reject us, I still wouldn't want to take the risk. 3. "Inland" or "Outland", can I obtain my police check and medical exam in Canada? (do you know the cost for the medical exam done in Canada?) Do I need to get the police check notarized in Canada and how? 4. If I have to fly back to China to apply "outland", can I go back to Canada to visit him on my tourist visa? I am concerned that they might reject my entry because of our application is in process. In that case, I'd probably cry at the airport and fall apart :( 5. My job allows me to work from home and my clients are not located in Canada. So if we apply in Canada, can I keep my job and work from home or will I not be allowed to work at all? 6. If we are to apply from within Canada after the wedding, what documents do I need to obtain now before going to Canada? I read that the police check is only valid for 3-6 months, so it might have expired by the time we apply for PR. Your wisdom would be so much appreciated as this is really heavy on us. Thank you, Michael! Dand

2013.11.29 03:32:55

I'll try to answer your questions but bear in mind that I'm not an expert, merely someone who's been through it recently.

> We are planning to get married in Canada this coming summer in 2014


> We went to church together there and took a pre-marriage counseling course together.

> He has met my family and friends too in China.

That's great. Include photos of all of it in your application.

> If we cannot book everything for the wedding within the 6 months of my next visit, should

> I apply for extension of my stay

I don't know. Have a look at the forums I recommend on my web page, where you can find other people in similar circumstances (and from your country). Also, check the website of the Canadian embassy to China. Those sources will be much more accurate than I could be.

> After our wedding, when I am still in Canada, should we apply "inland" or "outland"?

Outland! I've been told that the inland process was designed as an avenue for amnesty for people who are already living in Canada. Do not use it.

> Do we need to mail everything to CIC in Ontario or the Canadian Visa Office in China?

When I went through it, all of the spousal applications for outland applications went through Mississauga. All of the inland applications went to Vegreville (IIRC) in Alberta. I don't think you'd ever mail your application package to a location outside Canada. The application is first processed in Canada, including reviewing your husband for suitability as a sponsor, then forwarded to the embassy/consulate in your country.

> can I obtain my police check and medical exam in Canada?

The police check is done by the police in your country, not the Canadian police. With my wife's case, we waited until we were here in Canada to order the background/police check, and it took two months. If we'd done it in Japan, it would have taken two weeks. BTW, when you receive the police report, I believe it cannot be opened.

You can do the medical exam in China or Canada or anywhere else, but the exam must be done by someone on the CIC's list. Here in Toronto believe it or not there were only limited options. I don't know what it might be like where you live in China. It's not a lot of money here in Canada (and my wife did not have medical insurance).

> If I have to fly back to China to apply "outland", can I go back to Canada to visit him

> on my tourist visa? I am concerned that they might reject my entry because of our

> application is in process.

Things like that do happen. Here in Canada, a lot of power is given to individual agents - if one decides to refuse you entry, you'll be sent back. That can even happen if you leave Canada because you were called to your country for an interview at the embassy, which is real madness. That said, my wife was here for six months, went back to Japan for a month with our son, and returned without incident. BUT: a) she had our son, a Canadian citizen and child of a Canadian citizen and b) she also had a full copy of her visa application with her to show the officials (if asked).

> My job allows me to work from home and my clients are not located in Canada. So if we

> apply in Canada, can I keep my job and work from home or will I not be allowed to work at all?

I believe that you would not be able to file an income tax report until you have an SIN, so by all means continue to work. Your arrangement sounds ideal, but bear in mind that I'm neither a tax accountant, nor a lawyer.

> If we are to apply from within Canada after the wedding, what documents do I need to

> obtain now before going to Canada? I read that the police check is only valid for 3-6 months,

> so it might have expired by the time we apply for PR.

My information is a bit out of date, but have a look at the forms and the website of the embassy in your country - the website of the embassy in Tokyo was a life-saver for us. By no means let your medical exam or background check expire, get the application in as quickly as you can once you have them.

> Your wisdom would be so much appreciated as this is really heavy on us. Thank you, Michael!

It's not wisdom, it's just experience. But you're very welcome Dand, and congratulations and best wishes to you and your fiance.


I am a Canadian citizen currently living and working in Malaysia for the last 5 years with my wife and 2 sons. My wife is Japanese. We got married in Japan in 2005 (I have been working outside of Canada since 2000). My eldest son holds a Canadian Passport, a Canadian Citizenship card and a SIN card. He was born in Germany. My youngest was born a year ago in Malaysia and I have already submitted his application for a Canadian Citizenship Certificate. About a month before we leave we need to apply for his passport (according to the Canadian High Commission in Kuala Lumpur). What I need to find out is what the process is for my wife for our move to Canada? Based on the comments I have read on the forum, I believe I need to apply for Canadian Spousal Permanent Residency while we are still here in Malaysia and before we go to Canada this summer? We leave in the middle of June (so will only be here for another 5 months or so) for a visit to Japan and then go to Canada. Am I supposed to do this process through the OUTLAND option and through the Canadian Embassy in Manila, and if so does this mean I would be sending all necessary documents through courier to Manila? Would the process be complete before we leave and if not, will that be ok?

2014.01.27 00:00:56

Five months? No, I've never heard of anyone outside of the UK, US, or maybe Germany/the Netherlands having a PR application go through in such a short time even if you had your application assembled and ready to go tomorrow. Given the ongoing cuts to the service, I would expect 8-15 months to be more realistic if you're still wondering about which process to use. Ours took three months to assemble (just the police check back in Japan will take two months), and six months for the government to approve. Given the nationality of your wife, you'll submit your outland application to the processing center in Canada (I believe it's in Mississauga) and it will be forwarded to the responsible visa office after you're approved as a sponsor. That office is in Manila, but again you do not submit your documents there directly.

After you've applied, your wife can come with you to Canada and take up residence here but she will not have any standing; as a Japanese citizen she is entitled to stay here without a visa (when we did this three years ago, the term was six months) but she will have to leave the country and re-enter after the six months are up. My wife did this, traveling with our son (also dual nationality) and she got in again without problem. Note that not everyone is so lucky, but again our son was with her, she was carrying a letter of consent to travel with our son from me, and she was carrying a copy of our application for her PR.

Given your situation, this might work out well; your application will be well under way and possibly complete (I doubt it) before the first six month period is up. The government will readily return her passport with the PR stamp to an address inside Canada even if you use the "outland" process. Then you do the flag-poling trick at the border with the US (or fly internationally and return) and you're done.

Remember, I'm not an expert, just someone who's been through it (my wife, like yours, is Japanese). But feel free to send any follow-on questions.


Thank you very kindly Michael for your responses. As you say, it is unlikely that the process will be completed by the time we leave Malaysia in the middle of June this year. I am glad you clarified that I would not be making the application directly through the Embassy of Canada in the Philippines, but through the out land application processing center in Canada (which then goes through the responsible visa office). I really want to make sure I go through correct application. Would you be able to provide me with a link to the correct spot on the CIC site to begin the application process for my wife? Do you know whether I apply and then begin collection of all required documents, etc. or if everything goes at once? My wife is traveling to Japan at the end of March for 5 days. Do you happen to know when she has to send her actual passport as part of the application process? Or does that happen towards the end of the process or could it potentially happen after we leave Malaysia and we are already in Canada? I presume there would be something in the application about dependents. Would that mean dependents who do not hold Canadian passports? I do not know if there is anything else...

Brian Pretty
2014.01.29 23:58:03

Everything on the CIC website seems to change periodically, it now looks like they may have amalgamated the forms for the two processes (inland/outland). Have a look at these forms to start with:

You'll also want to familiarize yourself with the guidance on the website of the Manila visa office:

Your wife will send the passport off to the visa office in Manila as the second-last process. The request comes either a) when she has been approved as a spouse or b) when they are now reviewing her as a spouse. The old visa office in the Tokyo embassy did it through route a) but at the time I went through all of this (in 2011) the Manila office seemed to follow route b) which means the request comes earlier but they retain the passport for a much longer time (a few months instead of 1-2 weeks).

I'm not sure I follow your question about the timing of the passport submission, but from whichever point you submit the passport your wife would of course not be able to travel internationally. You'll have to find out (perhaps from one of the forums) if the CIC still wants all dependents listed or only those without a Canadian passport. At the time I went through it, our son did not have to be listed because he was a Canadian citizen.


I would love your advice. My fiance (born and raised in Canada but in the US on a TN Visa that is expiring soon) and I are moving to Toronto. I'm a US citizen. From preliminary research and reading a few forums, it sounds like it would be in our best interest for him to submit the application to sponsor me now, while we are still in the US? What are the next steps and can I move with him when he moves or do I need to stay in the US until I am fully approved? Can I work in Canada while the PR visa is being processed? What kind of time frame can I expect for all of this? This is all really overwhelming and I'd love your advice!

2014.02.03 09:39:13

It certainly is overwhelming, I was very disappointed in my country when I went through all of this. In your case I would a) ascertain the duration of your visit privileges to Canada (e.g. six months at one stay), b) whether you can come and go to/from Canada as an American if your visa application is already underway, and c) what the time frames are for your country at present (e.g. here: and Our benighted government is withdrawing resources from the CIC program for spousal applications

My wife and I decided that with her six month visitor's eligibility in Canada (as a Japanese citizen) to move to Canada and then start the application. We did this so that we could stay together whatever happened. In the end, it took us ten solid months to get her PR stamp, so she had to exit the country and return, a chancy thing because some border services guards could potentially block her re-entry for some imagined pretext (I think this was more of a risk in the past than it is today). But she had with her a) our Canadian son and b) a copy of our application, and she had no trouble re-entering. Again, this was just our experience, your experience may vary.

Whatever you do, be sure you file an "outland" application.

And no, you cannot legally work for a Canadian employer in Canada while your PR is pending because you won't have a SIN and you won't have standing. But, you can apply for a working visa after your spousal application is in the works. It's "explained" here:

This also limits your options for health care in this country, so keep the potential expenses in mind should you be considering a pregnancy. As it happened, my wife went through the first two semesters without real health coverage (you can only buy travel insurance, it covers emergency hospitalization but no "pre-existing" conditions) and it cost a fair bit.


Hello Michael and again a big thank you for your advice. Do you see any reason not to start the process here in Malaysia before we leave in June? I mean, would it be the same as starting the process right away when we arrive in Canada in July? I guess either way it is likely or sure that my wife would have to leave Canada once before her 6 month visitor visa expires, and cross the border to the US, and re-enter? What would you advise? If we began the process in Canada, could an "outland" application still be filed? Do I fill out an application as a sponsor and my wife an application for sponsorship at the same time, to be sent together? Does it work that if I am approved as a sponsor then they will continue with my wife's application? Is she required to have an interview of some sort at some stage, and if so would that take place in Vancouver (I am hoping that it would not be Manila for example). Michael, would you happen to know if she would be eligible right away for BC Medical when we arrive? Thank you again

Brian Pretty
2014.02.05 08:28:24

Yes, start the application from Malaysia. I think you can submit electronically now, so that will save you time.

Definitely use the "outland" process wherever you're living. Ask around on the forums if you like, but the best answer I ever heard was that the "inland" process was effectively started as an amnesty program for people already living in the country illegally. When you're on "inland" you can't travel in or out of the country, and you can never re-apply should you be turned down (well, unless you remarry).

The sponsorship application is a collection of forms that you submit at one time.

I have no clue where the interview might be, it might be in Buffalo if you catch a break. Or Manila, if not. I just don't know.

No, she won't qualify for medical coverage. She'll have no standing. It's blue cross insurance for her. Your <18 year old children WILL have coverage though, if BC's the same as ON. Take 'em in to the ministry immediately when you arrive.

All the best, Brian.


Hi My husband is a Canadian citizen and we were in US for 4 yrs...Now I moved to India for my outland PR to Canada, with my 3 yr old child who is a US citizen. We applied on n0v 15,2013, got sponsorship approval on dec 18,2013... I got my AOR on Jan 30,2014...Now it is March 5,2014 but no further updates from CIC...Any idea how much more time can it take for PP request and then the visa? Thanks: alpha1

2014.03.05 23:32:15

It sounds like you're on record pace! I wouldn't worry, you've got, on average, a twelve month process to look forward to, in total. At least, that's according to the CIC website:


Dear sir, How can i get legal advi.ce for spouse who entered in canada but her sponsor doesn't accept her ? Thanx

2014.03.24 02:56:43

I'm not qualified to give legal advice, Ramesh. I suggest that you hunt around for an immigration lawyer. Be sure to get references, though, one hears terrible stories of the crooks in the business. For instance, there's nothing that a lawyer can do to speed up a PR application process, no matter what they may charge.


Hi! I have a question about pr application of my dad. My mom's living in canada for yrs. now and was approved to sponsor my dad. We received an email from cic about lc2 and we responded and received the forms. It says in the email that we need to send the application to visa office in manila which we did last May 2013. We received an email march 8, 2014 from cpc vegreville requesting for medical exam for my dad that should be submitted within 60 days. However, my mom also received an email from vegreville last march asking her to send documents for her dependent with the checklist the same as the one we already submitted in manila. So my question is should my mom need to send the documents again together with the same forms as in the application or would the visa office in manila forward my dad's application to vegreville? I'm confused and we need to send the documents within 90 days from the date of the letter to my mom. If that would be the case we will be getting another nbi clearance for visa in canada and all the other requirements. Please help us on this matter. Your immediate response will be greatly appreciated. Thanks

2014.03.30 05:47:57

Hello, Cho. I'm not entirely sure if I follow your story, but I've never heard of anyone submitting an application to the visa office in another country: they're meant to go to Vegreville if you're applying for the outland route, and to Mississauga for the inland route. Since the Vegreville office is involved, it sounds like you've chosen the slower inland route. So be it.

I would do what they ask you: send the requested form(s) and have the medical exam at an approved clinic who can send the results on to the Vegreville office as soon as possible. (Did you mean to say that you not responded to the original request since March of 2013?)

I realize that it's a confusing process, Cho, I hope that I have helped in some way. Please note that I am not an immigration specialist or accredited in any way. I'm just a Canadian who's been through the process.

Good luck!!


hi Michael, my husband is Canadian citizen he apllied for my PR in july 2013 and i am in Pakistan,now processising time from Pakistan is 32 months so i want to ask you will there be any delay or complication if we plan a baby during my PR application process.

2014.03.30 12:54:18

Yes, I see that the time is 32 months. Truly incredible!

There will be complications if you have the child but do not tell the CIC. In fact, it would be best if you advised the CIC as soon as you are pregnant. Please be careful to familiarize yourself with the rules, there are frequently stories of madness associated with this system. e.g.: ( or I usually suggest that people go to sites such as to find others from their own country.

Good luck to you! Thirty-two months, it defies belief. Thank you for your dedication in coming to Canada. I apologize that our system is such a mess.


hello. I'm from Mongolia. my husband is sponsoring me for the PR application. currently I live in Canada with him under visitor visa, and I'm very close to send my documents to CIC. but then inland or Outland is confusing me. have u heard anything about visa office in Beijing? any advise? many thanks

2014.04.05 02:32:54

Definitely use the outland procedure. It has two major advantages: it's usual MUCH quicker, and if something goes wrong or you have to cancel it, you can always try again. With the inland route, that's not possible. Incidentally, there are two separate set of forms, be careful which one you're using. Also, it looks like the forms were updated a few weeks back (in January). If you've had yours for a while, verify that they're the current ones.

Good luck with your quest!


thank you for answering my question! I made up my mind and Outland it is. thanks again

2014.04.09 17:16:27

That's great! All the best in your undertaking. 8)


This info is invaluable. How can I find out more?

2014.04.20 16:33:25

You can try the links to the CIC websites or the forums I've got above. All the best to you, Jani.


Hi, I'm from island of Mauritius. My wife is a Canadian citizen. We have been married and have been living together in Mauritius. We have started our sponsorship application (Outland) back in January 2014, so she went back to Canada in January 2014. Last month, we got an email from CIC accepting and approving her as my sponsor ( step 1). We miss each other so much. We find it very very hard to be separated like that. My question is that : Since she is a Canadian Citizen, she could have stayed with me and start the application, but we didnt know that at that time. it is possible she come back to Mauritius to stay with me until I get my Permanent Residence approved? if Yes, Please guide us Regards, John

2014.04.28 16:27:46

Yes, it should be possible. Many applicants and their Canadian spouses spend their entire application approval time together outside of Canada. I have a friend who's living in Kyoto with his wife and kids right now waiting on her approval.

(Remember that I'm not an official source of information or any kind of expert. I'm just someone who's been through it. Your wife can always call the CIC help line for firm answers.)


Hello,I am from Philippines, my husband is a Canadian citizen he sponsored me as spouse. CIC processing informed me that our application is now on que for filling ,i've just done my medical examination last april 15, 2014 which was my last requirement. Now i'm waiting for an update from CIC. How long will it take before they will file our application? And after it will filed, can i apply for tourist visa? Please any kind response will be appreciated, Thank you :)

2014.05.03 23:37:39

As you can see here:

There's a period where they evaluate your husband as a suitable sponsor, then they'll evaluate you as a spouse. The link above has a link to this page, which shows the average wait times by country.

On the first page, it looks like sponsors are seeing approvals at 35 days at present. Then for your country it's a 14 month wait. Good luck, don't let it drive you crazy.


hi, sir michael, i just want to ask you a question, i am a filipina work here in hongkong for almost 13 year from now, and my husband is canadian, we won the appeal last november 28 2013, and our consultant send the documents here in hongkong last dec, 04 long does it take to wait my refferal letter for my medical and police clearance, i am so confused because until now we cant hear from the canada consulate here in hongkong. thank you so much, and godbless...

2014.05.05 09:07:53

By "an appeal", do you mean you two once tried a PR application but failed?

I have no idea how long it takes to produce the medical and police background documents, but I don't think they'll be sent to you in any case; they go right to the CIC. My wife's police check took something like two months, if I recall correctly, but that was in Japan. Bear in mind that anything I write might be out of date, because it's been three years since we went through it.

Have a look at the CIC website for the wait times. Once you've submitted your application, it will take over a month for your partner to be approved as a sponsor:

Then, since you're in HK, it will take only seven months for you to be approved as a sponsor, assuming all goes well.

That's about the fastest anywhere!

All the best with your application.



Hi Michael, Thank you so much for helping everyone with their questions. I have a little dilemma. My husband and I got married in Iran on August 2013, we sent an application to Mississauga on December 2013 and got approved for sponsorship on January 2014. At that point it was sent to Turkey and we are now waiting until it's processed. The wait is unbearable and we don't think we can wait 14 months! Do you think it would jeopardize our application if he applies for a visitor visa? He can get letters from his employer saying he has to return. The only thing I'm worried about is if he gets denied, how will that affect our application for PR?

2014.05.07 20:18:34

I don't know enough about it to comment, frankly. Why don't you call the CIC?

Or, you could check the website of the visa office in the country that's handling your case, and see if they list any contacts you can call/email at that office. The whole thing is so complicated and arbitrary that it's very hard to know without official advise. You can also check the forums (such as this one: You should be able to find more knowledgeable advice there, and possibly some other people coming from either the Turkey or Iran who can give you first hand advice as you jointly share the same "adventure".

Congratulations on your marriage, and all the best with your application.


Hi Michael,we send our Outland application in CPC Missisauga on april 9, 2014 and received April 11 , 2014 according to canada post office with signature. We call 4 times in CIC,the first call he said no application in the system,same as the second time we call,the third time we call wait for two weeks, we received email from CPC Missisauga on June 19, 2014,subject imm no application in the system,it says their they received our complete application on April 14, 2014 theirs client ID or UCI,then we wait. On June 30 we call again in CIC she told us wait till September,we send our application Outland not Inland,we even receive official acknowledgement of receipt from them,do we have to phone or email our MP to help us inquiry what's going on our application,in been 74 days waiting ....please I need your advice..

2014.07.03 10:07:22

It can take as long as two months to hear that you've been approved as a sponsor. The CIC doesn't update their records very consistently, so it's possible that they won't know that your application is in the mix until you've been approved as a sponsor. So; don't panic, yet.

That said, at this point it can't hurt to contact your MP. I've read of many cases where the Mississauga office mysteriously "lost" an application.

All the best in your application, Siegfred.


Ohh god, reading all of this freaks me out a bit. My boyfriend is Colombian but with a Canadian citizenship and I'm Colombian, we were both long time friends for the past ten years when we were both living in Miami, Fl. I came back to live to Colombia and after years of friendship we started dating this year, we want to get married and he wants me to move to Canada, in fact I'm planning on requesting a tourist visa in a couple of days just to make sure I like it and if I could stand the cold weather (I'm planning on going on November). He has a steady, full time job in Calgary and I have a BA degree in graphic design from Colombia. Which of the applications should we apply to inland or outland (15 month waiting)? Or should I apply for a working permit? Thank you so much!

2014.07.28 13:34:35

Hello, Julie. Welcome to the Great Confusion. I have no idea how work permits operate, you'll have to look elsewhere for that. I strongly recommend that you go with an outland procedure; I've been told that the inland route was designed for people already living in Canada without status. The way the program is designed, I believe it: for instance, you only get one shot - you cannot re-apply if you fail. We did the outland process even though my wife was already living in Canada.

Best of luck!


Hi there, im new here but i find this forumvery helpful... Im a filipina and got married to a french nationale with a permanent resident status in canada, our case has been sent to manila visa office. With regards to my passport submission, I requested for an urgent return of my passport due to a planned trip with my husband prior to a Passport Request I got thru an e-mail.My passport alone was sent back to me on October 2, 2014 without any further notice or instruction. I'm glad the embassy has considered my situation where i needed my passport before October 15 so i can travel. However, i do not know whether i have to submit it again or wait for another request from the embassy for my passport.Since my original copy of passport is reasonably required to complete the assessment of my application, i'd like to know if i must send it back after i get back from my travel which is on October 27. I am afraid that my concern will not be addressed and may cause future delays or refusal.

2014.10.02 11:12:04

Hi, Jade. I don't know how CIC would handle this situation, but I wouldn't be surprised if your application were put on hold while you have your passport. In your case, I would contact the visa office and ask them how to direct your passport back to them. You should probably include a letter explaining why you're submitting it; reference your application number in that letter.

Good luck to you!


hi i am sajjad from Pakistan , i got married with my wife according to Islamic religion Last years on 27th July here in Thailand , as i live and work here and i have Thai Work permit , but that marriage was not recognize by the Thai Law , in order to our marriage to be recognize we have to register our marriage in to District office here in Bangkok , so we have already register our marriage on 8th August 2014 , since me and my wife spend time together last year and we have cute daughter born in canada on 8th May 2014 , i have complete all the documents for suposal sponsorship , and now my wife has already flown back to Canada , and submit my application for Suposal Sponsorship , my wife was previously divorce and have one daughter , the problem , my wife was taking the Help from the Govt but now before we register our marriage here in thailand she has already stop the finicial help from the Govt , and now i am supporting her as she cannot work b cos my daughter is very young . please tell me can my wife will be approve as my sponsor as she is not working , and i am supporting her , but she is not taking financial help from the Govt , thanks and appreciate your quick feed back Sajjad jameel

2014.10.07 04:31:52

Hello, Sajjad, thank you for writing.

I am not an expert in the area you're addressing, but I believe that you can make this work if you can show that you have the financial resources to support yourself and your wife (I'm assuming she's a Canadian citizen or has PR standing). For instance, will you be able to continue your current method of income if you move to Canada? Do you have substantial savings that could support you for 2-3 years in case you can't find income in Canada?

I think if you look at some of the Internet forums (I list some on my website) you'll find other people (even some from Pakistan) that can help you with questions like this.

P.S. It's spelled "spousal", not "suposal". ;)


Hi Michael, I'm a Canadian citizen and I'm getting married to an American citizen in February. We're currently expecting our first baby in January 2015 and was wondering what the easiest thing for us to do is. He wants to start a life here but I'm not in the best of situations (financially) to sponsor him. I'd be able to work or take OSAP as a source of income after I have my baby. Would him getting a work permit be the easiest route? If so, how does it work and how long will it take? Also, is it easier for Americans to get PR in Canada? How long do you think it'll take for that to happen? Thanks for everything!

2014.10.17 02:58:20

First, I'd strongly suggest that you find some people who know more about your specifics. I've heard enough horror stories about "immigration lawyers" to not recommend those, but instead that you perhaps go to one of the forums on my web page.

I can tell you that Americans have just about the easiest time with obtaining PR in Canada. I would expect that if he's done his background check and medical exam in the US and you've completed your application forms with care (including lots of supporting evidence of your marriage) that the whole process would take six months or so once they've received the form. You can find up to date information on the CIC website here: (Be sure to check the "view by visa office" page and find the US).

Also, I would instinctively advise against filing a claim based on supporting him while you're on OSAP. If he has any savings, an in-demand skill-set, or source of income in the US that he can rely on while living here, that would look a lot stronger.

Congratulations on your pregnancy, and all the best in your efforts to bring your fiance here. It can be stressful and confusing but you can get through it. I think the most important thing is to decide whether you have to be together during the pregnancy and/or birth - in the context of your financial situation. Sounds easy for me to say I know, but everything else will depend on that reality.


Hi Michael, I really appreciate your help to my questions: We just applied and submitted an inland spousal application this month October 2014 , we are aware that process takes really long , anyway my question is I'm am in a woking permit and it's gonna expire on December 4, 2014 and unfortunately my employer will no longer renew any TFW in the company. My concern now what will I do to extend my stay in Canada with husband while waiting our application? Or do I really have to leave the country after my expiration of my work permit? Will it not be affect our inland application if I leave the country? Thank you in advance! Myles

2014.10.24 12:14:46

You will not be able to work without a working visa. I suggest that you work on finding something another TFW, but I am not qualified to advise you on how to do this, or if you can even do that if you're already in the country. I suggest that you turn to some of the online forums and see what other people - who are living in the same circumstances as you - are doing today. All the best, Myles, I know it's not easy!

Can I ask why you chose the inland route?


My spousal visa got rejected since they felt i had applied for the sake of visa.. what can be done.... i am waiting to have my traditional wedding done

2014.11.19 20:48:06

Well, Sen, you didn't leave your email address but:

a) If you applied through the "inland" process, your attempt is at its end. There's no re-applying once you've failed on the inland process.

b) If, however, you applied through the "outland" process, you may once again submit an application. It's important to provide proof that your relationship is real. This is where the photos and other records of your life with your spouse are critical.


Hi.i want to know this that i am Indian citizen and i got married with Philippine girl she is in Canada .she apply pr both of us in Sep 2012 and last Sep Canadian embessy send my paper to India embessy in new Delhi Canadian emvessy for to submit my medical and pcc.but i still didn't receive and call or letter from new Delhi Canadian embessy .could u help me to know that how long it will take Canadian embessy India to call or send me letter to go for my medical or pcc.

2014.11.25 11:56:47

Hello, Sanseep.

Your situation is a bit puzzling: neither of you holds standing in Canada, yet you're simultaneously applying for PR status?

Anyway, you can review the wait times on the CIC website here:

The number in the row labeled "Spouse, common‑law partner or dependent child" is for your spouse to be approved as a sponsor. Check the "View by visa office" link in the last column to see the processing time for the next stage. I understand that the office in New Delhi asks for your passport early in the process and then hangs on to it until the PR stamp is inserted.

Best of luck with your move to Canada.


Hi, I am sponsoring my husband from India and I am in Canadian citizen. We got married in 2008 and after marriage I stayed in India. I decided to move back to Toronto on Feb 2014 with our daughter who is also a Canadian citizen and start a life here. I applied on July 25th 2014. Got my approval letter on Sept 12. They send the sponsorship application to Delhi and my husband got an email on Sept 24 stating that they received his application and to pay for his Right of permanent fee if already not paid and submit PC if already not submitted. I have already paid the fee and we have already send in his PC along with the application. Since the application package has been in Delhi we haven't heard anything at all. It says on my ecas status that a decision has been made and they have received medicals. Since Sept 24, we haven't heard anything. We share a child together, is there any way we can expedite the process? Will talking to my MP make the process faster? Please help me here as I am alone working in Canada and taking care of my child and it's getting very difficult. I have no family in Canada. Thanks you

2014.11.28 10:59:10

Hello! I understand your predicament. Yes, talking to your MP might possibly help. But please note that there is no expedition due to having a child.

As I just told someone else bringing a spouse from India, you can review the wait times on the CIC website here:

The number in the row labeled "Spouse, common‑law partner or dependent child" is for your spouse to be approved as a sponsor. Check the "View by visa office" link in the last column to see the processing time for the next stage. The office in New Delhi asks for your passport early in the process and then hangs on to it until the entire approval is done and the PR stamp is inserted.

I hope this helps. Sorry for not getting back to you sooner, Arika. All the best in your application. 8)


Hello I would really love your help, My wife is Canadian, we got married January 2014 and she petitioned for me. It was received may 9th 2014 and she was approved, the papers was then sent to Jamaica for more processing, its now December 2014 and I have not herd anything from the Canadian emigration office in Jamaica. Can you tell me how long the wait it.

2014.12.10 12:25:50

Hello, Avion;

Assume your wife filed under the outland process, you can review the wait times on the CIC website here:

The number in the row labeled "Spouse, common‑law partner or dependent child" is for your spouse to be approved as a sponsor. Check the "View by visa office" link in the last column to see the processing time for the next stage. At present, it looks like the process takes 27 months once the application is in Jamaica.

Good luck!


Hey its Avion again, thank you for the info. Is there any way i could get a quicker response from the Kingston CA office.

2014.12.12 17:42:10

Perhaps if your spouse in Canada were to write to their MP?



2014.12.14 16:45:51



Hi, My name is Kaye and I am a temporary foreign worker in Canada. I am about to marry my fiance (Canadian Citizen) in a couple of months and we will start to apply the spousal sponsorship. I read the forums that outland process is better than inland. I am a bit worried now because i still have a status as a temporary foreign worker until nov2015 so planning to stay and work in Canada while waiting. Do you think its ok to apply inland? Or should i come home in the philippines? I hope to hear from you soon because I've read a lot about the time waste for inland processing but I have my work permit good until nov2015 so thinking to stay here with my husband to be and work while i still have my temporary foreign work permit status. Thank you! -Kaye

2014.12.17 21:38:20

Of course you want to use the outland process. There's no chance of being permanently blocked from obtaining your PR, as there is with the inland process. It's also faster - in fact it's your only option now because there is simply no way you can use the inland process and obtain your visa before your legal standing expires in November.

The only thing that may be confusing you is that can use the outland process while you are living in Canada. That's what my wife and I did, that's what people do every day.

When you are preparing your application, be sure to gather lots of proof like photos of the two of you with each-others' friends and families. We provided timelines describing our path to marriage, and even letters written by friends to indicate that they knew our relationship to be real.

Good luck!


Thanks for the quick response i have a follow up question with my situation as a foreign worker. Can i still work here in alberta havingy work permit til nov2015 and file an outland process for spousal sponsorship? Or should i really leave canada while its ongoing?

2014.12.17 00:00:00

You should be able to stay in Canada. In fact, the visa office in Manila will ask for your passport early in the process (after about six weeks, once your husband has been approved as a sponsor). You won't, at that point, be able to leave the country. I believe that you should look into "dual intent".

And by all means, get all the information you can from CIC.


I got married in May 2014 and spent some time in India, was doing a software course and then wanted to spend some time with my wife and family so came back to canada in august this year. Got a job in September this year, collected all the documents and option C with our travel tickets in india and also our conversation on the phone, ( Vodafone bills, joint bank account statement, marriage pix, etc) and submitted the file.... but there was a change in the IMM0008 so I took back my application from canada post and asked my wife to fill the changed form and courier it from india....! finally sent it to CIC by end of Nov completely. It shows that CIC is processing october 14th file and Approval time shows 61 days...! I applied for a 2.5 weeks vacation at my job and it was approved so I am planning to go to India in Jan 2015 to meet my wife and family. There is also a festival in south india in January that is important for both me and my wife to celebrate together as this is our first festival after our marriage. I will be back in Canada in 2.5 weeks, would this be a issue or any kind of a problem for the file to be delayed ? Just a curious question

Chaitanya Yechuri
2014.12.30 16:08:03

Frankly, I have no idea. Are you a citizen, or PR?

I don't expect there will be a problem if she's living in India.


Hi, I just want to share my concern that I got married to a PR of Canada in Month of Sept 2014 and he submitted my file for PR on 20.10.2014 including medical and other requirements. At present CIC shows that they are working on the files received on 16.10.2014 and we are expecting our file no around Mid of Jan 2015. I just want to know the approx time all the process gonna take as we have submitted our file through lawyer and they are sure that we going to get the PR letter within 6 months as our file is complete as the per CIC rules. Please Advice.

2015.01.02 06:25:58

Hi, Jyotsana;

I'm assuming that you applied through the "outland" procedure?

You can review the wait times on the CIC website here:

The number in the row labeled "Spouse, common‑law partner or dependent child" is for your spouse to be approved as a sponsor - this wait time starts when they begin to process your file. Check the "View by visa office" link in the last column to see the processing time for the next stage - it's typically much, much longer. You'll have to go through both processes.

I understand that there's nothing a lawyer can do about these wait times.

Best of luck with your move to Canada.


Hi, im permanent resident in canada.i got married to my husband who is american citizen. I just move back from USA after 3 yrs. I sent the aplication on august 2014, and get approval as a sponsor oct 7. I was pregnant at the time. Now i just gave birth to a boy in canada. Do i have to notify cic about this since i dont need to sponsor him? My husband is in LA. I check online system said they they received application on August19,14 and medical results. How long do i have to wait to get this done? And can i travel outside canada to US to visit my husband for 2 months during the processing time . im afraid because i m not canadiab citizen yet. Anther question is, can my husband apply working visa while waiting his pr? Thanks,

2015.01.08 15:46:00

Congratulations on the birth!!

Yes, tell CIC about this, without question, as soon as possible.

I *believe* you can travel outside Canada, you are the sponsor not the sponsored person. If I were you, I'd call up the CIC and ask. If you can't get through, try some of the forums I reference on my web site.

Yes, your husband can apply for a working visa. The requirements are a bit of a mess, from what I've read. You can find out more here, it seems to vary by the type of work he does.

P.S. Please bear in mind that I'm not legally qualified in this field, I wrote what I did on the basis of my experience with the system.


hi dear i am married to a canadian resident (PR) we sent an inland application on march 2014 we got a letter says its processing i see that you don't recommend inland. just in case if my application is refused do i really dont have any chance to fight for it ?do i have to leave canada? can i try again? what will happen to my wife and my daughter maybe i should withdraw my application and try outland please give me some advice thanks javed khan

javed khan
2015.01.13 22:53:34

No, you can not fight a failed inland application. Depending on your visa situation, I imagine that yes, you would have to leave the country.

I don't know if you can with withdraw and application once submitted. I strongly suggest that you try one of the visa-related forums and get the advice from some of the more-seasoned people there who have seen these things before.

Also bear in mind, that if your application is strong you shouldn't have a problem. But you will face a lengthy processing time, as you can see on the CIC website.

All the best, Javed!


hi michael I am a permanent resident (PR) and sponsoring my wife soon as she finish all the papers but my PR card is also expiring this february. i just renew it last october. should i wait first my PR card or should i just submit the papers?

2015.02.12 00:19:19

Billy, I'm sorry to tell you that I really don't know. Are you in possession of your passport? If not, or if there's a chance that you'll have to submit it at some point during your renewal, I would wait. It might be a good idea to talk to the CIC about this, though.


my friend and his girlfriend are planning to get married in Canada. my friend has a visitor visa to Canada. he is on working visa in US. Indian Citizen. what would be the best option since out-land/ inland takes same amount of time? will he get the temporary pr in three months? or will there be no status? will he be able to get work permit in 3-6 months? as what they say online?

2015.06.24 12:16:52

Hi, Sam, I really don't know what to tell you, as I have never had any experience with working visas. But I strongly advise your friend to use the "outland" process. a) There's no way the inland process is as quick, it's usually a multiple of the processing time of the outland process and b) if something goes wrong, you can't re-apply if you use "inland". It's just common sense to use outland.

Whatever route your friend takes, it's important to start gathering the application and evidence sooner rather than later. The whole thing takes a terrific amount of time, and errors only compound the problem.


Hi Michael, I am married to a Canadian Citizen. We sent the inland sponsorship application to CIC in Ontario 2.5 months already, but all we have at this moment is just an email of receiving acknowledgment sent to my husband. That's it. We checked our online status but it is not found so I think they have not started processing our application yet. Do you know how long does it normally take CIC to start processing time since the day they received the application package? Thank you so much

Thu Tran
2016.04.03 01:46:21

Hi Thu,

You can look at the processing times for different types of visas here:

Since you've chosen the inland route (I'm assuming your spouse was in the country without standing?) you're currently looking at 26 months. The good news is that your spouse can obtain a work permit after 18 months.

I am not an immigration lawyer, I'm just someone who brought their spouse in, so you'll have to verify the following information yourself (e.g. through a lawyer or on one of the forums I mention on my website).

I don't know what country your spouse is from, but that can add quite a bit of time to the mix as well, as there is substantial work to be done in the foreign country. E.g. Germany and the UK have very short processing times. My wife's processing happened when Japanese citizens were managed through Tokyo, which was about 6-7 months. But it's now done in Manila, which adds another lengthy period for some reason. It gets worse in countries with greater obstacles for this sort of thing, such as Nigeria and Afghanistan.

The government has never prioritized inland applications. From what I've been told, that route was originally created as an "amnesty" channel for those who were already living here without a valid visa. The official story is a bit different. But the outland process is uniformly faster, less restrictive, and less risky. I have never recommended the inland process to anyone due to the restrictions.

We applied through the outland process even though my wife was here in Toronto with me (and our son).


Hi Michael, you're awesome for answering all these questions even after your process is done. Anyway, I'm about 80% done preparing my outland app, and I'm just wondering about the letters you used to support proof of your marriage relationship. Did you use original signed handwritten letters? Or would scanned copies emailed to me from my parents and friends who live far away suffice? Btw, as a Canadian just like you, I'm ashamed how terrible this process is.

2016.04.19 02:58:41

Yes, it's amazing when Japan, a country that admits 20-25 refugees a year, and which has no word in common use for "immigrant", has a better process than we do.

We went with whatever people would provide us. I don't recall that any were hand-written, but they were certainly all signed and mailed to us. When you submit your application, be sure to submit originals of everything. I kept only scans. It's risky (they *lose* applications, somehow), but it's what they want to see.

I suppose on the point of lost applications, it's best to send your package in a sturdy envelope, by registered mail.

Good luck, Christopher!


Hello, Michael. I'm not sure if you can answer this. I'm sponsoring my wife for PR, and we applied while we were both living in Japan. We are now in Canada, as of last month, and CIC made the decision just a week after arriving in Canada (bad timing!). However, they gave us a very tight deadline of April 30th for landing, less than a month. We sent the required form back to Manila, and they responded today saying they can't send the decision package to Canada, only to Tokyo. What do we do?

Jay Dee
2016.04.21 05:10:22

I'm not sure which form you sent off, do you mean to advise them of a new address? It sounds like your wife might have to return to Japan, submit her passport to the office in Manila, and wait for its return. This was a very quick turnaround when we did Toronto -> Tokyo -> Toronto, by that I mean only three weeks or so.

I hope that's workable. You might also do well to drop by one of the forums I mentioned on my website. There are people there who have been through every imaginable variation on the path to PR sponsorship.

Best of luck!


Hello - I am Filipino Canadian and I am sponsoring my wife from Philippines; my question is? All our papers already submitted and approved here in Mississauga and immigration emailed a confirmation that they send a note to Canadian Manila for further processing, now medical is done and after 6 weeks my wife got an email from Manila embassy that she needs to submit additional documents like IMM's forms, and photos evidence these are all already submitted here in Canada, what should we do? please

2016.04.28 09:58:32

Angie, you didn't include your email address along with your query, I hope you find an answer, somehow.

If you've been asked for the forms and other evidence, though, I would do as they ask. You can include a letter stating that any missing originals were already submitted with your application.

Good luck with the process – you're nearly done!


Hi ,we got request for submitting the passport on 27th april 2016 for the candian pr...but my wife is 7month pregnant right we submitted the passoprt and letter regarding her pregnancy to passoprt office...and earlier when medical was conducted she was 3month i m just worrying at this stage will they hold our passport after knowing that she is 7month pregnant or will give us our passport to give us a chance to travel to canda beofre wife due date is 20july

2016.05.02 02:23:31

Are you considering bringing her to Canada for the birth without the PR standing? I'm not an expert but it sounds like you have little choice but to send the passport along. Depending on your country it could be returned fairly quickly (this is not universal, of course). It was close for us, as well; we were already in-country but paid for my wife's various medical fees all the way along until finally receiving her PR stamp about mid-way in the pregnancy.


hello Micheal,my wife and i are applying for Canada PR.we both have a child together and both her parents and siblings were all at the wedding including that of mine.i applied in 2015 for a visitors visa to visit my daughter after she was born but i was refused on the reason that,the purpose of my visit.Now we are married and am applying from Ghana,Africa and my wife is a Ugandan Canadian.please tell me what do you think our chances of a successful application is going to be like.kindly advise

2016.05.23 13:43:14

I don't know how to gauge the likelihood of your success, but if you submit a strong application, and if the health and background checks work out, it should work out. The new government is putting more resources towards immigration, so it's possible that your processing times will even be a bit faster than the published rates of the past few years.

To complete a good application, be sure to include all of the required evidence. For instance, I submitted letters from acquaintances who knew our relationship to be legitimate, and lots of photos of us with each-other's families (in public places). We did all of the needed tests. It took months, but it worked!

Keep copies of everything in case the application goes missing. Send it by some delivery mechanism that will give you a receipt.


hey Im Sara, my husband has his PR and we had submitted the outland sponsor to sponsor me as a PR. we got an acknowledgment from Delhi stating that the process has started in march 21st 2015, approximately how long would it take for me to receive a mail asking for my passports?

2016.06.02 12:51:41

You can find that information on the CIC website:

All the best with your application!


Hello Micheal. My name is Randa, l am a canadian citizen. I applied to sponsor my husband from Syria. Application received by cic marh 10/16 SA march 20/16 Aplication transfeted to Bucharest VO march 20/16 Both side sponsor and spibsored in process. Medical received How it would take VO to request sponsored passport.

2016.06.15 12:16:13

Hi, Randa! It looks like the CIC may not be sending spousal PR applications to specific VO's any more. Have a look at this page:

It says the total turnaround would be 12 months. Which I believe is a big improvement over the times achieved by the previous government, as long as it sounds. In fact, Syria's now comparable with Germany, the UK, or Japan.

All the best with your application!


Thank you Micheal Randa

2016.06.26 18:21:51

Good luck!


Hi im a a Filipina married to a canadian , we apply for spouse visa last 05-05-16then my husband received an email last 06-29-16,he was approved as a sponsor and for the further process of the visa it was forwarded to manila last 07-06-16 and then just recently 07-13-16 i received an email confirmation about my visa being process , I submitted everything complete , even my medical , im just confused on family members medical do they all need to do it ? althou they are not going with me to canada

MaryGrace Kunzelman
2016.07.14 14:15:08

Hello, Mary Grace;

It wasn't clear from your message on my website what the nature of the request is, regarding medical records for your family. If you've had a request for such records, you'll have to provide them. Any inability to provide such records can only hurt your application. Please note, however, that I am not an immigration lawyer, nor an expert - just someone who brought his spouse into Canada, and that was five years ago already. I think you should get in touch with the visa office that is processing your claim, as well as the CIC help line. If that fails consider reaching out to your husband's member of parliament.

Good luck!


Hi, I'm applying from Mexico for my husband's PR. We sent our documents but I made a silly mistake on one of the forms (put his name where mine was required). The Mississauga processing centre replied really fast (within a week) telling us about the mistake and to please re-submit the form. How long can I expect to wait until they approve me as a sponsor after receiving the corrected form? I haven't heard from them in weeks. There is no acknowledgment of receipt of the corrected form. Thanks!

2016.08.17 17:06:46

My information, having done this five years ago, is increasingly out of date. But it all depends on whether you're following an inland or outland application. For the latter, you'll receive word that the case has been passed on to one of the visa offices outside Canada, when you've been approved as a sponsor. Then there will be a longer wait, after which you'll hear that your husband's been approved. They will ask that his passport be sent along to that office at that time. The inland process has changed a fair bit over the years, but I think you'd hear nothing for several months before any requests for further steps (health check, etc) come back. It's a very lengthy process.

I don't think they're in the habit of ever sending a note like, "we've received your update." The common advice I saw on the forums was to send everything to them in some fashion that you'll get a receipt back when they've received what you sent.

All the best on your quest!


Hello, I did submit for inland applications for my wife and child while visiting me from Philippines last July 2015, finally I got news from CIC asking for medical check outs for my wife and baby, that means that its a step closer for the applications to be approved? thanks

2017.01.07 13:43:43

Of course! It's a big step.

Good luck with your application.


Hi There Michael, I am an American applying for outland PR through my Canadian husband. I do not currently live in Canada, but visit very often. We are just finishing up our paperwork to submit our application package. We found out we are pregnant a couple weeks ago (yay!), but I am not sure how that plays out with my application. Will they refuse my application until the baby is born? Or does it not matter? There is only one yes or no question pertaining to this issue on the revised application which asks if you or your sponsor and pregnant, but there are no follow up questions. I can't seem to find any information on this issue and how it affects permanent residency applications. Thanks in advance!

2017.02.08 15:24:47

They will not refuse the application on that basis. As lunatic as the system seems, CIC isn't actually *trying* to be obstructionist. 8)

My wife became pregnant after we were well underway. Just be sure to tell them exactly what's happening as things develop. At the speed with which US applications blast through the system I expect it'll all be over before there are three of you.

All the best with your application, and congratulations!!

P.S. Make sure you understand the rules of citizenship with regard to where the child is born. In Canada a number of years ago we had a "reverse anchor baby" situation, if you will. People who obtained Canadian citizenship returned to their country of origin and were passing on Canadian citizenship to their children and grandchildren. This was dealt with by the previous (Conservative) government, which passed a retroactive law so that anyone born to a Canadian outside of Canada could not in turn pass on their Canadian citizenship to a third generation. Unlike a similar rule in Australia, there was no mechanism by which the ability by citizens born abroad to pass on citizenship could be restored (in Australia this could be done by having the born-abroad child live in Australia for a certain term). I don't know if the US has similar rules, but it's an annoyance that we're living with since my son was born in Tokyo while I was working there. He can't pass on his Canadian citizenship, while our Toronto-born daughter can.


Apologies, Michael. I did not include my email address in my last inquiry about how my pregnancy will affect my PR application. Here it is. Thank you.

2017.02.08 15:26:30

Got it.


All my paperwork is getting sent to our lawyer and it takes a few days for them to respond to my questions...I checked online and for about 6 months our status stayed at "application received" than it went to "in process" than I checked again at 8 months and it went back to "application received"..the screen did change though as it went to 2. medical records received..I'm wondering if I was approved as the sponsor since we went to step 2. And what's left? Thank You

2017.02.18 08:16:02

Marissa, you didn't leave your email address, so I hoe you do check back to see my response.

It sounds to me like a) you used the "inland" route to apply? and b) that things are progressing normally there. If they're already looking at your spouse's medical records than I believe you've been approved quite some time ago as the sponsor and are in the final month(s) of the process.


Hey. I need to know how the visa office is assigned for outland. If someone is a citizen of country A but a resident of country B, but currently in Canada on TRV. which visa office will be assigned for further processing? what is the criteria for deciding

2017.02.27 12:24:50

Hi. The CIC website is worse than ever from the looks of things, but it seems that the table on this chart would tell you where you application will be processed.

It all seems to come down to geography, but in the case you've described I think it's the country of origin and/or passport for the sponsored immigrant that you'd use as your guide.

Bear in mind that I am not an expert, and am not keeping current on policy. I'm merely someone who's been through this (and even that was now six years ago). If you have questions of this nature, I suggest you call the CIC to verify things before making a mistake that could add months to your application time.

All the best with your application, Gaurav.


Hi Michael, I am a PR here in Canada and I am sponsoring my wife in the Philippines, we done here medical exam and the CIC sent me an email stating that they already forwarded the application to visa office in Manila, is this means that after they got the application they will request the passport or we are closer to get approved. Thank you.

2017.05.05 01:57:14

Hello, Alcris;

You're in good shape. The system's changed a fair bit over the years, but you should receive notification, once the background check on your wife is complete, and yes a request for your passport. Assuming everything is in order, this should wrap up within a year of your application date.

Remember that you can check the status of your application here:

You didn't leave an email address, so I hope you check in again!


Hello, We made an inland application. I got the letter stating that I was already approved as a sponsor. It says in the letter that "The Application for Permanent Residence(APR) for your relative will be processed separately and he/she will be contacted shortly." May I know what's the ETA when they say "shortly"? Also, does this mean the sponsored person is already approved for PR as well? Your feedback is highly appreciated. Thank you!!

2017.05.17 10:01:12

The ETA depends on the country which is handling your application. However, the variance is now very low, and usually all applications for any country of processing and either the inland/outland route is about a year. You can find out here:

No, the PR recipient is not approved, just the sponsor. You might want to read up on the process on the CIC website. For instance, you may be asked for medical proof, and you'll certainly be asked to send away your spouse's passport either shortly or at the end of the process - it seems there's some variability as to when in the process the passport request comes.

Good luck, John!


Good day,I just came accross your page and its very informative. Please,i want to know how long a new PR card holder will stay in canada before being eligible to sponsor spouse and kids.. Thank you.

2017.05.20 10:12:29

I don't see a minimum wait time on this page on the CIC website:

Why don't you call the CIC and find out? 8)


Hi Michael, firstly thank you so much for answering all of these questions personally especially after already finished the process. I am a CND citizen by birth and have been living in Japan for 14 years. I met my husband here, he is Pakistani, and we have just sent his Outland PR app. to Mississauga. My question has to do with an open work permit/possible move back to Canada before his PR is approved. He has temporary residency valid until August 2018, so coming and going shouldn't be an issue. He has a tentative job offer but we need to get an open work permit. I can't tell if you can apply for an OPW Outland, the cic webpage seems to show it possible from Inland only but other immigration websites say it can be done from outside, port of entry or inland. Do you know by chance? Thanks!

Louisa Green
2017.05.31 21:12:08

Hello, Louisa. The short answer is that I don't know but I suspect it should be possible. I memory serves, you have to deal with the office in Manila now for questions around visas, so I would try their website and perhaps to call them. They may redirect you to the main CIC "help" line, but it's the route I would take.

Beware third party websites (like mine!) the information there gets old (like mine!).

14 years in Japan is a great run. I showed up in '05 but only made it five years myself.


Hi, Thank you so much for your answers! I submitted the application yesterday, I'm Canadian and my husband is in India. I just realized that I submitter copies of Birth certificates mine and my husband's, as well as a copy of marriage certificate. Do they ask for originals? :( would that be a problem?Actually, I don't even have my original birth certificate... I dont know where it is. I just always used copies. Also, how long it will take to hear back from them if I submitted an application yesterday and they've received it based on the mail tracking number. 3d question is. On the website it says that you need to link application to an account but it doesn't seem to work.. does it have to be done later? I just want to be able to respond to them as soon as possible if they need sm

2017.06.06 21:35:29

Hello, Lena.

You can find wait times on the CIC website, but they seem to average around 12 months these days.

We did not submit original copies of things like birth certificates.

The point at which you'll hear back depends on whether it was an inland or outland process, and which visa office is doing the processing. Roughly speaking, though, it should take less than six weeks for you to be approved as a sponsor if all's well. You'll get that notice and then the paperwork is forwarded to the visa office in India. I've read that in India they will ask for your husband's passport fairly early in the next phase of the process (rather than at the end as was the case with my Japanese wife). It's in the second phase that the bulk of the waiting comes in.

The broad steps are all on the CIC website:

There was no linking an application to an account back in 2011 when we did this, but it's spelled out here:

(which was linked in the second URL)

It's something you'll have to do. Keep an eye on that account and on your inbox.

Best of luck with your application!


I am inland applicant. My file is sent to local visa office . Local visa office sent me email requesting to send my police clearance certificate(PCC). Should I sent pcc to local visa office or to 2 Robert Speck Parkway, Suite 1200 Mississauga, ON L4Z 1H8. Please suggest.

2017.06.11 01:31:35

Hi, Zeeshab;

If the letter and the CIC website are unclear, I would send it to the local visa office. You can always try the CIC phone support people.

Good luck with your application!


what does it mean when at the end of the process before their final decision they ask for an updated medical? i have read that that is a positive and means essential it is approved as long as medical comes back ok. Anyone have any insight?????

2017.06.15 09:16:34

Well, shanda, you didn't leave an email address so I don't know that you'll ever see this response. But yes, it's good news, and yes, you'll likely be approved once the medical report is in their hands.

Good luck, and welcome to Canada!


Hey, Thanks for all the information - very helpful. I am Canadian, sponsoring my Pakistani husband. We have been living in various places abroad for the past ten years of our marriage and only have just applied for his PR because we are finally in a space where we can move permanently. We just received notice that his application has been moved to London. Is this any indication that we are close to the end? Thanks.

2017.07.07 02:11:06

Hello, Sarah;

You're not exactly near the end, but you have been approved as a sponsor. The next step will likely round out the time to the one year mark from when you submitted the application; so if you applied two months ago, this step will take up to ten months. If the UK visa office works as the (now defunct) one in Japan did, you'll know the end is soon when you receive a request for his passport to be sent for the temporary stamp. Some visa offices in other countries (like India) seem to ask for the passport up front before continuing their work.

So in summary: if the request for the passport comes soon, they'll keep it for the duration. If it comes later, you're nearly done.

Good luck!


Hi, How long does it take for the sponsor to be approved? It's been one month since I applied and only now i got an email that they received an application and it is in process.

2017.07.08 22:19:05

For us, it happened fairly quickly, maybe six weeks or so. When we went through this in 2011 they did not send that first acknowledgement, believe it or not. Did your notification come from the visa office overseas or here in Canada?


Hey mate, commonlaw partner is sponsoring me, i just done and passed the medical, I keep seeing people talk about sponsor approval(sa) do you get this in an email or what happens, I thought i would have gotten this before the medical, any help would be amazing

Charlie Burns
2017.07.13 20:54:07

Hi, Charlie. The sponsor approval is the first step, and usually only takes a matter of weeks. If you were asked to do a medical exam at some point after you filed it could be that a) they deemed your application incomplete without it, and have not yet approved your spouse as a sponsor or b) that your partner would have been approved, and that your approval is well along the process. You can find more information on the website of the visa office processing your case, and you might be able to talk to someone there.

Bear in mind that I am not an expert, I've just shared what we went through. Also, that was in 2011, so things may have changed to some extent.


Hi there, This morning I checked my husbands status it says for background check it's "not applicable" what does it mean? I'm worried 😩 Thanks in advance, appreciate ur help. Measa

2017.09.01 07:39:33

Hello, Measa;

I wouldn't worry about that. If they had encountered a problem, they would actively tell you about it. I've heard of all manner of random changes to online status, and it's not uncommon for people to panic, but then it turns out to be some automated system making updates with no substance.

You can call the CIC support line and ask them what's going on. They might not be helpful with that weird status message, but they'll certainly be able to tell you if the application's been rejected.


I'd just like to point out the CIC have changed the application process (as of December 2016) for spousal PR, such that BOTH inland and outland applications are estimated to now take 12 months. Therefore, one should evaluate the pros and cons of both routes (i.e. inland = open work permit, but need to remain in Canada for the duration of processing, outland = no open work permit, but are free to enter and exit Canada while application is processed). The outland applications are no longer 3-4 months so I think it is important that people are aware of this change!

2017.09.04 22:28:56

Thanks for that, Samantha. The outland process never took 3-4 months. The lowest processing times I ever saw were in the 6-8 month range for the UK and Germany.

One other thing of which I'd like to remind you: with the in-land process you get all of one chance in a lifetime. With the outland process you can submit multiple applications.

Pity you didn't leave your email address for this conversation. 8/


HI! My common law husband and I applied for the inland sponsorship route in July (right before the deadline for the new package) and have heard NOTHING. From anyone. Do you have any advice on how to proceed or how long we might wait to even get word? We did get tracking on our mailed application and it shows as delivered only a few days after we sent it but have had no correspondence. Any advice or insight would be greatly appreciated!

2017.09.07 16:13:18

That's too early to have heard anything for the inland process. From what I've seen, the first step (in which they evaluate the Canadian spouse as a sponsor) takes longer with inland than outland because of it having originated as an amnesty program for spouses living in the country without standing.

You'll likely hear something within the next six to ten weeks. Stick with it, you're two months into a year-long process. All the best to you and your husband!


Hi, I sent my husbands background check and the other day the status on his linked account shows not applicatable, do you think it means anything? Also, anyone have a fb page to ask more cic related questions? Thanks in advance, Maya

2017.09.20 21:45:07

Hello, Maya.

I don't know of a Facebook page, as I can't find things too well on that platform, but there are certainly forums on the 'net where you can get more information.

As for the status that appears on the CIC website: I get questions from time to time but have never heard anything that tells me it's related to the status of the actual application. I wouldn't worry about it.

You didn't leave an email, I hope you see this message!


Hello Michael,

I am form Punjab India. I want to know about my spousal file proccesing time. My wife submitted my spouse file at Mississuaga in May 2017.We subitted all relevant document. I have done my medical test in month of June. Office of Mississuaga sent file to my home country in New Delhi in August. They have known to me by email.

From New Delhi They told me about two documents which i alredy submitted and they also told me if you already submitted them then ignore it. I just want know could you tell how much time they will take .

Your s sincersly

S singh

S singh
2017.09.22 00:00:00

Good day, sir, and thank you for your comment on my website. I can't honestly tell you how long your PR processing time will take, but the average across all regions seems to be about a year or only a little less. You're doing well, I'm afraid I can only counsel you to be patient.

As we were! My wife's PR was issued in 2011, and we've been living happily in Canada ever since.

Good luck to you and your wife.


Hi, I had a query. I live in India, applied for PR to Canada - Family Class- Spousal Sponsorship. I applied on 9th Aug 2017. Over the last 2 months, my medical & Police Verification were asked for by the CIC, which has been done. Just got an email that my application has been sent to New Delhi VISA office for further processing. What does that mean? How long before they ask for my passport? How long will they keep my passport? I am planning to go to Canada on a tourist Visa for Christmas. Possible?

2017.10.11 02:43:50

Hi, Sam;

Your case has been passed on to the New Delhi office because your spouse has been approved and the next step is for the local office to review your case. From what I've read, I believe the Indian office asks for the passport fairly early in the process and then hangs onto it for the duration. All in, spousal PR applications seem to be taking about 11-12 months, so you'd see you passport again next August.

If you don't have your passport, you'd obviously be unable to travel. We went through it, you'll get there too.

All the best!


Hey I live in India and my husband is a Canadian citizen. We applied for the spousal sponsorship program in may 2017 and now we finally got a mail saying it has been moved to New Delhi. They even took my PCC and medical. Just want to know how long will it take from now for the process to complete.

2017.10.28 06:54:49

Hello, Amrita;

From what I've read, recently, it seems that the CIC is aiming to have all spousal PR applications approved within a year. So you're around halfway there. From what I've read, you should see a request from the visa office in New Delhi for your passport fairly soon. They'll then hang onto it for the remainder of your year.

Mind you, this is all second hand. Please bear in mind that I'm not an official or an expert, I'm just someone who went through the process himself in 2011.

All the best with your application!


Sorry forgot to leave my email.

2017.11.01 16:05:02

I wish I know what to tell you, Cindy. The situation sounds fairly complex, and bureaucracies tend to be unimaginative in their dealings with complexity. Perhaps it's time to find an immigration lawyer? Perhaps you could start with some of the immigration forums online to gather some advice.

Good luck!


My husband (he is an American PR) just got a notice stating that he has been turned down from sponsoring his son into Canada because at the time of his sponsorship he had to sign a form stating he would not sponsor his son ever because his son's mother refused to get a medical done for him. The letter said the application was being forwarded to the Visa Office. Do you know what this means? My first thought is that we will have to apply for a study visa. Any help or information would be greatly appreciated Thank you

2017.11.01 16:04:18

I wish I know what to tell you, Cindy. The situation sounds fairly complex, and bureaucracies tend to be unimaginative in their dealings with complexity. Perhaps it's time to find an immigration lawyer? Perhaps you could start with some of the immigration forums online to gather some advice.

Good luck!


Hi, just wondering if you could provide me with some insight as to where I am at. I submitted my husbands sponsorship application April the 4th 2017. So far so good, he did the medical and he was passed. And he was then asked to provide Schedule A and that was submitted October 13 2017. And few days ago, I checked the linked application online and it shows that background check which was submitted while back has been changed from not applicable to processing background check and we will msg you if more information needed. Is this a good sign? Should I be hearing visa news anytime soon? Thanks for your time, Measa

2017.11.07 18:10:14

Hello, Measa. It's been ~6-7 years since my wife and I went through the process, but things sound very promising. The timing of the request for the passport (which I believe is the next step for you) varies by country, but will either be quite soon (and then they hang onto it for months), or after a few more months, in which case they'll likely keep it for only a couple of weeks. The government seems to be trying to process all files in around 12-13 months.

Good luck!


Hi,i am living in Abu Dhabi, UAE. I have been sponsored under family class (Spouse) by my wife in canada, my application was submitted by Dec, 2018 to CPC Mississauga. I regularly received communication through my GCKEY account. They requested for Police certificates and medical, which i also submitted . My wife received an email two weeks ago that my application have been forward to London visa office and now status on ECAS is "We started processing your application on April 3, 2018" how much more time it will take for finalizing this process ? Thanks

2018.04.13 06:05:18

Hello, Sajid;

According to the CIC website, most regions around the world experience the same total turnaround, roughly 11-12 months. You likely have another six to eight months left.

I wish you well with your application and immigration. 8)


Hello. I am Canadian, looking to sponsor my spouse. Right now we both live and work in Japan, where we met a few years ago, and recently got married. I would like to find a job in Canada and move back to Canada. I was planning to have him come to Canada on a visitor visa, then do an inland application, that way he can obtain a work permit. However, I'm not sure about obtaining the proof of co-residence in Canada - maybe as a visitor, he won't be able to put his name on the lease, bills, etc? I was wondering if maybe we should complete the outland application in Japan, where we have been living together for a year and a half and thus have lots of proof. But if you complete an outland application, then come to Canada on a tourist visa, can you still apply for a work permit within Canada?

2018.05.01 09:23:14

Hi, Jennifer. I can't comment on the possibility of obtaining a work visa while there's a spousal PR application in the works.

Do not use the inland application route, it takes much longer, subjects you to more scrutiny, and would restrict your husband's ability to travel. Also, if he's denied for some reason, there's no possibility of a second application. I have read that was originally created as an amnesty program for people living in Canada illegally.

What we did in 2011 was this:

1. Move to Canada (Toronto) together. My name was the only one on any account or legal agreement, because my wife had no standing, as you point out.

2. File the outland application.

3. Receive the request for her passport (sent to the visa office which then existed in the Tokyo embassy).

4. Receive the passport with the temporary PR stamp.

5. Head to the US border in Niagara Falls, turn around and come back in to have her "land" in Canada by popping into the Canadian customs and immigration office at the border.

6. Immediately apply for a SIN and Ontario health coverage (she was pregnant by this point).

7. Wait for her PR card in the mail.

At no time during all of this could she work, study, have health insurance, etc.

If that doesn't sound workable, I would do what you're suggesting, and do the outland route while you're both still living and working in Japan.

Congratulations on your wedding!


Hi. I've been living in China for 11 years. My wife and I have been married since 2010 and we have 2 daughters, 4 and 6, who both have Canadian citizenship. We've decided to move to Canada next year for education reasons and I'd like to get the ball rolling on my wife's PR. My worry is that I have no connections with Canada (drivers licence, bank account...). One thing they look for when approving an application is ability to support the applicant while in Canada. I have an informal agreement with my old boss (from 2007) to work for him again but that's about it. How can I prove intent to stay in Canada with the ability of supporting my wife if I'm still living and working in China? Your advice is very useful and appreciated!

2018.05.11 01:19:37

Returning after 11 years; wow.

What my wife and I did was move to Canada and apply using the outland stream although living in Canada. I actually moved back first to find work, then returned to Japan to wrap up the place in Tokyo then bring them to find an apartment in Toronto.

This was possible because of the visa requirements for Japanese citizens in Canada which allow Japanese citizens to visit Canada for six months time on a visitor's visa. I don't know if this applies to Chinese nationals.

An alternative might be to come here yourself, ascertain your employment with your old employer, find a place to live, and then work out the visa application. The process takes a year, so ideally they'd be with you.

I've also got a friend who did it the other way: no current employer in Canada, and no home in the country. They applied, went through the process, and then moved to Canada.


Greeting Michael Thanks a lot for your reply here, I can see you are doing great job and gave answers to those who seek comfort. I am Canadian living in Dubai with my wife and Canadian daughter, i submitted application to sponsor my wife and yesterday I received an email that the sponsorship application has been forwarded to London visa office. i can see you said it takes 1 year on average and I applied on April 3rd, 2018. Does this mean, they will keep the application in London and will not request the passport till the duration is close to April 2019?! are you aware of cases took just 7 months to have the visa stamped on the passport? Thanks Hassan

2018.06.29 00:38:54

Hi, Hassan.

From what I was reading (on a regular basis) when we went through this in 2011-2012, the timing of the steps varies quite a bit from region to region. In India for instance, the request for the passport would come early in the process and then the local visa office would hang onto the passport for months and months. Way back in those days, applications from wealthy countries were moving through conspicuously quicker than in other parts of the world, with the UK and Germany etc taking a total of 6-7 months. In all cases I saw reported at the time, the request for the passport would come quite late in the process, but the passport would be back in two weeks.

There's been a substantial reorganization since then, as well as a re-balancing that apparently is attempting to keep applications at a worldwide uniform total elapsed time of about a year. So I don't know where things stand today - the forums where people discuss these things might be a good source: I suppose that means Facebook these days.

Good luck with your application!


rand()m quote

In dwelling, be close to the land. In meditation, delve deep into the heart. In dealing with others, be gentle and kind. In speech, be true. In work, be competent. In action, be careful of your timing.

—Lao Tsu