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When Your Spousal Sponsorship Application Faces Challenges: A Guide for Help


Navigating the Spousal Sponsorship application process in Canada can be a tough journey, especially if you encounter a refusal. This guide is here to simplify the complexities involved, shedding light on common hurdles and the importance of seeking professional assistance.

Understanding the Spousal Sponsorship Process:

Applying for Spousal Sponsorship is a significant undertaking, often involving extensive paperwork and meticulous attention to detail. The process can be overwhelming, particularly if your case is not straightforward, involving factors like previous marriages, arranged marriages, or common-law relationships.

Challenges Faced by Applicants:

The Canadian government has become stricter in reviewing applications due to a rise in fraudulent attempts to gain permanent residence. DIY applications, when done independently, often result in weaker submissions, leading to requests for interviews, procedural fairness letters, or outright refusals. Surprisingly, 40% of those seeking professional help do so after facing a refusal.

Dealing with a Refused Application:

If your Inland Spousal Sponsorship application is refused, you’ll need to reapply as there is no appeal option. However, for Outland applications, you have a chance to appeal within 30 days. Seeking professional help becomes crucial, with experienced lawyers providing valuable representation during the appeal process.

Reasons Behind Refusals:

The Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) plays a role in the high number of refusals. Online forms and instructions may seem straightforward, but the actual process can be complex. Refusals often occur due to incomplete applications or the use of outdated forms, leading to significant delays or a denial of permanent residence for over two years.

Considerations When Facing Unfavorable Outcomes:

  • Returned Application: Incomplete applications may be returned, causing a delay of 2 to 2.5 months. If relying on implied status through an Open Work Permit, falling out of status may occur, necessitating a Restoration of Status application.
  • In-Person Interviews: Nervousness or incorrect answers during interviews may result in refusal. Detailed notes are taken, and if the officer is unconvinced, the application is rejected.
  • Procedural Fairness Letter: If the IRCC sends a Fairness Letter requesting more information, a detailed response is crucial. Failure to provide a comprehensive reply may lead to refusal.
  • Refusal: Inland Spousal applications lack appeal rights. The only options are filing a Judicial Review or submitting a new application, both involving lengthy processes.

Proving the Genuineness of Your Relationship:

The IRCC scrutinizes relationships to prevent marriage fraud. Factors such as compatibility, cohabitation, relationship length, and cultural differences are considered. Failure to convince immigration officers may result in refusal and potential bans.

Common Mistakes Leading to Delays:

Issues causing a three-month processing delay include using incorrect forms, answering questions wrongly, leaving questions unanswered, missing required documents, incorrect picture specifications, fees, or mixing up the “Principal applicant” and the “Sponsor.”


Successfully navigating the Spousal Sponsorship application requires a clear understanding of potential challenges. Seeking professional assistance can significantly improve your chances of success, ensuring a smoother immigration journey for couples aiming to reunite in Canada.

DISCLAIMER: This article is written for informational purposes only and does not constitute any legal advice. The views expressed are solely authors and should not be attributed to any other party, including PPD LAW OFFICE. If you need legal advice, please call our office at 204-540-0414

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