April 26, 2017

Can My Boyfriend in the U.S. Sponsor Me If I Have No Status? Can My Wife Be Deported, Though I Sponsored Her?

Posted by Mario Bellissimo - Bellissimo Law Group PC

These are two common questions we receive in our office with respect to the sponsorship of out of status spouses.  Here are two examples (certain facts have been altered for privacy reasons):

Q. I would like to seek your advice regarding our present situation. I have a boyfriend. He has a permanent resident status here in Canada. We’ve been living together while he was here. Right now, he’s currently working as a Physiotherapist in the USA. I’m a Registered Nurse back in the Philippines. He comes here as often as he & his work schedule allows him.  I have no status here, so I cannot go & visit him in the States. We plan to get married this year. My questions are: is it possible for him to sponsor me while he is working in the USA? Will it affect our application given the situation? How high are our chances of approval? Do i need to go back in the Philippines during the process? What are the requirements that we must have to meet & submit? Thank you for your kindness of reading my letter.

A. If I met with you I would ask three key questions to start. How long have you been living together in Canada? When is he returning to live in Canada? Has your boyfriend maintained his permanent resident status (must have 730 days of physical presence in Canada over a five year period)?  Here is why I ask.  One, a permanent resident cannot make an application to sponsor his common-law partner or spouse while he lives outside Canada.  Two, he must maintain his permanent resident status to be able to sponsor you.  Three, you must live together continuously for at least one year to qualify as a common law partner but if you marry this does not apply.  Last, we would have to investigate if you have a removal order and an outstanding warrant amongst other issues.  Marrying a permanent resident of Canada does not necessarily mean you will not have to leave Canada.  You should consult an immigration lawyer before taking any further steps.

Can My Wife Be Still Deported, Though I Sponsored Her?

Q:  I am a Canadian citizen who met and fell in love with a person from Argentina. She is in Canada, claimed refugee status and was refused. Meanwhile, we married and live together with my son from my first marriage. After marriage, eight months ago, I submitted an application to sponsor her in Canada. So far we have no response from Immigration Canada. Now, my wife faces deportation and the possibility of being separated from us. Is there any law to prevent her from being deported? We want to be together until the application is finalized. My wife is a healthy person and has no criminal record. This is crazy, can we stop the deportation?

 A: You are not alone in this as there are thousands of people in your situation. Yes, even though you are married, your spouse can still be deported, depending upon where in the process you find yourself.  Having a sponsorship application in the system does not preclude her from being deported. If Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) decides they cannot wait until a decision on the sponsorship is rendered, then your wife may have to leave Canada. In some cases it is better to leave voluntarily.What many people do is challenge CBSA’s decision to deport at the Federal Court of Canada.  In certain cases, deporting a spouse may lead to what is called irreparable harm especially when children are involved.  Consult a lawyer immediately to see if you would qualify for this remedy as timelines can be very tight.

For more information on Spousal Sponsorship, please click here.