What is Inland (In Canada) Sponsorship?
Canadian citizens or permanent residents who have a spouse or common-law partner physically present in Canada can use the inland sponsorship process to sponsor their partner for permanent residency.
Inland spousal sponsorship gives applicants the ability to continue living in Canada while their application for permanent residence is processed. If the applicant’s temporary status document is not valid for the duration of the sponsorship processing period, they will need to apply for an extension, or a new status document, to maintain their legal status in Canada while their sponsorship application is being processed.
Requirements and Process
Inland sponsorship has several benefits over the overseas (family class) sponsorship process. One of the most significant advantages is that applicants can obtain an open work permit after a processing time of only 3 to 4 months, even before they become permanent residents. This work permit allows the holder to work anywhere, for any employer, in any position, and is valid for two years, with the possibility of renewal until the sponsorship application is completed.
Once the applicant has held a valid work permit for the required amount of time (which varies by province), they can apply for provincial health care insurance. For example, an applicant in Ontario can obtain provincial health care after holding a work permit for 90 days. However, please note that these usual requirements may be affected by changes due to Covid-19.
Applicants for inland sponsorship do not need to leave Canada until their application for permanent residence is processed. It is important to note that simply submitting an application for sponsorship via the In-Canada class does not provide temporary status to the applicant, and they are still required to maintain valid status as a worker, visitor, or student. However, the applicant can continue to apply to extend their status from within Canada without leaving.
Finally, it is worth noting that people who are in Canada without status because their temporary status has expired can still become permanent residents of Canada through the spouse or common-law partner in Canada class, which is not allowed for most other PR streams.