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Q & A: Sponsoring a Fiancé

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Q. I’ve phoned Immigration Canada 3 times to get information on getting permanent residence for my fiancé (he’s an English citizen, I’m Canadian). I was told 3 different things by 3 different people, and I’m really confused. He’s currently still in England, we are planning to get married early 2002. One story we heard was that I would have to sponsor him from here and it would take 18 months. Another is that he just had to come here for a visit, no visa required, and I could marry him here and he could apply for PR within. If so, could he stay here for the application process or would he have to go back to England?

Answer: Both accounts that you received are more or less accurate, and are essentially the options that you have:

1. Submit a sponsorship overseas (I.e., London). This is the standard approach and involves a time frame of approximately 6 to 12 months depending on the requirement of an interview;

2. If your fiancé is admitted to Canada as a visitor, and you marry at that time, then you could also submit an inland application. Such an inland application is processed entirely within Canada. In such a case, the temporary status of the applicant will generally be extended for the duration of the application process. Also, once an approval in principle is obtained, an open employment authorization may be obtained.

Additional information on this topic may be found at Campbell, Cohen’s web site at the following URL: