Q & A: Family Class Applications

CIC News
Published: May 1, 2002

Q. I have a couple of questions I am hoping you can help me with. I am going to be marrying my boyfriend here in Canada. He is from the US. We have decided that he will be coming to live here, but I am a student, and I was wondering if I can sponsor him, although I have not had an income for the past 8 months. I have worked almost 10 years previously, but I had decided to make a better life for myself. Will it be a problem? If he wants to come while the papers are being processed, would he be able to get a job of some sort with a temporary SIN number? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Answer: Family Class Category applications can be submitted inland (within Canada) if the applicant is married to a Canadian Citizen or married to a Canadian Permanent Resident who is currently living in Canada. For such inland applications, the applicant may receive a preliminary acceptance, usually in about 4-6 months on average. This preliminary approval is called an "Approval in Principle". It is not the final approval, of course, but it will usually allow the applicant to begin working in Canada, if the applicant happens to be present in Canada at that time, as a visitor. The Approval in Principle is often issued within 4-6 months, on average. (The final approval will then arrive at a later date, taking a total of 14 months on average to obtain.)

If the applicant is not yet actually married to a Canadian Citizen or Canadian Permanent Resident currently residing in Canada, then the application is usually sent to a Canadian Embassy or Consulate outside of Canada, as an inland application will not be accepted in such a case.

For Family Class Sponsorship applications submitted outside of Canada, no Approval in Principle is issued. Instead, the applicant must usually wait for final approval, at the very end of the process, in order to start living/working in Canada. The average world-wide processing time for Family Class Category applications is approximately 14 months. Family Class Category applications are usually made a priority in an effort to reunite love-ones and family as quickly as possible.

It is also important to note that if the couple is not yet married, then the sponsoring fiancé usually must demonstrate having earned a certain level of income within the past 12 month period, as indicated in the Low Income Cut-Off Chart. If the couple is, however, actually married, then the income level requirement is usually waived, and thus does not apply to such a case.

Share this article
Share your voice
Did you find this article helpful?
Thank you for your feedback.
Subscribe to our newsletter
Did you find this article helpful?
Please provide a response
Thank you for your helpful feedback
Please contact us if you would like to share additional feedback, have a question, or would like Canadian immigration assistance.
  • Do you need Canadian immigration assistance? Contact the Contact Cohen Immigration Law firm by completing our form
  • Send us your feedback or your non-legal assistance questions by emailing us at media@canadavisa.com
Top Stories
New data suggests growing demand for temporary foreign workers in several Canadian industries
Ontario, British Columbia, Manitoba, and PEI nominate newcomers for provincial immigration
IRCC’s update on its plan to attract global talent
Join our free newsletter. Get Canada's top immigration stories delivered to your inbox.
More in Canada
IRCC’s update on its plan to attract global talent
Sunlight on an airplane wing
Study finds more newcomers are considering moving to escape housing costs
Typical homes in Canada
How to take a break from your studies and maintain eligibility for a work permit
A student at the airport looking at flight times.
Two Canadian cities among the most livable in the world, as Toronto drops out of the top 10
A view of the sunset in Calgary at a lake.
Link copied to clipboard