tips on getting a Canadian spousal PR

m. werneburg, 2011.06.02

I've tried to rank these tips in order of most to least important.

outland process

95% of all applicants for permanent residency in Canada for a spouse will want to use the so-called "outland" process, whereby the application is sent to Mississauga and then on to the visa office in the sponsored spouse's country of origin (or residence).

The process of applying through the "inland" process, the "within Canada" route, may seem like the obvious choice. But it's not. It's a much longer process, and if you're denied you can't re-apply. And by "much longer" I mean 15-36 months compared to 4-6 months. The "inland" route has a special use that makes it inapplicable for most Canadians. A good explanation can be found here.

once your application is sent

After your application is sent via the "inland" process, this is what happens:

  1. The office in Mississauga will eventually open your application. During this time you will hear nothing from them. Calls to the call centre will not help. During this time, your online status on the CIC website will not be updated.
  2. Your application will be reviewed for completeness. If you've forgotten to sign something, the application will be returned to you. This can take quite some time.
  3. If your application is complete, the sponsor will be evaluated. Once you are approved, you will either receive an email or a letter stating that you are approved. That letter also states that it is proof of receipt of the funds you've paid for the application. Lastly, it indicates that the application package has been forwarded to the visa office in the spouse's country.
  4. The visa office in the foreign country will then likely issue an acknowledgement of receipt of the application. This will either come as an email or as an update to the online status.
  5. If all goes well, the visa office will issue a request for the sponsored spouse's passport. Get this in the mail to the visa office promptly. (see the note below)
  6. The visa office will put a permanent residency visa in the passport and return it.
  7. The usual next step for Canadians who live close to the border is to cross into the USA and ask for an administrative rejection. This is a form of exclusion from the US that does not turn up as a blot on your record; instead it merely records the fact that you asked not to be admitted to the USA and that you'd like to return. This can take a couple of hours.
  8. Once you're turned back from the US, you present your PR visa to the agent at Canada Border Services. You will then go through the "landing" procedure.
  9. After this, you'll be admitted to Canada as the country's newest PR, and you'll receive a card in the mail. That's the end of the process.

passport requests

Some visa offices can ask for the sponsored party's passport very quickly. There are two reasons for this: some offices, like London, Tokyo, and Beijing, are very quick to process applications–these offices ask for the passport at the end of the process but the end comes quickly; some offices request the passport at the outset of the process, not the end.

The following is a quote from "Charlie10D", a contributor to

Some offices, especially in southeastern Asia, request the passport as part of the processing and NOT in order to issue the visa. The decision to issue the visa is not yet made when those offices request the passport from applicants. Part of it is for security reasons.

[Berlin] is NOT one of those that requests the PP before they are ready to issue a visa.

submitting your application by courier

Couriers have been known to refuse to deliver to a post office box. The address in Mississauga for the application process centre is a post office box.

The following quote comes from "jamacanincanada" on

if you are sending the package via courier (UPS, DHL, FEDEX etc) you should use the following address:

2 Robert Speck Parkway,
Suite 1200
Mississauga, ON
L4Z 1H8

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reader comments

Hi. I've been living in China for 11 years. My wife and I have been married since 2010 and we have 2 daughters, 4 and 6, who both have Canadian citizenship. We've decided to move to Canada next year for education reasons and I'd like to get the ball rolling on my wife's PR. My worry is that I have no connections with Canada (drivers licence, bank account...). One thing they look for when approving an application is ability to support the applicant while in Canada. I have an informal agreement with my old boss (from 2007) to work for him again but that's about it. How can I prove intent to stay in Canada with the ability of supporting my wife if I'm still living and working in China? Your advice is very useful and appreciated!


Returning after 11 years; wow.

What my wife and I did was move to Canada and apply using the outland stream although living in Canada. I actually moved back first to find work, then returned to Japan to wrap up the place in Tokyo then bring them to find an apartment in Toronto.

This was possible because of the visa requirements for Japanese citizens in Canada which allow Japanese citizens to visit Canada for six months time on a visitor's visa. I don't know if this applies to Chinese nationals.

An alternative might be to come here yourself, ascertain your employment with your old employer, find a place to live, and then work out the visa application. The process takes a year, so ideally they'd be with you.

I've also got a friend who did it the other way: no current employer in Canada, and no home in the country. They applied, went through the process, and then moved to Canada.


Hello. I am Canadian, looking to sponsor my spouse. Right now we both live and work in Japan, where we met a few years ago, and recently got married. I would like to find a job in Canada and move back to Canada. I was planning to have him come to Canada on a visitor visa, then do an inland application, that way he can obtain a work permit. However, I'm not sure about obtaining the proof of co-residence in Canada - maybe as a visitor, he won't be able to put his name on the lease, bills, etc? I was wondering if maybe we should complete the outland application in Japan, where we have been living together for a year and a half and thus have lots of proof. But if you complete an outland application, then come to Canada on a tourist visa, can you still apply for a work permit within Canada?


Hi, Jennifer. I can't comment on the possibility of obtaining a work visa while there's a spousal PR application in the works.

Do not use the inland application route, it takes much longer, subjects you to more scrutiny, and would restrict your husband's ability to travel. Also, if he's denied for some reason, there's no possibility of a second application. I have read that was originally created as an amnesty program for people living in Canada illegally.

What we did in 2011 was this:

1. Move to Canada (Toronto) together. My name was the only one on any account or legal agreement, because my wife had no standing, as you point out.

2. File the outland application.

3. Receive the request for her passport (sent to the visa office which then existed in the Tokyo embassy).

4. Receive the passport with the temporary PR stamp.

5. Head to the US border in Niagara Falls, turn around and come back in to have her "land" in Canada by popping into the Canadian customs and immigration office at the border.

6. Immediately apply for a SIN and Ontario health coverage (she was pregnant by this point).

7. Wait for her PR card in the mail.

At no time during all of this could she work, study, have health insurance, etc.

If that doesn't sound workable, I would do what you're suggesting, and do the outland route while you're both still living and working in Japan.

Congratulations on your wedding!


Hi,i am living in Abu Dhabi, UAE. I have been sponsored under family class (Spouse) by my wife in canada, my application was submitted by Dec, 2018 to CPC Mississauga. I regularly received communication through my GCKEY account. They requested for Police certificates and medical, which i also submitted . My wife received an email two weeks ago that my application have been forward to London visa office and now status on ECAS is "We started processing your application on April 3, 2018" how much more time it will take for finalizing this process ? Thanks


Hello, Sajid;

According to the CIC website, most regions around the world experience the same total turnaround, roughly 11-12 months. You likely have another six to eight months left.

I wish you well with your application and immigration. 8)


Hi, just wondering if you could provide me with some insight as to where I am at. I submitted my husbands sponsorship application April the 4th 2017. So far so good, he did the medical and he was passed. And he was then asked to provide Schedule A and that was submitted October 13 2017. And few days ago, I checked the linked application online and it shows that background check which was submitted while back has been changed from not applicable to processing background check and we will msg you if more information needed. Is this a good sign? Should I be hearing visa news anytime soon? Thanks for your time, Measa


Hello, Measa. It's been ~6-7 years since my wife and I went through the process, but things sound very promising. The timing of the request for the passport (which I believe is the next step for you) varies by country, but will either be quite soon (and then they hang onto it for months), or after a few more months, in which case they'll likely keep it for only a couple of weeks. The government seems to be trying to process all files in around 12-13 months.

Good luck!


My husband (he is an American PR) just got a notice stating that he has been turned down from sponsoring his son into Canada because at the time of his sponsorship he had to sign a form stating he would not sponsor his son ever because his son's mother refused to get a medical done for him. The letter said the application was being forwarded to the Visa Office. Do you know what this means? My first thought is that we will have to apply for a study visa. Any help or information would be greatly appreciated Thank you


I wish I know what to tell you, Cindy. The situation sounds fairly complex, and bureaucracies tend to be unimaginative in their dealings with complexity. Perhaps it's time to find an immigration lawyer? Perhaps you could start with some of the immigration forums online to gather some advice.

Good luck!


Sorry forgot to leave my email.


I wish I know what to tell you, Cindy. The situation sounds fairly complex, and bureaucracies tend to be unimaginative in their dealings with complexity. Perhaps it's time to find an immigration lawyer? Perhaps you could start with some of the immigration forums online to gather some advice.

Good luck!


Hey I live in India and my husband is a Canadian citizen. We applied for the spousal sponsorship program in may 2017 and now we finally got a mail saying it has been moved to New Delhi. They even took my PCC and medical. Just want to know how long will it take from now for the process to complete.


Hello, Amrita;

From what I've read, recently, it seems that the CIC is aiming to have all spousal PR applications approved within a year. So you're around halfway there. From what I've read, you should see a request from the visa office in New Delhi for your passport fairly soon. They'll then hang onto it for the remainder of your year.

Mind you, this is all second hand. Please bear in mind that I'm not an official or an expert, I'm just someone who went through the process himself in 2011.

All the best with your application!


Hi, I had a query. I live in India, applied for PR to Canada - Family Class- Spousal Sponsorship. I applied on 9th Aug 2017. Over the last 2 months, my medical & Police Verification were asked for by the CIC, which has been done. Just got an email that my application has been sent to New Delhi VISA office for further processing. What does that mean? How long before they ask for my passport? How long will they keep my passport? I am planning to go to Canada on a tourist Visa for Christmas. Possible?


Hi, Sam;

Your case has been passed on to the New Delhi office because your spouse has been approved and the next step is for the local office to review your case. From what I've read, I believe the Indian office asks for the passport fairly early in the process and then hangs onto it for the duration. All in, spousal PR applications seem to be taking about 11-12 months, so you'd see you passport again next August.

If you don't have your passport, you'd obviously be unable to travel. We went through it, you'll get there too.

All the best!


Hi, I sent my husbands background check and the other day the status on his linked account shows not applicatable, do you think it means anything? Also, anyone have a fb page to ask more cic related questions? Thanks in advance, Maya


Hello, Maya.

I don't know of a Facebook page, as I can't find things too well on that platform, but there are certainly forums on the 'net where you can get more information.

As for the status that appears on the CIC website: I get questions from time to time but have never heard anything that tells me it's related to the status of the actual application. I wouldn't worry about it.

You didn't leave an email, I hope you see this message!


HI! My common law husband and I applied for the inland sponsorship route in July (right before the deadline for the new package) and have heard NOTHING. From anyone. Do you have any advice on how to proceed or how long we might wait to even get word? We did get tracking on our mailed application and it shows as delivered only a few days after we sent it but have had no correspondence. Any advice or insight would be greatly appreciated!


That's too early to have heard anything for the inland process. From what I've seen, the first step (in which they evaluate the Canadian spouse as a sponsor) takes longer with inland than outland because of it having originated as an amnesty program for spouses living in the country without standing.

You'll likely hear something within the next six to ten weeks. Stick with it, you're two months into a year-long process. All the best to you and your husband!


I'd just like to point out the CIC have changed the application process (as of December 2016) for spousal PR, such that BOTH inland and outland applications are estimated to now take 12 months. Therefore, one should evaluate the pros and cons of both routes (i.e. inland = open work permit, but need to remain in Canada for the duration of processing, outland = no open work permit, but are free to enter and exit Canada while application is processed). The outland applications are no longer 3-4 months so I think it is important that people are aware of this change!


Thanks for that, Samantha. The outland process never took 3-4 months. The lowest processing times I ever saw were in the 6-8 month range for the UK and Germany.

One other thing of which I'd like to remind you: with the in-land process you get all of one chance in a lifetime. With the outland process you can submit multiple applications.

Pity you didn't leave your email address for this conversation. 8/


Hi there, This morning I checked my husbands status it says for background check it's "not applicable" what does it mean? I'm worried đŸ˜© Thanks in advance, appreciate ur help. Measa


Hello, Measa;

I wouldn't worry about that. If they had encountered a problem, they would actively tell you about it. I've heard of all manner of random changes to online status, and it's not uncommon for people to panic, but then it turns out to be some automated system making updates with no substance.

You can call the CIC support line and ask them what's going on. They might not be helpful with that weird status message, but they'll certainly be able to tell you if the application's been rejected.


Hey mate, commonlaw partner is sponsoring me, i just done and passed the medical, I keep seeing people talk about sponsor approval(sa) do you get this in an email or what happens, I thought i would have gotten this before the medical, any help would be amazing

Charlie Burns

Hi, Charlie. The sponsor approval is the first step, and usually only takes a matter of weeks. If you were asked to do a medical exam at some point after you filed it could be that a) they deemed your application incomplete without it, and have not yet approved your spouse as a sponsor or b) that your partner would have been approved, and that your approval is well along the process. You can find more information on the website of the visa office processing your case, and you might be able to talk to someone there.

Bear in mind that I am not an expert, I've just shared what we went through. Also, that was in 2011, so things may have changed to some extent.


Hey, Thanks for all the information - very helpful. I am Canadian, sponsoring my Pakistani husband. We have been living in various places abroad for the past ten years of our marriage and only have just applied for his PR because we are finally in a space where we can move permanently. We just received notice that his application has been moved to London. Is this any indication that we are close to the end? Thanks.


Hello, Sarah;

You're not exactly near the end, but you have been approved as a sponsor. The next step will likely round out the time to the one year mark from when you submitted the application; so if you applied two months ago, this step will take up to ten months. If the UK visa office works as the (now defunct) one in Japan did, you'll know the end is soon when you receive a request for his passport to be sent for the temporary stamp. Some visa offices in other countries (like India) seem to ask for the passport up front before continuing their work.

So in summary: if the request for the passport comes soon, they'll keep it for the duration. If it comes later, you're nearly done.

Good luck!


what does it mean when at the end of the process before their final decision they ask for an updated medical? i have read that that is a positive and means essential it is approved as long as medical comes back ok. Anyone have any insight?????


Well, shanda, you didn't leave an email address so I don't know that you'll ever see this response. But yes, it's good news, and yes, you'll likely be approved once the medical report is in their hands.

Good luck, and welcome to Canada!


I am inland applicant. My file is sent to local visa office . Local visa office sent me email requesting to send my police clearance certificate(PCC). Should I sent pcc to local visa office or to 2 Robert Speck Parkway, Suite 1200 Mississauga, ON L4Z 1H8. Please suggest.


Hi, Zeeshab;

If the letter and the CIC website are unclear, I would send it to the local visa office. You can always try the CIC phone support people.

Good luck with your application!


Hi, Thank you so much for your answers! I submitted the application yesterday, I'm Canadian and my husband is in India. I just realized that I submitter copies of Birth certificates mine and my husband's, as well as a copy of marriage certificate. Do they ask for originals? :( would that be a problem?Actually, I don't even have my original birth certificate... I dont know where it is. I just always used copies. Also, how long it will take to hear back from them if I submitted an application yesterday and they've received it based on the mail tracking number. 3d question is. On the website it says that you need to link application to an account but it doesn't seem to work.. does it have to be done later? I just want to be able to respond to them as soon as possible if they need sm


Hello, Lena.

You can find wait times on the CIC website, but they seem to average around 12 months these days.

We did not submit original copies of things like birth certificates.

The point at which you'll hear back depends on whether it was an inland or outland process, and which visa office is doing the processing. Roughly speaking, though, it should take less than six weeks for you to be approved as a sponsor if all's well. You'll get that notice and then the paperwork is forwarded to the visa office in India. I've read that in India they will ask for your husband's passport fairly early in the next phase of the process (rather than at the end as was the case with my Japanese wife). It's in the second phase that the bulk of the waiting comes in.

The broad steps are all on the CIC website:

There was no linking an application to an account back in 2011 when we did this, but it's spelled out here:

(which was linked in the second URL)

It's something you'll have to do. Keep an eye on that account and on your inbox.

Best of luck with your application!


Hi Michael, firstly thank you so much for answering all of these questions personally especially after already finished the process. I am a CND citizen by birth and have been living in Japan for 14 years. I met my husband here, he is Pakistani, and we have just sent his Outland PR app. to Mississauga. My question has to do with an open work permit/possible move back to Canada before his PR is approved. He has temporary residency valid until August 2018, so coming and going shouldn't be an issue. He has a tentative job offer but we need to get an open work permit. I can't tell if you can apply for an OPW Outland, the cic webpage seems to show it possible from Inland only but other immigration websites say it can be done from outside, port of entry or inland. Do you know by chance? Thanks!

Louisa Green

Hello, Louisa. The short answer is that I don't know but I suspect it should be possible. I memory serves, you have to deal with the office in Manila now for questions around visas, so I would try their website and perhaps to call them. They may redirect you to the main CIC "help" line, but it's the route I would take.

Beware third party websites (like mine!) the information there gets old (like mine!).

14 years in Japan is a great run. I showed up in '05 but only made it five years myself.


Good day,I just came accross your page and its very informative. Please,i want to know how long a new PR card holder will stay in canada before being eligible to sponsor spouse and kids.. Thank you.


I don't see a minimum wait time on this page on the CIC website:

Why don't you call the CIC and find out? 8)


Hello, We made an inland application. I got the letter stating that I was already approved as a sponsor. It says in the letter that "The Application for Permanent Residence(APR) for your relative will be processed separately and he/she will be contacted shortly." May I know what's the ETA when they say "shortly"? Also, does this mean the sponsored person is already approved for PR as well? Your feedback is highly appreciated. Thank you!!


The ETA depends on the country which is handling your application. However, the variance is now very low, and usually all applications for any country of processing and either the inland/outland route is about a year. You can find out here:

No, the PR recipient is not approved, just the sponsor. You might want to read up on the process on the CIC website. For instance, you may be asked for medical proof, and you'll certainly be asked to send away your spouse's passport either shortly or at the end of the process - it seems there's some variability as to when in the process the passport request comes.

Good luck, John!


Hi Michael, I am a PR here in Canada and I am sponsoring my wife in the Philippines, we done here medical exam and the CIC sent me an email stating that they already forwarded the application to visa office in Manila, is this means that after they got the application they will request the passport or we are closer to get approved. Thank you.


Hello, Alcris;

You're in good shape. The system's changed a fair bit over the years, but you should receive notification, once the background check on your wife is complete, and yes a request for your passport. Assuming everything is in order, this should wrap up within a year of your application date.

Remember that you can check the status of your application here:

You didn't leave an email address, so I hope you check in again!


Hey. I need to know how the visa office is assigned for outland. If someone is a citizen of country A but a resident of country B, but currently in Canada on TRV. which visa office will be assigned for further processing? what is the criteria for deciding


Hi. The CIC website is worse than ever from the looks of things, but it seems that the table on this chart would tell you where you application will be processed.

It all seems to come down to geography, but in the case you've described I think it's the country of origin and/or passport for the sponsored immigrant that you'd use as your guide.

Bear in mind that I am not an expert, and am not keeping current on policy. I'm merely someone who's been through this (and even that was now six years ago). If you have questions of this nature, I suggest you call the CIC to verify things before making a mistake that could add months to your application time.

All the best with your application, Gaurav.


All my paperwork is getting sent to our lawyer and it takes a few days for them to respond to my questions...I checked online and for about 6 months our status stayed at "application received" than it went to "in process" than I checked again at 8 months and it went back to "application received"..the screen did change though as it went to 2. medical records received..I'm wondering if I was approved as the sponsor since we went to step 2. And what's left? Thank You


Marissa, you didn't leave your email address, so I hoe you do check back to see my response.

It sounds to me like a) you used the "inland" route to apply? and b) that things are progressing normally there. If they're already looking at your spouse's medical records than I believe you've been approved quite some time ago as the sponsor and are in the final month(s) of the process.


Apologies, Michael. I did not include my email address in my last inquiry about how my pregnancy will affect my PR application. Here it is. Thank you.


Got it.


Hi There Michael, I am an American applying for outland PR through my Canadian husband. I do not currently live in Canada, but visit very often. We are just finishing up our paperwork to submit our application package. We found out we are pregnant a couple weeks ago (yay!), but I am not sure how that plays out with my application. Will they refuse my application until the baby is born? Or does it not matter? There is only one yes or no question pertaining to this issue on the revised application which asks if you or your sponsor and pregnant, but there are no follow up questions. I can't seem to find any information on this issue and how it affects permanent residency applications. Thanks in advance!


They will not refuse the application on that basis. As lunatic as the system seems, CIC isn't actually *trying* to be obstructionist. 8)

My wife became pregnant after we were well underway. Just be sure to tell them exactly what's happening as things develop. At the speed with which US applications blast through the system I expect it'll all be over before there are three of you.

All the best with your application, and congratulations!!

P.S. Make sure you understand the rules of citizenship with regard to where the child is born. In Canada a number of years ago we had a "reverse anchor baby" situation, if you will. People who obtained Canadian citizenship returned to their country of origin and were passing on Canadian citizenship to their children and grandchildren. This was dealt with by the previous (Conservative) government, which passed a retroactive law so that anyone born to a Canadian outside of Canada could not in turn pass on their Canadian citizenship to a third generation. Unlike a similar rule in Australia, there was no mechanism by which the ability by citizens born abroad to pass on citizenship could be restored (in Australia this could be done by having the born-abroad child live in Australia for a certain term). I don't know if the US has similar rules, but it's an annoyance that we're living with since my son was born in Tokyo while I was working there. He can't pass on his Canadian citizenship, while our Toronto-born daughter can.


Hello, I did submit for inland applications for my wife and child while visiting me from Philippines last July 2015, finally I got news from CIC asking for medical check outs for my wife and baby, that means that its a step closer for the applications to be approved? thanks


Of course! It's a big step.

Good luck with your application.


Hi, I'm applying from Mexico for my husband's PR. We sent our documents but I made a silly mistake on one of the forms (put his name where mine was required). The Mississauga processing centre replied really fast (within a week) telling us about the mistake and to please re-submit the form. How long can I expect to wait until they approve me as a sponsor after receiving the corrected form? I haven't heard from them in weeks. There is no acknowledgment of receipt of the corrected form. Thanks!


My information, having done this five years ago, is increasingly out of date. But it all depends on whether you're following an inland or outland application. For the latter, you'll receive word that the case has been passed on to one of the visa offices outside Canada, when you've been approved as a sponsor. Then there will be a longer wait, after which you'll hear that your husband's been approved. They will ask that his passport be sent along to that office at that time. The inland process has changed a fair bit over the years, but I think you'd hear nothing for several months before any requests for further steps (health check, etc) come back. It's a very lengthy process.

I don't think they're in the habit of ever sending a note like, "we've received your update." The common advice I saw on the forums was to send everything to them in some fashion that you'll get a receipt back when they've received what you sent.

All the best on your quest!


Hi im a a Filipina married to a canadian , we apply for spouse visa last 05-05-16then my husband received an email last 06-29-16,he was approved as a sponsor and for the further process of the visa it was forwarded to manila last 07-06-16 and then just recently 07-13-16 i received an email confirmation about my visa being process , I submitted everything complete , even my medical , im just confused on family members medical do they all need to do it ? althou they are not going with me to canada

MaryGrace Kunzelman

Hello, Mary Grace;

It wasn't clear from your message on my website what the nature of the request is, regarding medical records for your family. If you've had a request for such records, you'll have to provide them. Any inability to provide such records can only hurt your application. Please note, however, that I am not an immigration lawyer, nor an expert - just someone who brought his spouse into Canada, and that was five years ago already. I think you should get in touch with the visa office that is processing your claim, as well as the CIC help line. If that fails consider reaching out to your husband's member of parliament.

Good luck!


Thank you Micheal Randa


Good luck!


Hello Micheal. My name is Randa, l am a canadian citizen. I applied to sponsor my husband from Syria. Application received by cic marh 10/16 SA march 20/16 Aplication transfeted to Bucharest VO march 20/16 Both side sponsor and spibsored in process. Medical received How it would take VO to request sponsored passport.


Hi, Randa! It looks like the CIC may not be sending spousal PR applications to specific VO's any more. Have a look at this page:

It says the total turnaround would be 12 months. Which I believe is a big improvement over the times achieved by the previous government, as long as it sounds. In fact, Syria's now comparable with Germany, the UK, or Japan.

All the best with your application!


hey Im Sara, my husband has his PR and we had submitted the outland sponsor to sponsor me as a PR. we got an acknowledgment from Delhi stating that the process has started in march 21st 2015, approximately how long would it take for me to receive a mail asking for my passports?


You can find that information on the CIC website:

All the best with your application!


hello Micheal,my wife and i are applying for Canada PR.we both have a child together and both her parents and siblings were all at the wedding including that of mine.i applied in 2015 for a visitors visa to visit my daughter after she was born but i was refused on the reason that,the purpose of my visit.Now we are married and am applying from Ghana,Africa and my wife is a Ugandan Canadian.please tell me what do you think our chances of a successful application is going to be like.kindly advise


I don't know how to gauge the likelihood of your success, but if you submit a strong application, and if the health and background checks work out, it should work out. The new government is putting more resources towards immigration, so it's possible that your processing times will even be a bit faster than the published rates of the past few years.

To complete a good application, be sure to include all of the required evidence. For instance, I submitted letters from acquaintances who knew our relationship to be legitimate, and lots of photos of us with each-other's families (in public places). We did all of the needed tests. It took months, but it worked!

Keep copies of everything in case the application goes missing. Send it by some delivery mechanism that will give you a receipt.


Hi ,we got request for submitting the passport on 27th april 2016 for the candian pr...but my wife is 7month pregnant right we submitted the passoprt and letter regarding her pregnancy to passoprt office...and earlier when medical was conducted she was 3month i m just worrying at this stage will they hold our passport after knowing that she is 7month pregnant or will give us our passport to give us a chance to travel to canda beofre wife due date is 20july


Are you considering bringing her to Canada for the birth without the PR standing? I'm not an expert but it sounds like you have little choice but to send the passport along. Depending on your country it could be returned fairly quickly (this is not universal, of course). It was close for us, as well; we were already in-country but paid for my wife's various medical fees all the way along until finally receiving her PR stamp about mid-way in the pregnancy.


Hello - I am Filipino Canadian and I am sponsoring my wife from Philippines; my question is? All our papers already submitted and approved here in Mississauga and immigration emailed a confirmation that they send a note to Canadian Manila for further processing, now medical is done and after 6 weeks my wife got an email from Manila embassy that she needs to submit additional documents like IMM's forms, and photos evidence these are all already submitted here in Canada, what should we do? please


Angie, you didn't include your email address along with your query, I hope you find an answer, somehow.

If you've been asked for the forms and other evidence, though, I would do as they ask. You can include a letter stating that any missing originals were already submitted with your application.

Good luck with the process – you're nearly done!


Hello, Michael. I'm not sure if you can answer this. I'm sponsoring my wife for PR, and we applied while we were both living in Japan. We are now in Canada, as of last month, and CIC made the decision just a week after arriving in Canada (bad timing!). However, they gave us a very tight deadline of April 30th for landing, less than a month. We sent the required form back to Manila, and they responded today saying they can't send the decision package to Canada, only to Tokyo. What do we do?

Jay Dee

I'm not sure which form you sent off, do you mean to advise them of a new address? It sounds like your wife might have to return to Japan, submit her passport to the office in Manila, and wait for its return. This was a very quick turnaround when we did Toronto -> Tokyo -> Toronto, by that I mean only three weeks or so.

I hope that's workable. You might also do well to drop by one of the forums I mentioned on my website. There are people there who have been through every imaginable variation on the path to PR sponsorship.

Best of luck!


Hi Michael, you're awesome for answering all these questions even after your process is done. Anyway, I'm about 80% done preparing my outland app, and I'm just wondering about the letters you used to support proof of your marriage relationship. Did you use original signed handwritten letters? Or would scanned copies emailed to me from my parents and friends who live far away suffice? Btw, as a Canadian just like you, I'm ashamed how terrible this process is.


Yes, it's amazing when Japan, a country that admits 20-25 refugees a year, and which has no word in common use for "immigrant", has a better process than we do.

We went with whatever people would provide us. I don't recall that any were hand-written, but they were certainly all signed and mailed to us. When you submit your application, be sure to submit originals of everything. I kept only scans. It's risky (they *lose* applications, somehow), but it's what they want to see.

I suppose on the point of lost applications, it's best to send your package in a sturdy envelope, by registered mail.

Good luck, Christopher!


Hi Michael, I am married to a Canadian Citizen. We sent the inland sponsorship application to CIC in Ontario 2.5 months already, but all we have at this moment is just an email of receiving acknowledgment sent to my husband. That's it. We checked our online status but it is not found so I think they have not started processing our application yet. Do you know how long does it normally take CIC to start processing time since the day they received the application package? Thank you so much

Thu Tran

Hi Thu,

You can look at the processing times for different types of visas here:

Since you've chosen the inland route (I'm assuming your spouse was in the country without standing?) you're currently looking at 26 months. The good news is that your spouse can obtain a work permit after 18 months.

I am not an immigration lawyer, I'm just someone who brought their spouse in, so you'll have to verify the following information yourself (e.g. through a lawyer or on one of the forums I mention on my website).

I don't know what country your spouse is from, but that can add quite a bit of time to the mix as well, as there is substantial work to be done in the foreign country. E.g. Germany and the UK have very short processing times. My wife's processing happened when Japanese citizens were managed through Tokyo, which was about 6-7 months. But it's now done in Manila, which adds another lengthy period for some reason. It gets worse in countries with greater obstacles for this sort of thing, such as Nigeria and Afghanistan.

The government has never prioritized inland applications. From what I've been told, that route was originally created as an "amnesty" channel for those who were already living here without a valid visa. The official story is a bit different. But the outland process is uniformly faster, less restrictive, and less risky. I have never recommended the inland process to anyone due to the restrictions.

We applied through the outland process even though my wife was here in Toronto with me (and our son).


hi michael I am a permanent resident (PR) and sponsoring my wife soon as she finish all the papers but my PR card is also expiring this february. i just renew it last october. should i wait first my PR card or should i just submit the papers?


Billy, I'm sorry to tell you that I really don't know. Are you in possession of your passport? If not, or if there's a chance that you'll have to submit it at some point during your renewal, I would wait. It might be a good idea to talk to the CIC about this, though.


hi dear i am married to a canadian resident (PR) we sent an inland application on march 2014 we got a letter says its processing i see that you don't recommend inland. just in case if my application is refused do i really dont have any chance to fight for it ?do i have to leave canada? can i try again? what will happen to my wife and my daughter maybe i should withdraw my application and try outland please give me some advice thanks javed khan

javed khan

No, you can not fight a failed inland application. Depending on your visa situation, I imagine that yes, you would have to leave the country.

I don't know if you can with withdraw and application once submitted. I strongly suggest that you try one of the visa-related forums and get the advice from some of the more-seasoned people there who have seen these things before.

Also bear in mind, that if your application is strong you shouldn't have a problem. But you will face a lengthy processing time, as you can see on the CIC website.

All the best, Javed!


Hi, im permanent resident in canada.i got married to my husband who is american citizen. I just move back from USA after 3 yrs. I sent the aplication on august 2014, and get approval as a sponsor oct 7. I was pregnant at the time. Now i just gave birth to a boy in canada. Do i have to notify cic about this since i dont need to sponsor him? My husband is in LA. I check online system said they they received application on August19,14 and medical results. How long do i have to wait to get this done? And can i travel outside canada to US to visit my husband for 2 months during the processing time . im afraid because i m not canadiab citizen yet. Anther question is, can my husband apply working visa while waiting his pr? Thanks,


Congratulations on the birth!!

Yes, tell CIC about this, without question, as soon as possible.

I *believe* you can travel outside Canada, you are the sponsor not the sponsored person. If I were you, I'd call up the CIC and ask. If you can't get through, try some of the forums I reference on my web site.

Yes, your husband can apply for a working visa. The requirements are a bit of a mess, from what I've read. You can find out more here, it seems to vary by the type of work he does.

P.S. Please bear in mind that I'm not legally qualified in this field, I wrote what I did on the basis of my experience with the system.


Hi, I just want to share my concern that I got married to a PR of Canada in Month of Sept 2014 and he submitted my file for PR on 20.10.2014 including medical and other requirements. At present CIC shows that they are working on the files received on 16.10.2014 and we are expecting our file no around Mid of Jan 2015. I just want to know the approx time all the process gonna take as we have submitted our file through lawyer and they are sure that we going to get the PR letter within 6 months as our file is complete as the per CIC rules. Please Advice.


Hi, Jyotsana;

I'm assuming that you applied through the "outland" procedure?

You can review the wait times on the CIC website here:

The number in the row labeled "Spouse, common‑law partner or dependent child" is for your spouse to be approved as a sponsor - this wait time starts when they begin to process your file. Check the "View by visa office" link in the last column to see the processing time for the next stage - it's typically much, much longer. You'll have to go through both processes.

I understand that there's nothing a lawyer can do about these wait times.

Best of luck with your move to Canada.


I got married in May 2014 and spent some time in India, was doing a software course and then wanted to spend some time with my wife and family so came back to canada in august this year. Got a job in September this year, collected all the documents and option C with our travel tickets in india and also our conversation on the phone, ( Vodafone bills, joint bank account statement, marriage pix, etc) and submitted the file.... but there was a change in the IMM0008 so I took back my application from canada post and asked my wife to fill the changed form and courier it from india....! finally sent it to CIC by end of Nov completely. It shows that CIC is processing october 14th file and Approval time shows 61 days...! I applied for a 2.5 weeks vacation at my job and it was approved so I am planning to go to India in Jan 2015 to meet my wife and family. There is also a festival in south india in January that is important for both me and my wife to celebrate together as this is our first festival after our marriage. I will be back in Canada in 2.5 weeks, would this be a issue or any kind of a problem for the file to be delayed ? Just a curious question

Chaitanya Yechuri

Frankly, I have no idea. Are you a citizen, or PR?

I don't expect there will be a problem if she's living in India.


Hi, My name is Kaye and I am a temporary foreign worker in Canada. I am about to marry my fiance (Canadian Citizen) in a couple of months and we will start to apply the spousal sponsorship. I read the forums that outland process is better than inland. I am a bit worried now because i still have a status as a temporary foreign worker until nov2015 so planning to stay and work in Canada while waiting. Do you think its ok to apply inland? Or should i come home in the philippines? I hope to hear from you soon because I've read a lot about the time waste for inland processing but I have my work permit good until nov2015 so thinking to stay here with my husband to be and work while i still have my temporary foreign work permit status. Thank you! -Kaye


Of course you want to use the outland process. There's no chance of being permanently blocked from obtaining your PR, as there is with the inland process. It's also faster - in fact it's your only option now because there is simply no way you can use the inland process and obtain your visa before your legal standing expires in November.

The only thing that may be confusing you is that can use the outland process while you are living in Canada. That's what my wife and I did, that's what people do every day.

When you are preparing your application, be sure to gather lots of proof like photos of the two of you with each-others' friends and families. We provided timelines describing our path to marriage, and even letters written by friends to indicate that they knew our relationship to be real.

Good luck!


Hi, I am sponsoring my husband from India and I am in Canadian citizen. We got married in 2008 and after marriage I stayed in India. I decided to move back to Toronto on Feb 2014 with our daughter who is also a Canadian citizen and start a life here. I applied on July 25th 2014. Got my approval letter on Sept 12. They send the sponsorship application to Delhi and my husband got an email on Sept 24 stating that they received his application and to pay for his Right of permanent fee if already not paid and submit PC if already not submitted. I have already paid the fee and we have already send in his PC along with the application. Since the application package has been in Delhi we haven't heard anything at all. It says on my ecas status that a decision has been made and they have received medicals. Since Sept 24, we haven't heard anything. We share a child together, is there any way we can expedite the process? Will talking to my MP make the process faster? Please help me here as I am alone working in Canada and taking care of my child and it's getting very difficult. I have no family in Canada. Thanks you


Hello! I understand your predicament. Yes, talking to your MP might possibly help. But please note that there is no expedition due to having a child.

As I just told someone else bringing a spouse from India, you can review the wait times on the CIC website here:

The number in the row labeled "Spouse, common‑law partner or dependent child" is for your spouse to be approved as a sponsor. Check the "View by visa office" link in the last column to see the processing time for the next stage. The office in New Delhi asks for your passport early in the process and then hangs on to it until the entire approval is done and the PR stamp is inserted.

I hope this helps. Sorry for not getting back to you sooner, Arika. All the best in your application. 8)


Hi.i want to know this that i am Indian citizen and i got married with Philippine girl she is in Canada .she apply pr both of us in Sep 2012 and last Sep Canadian embessy send my paper to India embessy in new Delhi Canadian emvessy for to submit my medical and pcc.but i still didn't receive and call or letter from new Delhi Canadian embessy .could u help me to know that how long it will take Canadian embessy India to call or send me letter to go for my medical or pcc.


Hello, Sanseep.

Your situation is a bit puzzling: neither of you holds standing in Canada, yet you're simultaneously applying for PR status?

Anyway, you can review the wait times on the CIC website here:

The number in the row labeled "Spouse, common‑law partner or dependent child" is for your spouse to be approved as a sponsor. Check the "View by visa office" link in the last column to see the processing time for the next stage. I understand that the office in New Delhi asks for your passport early in the process and then hangs on to it until the PR stamp is inserted.

Best of luck with your move to Canada.


Hi Michael, I really appreciate your help to my questions: We just applied and submitted an inland spousal application this month October 2014 , we are aware that process takes really long , anyway my question is I'm am in a woking permit and it's gonna expire on December 4, 2014 and unfortunately my employer will no longer renew any TFW in the company. My concern now what will I do to extend my stay in Canada with husband while waiting our application? Or do I really have to leave the country after my expiration of my work permit? Will it not be affect our inland application if I leave the country? Thank you in advance! Myles


You will not be able to work without a working visa. I suggest that you work on finding something another TFW, but I am not qualified to advise you on how to do this, or if you can even do that if you're already in the country. I suggest that you turn to some of the online forums and see what other people - who are living in the same circumstances as you - are doing today. All the best, Myles, I know it's not easy!

Can I ask why you chose the inland route?


Hi Michael, I'm a Canadian citizen and I'm getting married to an American citizen in February. We're currently expecting our first baby in January 2015 and was wondering what the easiest thing for us to do is. He wants to start a life here but I'm not in the best of situations (financially) to sponsor him. I'd be able to work or take OSAP as a source of income after I have my baby. Would him getting a work permit be the easiest route? If so, how does it work and how long will it take? Also, is it easier for Americans to get PR in Canada? How long do you think it'll take for that to happen? Thanks for everything!


First, I'd strongly suggest that you find some people who know more about your specifics. I've heard enough horror stories about "immigration lawyers" to not recommend those, but instead that you perhaps go to one of the forums on my web page.

I can tell you that Americans have just about the easiest time with obtaining PR in Canada. I would expect that if he's done his background check and medical exam in the US and you've completed your application forms with care (including lots of supporting evidence of your marriage) that the whole process would take six months or so once they've received the form. You can find up to date information on the CIC website here: (Be sure to check the "view by visa office" page and find the US).

Also, I would instinctively advise against filing a claim based on supporting him while you're on OSAP. If he has any savings, an in-demand skill-set, or source of income in the US that he can rely on while living here, that would look a lot stronger.

Congratulations on your pregnancy, and all the best in your efforts to bring your fiance here. It can be stressful and confusing but you can get through it. I think the most important thing is to decide whether you have to be together during the pregnancy and/or birth - in the context of your financial situation. Sounds easy for me to say I know, but everything else will depend on that reality.


Hi there, im new here but i find this forumvery helpful... Im a filipina and got married to a french nationale with a permanent resident status in canada, our case has been sent to manila visa office. With regards to my passport submission, I requested for an urgent return of my passport due to a planned trip with my husband prior to a Passport Request I got thru an e-mail.My passport alone was sent back to me on October 2, 2014 without any further notice or instruction. I'm glad the embassy has considered my situation where i needed my passport before October 15 so i can travel. However, i do not know whether i have to submit it again or wait for another request from the embassy for my passport.Since my original copy of passport is reasonably required to complete the assessment of my application, i'd like to know if i must send it back after i get back from my travel which is on October 27. I am afraid that my concern will not be addressed and may cause future delays or refusal.


Hi, Jade. I don't know how CIC would handle this situation, but I wouldn't be surprised if your application were put on hold while you have your passport. In your case, I would contact the visa office and ask them how to direct your passport back to them. You should probably include a letter explaining why you're submitting it; reference your application number in that letter.

Good luck to you!


Hi Michael,we send our Outland application in CPC Missisauga on april 9, 2014 and received April 11 , 2014 according to canada post office with signature. We call 4 times in CIC,the first call he said no application in the system,same as the second time we call,the third time we call wait for two weeks, we received email from CPC Missisauga on June 19, 2014,subject imm no application in the system,it says their they received our complete application on April 14, 2014 theirs client ID or UCI,then we wait. On June 30 we call again in CIC she told us wait till September,we send our application Outland not Inland,we even receive official acknowledgement of receipt from them,do we have to phone or email our MP to help us inquiry what's going on our application,in been 74 days waiting ....please I need your advice..


It can take as long as two months to hear that you've been approved as a sponsor. The CIC doesn't update their records very consistently, so it's possible that they won't know that your application is in the mix until you've been approved as a sponsor. So; don't panic, yet.

That said, at this point it can't hurt to contact your MP. I've read of many cases where the Mississauga office mysteriously "lost" an application.

All the best in your application, Siegfred.


Hi Michael, Thank you so much for helping everyone with their questions. I have a little dilemma. My husband and I got married in Iran on August 2013, we sent an application to Mississauga on December 2013 and got approved for sponsorship on January 2014. At that point it was sent to Turkey and we are now waiting until it's processed. The wait is unbearable and we don't think we can wait 14 months! Do you think it would jeopardize our application if he applies for a visitor visa? He can get letters from his employer saying he has to return. The only thing I'm worried about is if he gets denied, how will that affect our application for PR?


I don't know enough about it to comment, frankly. Why don't you call the CIC?

Or, you could check the website of the visa office in the country that's handling your case, and see if they list any contacts you can call/email at that office. The whole thing is so complicated and arbitrary that it's very hard to know without official advise. You can also check the forums (such as this one: You should be able to find more knowledgeable advice there, and possibly some other people coming from either the Turkey or Iran who can give you first hand advice as you jointly share the same "adventure".

Congratulations on your marriage, and all the best with your application.


hi, sir michael, i just want to ask you a question, i am a filipina work here in hongkong for almost 13 year from now, and my husband is canadian, we won the appeal last november 28 2013, and our consultant send the documents here in hongkong last dec, 04 long does it take to wait my refferal letter for my medical and police clearance, i am so confused because until now we cant hear from the canada consulate here in hongkong. thank you so much, and godbless...


By "an appeal", do you mean you two once tried a PR application but failed?

I have no idea how long it takes to produce the medical and police background documents, but I don't think they'll be sent to you in any case; they go right to the CIC. My wife's police check took something like two months, if I recall correctly, but that was in Japan. Bear in mind that anything I write might be out of date, because it's been three years since we went through it.

Have a look at the CIC website for the wait times. Once you've submitted your application, it will take over a month for your partner to be approved as a sponsor:

Then, since you're in HK, it will take only seven months for you to be approved as a sponsor, assuming all goes well.

That's about the fastest anywhere!

All the best with your application.



Hello,I am from Philippines, my husband is a Canadian citizen he sponsored me as spouse. CIC processing informed me that our application is now on que for filling ,i've just done my medical examination last april 15, 2014 which was my last requirement. Now i'm waiting for an update from CIC. How long will it take before they will file our application? And after it will filed, can i apply for tourist visa? Please any kind response will be appreciated, Thank you :)


As you can see here:

There's a period where they evaluate your husband as a suitable sponsor, then they'll evaluate you as a spouse. The link above has a link to this page, which shows the average wait times by country.

On the first page, it looks like sponsors are seeing approvals at 35 days at present. Then for your country it's a 14 month wait. Good luck, don't let it drive you crazy.


Hi, I'm from island of Mauritius. My wife is a Canadian citizen. We have been married and have been living together in Mauritius. We have started our sponsorship application (Outland) back in January 2014, so she went back to Canada in January 2014. Last month, we got an email from CIC accepting and approving her as my sponsor ( step 1). We miss each other so much. We find it very very hard to be separated like that. My question is that : Since she is a Canadian Citizen, she could have stayed with me and start the application, but we didnt know that at that time. it is possible she come back to Mauritius to stay with me until I get my Permanent Residence approved? if Yes, Please guide us Regards, John


Yes, it should be possible. Many applicants and their Canadian spouses spend their entire application approval time together outside of Canada. I have a friend who's living in Kyoto with his wife and kids right now waiting on her approval.

(Remember that I'm not an official source of information or any kind of expert. I'm just someone who's been through it. Your wife can always call the CIC help line for firm answers.)


This info is invaluable. How can I find out more?


You can try the links to the CIC websites or the forums I've got above. All the best to you, Jani.


thank you for answering my question! I made up my mind and Outland it is. thanks again


That's great! All the best in your undertaking. 8)


hello. I'm from Mongolia. my husband is sponsoring me for the PR application. currently I live in Canada with him under visitor visa, and I'm very close to send my documents to CIC. but then inland or Outland is confusing me. have u heard anything about visa office in Beijing? any advise? many thanks


Definitely use the outland procedure. It has two major advantages: it's usual MUCH quicker, and if something goes wrong or you have to cancel it, you can always try again. With the inland route, that's not possible. Incidentally, there are two separate set of forms, be careful which one you're using. Also, it looks like the forms were updated a few weeks back (in January). If you've had yours for a while, verify that they're the current ones.

Good luck with your quest!


hi Michael, my husband is Canadian citizen he apllied for my PR in july 2013 and i am in Pakistan,now processising time from Pakistan is 32 months so i want to ask you will there be any delay or complication if we plan a baby during my PR application process.


Yes, I see that the time is 32 months. Truly incredible!

There will be complications if you have the child but do not tell the CIC. In fact, it would be best if you advised the CIC as soon as you are pregnant. Please be careful to familiarize yourself with the rules, there are frequently stories of madness associated with this system. e.g.: ( or I usually suggest that people go to sites such as to find others from their own country.

Good luck to you! Thirty-two months, it defies belief. Thank you for your dedication in coming to Canada. I apologize that our system is such a mess.


Hi! I have a question about pr application of my dad. My mom's living in canada for yrs. now and was approved to sponsor my dad. We received an email from cic about lc2 and we responded and received the forms. It says in the email that we need to send the application to visa office in manila which we did last May 2013. We received an email march 8, 2014 from cpc vegreville requesting for medical exam for my dad that should be submitted within 60 days. However, my mom also received an email from vegreville last march asking her to send documents for her dependent with the checklist the same as the one we already submitted in manila. So my question is should my mom need to send the documents again together with the same forms as in the application or would the visa office in manila forward my dad's application to vegreville? I'm confused and we need to send the documents within 90 days from the date of the letter to my mom. If that would be the case we will be getting another nbi clearance for visa in canada and all the other requirements. Please help us on this matter. Your immediate response will be greatly appreciated. Thanks


Hello, Cho. I'm not entirely sure if I follow your story, but I've never heard of anyone submitting an application to the visa office in another country: they're meant to go to Vegreville if you're applying for the outland route, and to Mississauga for the inland route. Since the Vegreville office is involved, it sounds like you've chosen the slower inland route. So be it.

I would do what they ask you: send the requested form(s) and have the medical exam at an approved clinic who can send the results on to the Vegreville office as soon as possible. (Did you mean to say that you not responded to the original request since March of 2013?)

I realize that it's a confusing process, Cho, I hope that I have helped in some way. Please note that I am not an immigration specialist or accredited in any way. I'm just a Canadian who's been through the process.

Good luck!!


Dear sir, How can i get legal advi.ce for spouse who entered in canada but her sponsor doesn't accept her ? Thanx


I'm not qualified to give legal advice, Ramesh. I suggest that you hunt around for an immigration lawyer. Be sure to get references, though, one hears terrible stories of the crooks in the business. For instance, there's nothing that a lawyer can do to speed up a PR application process, no matter what they may charge.


Hi My husband is a Canadian citizen and we were in US for 4 yrs...Now I moved to India for my outland PR to Canada, with my 3 yr old child who is a US citizen. We applied on n0v 15,2013, got sponsorship approval on dec 18,2013... I got my AOR on Jan 30,2014...Now it is March 5,2014 but no further updates from CIC...Any idea how much more time can it take for PP request and then the visa? Thanks: alpha1


It sounds like you're on record pace! I wouldn't worry, you've got, on average, a twelve month process to look forward to, in total. At least, that's according to the CIC website:


Hello Michael and again a big thank you for your advice. Do you see any reason not to start the process here in Malaysia before we leave in June? I mean, would it be the same as starting the process right away when we arrive in Canada in July? I guess either way it is likely or sure that my wife would have to leave Canada once before her 6 month visitor visa expires, and cross the border to the US, and re-enter? What would you advise? If we began the process in Canada, could an "outland" application still be filed? Do I fill out an application as a sponsor and my wife an application for sponsorship at the same time, to be sent together? Does it work that if I am approved as a sponsor then they will continue with my wife's application? Is she required to have an interview of some sort at some stage, and if so would that take place in Vancouver (I am hoping that it would not be Manila for example). Michael, would you happen to know if she would be eligible right away for BC Medical when we arrive? Thank you again

Brian Pretty

Yes, start the application from Malaysia. I think you can submit electronically now, so that will save you time.

Definitely use the "outland" process wherever you're living. Ask around on the forums if you like, but the best answer I ever heard was that the "inland" process was effectively started as an amnesty program for people already living in the country illegally. When you're on "inland" you can't travel in or out of the country, and you can never re-apply should you be turned down (well, unless you remarry).

The sponsorship application is a collection of forms that you submit at one time.

I have no clue where the interview might be, it might be in Buffalo if you catch a break. Or Manila, if not. I just don't know.

No, she won't qualify for medical coverage. She'll have no standing. It's blue cross insurance for her. Your <18 year old children WILL have coverage though, if BC's the same as ON. Take 'em in to the ministry immediately when you arrive.

All the best, Brian.


I would love your advice. My fiance (born and raised in Canada but in the US on a TN Visa that is expiring soon) and I are moving to Toronto. I'm a US citizen. From preliminary research and reading a few forums, it sounds like it would be in our best interest for him to submit the application to sponsor me now, while we are still in the US? What are the next steps and can I move with him when he moves or do I need to stay in the US until I am fully approved? Can I work in Canada while the PR visa is being processed? What kind of time frame can I expect for all of this? This is all really overwhelming and I'd love your advice!


It certainly is overwhelming, I was very disappointed in my country when I went through all of this. In your case I would a) ascertain the duration of your visit privileges to Canada (e.g. six months at one stay), b) whether you can come and go to/from Canada as an American if your visa application is already underway, and c) what the time frames are for your country at present (e.g. here: and Our benighted government is withdrawing resources from the CIC program for spousal applications

My wife and I decided that with her six month visitor's eligibility in Canada (as a Japanese citizen) to move to Canada and then start the application. We did this so that we could stay together whatever happened. In the end, it took us ten solid months to get her PR stamp, so she had to exit the country and return, a chancy thing because some border services guards could potentially block her re-entry for some imagined pretext (I think this was more of a risk in the past than it is today). But she had with her a) our Canadian son and b) a copy of our application, and she had no trouble re-entering. Again, this was just our experience, your experience may vary.

Whatever you do, be sure you file an "outland" application.

And no, you cannot legally work for a Canadian employer in Canada while your PR is pending because you won't have a SIN and you won't have standing. But, you can apply for a working visa after your spousal application is in the works. It's "explained" here:

This also limits your options for health care in this country, so keep the potential expenses in mind should you be considering a pregnancy. As it happened, my wife went through the first two semesters without real health coverage (you can only buy travel insurance, it covers emergency hospitalization but no "pre-existing" conditions) and it cost a fair bit.


Thank you very kindly Michael for your responses. As you say, it is unlikely that the process will be completed by the time we leave Malaysia in the middle of June this year. I am glad you clarified that I would not be making the application directly through the Embassy of Canada in the Philippines, but through the out land application processing center in Canada (which then goes through the responsible visa office). I really want to make sure I go through correct application. Would you be able to provide me with a link to the correct spot on the CIC site to begin the application process for my wife? Do you know whether I apply and then begin collection of all required documents, etc. or if everything goes at once? My wife is traveling to Japan at the end of March for 5 days. Do you happen to know when she has to send her actual passport as part of the application process? Or does that happen towards the end of the process or could it potentially happen after we leave Malaysia and we are already in Canada? I presume there would be something in the application about dependents. Would that mean dependents who do not hold Canadian passports? I do not know if there is anything else...

Brian Pretty

Everything on the CIC website seems to change periodically, it now looks like they may have amalgamated the forms for the two processes (inland/outland). Have a look at these forms to start with:

You'll also want to familiarize yourself with the guidance on the website of the Manila visa office:

Your wife will send the passport off to the visa office in Manila as the second-last process. The request comes either a) when she has been approved as a spouse or b) when they are now reviewing her as a spouse. The old visa office in the Tokyo embassy did it through route a) but at the time I went through all of this (in 2011) the Manila office seemed to follow route b) which means the request comes earlier but they retain the passport for a much longer time (a few months instead of 1-2 weeks).

I'm not sure I follow your question about the timing of the passport submission, but from whichever point you submit the passport your wife would of course not be able to travel internationally. You'll have to find out (perhaps from one of the forums) if the CIC still wants all dependents listed or only those without a Canadian passport. At the time I went through it, our son did not have to be listed because he was a Canadian citizen.


I am a Canadian citizen currently living and working in Malaysia for the last 5 years with my wife and 2 sons. My wife is Japanese. We got married in Japan in 2005 (I have been working outside of Canada since 2000). My eldest son holds a Canadian Passport, a Canadian Citizenship card and a SIN card. He was born in Germany. My youngest was born a year ago in Malaysia and I have already submitted his application for a Canadian Citizenship Certificate. About a month before we leave we need to apply for his passport (according to the Canadian High Commission in Kuala Lumpur). What I need to find out is what the process is for my wife for our move to Canada? Based on the comments I have read on the forum, I believe I need to apply for Canadian Spousal Permanent Residency while we are still here in Malaysia and before we go to Canada this summer? We leave in the middle of June (so will only be here for another 5 months or so) for a visit to Japan and then go to Canada. Am I supposed to do this process through the OUTLAND option and through the Canadian Embassy in Manila, and if so does this mean I would be sending all necessary documents through courier to Manila? Would the process be complete before we leave and if not, will that be ok?


Five months? No, I've never heard of anyone outside of the UK, US, or maybe Germany/the Netherlands having a PR application go through in such a short time even if you had your application assembled and ready to go tomorrow. Given the ongoing cuts to the service, I would expect 8-15 months to be more realistic if you're still wondering about which process to use. Ours took three months to assemble (just the police check back in Japan will take two months), and six months for the government to approve. Given the nationality of your wife, you'll submit your outland application to the processing center in Canada (I believe it's in Mississauga) and it will be forwarded to the responsible visa office after you're approved as a sponsor. That office is in Manila, but again you do not submit your documents there directly.

After you've applied, your wife can come with you to Canada and take up residence here but she will not have any standing; as a Japanese citizen she is entitled to stay here without a visa (when we did this three years ago, the term was six months) but she will have to leave the country and re-enter after the six months are up. My wife did this, traveling with our son (also dual nationality) and she got in again without problem. Note that not everyone is so lucky, but again our son was with her, she was carrying a letter of consent to travel with our son from me, and she was carrying a copy of our application for her PR.

Given your situation, this might work out well; your application will be well under way and possibly complete (I doubt it) before the first six month period is up. The government will readily return her passport with the PR stamp to an address inside Canada even if you use the "outland" process. Then you do the flag-poling trick at the border with the US (or fly internationally and return) and you're done.

Remember, I'm not an expert, just someone who's been through it (my wife, like yours, is Japanese). But feel free to send any follow-on questions.


Hi, Just want to use this medium to say a big thank you for support and advice to people. Am a Nigerian residing in south africa,I have a girlfriend who is a canadian,we love each other so much that we are intending to get married on her soonest visit to southafrica.she wants to apply a sponsorship spouse visa for me soon as she returns to canada after the wedding here in southafrica. So I want your advice on the best fastest way 2 apply so the visa can be approved without long it through inland or outland? Thanks

emenike donatus

There will be long delays no matter which way you go, but you definitely want to file "outland". Have a look through the questions and comments on my site, there is a lot of information there.

Thanks for dropping by,



Hi, I just have a few questions regarding outland sponsorship. My husband and I got married in July. I have lived in Toronto for the past 7 years as an international student. However, my visa expires in September 2014. I was wondering whether we could start the outland application now, even though I still live in Canada. Once my visa expires we plan to go back to my country (we are having a baby in June, so it'd be nice to spend some time with my family). Hopefully I would receive my PR before September 2015, but if it takes longer, could I apply for another study permit to start my master's in Toronto?

Juliana RamĂ­rez

Applying via outland application, and then being back in your country until the visa arrives makes sense - just be sure that you know where the passport will be routed once the stamp's been inserted. ;^)

I can't comment on the second question about the student via, I'm just someone who sponsored his wife, not a visa expert. That said, I've never heard of an outland application taking nearly two years, I imagine you'll have your PR stamp well before then (very processing time for the visa office that handles your country).

Congratulations on your wedding and the baby!


I hope this forum is still open for questions as of November 13, 2013? I am a handicapped female Canadian senior citizen and my husband is American. He is in Canada on a one-year Visitor Visa which expires in July of 2014. I filed my outland application for Sponsorship in March of 2013. I have a letter from CIC stating I have been approved as his sponsor and that the application has been forwarded to the Visa office in the USA. The only note in our e-CAS states that my husbands' medical results have been received. We are hoping his PRV will be granted SOON on compassionate grounds. I have two questions. 1. In order to determine approximate processing time, how do I determine which US Visa office is processing the application to sponsor my husband (who is from Minnesota)? Would that be LA (because he is west of the Mississippi River? 2. would it cause a problem with CIC if my husband were to sign up with a Canadian Doctor (he is already registered with my family physician) and have a copy of his medical records forwarded from Minnesota to Ontario while waiting for his PR Visa? any help you can provide would be very much appreciated! Thank you in advance. thank you in advance.


The quick answers to your questions are "I don't know".

For question 1, I would turn to the forums I mention on my website. You'll find others where an American spouse is being brought to Canada, and can compare notes and learn from that experience.

For question 2, I believe that that would not be a problem at all. My wife, being Japanese, was able to stay for up to six months at a time, so she lived in-country with me (and our son) while the application drifted through officialdom. She didn't have to transfer any medical records, but she certainly was fully inducted into the medical field here, as she became pregnant during the PR process. No one batted an eye at someone without any status living in Canada, nor did they care about her lack of health coverage, as we simply paid cash. You and your husband would likely experience the same thing, as the only insurance he'd be able to attend would be something like Blue Cross travel insurance (which covers ambulances and hospitalization).

(Again, bear in mind that I'm just some guy on the 'net.)


hi I'm from Philippines, my husband sponsoring me last year (october 19, 2012), and now it's been a year since he filed our application, i just had my medical done last august 15, 2013 and they ask for my passport already and sent to Canadian embassy manila last Sept. 2, 2013. I sent an email to their office and it says: " we confirm received the submission containing passport. please be advised that your application is currently queued for review by the visa officer. Should I expect for my visa? How long will I wait before they release my visa? Thank you.


When I was going through the process with my wife, it seemed that Manila was one of the offices that asked for the passport very early in the process but then held it a long time. Hopefully that's now changed, and it's more the way that Tokyo was, where the asked for the passport as the very last step and the PR stamp comes back in the passport in a matter of weeks.

If I were you, I'd go to one of the forums that I mention on my website, and ask around for fellow Filipinos/as and see how it's been going recently.

All the best with your application, and I hope the rest of your transition to Canada goes smoothly. Who knows, maybe you'll be here just in time for the crippling cold. 8^D


Hello Michael, First let me thank you for all you do. I need your help with a couple of questions. I am a Canadian and our family is now six generations in Canada. I am now in the Philippines as a tourist this is my second trip. I was married on Sept.2 and Jovelyn, my Filipina wife, gave birth to our daughter Sept.13. So very beautiful. I am waiting for their passports and then all documents will be complete to submit the Spousal Application. Here is the Question ... Do I take the completed Application to The Canadian Embassy in Manila or to a courier and have it sent to Mississauga ? What is best ? ............ If I use a courier and have it sent straight to Mississauga from the Philippines and not use the Canadian Embassy is it still considered a outland application ? Or must I take it to the Embassy in Manila for it to an outland application. Thank you kindly and respectfully. Murray

Murray Flach

Having a look at the CIC website in Manila, I see that it says to mail everything to Mississauga. This is what I did for my wife's PR, and she's from Japan (one of the countries now managed by Manila, by the way). Your application will still be considered outland. I believe the inland applications are sent to somewhere in Alberta.

Here's the site, you should have a good look at specific instructions that they might have (the old Japanese CIC site, when it existed, had some country-specific notes).

P.S. You're very welcome, I do what I to help other people navigate this mine-field.


Hi Mike, Nice forum! I have a couple of questions. My wife is Canadian and I am a US citizen. We plan to move to Canada soon. I am confused about the Inland VS. Outland process. If she applies while we are in Canada what are the pro and cons. When she applies, can I get work permit, would you know the timelines? If She applies while we are in the USA, what are the pro and cons Regards Saad


Hi, Saad. Do not use the "inland" process, I've been told it is primarily intended for families in which the foreign half of the couple has been living in Canada without status. The major drawbacks include that it's one time - if you fail you can't re-apply; this is unlike the standard "outland" process. The other major difference is that the the inland process takes 2x to 5x the time.

You'll need a work visa if you want to live here and work here, obviously. Canada and the US have reciprocal agreements, you'll have to figure out a strategy with the CIC website or perhaps by asking around on the forums.

If she applies while you're both in the US, you'll be able to stay together and you'll both be able to work. That's a pretty big advantage - my wife was unable to work for the first 10-11 months we lived here because we applied when we were already here. It makes no difference to the application process where you live - what will make more difference is the completeness of your application and how convincing you are as a married couple. I thought that given we had a child that things would be very quick, but it took quite a while.

Good luck whatever you do!


Hi I am a Pakistani and my husband has applied Immigration for me in may 2012, now it has been 16 months we applied, and at that time the processing time was 26 months but now it has increased to 31 months, I want to ask is it going to affect us as well? As we applied it was with all documents completed in every respect.

M. Khan

Yes, the changes in processing time apply to everyone who is currently in the process. If you find your case going beyond the 31 months, your husband might do well to contact his member of Parliament just to inquire as to where the application sits. Also, be sure to send the government any updates along the way (such as: changes in residence; pregnancy; etc.). It's obscenely long, isn't it? We really should be able to do better than this as a country.

All the best to you and your husband!


Hello, I'm Czech and I have been living in Canada for 10months with Working Holiday Visa, which expires at the end of October.My fiancé is Canadian citizen and we are going to marry soon. I have read a lot of forum about this problem etc. so as soon as we get married I should apply for Outland PR (it was suggested for shorter time of processing then the Inland PR), so while the processing I am Not allowed to work in Canada,right? Do you think,that all the processing I have to go through I can do alone, I mean without any lawyer? How does it work with carecard if I live in BC? Any suggestions?


Hello, Gabriela;

You don't need a lawyer, the actual filing is fairly straightforward, and you've found the forums where you can get a lot of support which is a good start. I've heard of way too many problems with lawyers: despite what they say, they can't speed up the process, for instance; also, there seem to be many lawyers who charge outrageous fees and leave you to do all the work.

Since you already have a working holiday visa, I would have a look at what it would take to get another one or a working visa if possible. I really have no experience in that area, but whatever you do, I recommend that you not try to live in Canada without a visa. If you're here without a visa and you're not from a visa-exempt country (as you know, the Czech Republic requires a TRV), you're both breaking the law and potentially jeopardizing your PR visa application. Speaking as someone who was once ejected from Japan over a visa issue, I strongly urge you to stay legit. ;)

Many people marry, start their application, then live apart for the duration. If you have to spend some time apart because of your visa issue, bear in mind that some sponsored spouses stay in a third country such as the US. Whatever you do, keep the CIC advised of your updates (e.g. where you've moved, if you've become pregnant, etc.).

All the best, and keep learning about the situation and asking questions. 8)


Hi,i am from husband in Canada and apply 4 PR on Dec 2011. Now after almost 18 months I receive a letter for additional information. Which I send to visa office. Actually I want to now what happens much long time period remains. With due respect I will wait.


I suggest that you look for a forum where others from Pakistan are going through the same process. You'll doubtless find the information you need there. Have a look at this, for instance:

Check under "family class".


Hi i'm from philippines my husband sponsoring me and our daughter last year. He send a complete app. In canada last nov.5 2012. June 7 2013 manila canadian embassy requesting my original passport and also my daughter's passport. And july 9 2013 according to ecas "medical result have been made" when i check my email. So what will be the next ? And how long will it take? Thank u and i hope that you will answer my question.


No one outside the system really seems to know how ECAS is updated. But if the embassy in Manila has asked for your passport that's a very good sign. In fact, the turnaround from November has been excellent!

I'd guess you only have a few weeks left to wait.

Good luck, and welcome to Canada!


hey , my name is noureddine , my wife lives in victoria canada we got refuse appeal (sponsership) , now we are going to re-apply , how long we have to wait for do it again , and we are plaining to have a kid , does it will help us ,,? THANKS for reply michael


Sorry to hear it, Noureddine. I don't really know the answer to your questions, I believe that if you used the Outland process you can apply again. See the CIC website for this sort of thing

Also, you didn't leave me your contact details, I cannot respond.


HI I am Dr. Bhavik Patel. My wife lives in canada and she is living as permanent residence and she is eligible for citizen of canada. We have applied for spousal PR. CIC has told us that she is eligible for sponsorship and they have sent our application to New Delhi. Now the processing time in New Delhi stats almost 10 months. Its way too long. We already miss each other so much. now she is having vacation of one month from her job. She wants to come back to India for a month. Will it affect our Spousal Application if she returns to India for a month?

Dr.Bhavik Patel

From what I have read, this sort of thing does not seem to cause any problems. It seems to be an issue when the sponsored spouse makes trips into the country. But that's just my recollection when I was reading about these things two years ago, I'm really not qualified to say.

Perhaps your wife should call the CIC help line and ask them?


hey guys i have a concern,recenty i have been asked for my spouse processing fee for PR,though i have sent that but made a demand draft on my name.Is this ok or can anybody please suggest me what to do.Is been 2 months now and no reply from the immigration office.


Hello, Imran, I noticed your inquiry on my website. I'm afraid I don't have much advice other than to keep trying to reach Immigration, either here in Canada at their help line or through the embassy/consulate in your area.

I don't know what a "demand draft" is, but if you've already paid them certainly you should have a receipt of some sort to forward them?


Well i make myself freely after reading your notes... well we have put our file in 28th june,2012. On 11th sept,2012 process done in mississauga but till we have no any mail or email from mississauga nor delhi for further process... so just want to know normally in which time duration they send approved letter or whatever......

Priyanka P Patel

It all depends on who is processing the claim. If you used the "inland" process, it can take more than a year, from the stories I've read. If you're using the "outland" process it is up to the individual embassy that's processing your claim. Some are so busy that you won't hear anything for a very long time. With others it can be relatively quick. In our case we used the outland process and heard from Mississauga within six weeks or so. Then it was off to the embassy (Tokyo visa office, now closed) and we heard little until it was all over (ten months in total).

Best of luck. Join one of the forums where you can discuss current events with other people going through the process. You'll find plenty from India, for instance.


It took us 8 months from submission of documentation to original PR card received in the mail...from within Canada. My husband is from the USA. One word of caution, your PR card is good for only 5 years. Make sure you start reapplying for a renewal ONE YEAR in advance or you may be without one for a while and won't be able to travel outside Canada. Also, make sure you note in an ongoing diary ALL DATES you leave the country, even if it's for a vacation or a quick trip across the border o/n. You will not only need this info for the new PR application process, but also if you apply for Citizenship. Don't get stuck like we did - looking through photos, emails, charge card statements for the past 5 years to get this info. It will take a minimum of 7 months to get the new PR card, and my husband can't leave (well he could, but he couldn't get back IN to Canada if he did)


Thanks for the heads-up, L A. I'd already let the fact of the card's expiry drift aimlessly from my mind.

This system's a grim screwy one. My colleagues were amazed that people are now going to lengths such as giving birth in bathtubs to get around the denial of health insurance during The Long Wait.

Some info on the expiry of Canadian PR cards, for those who need it:


I'm in Vancouver BC. My hubby and I are going thought the PR app.. he's from India and hasn't been home since a year Sept. were told he could once he got an open work permit.. long story anyway so much conflicting info throughout from CIC and lawyers I could write a book.. just got apporved in principal, and now did you say up to 20 months? yikes.. how long did it end up taking for you two? I'm wondering if he can go home for family emegency. I'm gonna call Canadaan Border Services. Sheesh.. what an ordeal. Thanks for the info anyway sounded all too familiar. From Jean and Bhagwan aka guilty until proven innocent. I like that!

Jean Sangtani

Thanks for writing. We aren't through it yet at all, which is why I don't have more information posted. We're only at the phase where I've been approved as a sponsor and the application's been forwarded to the visa office in Japan.

It sounds like you applied via the inland process? That seems to take much, much longer, but at least you don't run the risk of needing an interview in New Delhi. All the best to you!


rand()m quote

(In which I leave the final word to someone else.)

Meaning is not something you stumble across, like the answer to a riddle or the prize in a treasure hunt. Meaning is something you build into your life. You build it out of your own past, out of your affections and loyalties, out of the experience of humankind as it is passed on to you, out of your own talent and understanding, out of the things you believe in, out of the things and people you love, out of the values for which you are willing to sacrifice something. The ingredients are there. You are the only one who can put them together into that unique pattern that will be your life. Let it be a life that has dignity and meaning for you. If it does, then the particular balance of success or failure is of less account.

-John Gardner

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