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Sponsoring Wife-Can we move b4 acceptance received?

Sponsoring Wife-Can we move b4 acceptance received?

Old Feb 29th 2008, 1:49 am
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Question Sponsoring Wife-Can we move b4 acceptance received?

OK I know I will get a lot of responses to the effect, "haven't you read the other threads on this?", but my question is specific and I don't think it has been answered anywhere else. If it has been, I apologise up front....

I am Canadian married to a Brit. We have two children born in the UK, but are lucky kids who now have Canadian citizenship through me.
Unfortunately for my wife, the citizenship rules don't extend nicely to her too. The way we have to get her across the atlantic is for me to apply for sponsorship under the Family Sponsorship rules as a spouse. That's the easy part. In fact all is in hand and we're almost ready to send the forms for a planned move mid-July in readiness for the kids to start the school term (Sept) at the same time as the rest of the kids in the wonderful land of Canada.

Here's the catch and that all important question....

We recently put our house up for sale in readiness to move, but already we have had an offer we may not be able to refuse. With the current slow down in the housing market we never expected to sell it so soon. Rather naively we thought that the sale would coincide with our planned fly-out month and expected return and acceptance of the spouse sponsorship all at roughly the same time. If we take the offer on the house now, we'll have to find somewhere else to live in the UK whilst we await sponsorship approval. This may mean renting or staying with relatives for quite some time. We don't want to do either of these.

So, the question is, can we take my wife to Canada before we get sponsorship approval and have the approval redirected to an address in Canada when it comes through? My Dad lives in Canada so this could be used as a redirected address. If this is possible, concerning my wife, how do we approach customs/immigration in Canada when we arrive? Will they accept that we are awaiting sponsorship approval if we have some evidence that we've applied? Or, will she have to come in as a visitor and apply for sponsorship when we get there, meaning that if after six months she still doesn't have it, will have to leave the country and come back in as a visitor for another six months?

If anyone has the definitive answer on our best options that will allow us to go before we get sponsorship approval posted to us in the UK, we'd be most grateful.
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Old Feb 29th 2008, 2:14 am
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Default Re: Sponsoring Wife-Can we move b4 acceptance received?

If your wife is a British citizen, she can enter Canada as a visitor. She doesn't need a visa for that. The only limitation is that, as a visitor, she's not allowed to work. The immigration officer at the port of entry has the right to refuse someone admission to Canada, but they usually admit British citizens. British citizens usually are admitted as visitors for 6 months.

If your wife's permanent resident visa has not yet come through by the 5-month mark, she can apply to the Case Processing Centre in Vegreville, Alberta to extend her stay as a visitor. A British citizen usually is granted one extension of 6 months.

Although there sometimes are complications that cause delays, it would be unusual if it took more than 12 months for your wife's PR visa to come through.

If Vegreville does not reply in time, and your wife's first 6-month stay as a visitor expires before she hears back from them, she has "implied" authorization to remain in Canada as a visitor till she hears from them.

While she has "implied" status, she cannot automatically re-enter Canada if she leaves the country. If she does want to or need to leave the country, she should obtain a re-entry visa before she leaves.

When Vegreville issues the authorization to extend her stay, she does not have to leave and re-enter Canada.

I don't know the answer to your question about addresses. I think you can advise Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) of a change of address, but would be more comfortable if someone else answered that question.

Oh yes, there's one other potential complication. There's only an outside chance that it would happen but, if CIC wanted to interview your wife, the interview would take place at the Canadian mission to which she had submitted her PR application. So that would mean that she would have to be prepared, if necessary, to fly to London.
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Old Feb 29th 2008, 2:18 am
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Thumbs up Re: Sponsoring Wife-Can we move b4 acceptance received?

Thanks Judy. This is very useful.
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Old Feb 29th 2008, 3:48 am
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Default Re: Sponsoring Wife-Can we move b4 acceptance received?

Everything Judy said - but also to add, we did exactly as your proposing and were completely open with the immigration officials when we arrived in Calgary and they gave me a Visitor's Record valid for 12 months, rather than the usual 6 months stay allowed as a tourist.
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Old Feb 29th 2008, 9:20 pm
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Default Re: Sponsoring Wife-Can we move b4 acceptance received?

Originally Posted by Judy in Calgary
If your wife is a British citizen, she can enter Canada as a visitor. She doesn't need a visa for that. The only limitation is that, as a visitor, she's not allowed to work. The immigration officer at the port of entry has the right to refuse someone admission to Canada, but they usually admit British citizens. British citizens usually are admitted as visitors for 6 months.
So when we first arrive and her application hasn't been processed, what is the best thing to say to the customs? Would we explain it as it is, that we are emigrating as a family, three of us are Canadian and we are awaiting my wife's sponsorship, but are planning on staying? If so, I guess they would need to see proof of the application and that my wife has a return ticket in order to enter as a visitor?
Thanks.
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Old Mar 1st 2008, 4:53 pm
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Default Re: Sponsoring Wife-Can we move b4 acceptance received?

Originally Posted by welshmountie
So when we first arrive and her application hasn't been processed, what is the best thing to say to the customs? Would we explain it as it is, that we are emigrating as a family, three of us are Canadian and we are awaiting my wife's sponsorship, but are planning on staying? If so, I guess they would need to see proof of the application and that my wife has a return ticket in order to enter as a visitor?
Thanks.
Exactly... Word for word... I had a return ticket (booked for a few days short of 6 months) that I never used - and my husband and our two UK born (but Canadian citizen) children had one way flights.

We were totally open with the immigration official at Calgary and she was very friendly and chatty about the B&B property we'd purchased (in a personal capacity - rather than as part of her job.)

Please don't worry - loads of people have done it this way!
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Old Mar 2nd 2008, 8:24 am
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Default Re: Sponsoring Wife-Can we move b4 acceptance received?

Welsh Mountie, I can't believe you asked this question! It is SO identical to my current situation. I was born in Toronto, moved to Northern Ireland, married an Irishman, we have 2 kids who have Canadian citizenship and we're planning to move mid-July, just in time for school starting! Unbelievable!

I'm glad to hear the answers you got actually. We're putting our house up for sale in the next couple of weeks and are also worried about the current housing market. However, if we were to sell quickly, I'll be in the same situation as yourself.

I have one slightly different angle though. My husband stays at home to look after the children after receiving a back injury at work. I am the full-time worker. Will that give him trouble when he wants to stay and live in Canada? I'm hoping because I am sponsoring him, and we will have enough money to buy a house outright and hopefully I will be able to get a good job, that him not working will not be an issue. Does anyone know anything about this situation?
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Old Mar 2nd 2008, 1:05 pm
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Default Re: Sponsoring Wife-Can we move b4 acceptance received?

Originally Posted by ruby_01
Welsh Mountie, I can't believe you asked this question! It is SO identical to my current situation. I was born in Toronto, moved to Northern Ireland, married an Irishman, we have 2 kids who have Canadian citizenship and we're planning to move mid-July, just in time for school starting! Unbelievable!
It is generally not advisable to plan to turn up as a tourist with a plan to stay longer. Possible in some cases but always awkward.

Are you planning to get your British citizenship before you leave?
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Old Mar 2nd 2008, 8:36 pm
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Default Re: Sponsoring Wife-Can we move b4 acceptance received?

I wasn't going to, no. Why, do you think I should?
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Old Mar 2nd 2008, 9:46 pm
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Default Re: Sponsoring Wife-Can we move b4 acceptance received?

Originally Posted by ruby_01
Welsh Mountie, I can't believe you asked this question! It is SO identical to my current situation. I was born in Toronto, moved to Northern Ireland, married an Irishman, we have 2 kids who have Canadian citizenship and we're planning to move mid-July, just in time for school starting! Unbelievable!

I'm glad to hear the answers you got actually. We're putting our house up for sale in the next couple of weeks and are also worried about the current housing market. However, if we were to sell quickly, I'll be in the same situation as yourself.

I have one slightly different angle though. My husband stays at home to look after the children after receiving a back injury at work. I am the full-time worker. Will that give him trouble when he wants to stay and live in Canada? I'm hoping because I am sponsoring him, and we will have enough money to buy a house outright and hopefully I will be able to get a good job, that him not working will not be an issue. Does anyone know anything about this situation?
Hi Ruby. Yes it seems that we're not the only ones with similar questions. Where are you heading? Back to your native Toronto or elsewhere?

I wish I could advise you on your particular questions regarding your husband. I'm not sure on that one, but I guess so long as you are a Canadian Citizen and you are able to support your family financially, there shouldn't be an issue?

Generally speaking though, it appears that most are saying it is possible to move over as a visitor whilst waiting for the sponsorship papers to be approved. However, JAJ advises that it may not be a good idea. It would be interesting to hear stories of others who have attempted it but failed.
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Old Mar 3rd 2008, 2:42 pm
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Default Re: Sponsoring Wife-Can we move b4 acceptance received?

Originally Posted by ruby_01
I wasn't going to, no. Why, do you think I should?
(Get your British citizenship?)

Because you might want to come back later on? (maybe much later in life)
Because you will lose your permanent resident status if you abandon it.
Because the immigration and nationality rules are only going to get tougher.
Because you have British children?
Because you might want to live somewhere else in Europe?
Because a British passport might avoid the need for a tourist visa in places where Canadians need one (eg Brazil).
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Old Mar 3rd 2008, 4:08 pm
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Default Re: Sponsoring Wife-Can we move b4 acceptance received?

Originally Posted by JAJ
It is generally not advisable to plan to turn up as a tourist with a plan to stay longer. Possible in some cases but always awkward.
Jeremy, I'm puzzled why it would be awkward for a British man to accompany his Canadian wife and dual British-Canadian citizen children to Canada as a visitor, provided of course that his permanent residence application is in progress (or at the very least will be submitted soon).

I mean that's what AlexInBC did when she accompanied her Canadian husband and dual-citizen children to Canada as a visitor before her PR application had been approved, and I'm not aware of any harm that she suffered because of it.

Ruby_01 said that she was the breadwinner, her husband stayed home and looked after their kids, and they planned to continue that arrangement in Canada. Ruby_01, being a Canadian citizen, naturally will be entitled to work right away. Since her husband doesn't plan to work, the fact that he's not allowed to work doesn't matter, as I see it.

Oh yes, I've remembered one potential glitch, Ruby_01. I seem to remember a forum member in the Calgary area whose wife was not allowed to get an Alberta driver's licence, and who was allowed to drive on her English licence for only so long (90 days if member serves me correctly) while she was a visitor. I seem to recall previous posts indicating that most Canadian provinces have similar rules about visitors and drivers' licences. But you would need to check the rules for your destination province.

In the case of the Calgary area couple mentioned above, the wife was allowed to register with the Alberta Health Care Insurance Plan (AHCIP). The Canadian husband found out that, although visitors ordinarily are not entitled to enroll with AHCIP, if you are a permanent resident of Canada and your spouse/partner is in Alberta with some form of visitor status of more than 6 months, they can be added as a spouse on your Alberta health coverage. Again, you'd need to check the rules for your destination province.

If you're not already aware of this, be warned that several Canadian provinces have 3-month waiting periods for all new residents, before they can join the provincial health care insurance plan. So, if you go to one of the provinces where that's the case, you and your children also will have to wait 3 months before you're eligible for the provincial health care insurance plan, even if you're Canadian citizens. If you want private interim medical insurance, you can find the names of companies that offer it in the Wiki article called Medical Insurance.

Are you planning to get your British citizenship before you leave?
Jeremy, if I have learned nothing else from my participation in this forum, I've learned the importance of getting citizenship of a country in which you are entitled to it before you leave that country -- all the more so if your spouse and children are citizens of that country. I learned that from your many warnings about it, and I'm a total convert to the idea.
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Old Mar 4th 2008, 8:04 am
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Default Re: Sponsoring Wife-Can we move b4 acceptance received?

Thank you all for your very wise advice. I will get my British citizenship. I guess I just took it for granted that I had permanent residence. By the way, my mother is a British citizen and my sister lives in Northern Ireland also.
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Old Mar 4th 2008, 12:04 pm
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Default Re: Sponsoring Wife-Can we move b4 acceptance received?

Originally Posted by Judy in Calgary
Jeremy, I'm puzzled why it would be awkward for a British man to accompany his Canadian wife and dual British-Canadian citizen children to Canada as a visitor, provided of course that his permanent residence application is in progress (or at the very least will be submitted soon).

I mean that's what AlexInBC did when she accompanied her Canadian husband and dual-citizen children to Canada as a visitor before her PR application had been approved, and I'm not aware of any harm that she suffered because of it.
I'm not saying it's impossible or shouldn't be done in any circumstances. I am saying that usually it's not recommended because of the hassles involved (working, driving licence, healthcare, travel outside Canada etc).
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Old Mar 4th 2008, 12:06 pm
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Default Re: Sponsoring Wife-Can we move b4 acceptance received?

Originally Posted by ruby_01
Thank you all for your very wise advice. I will get my British citizenship. I guess I just took it for granted that I had permanent residence. By the way, my mother is a British citizen and my sister lives in Northern Ireland also.
If you were born before 1983, you don't have automatic British citizenship if you only have a British mother.

Was your mother born in the United Kingdom? If so, and you are a Canadian citizen, then you should have Right of Abode stamped in your passport.
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