Categories
Canada

Bringing your Spouse to Canada: IRCC back to 12-month processing for spousal sponsorship applications

After the pandemic slowed IRCC operations, spousal sponsorship is back to service standard, government says.

According to a government media release, efforts to modernize the Canadian immigration system have allowed Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to get back on track. IRCC also launched a portal where spousal and child sponsorship applicants can track their immigration applications online.

The service standard of 12 months is the same whether spouses are applying as inland or outland applicants. In both cases, the processing time includes the time required for applicants to give biometrics, for IRCC to assess the sponsor and the person being sponsored, as well as the time needed to ensure applicants meet eligibility requirements.

Eligibility for spousal sponsorship

Canadians may be eligible to sponsor if they:

  • are at least 18 years old;
  • are a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, or they are an Indigenous person registered under the Canadian Indian Act;
  • demonstrate they are not receiving social assistance unless they have a disability; and
  • can provide for the financial needs of the sponsored person.

Also Read 7 reasons why Canada is meant for you

Eligibility to be sponsored

The person being sponsored needs to meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • Spouse: They must have been legally married to the sponsor at an in-person ceremony.
  • Common-law partner: They must have lived with the sponsor for at least 12 straight months.
  • Conjugal partner: They must have been in a relationship with the sponsor for at least one year, live outside of Canada, and cannot live with the sponsor in their country or marry them due to significant legal or immigration causes. For example, they live in a country where same-sex marriage or divorce is not allowed. Sponsors need to prove to IRCC they could not live together or get married in their partner’s country.

Foreign nationals must be at least 18 years old to be sponsored for immigration under all of these categories.

Also, foreign nationals must pass a health, security, and criminality screening and therefore be considered admissible to Canada.

How to apply

There are two types of sponsorship processes: inland and outland sponsorship. The key difference is that couples applying for sponsorship from within Canada are considered inland, while those whose foreign national spouse is abroad will be filed under outland.

To be eligible for inland sponsorship, the foreign spouse or common-law partner must also have valid temporary status in Canada, either as a worker, student, or visitor. During the inland sponsorship application process, the sponsored person will be able to continue to live, work or study in Canada. While pursuing inland sponsorship, the sponsored spouse may be able to get a Spousal Open Work Permit, which would allow them to work while they are waiting on the results of their application.

It is generally expected that inland sponsorship applicants will remain in Canada while their application is being processed. If the spouse or common-law partner does not plan to stay in Canada or needs to be able to travel outside the country while the application is being processed, outland sponsorship may be a better option.

Outland sponsorship is for foreign spouses who are not legally living in Canada at the time of the application. Applicants residing in Canada may also opt for outland sponsorship as it allows for travel to and from Canada while the application process is underway. It may be the best option for those whose work or personal situation requires them to leave the country.

Canadian permanent residents can sponsor their spouse as an outland applicant only if they are living in Canada, whereas Canadian citizens can sponsor their spouse as an outland applicant from abroad. If they do this though, they will have to demonstrate that they will return to Canada with their spouse if the application is approved.

In addition to married and common-law partners, is also possible to sponsor conjugal partners through outland sponsorship. Conjugal partners are couples who have been in an ongoing and committed relationship for a period of at least 12 months but, due to significant legal constraints or other factors beyond their control, they cannot live together.

Steps to submit a sponsorship application

Applicants will submit two applications together. One is for sponsorship and the other is a permanent residence application.

Step 1: Get an application package from IRCC.

Step 2: Pay the application fees to IRCC, which include processing fees, a right of permanent residence fee, and a biometrics fee. These fees need to be paid on IRCC’s website.

Step 3: Mail the completed application to IRCC.

IRCC’s processing standard is 12 months.

Categories
Immigration

The Power of Two and More – The Passport Collectors: Indian Businessman case study

As the Investment Migration industry continues to expand we are increasingly coming across investors who are now investing in their second or third programs.Why have one passport when you can have multiple options? For many years, most investors’ incentives have been to secure a ”Plan B” but the need for a ”Plan C or D” is now becoming increasingly popular. The world has been full of uncertainty and volatility in recent years, what with the pandemic, political upset in many nations, including the USA, UK, Hong Kong, the 2021 crisis in Afghanistan and most recently, Russia’s horrific invasion on Ukraine. These sobering events sadly demonstrate how quickly circumstances can change in our world.

Read 11 Reasons to Move to Portugal in 2022 from India.

Most savvy investors like to diversify their assets and we are finding many are now spreading their investments across different countries and continents, not only for financial reasons but more so to have a Plan B or C safe have in different parts of the world. A second passport has many benefits, albeit different to the benefits of a residency visa in a European country, such as Portugal. By holding a residency or a second passport in two different continents, you are giving yourself options should you ever need them. The Cliché phrase ”don’t put all your eggs in one basket” springs to mind. 

Also Read Why Indians are choosing the USA EB-5 Program as their pathway to USA Citizenship.

Passport Collector – Case Study

Mr Jain is a businessman from India. His career requires a lot of international travel which currently involves him having to regularly apply for Schengen visas to Europe and various other temporary visas for destinations such as China. His main objective is to gain a European Residency visa which will enable him to travel to any of the EU countries that he regularly visits for business such as Germany, France and Spain. He also likes the idea of being able to later apply for citizenship in Europe, although he does not need this urgently. He opts for the Portugal Golden Visa Program by making a real estate investment in one of the qualifying projects which fits nicely within his budget.

Read Why you should get the USA EB-5 Visa in 2022: Benefits to Foreign Investors

After six months Mr Jain has secured his Portuguese Residency permit which enables him to travel to Portugal as many times as he wishes, plus he can visit the other EU countries for 90 days every six months, which is more than enough time for his short business trips. 15 months later Mr Jain is extremely pleased with the extra freedom his Portuguese Residency permit is bringing him during his frequent business trips to Europe, but applying for a visa every time he needs to visit China has become frustrating. Mr Jain reaches back out to My Global Citizenship to see if there is a solution to his secondary objective- visa-free access to China. Mr Jain’s personal advisor at My Global Citizenship suggests he applies for Grenada’s Citizenship by Investment Program which is one of the very few countries lucky enough to hold a visa-waiver agreement with China. During his consultation, Mr Jain also discovers one of the additional advantages of holding Grenada Citizenship is that one of his Children can gain a one-year scholarship to the country’s famous medical school – St George’s University. Whilst his son is currently only 15 years old, he hopes to study medicine in the future so this is an attractive benefit for him. My Global Citizenship’s team assist Mr Jain with his family application in Grenada and 5 months later Mr Jain and his family now hold Grenada Citizenship as well as Portuguese Residency and their existing Indian Citizenship giving them visa-free access to a large proportion of the world, enhancing his business opportunities and his children’s education options. 

*The client’s identity is protected for confidentiality reasons.

For more details on the available programs and to find out which Residency and Citizenship pairing may work best for you, please contact our team for a free consultation.

Read Why the USA EB5 Program is worth it. 10 USA Citizenship benefits to you and your family.

Categories
Immigration

Can Indians get dual citizenship?

The Indian constitution does not have a provision of dual or multiple citizenship. If an Indian acquires a second passport, they automatically lose their Indian citizenship. As per the Passports Act, 1967, it is mandatory for all Indian passport holders to surrender their passports to the nearest Indian mission or post immediately after acquiring the nationality of another country. However, such persons can get Overseas Citizens of India (OCI) status after acquiring foreign citizenship.

What is OCI status and how does work?

OCI is a legal status given to a person of Indian origin who has given up Indian citizenship. It is similar to permanent residency and offers several benefits. The government of India issues a document called OCI card to all people who have been given this status.

What are the benefits available to OCIs?

An OCI can enjoy many of the benefits available to a citizen of India such as:

  • Multiple entry life-long visa to India
  • Live, work, carry on business in India indefinitely
  • Own assets and properties
  • Apply for Indian citizenship again after surrendering foreign citizenship, subject to certain conditions

How to get an OCI card?

Make an online application, upload photographs and documents, pay the fee and you will get your OCI card in a short time.

What are the things OCIs can’t do?

  • Since you are not a citizen, you cannot vote
  • You cannot run for a public office or contest an election
  • You cannot buy agricultural land or plantations in India. However, you may continue to hold such property you had before giving up Indian citizenship and also inherit it

For detailed immigration advice, contact My Global Citizenship

Categories
News

Antigua & Barbuda: Antigua to propose the creation of a CIP Regulatory Commission

Antigua and Barbuda said it will propose that Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) members create a Regulatory Commission in an effort to protect their lucrative Citizenship by Investment Programs (CIP).

CPI programs have been placed under the microscope by the United States, European Union and the United Kingdom as they seek to tackle human trafficking as well as clamp down on persons trying to dodge international sanctions. 

EU Parliamentarians recently voted to ask its Commission to formulate a strategy that would eventually see passport holders of Dominica, St Kitts and Nevis, Grenada, St Lucia and Antigua and Barbuda booted out of the Schengen program that allows visa-free stays in member states for tourism and business purposes for up to 90 days.

US legislators are looking at the “No Travel for Traffickers Act” which is designed to penalize countries that operate CBI programmes.

At the post-cabinet media briefing, Information Minister Melford Nicholas stated: “It will be a response to the issues that they have raised. And it will be to demonstrate over and above anything else of our intent to be compliant and sympathetic to issues that they may raise in terms of their own national security.”

The government is also looking to amend the CIP law of 2013 so the program will be known as The Residency and Citizenship by Investment Program.

It will be similar to a program currently operated by the US.

“We may not be able to change hearts and minds in the US congress, but we can diversify our own offering to ensure we are still attractive to investors and investment from other jurisdictions where they are precluded from obtaining citizenship abroad,” Nicholas said.

“So it is broadening the scope of our offering…that is the key behind this requirement looking to modify our program going forward to ensure that we can cushion the impact of any fall that will come from this threat…more from the Schengen countries rather than from the United States.”

Reference: Immigration Investment Council (IMC)

Categories
Portugal

Thinking of getting the Portugal Golden Visa ? Here is your Call to Action.

So you are thinking of applying for the Portugal Golden Visa but then, you do not know the probability of it being granted or you are looking to invest in a second Citizenship but knowing how uncertain immigration can be, you are just not sure which program to put your faith in. We tell you Portugal ! Why ? Well its a beautiful and welcoming city but most importantly they got numbers and an uncomplicated immigration system on their side. Even though they get a lesser amount of applicants, they definitely make sure this few get their money’s worth with no disappointments. Today we share with you some stats and the reassurance that you are just one step away of being granted this Visa alongside an amazing investment, Contacting My Global Citizenship.

The latest stats available are for January 2022. Even with the pandemic still on the roll, Investors are definitely not stopping with making use of this opportunity to live the European life in the beautiful Country of Portugal. I mean why wait for the pandemic to be over when you can do it right now before this amazing opportunity disappears ?. This just goes to show that the Portugal Golden visa is a must have amongst the high, wealthy and mighty.

Read Portugal Golden Visa getting cancelled. What this will mean for Indian Investors.

Also read Portugal is officially a millionaire hotspot !!

In January 2022;

  • 94 main applicants were granted the Golden Visa status by SEF with 105 family members accompanying the main applicants as dependents.

In terms of nationalities, the breakdown for the month of January was:

  • 19 Chinese
  • 17 United States Citizens
  • 8 Indians
  • 7 Russians
  • 6 Brazilians

If there is one thing we know about the Chinese, they never miss a good investment opportunity and if they are putting their money in something, it is definitely worth it. They are your sign to get a Portugal Golden Visa today. Even the United States citizens are team Portugal on this.

Read The Portugal Golden Visa: All you need to know in 2022.

In terms of investment type, the breakdown for the month of January was:

  • 75 applicants purchased real estate, 35 for €500,000+ properties and 40 for €350,000 renovated properties.
  • 19 applicants pursued capital transfer, 14 for Portuguese investment funds, 4 for capital transfer and 1 for reconstruction or refurbishment of the national heritage.

Portugal is a top second citizenship country due to how straight forward their Bureaucracy, requirements and terms are. You can never go wrong with trusting the Portugal government and their citizens to ensure a stress free transition to your new life. Contact My Global Citizenship today to get started.

Read Frequently Asked Questions on the Portugal Golden Visa

Categories
Immigration

How to relocate from India ?

There are various reasons as to why one would want to leave India even with it being a great country. Whether to find better education facilities, better welfare/amenities, investment opportunities or employment prospects, all your reasons are valid.

Moving abroad from India is not a new phenomenon anymore. With the advent of social media and more disposable income, more and more Indians have started moving to other countries in search of better opportunities, a better lifestyle, or just for the experience.

Also read Portugal is officially a millionaire hotspot !!

Considering moving abroad from India? Well, there are various options available for you to consider, but here are a few of the most common:

  1. Student Visa: Most individuals choose this option because it is the simplest means to go overseas, especially if you are still pursuing education and have good financial backing. It gets a little difficult after graduation because there are some limits on employment visas after studying but adjustments are being made to permit students stay abroad and search for jobs after graduation. Such adjustments have already been made in countries like the United Kingdom where International students can stay in the UK for up to 2 years after graduation on a new visa route to look for a desirable job. . So if you fall in the student group and plan on studying abroad, the United Kingdom is a top choice. Contact the best study abroad specialists we know, My Foreign Education today.

2. Work Visa: Another viable and less costly option is to find a job abroad and relocate on a work visa. This is viable and less costly because usually the company provides you with all required assistance and relocation funding except in few cases making it one of the most convenient ways to move abroad. This option is however highly competitive as you will be applying for these jobs along with other top international talents. We wish you luck in your abroad job search.

Also read Canada experiencing high job demand and shortage in labour market

3. Refugee or Asylum Visa: These visas are granted under very special humanitarian circumstances. If you are in an abusive situation, have threats to your life for religious or political reasons you can apply for these visa types in agreed countries and relocate if granted. You however will have to provide very sufficient proofs of the threats and dangers to your life in your home country. These visa types are most times not available at embassies and you have to already be in your desired country on another visa type or at the country’s border before you can apply in person at the designated centers.

4. Family Visa: If you have an immediate family member who is already living abroad, then this is another means to relocate abroad through their sponsorship. It is however the most tedious and bureaucratic visa type.

5. Spouse Visa: This is similar to a family visa except that you need to be married to someone who lives in the country you are hoping to relocate to.

6. Residency by Investment: A route for high-net-worth individuals to seek residency in a country of their choice by making financial investments in that country. This is one of the most straight forward means of relocating abroad. You can also contact My Global Citizenship for your Residency by Investment Guidance and application help.

7. Second Citizenship: Just like Residency by Investment, this is a means for high-net-worth individuals to acquire second citizenship in a country of their choice via immigration by investment programs and acquiring citizenship after a certain period of time. You can also contact My Global Citizenship for your Citizenship by Investment Guidance and application help.

Moving abroad from India can be difficult, but with proper planning and research, it can get less daunting which is why we recommend you get in touch with My Global Citizenship today for your tailor made immigration options that fit your needs and budget.

We hope this was helpful and good luck with whichever relocation type you decide to pursue!