In-Canada Class Vs. Family Class Spousal Sponsorship Application

Author: Esquire Canada Immigration And Education | | Categories: Canada Immigration , Immigration Agency Canada , Immigration Services

Blog by Esquire Canada Immigration and Education

Did you know that there are two legally distinct types of Spousal Sponsorship applications in Canada? They are In-Canada Class and Family Class spousal sponsorship applications. Under the Canadian Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, the type of application that you choose determines whether your spouse is eligible for an open spousal work permit and whether you have a right of appeal if immigration refuses your application. As experts in the field, Esquire Canada Immigration and Education have written down vital information about both options in order to help you figure out which one works for your unique situation.

A. In-Canada Class Spousal sponsorship application

To apply for PR (permanent residence) under the In-Canada Class sponsorship, both the sponsor and the applicant need to be physically present in Canada without any exceptions. For this reason, the In-Canada Class application is used most frequently by the applicant who does not need a visa to enter Canada. The applicant is eligible to apply for an Open Work Permit while waiting for the application to approve. In-Canada Class applicants are allowed to travel outside Canada on vacation, work, visit family, or any other reason. However, they should not travel outside Canada too frequently or remain outside Canada for too long. Even if the applicant is “lack of status” in Canada, they can still apply under In-Canada Class application. If there is an interview by an immigration officer, In-Canada Class will take place in Canada. In case the application is refused, there is no right of appeal, but applicants can file a Judicial Review or submit a new application. The application time could be slightly longer than the Family Class application.

B. Family Class Spousal Sponsorship application

If it is not possible for the sponsor or the applicant to come to Canada, then Family Class sponsorship is your only choice, as you can apply for the spousal sponsorship while you are outside Canada. Once your application is approved, your spouse can arrive in Canada as a permanent resident upon arrival. Also, if restrictions on travel are not practical for the applicant, then Family Class is usually the better option. Even if the applicant is in Canada, they can travel as much as they need to with the Family Class sponsorship application. Family Class applicants still need to meet the requirements to be let back into Canada, but the application will not be refused if the applicant is refused entry to Canada for some reason. Family Class sponsorship also allows the right of appeal if the application is refused. You will have the right of appeal under subsection 63(1) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA). This is not allowed with an In-Canada Class application. If there is an interview by an immigration officer, it will be at the visa office of the applicant’s country of residence or nationality. Besides demonstrating the genuineness of the relationship, the sponsor also has to prove their intention to return to Canada when the application is approved.


There is no one-size-fits-all answer to whether you should choose In-Canada Class sponsorship or Family Class sponsorship. One is not better than the other. You simply have to choose the one that is right for your family. It depends on the particular situation of the sponsor and applicant, and you should consult with a professional before deciding which class of application suits your unique situation best.

If you are looking for licensed Canadian immigration consultants with offices based in Hong Kong and Canada, reach out to us at Esquire Canada Immigration and Education. We are an innovative Canadian immigration and education consulting company bringing a new perspective for people planning to move to or study in Canada. Both of our founders, Naresh Choithramani and Patrick Miu, have gone through the process of starting off as visa students and ended up being Canadian citizens. This made them eager to start Esquire Canada Immigration and Education to help others who have a dream of coming to Canada. With our personal experience and professional skills, we can help others to make this journey smooth for their immigration, study, or visa application. Our immigration services include immigration to Canada, family sponsorship visa, study permit and visa, skilled worker (express entry) visa, entrepreneur visa, investor visa, and self-employed person program. Visit our website to learn more, or get in touch with us by clicking here