Canadian citizens or permanent residents who are already living with their spouses in Canada can apply to sponsor them through the inland spousal sponsorship stream of the family sponsorship program.
Inland spousal sponsorship gives applicants the ability to continue living in Canada while their application for permanent residence is processed. If the applicant’s temporary status document is not valid for the duration of the sponsorship processing period, they will need to apply for an extension, or a new status document, to maintain their legal status in Canada while their sponsorship application is being processed. Spousal sponsorship applications are processed within 12 months in the majority of cases. Traveling abroad while an inland sponsorship application is being processed is permitted, however, it is not recommended. In the event the sponsored person is denied re-entry into Canada for whatever reason, their sponsorship application may be deemed abandoned. If this happens, they will need to submit a new sponsorship application. If they are not legally residing in Canada, they will need to submit an outland spousal sponsorship application.