What Is the Difference Between an In-Canada and an Outside-Canada Spousal Sponsorship Application?

Immigrate NowSpousal/Common-law Sponsorship

In- Canada and an Outside Canada Spousal Sponsorship Application

Yes, you read it right. Sponsoring your spouse/ Partner can be done in two different ways in Canada. Spouse or Common-Law Partnership Sponsorship Applications are of two types. Depending on your situation, either of those application types may be the better-suited option for you.

Both the options have pros and cons, and we hope that this article helps you make an informed decision on which application type you may want to use.

In Canada Spousal Sponsorship:

Spouse of Common Law partner in-Canada Class Application or commonly called as the in-Canada Class Application is a common option for those Canadian Citizen or Permanent Resident Sponsors, whose spouse/ common-law Partner is physically in Canada and is residing with them at the time of the application. What makes this application a fantastic option is that an applicant for PR under this class can apply for an Open Work Permit if eligible, and work in Canada for any employer, once the Work Permit is approved, while they await a decision on their PR Application.

The option of this Work Permit was under a pilot policy until recently and has now been made a permanent immigration policy, in light of Canada’s pursuit of family reunification.

|| Applicants who are out of status in Canada may also be eligible to apply under the spouse or common-law partner in-Canada class. Talk to one of our RCICs now to discuss.

Outside Canada Spousal Sponsorship Application:

The correct, technical name of this type of application is the Family Class Application. An applicant applying under this application type, unlike an in-Canada class application, may be residing in or outside Canada at the time of application. Unlike the former option, an applicant applying under this class does not have an option to apply for a Work Permit while processing their PR Application. An obvious question that might come to mind is- why would an inside Canada applicant apply for an outside Canada Application?

Firstly, for some applicants, who need the flexibility to be able to travel outside of Canada for longer durations, and outside Canada application is an advisable option. Secondly, an applicant of an outside Canada application, if refused, has a right to appeal under section 63(1) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, which is not the case with an In-Canada Application.

Overall, the following is a comparison chart of both the application types:

Applicant’s Residence Must reside in Canada, with Canadian Spouse/ Partner In or Outside Canada
Option to apply for a Work Permit while awaiting the decision Yes (under most circumstances) No
Right to Appeal in the event of a refusal No Yes
Flexibility to travel outside Canada for long intervals No/ Low Yes
Processing times Nearly 12 months. *

Work Permit 3-4 months


*subject to change

Nearly 12 months *



*subject to change


We are with you and your family during the entire process, from the choice of application type until receiving your PR. Let us make this simple for you. Contact us to know more about our services.