Spousal sponsorships often will be refused when a sponsor is found to be ineligible. The following are a few of the grounds on which a sponsor is deemed to be ineligible:
- They have social assistance for reasons other than disability;
- They are a permanent resident subject to a removal order;
- They are convicted of a sexual offence under the criminal code; or an offence under the criminal code against a family member;
- They are in default of a child support or spousal support payment order by the court (this includes orders made by a court outside Canada);
- They are in default of a previous sponsorship undertaking; and
- They are an undischarged bankrupt under the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act.
When Sponsors have their spousal sponsorship applications refused because the Sponsor is found to be ineligible, often times their first question is “what can I do now?” With the exception of waiting and doing another sponsorship application based on the circumstance, the answer to the question depends on whether the Sponsor’s spouse or Applicant resides “in-Canada” or “outside Canada”.
Under section 64 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA), the right of appeal in section 63 is limited if the Sponsor’s spouse or common law partner is “in-Canada“. When a sponsor does not meet the definition of a “spouse” or “common law partner” under section 130(1) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR) the application is refused and neither the sponsor or the applicant have a right to appeal the decision. However, if the Applicant resides “outside Canada” the Sponsor and the Applicant have a right to appeal the decision.
It should be noted, however, that in both “in-Canada” and “outside Canada” spousal sponsorship applications both the Applicant and the Sponsor have a right to apply to the Federal Court for a judicial review, which reviews the decision of the Officer who refused the spousal sponsorship.
The appeal process can involve complex legal issues, please contact our office for a consultation on spousal sponsorship.
 IP2–Processing Applications to Sponsor Members of the Family Class 2011
 Immigration and Refugee Protection Act S.C. 2001, c. 27.
 Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations SOR/2002-227.