Source: Spousal sponsorship for partners without legal status in Canada
“Is your spouse in Canada without legal status?
It is common knowledge that Canadian citizens or permanent residents can sponsor their spouses or common-law partners living abroad, or, in Canada as legal visitors, workers or students. What is less known is that they can also apply for spousal sponsorship for their partners living in Canada without legal status.
In 2005, Canada established a public policy which required Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to process permanent residence applications for the spouses and common-law partners of Canadian citizens and permanent residents who live in Canada without legal immigration status. The policy was put in place to facilitate family reunification and inland processing, and to prevent hardship due to family separation.
Lack of legal immigration status includes people who overstayed visas or permits, those who worked or studied without government authorization, entered the country without required visas and/or valid passports.”
People submitting sponsorship applications under the policy need to meet all immigration requirements, other than having legal status in Canada. They need to show that their relationship is genuine and not for immigration purposes, and also that they are not inadmissible to Canada.”
“Unlike other applicants under the Spouse or Common-Law Partner in Canada Class, those applying for permanent residency under the public policy are not eligible to receive two-year open work permits during the processing of the sponsorship application.”