Inland spousal sponsorship
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 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 addition, the applicant for inland spousal sponsorship is allowed to apply for the Open Work Permit in Canada, which will allow him to work for any employer in Canada. Both applications should be submitted together.
For information: https://www.cic.gc.ca/english/helpcentre/answer.asp?qnum=1163&top=17
The relationship between the sponsor and sponsored person must be either a legal marriage or a common-law or conjugal partnership.
To be legally valid, the marriage must either have been legally performed in Canada or, if performed outside of Canada, legally recognized in both the country where it took place and in Canada.