Have you left Canada after an (in-Canada) spousal application was filed? Persons who have filed an in-Canada spousal sponsorship are expected to reside in Canada until their permanent resident status is granted. The IRCC website states in categorical terms,
There is no guarantee that foreign nationals who have left Canada after submitting an application under the Spouse or Common-law Partner in Canada class will be allowed to return to or re-enter Canada. If they are unable to do so, their application for permanent residence may be refused because they are not cohabiting with their spouse or common-law partner at the time the case is finalized [R72(1)(d) and R124(a)].
It may be appropriate to counsel applicants who are outside Canada to withdraw their spouse or common-law partner in Canada class application and have the sponsor submit a new Application to Sponsor, Sponsorship Agreement and Undertaking to the CPC-Mississauga (CPC-M).
The immigration authorities may doubt the genuineness of a relationship if the couple is not residing together. However, if the applicant is travelling outside of Canada together with his/her Canadian sponsor, with proof that Canada is their home, there may be some flexibility in the above government website excerpt.
By contrast, if an applicant is travelling outside for a lengthy period of time without her/his Canadian sponsor, there may be a concern that the above regulations have been flouted leading to the refusal of their application.
Outside or Inside of Canada Sponsorship?
Some forethought is needed when determining if an in-Canada spousal sponsorship is preferable to filing an outside of Canada sponsorship. You may want to weigh the advantages and disadvantages of filing an in-Canada spousal or common law application. Those applicants with a need to travel outside of Canada may want to opt for the outside of Canada sponsorship. The disadvantage is that less evidence of residing together can be accumulated (unless the Canadian citizen sponsor of the spouse travels with the applicant until the applicant acquires permanent resident status)