Sponsoring Your Spouse for Canadian Permanent Residence: The Art of Proving Genuine Relationships! - Immigration Lawyer Vancouver, Canada | Sas & Ing Immigration Law Centre

BlogSponsoring Your Spouse for Canadian Permanent Residence: The Art of Proving Genuine Relationships!

1 May 2023

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Family reunification is a fundamental cornerstone of Canada’s immigration program. Parents are able to sponsor their dependent minor children and spouses can sponsor their spouses whether from abroad or from within Canada. While a birth certificate is proof positive of a parental relationship, establishing a spousal relationship can be much trickier. Spousal relationships include marital and common law relationships and Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) can go beyond a mere marriage certificate to determine whether a relationship is genuine.

Here’s a common scenario:

While studying in Canada, Mia, an international student, met Luke, a Canadian citizen. They connected over their shared interests and quickly developed a deep bond. Eventually, their relationship developed to where they decided to take the next step and get married to continue their life together in Canada. After embarking on the spousal sponsorship process, they struggled to demonstrate the authenticity of their relationship. Let’s review the various types of evidence that can help establish a genuine relationship.

The types of evidence to support a spousal application are extensive and may include the following:

  1. Evidence of the development of your relationship
  2. Proof of ongoing communication and cohabitation
  3. Photographs: a window into your life together
  4. Evidence of shared responsibilities and financial support
  5. Letters of support from friends and family
A) Evidence of the development of your relationship

If there is no evidence in the application of the development of a sincere and genuine relationship then the officer reviewing the file will act accordingly and may potentially deny the application altogether. The onus of providing evidence is up to the sponsor and the applicant. Tell the story of how your relationship started and progressed.

B) Proof of Ongoing Communication

One of the most effective ways to demonstrate the authenticity of your relationship is to provide evidence of ongoing communication between you and your spouse or partner. Examples of communication records include phone records, cards and letters, email exchanges, and the like. Providing evidence of ongoing and sincere communication is essential for the consideration of your spousal sponsorship application, especially if the principal applicant does not live with the spousal sponsor or if they have spent significant time apart during the course of their relationship.

C) Photographs: A Window into Your Life Together

Photographs can be a powerful visual representation of your relationship, offering a glimpse into your life as a couple. Choose photos from different events, locations, and times to show the progression of your relationship. Include photos with family and friends, as this can help demonstrate social integration

D) A Life Entwined: Shared Responsibilities and Financial Support

Evidence of financial support and shared responsibilities can help demonstrate that you and your spouse or partner are committed to a life together. Examples of such evidence include:

  1. Joint bank accounts, credit cards, or investment accounts
  2. Bills or invoices in both names, such as utility bills, rent, or mortgage payments
  3. Proof of financial support, such as money transfers or shared expenses
  4. Wills, life insurance policies, or other legal documents that name each other as beneficiaries
E) Letters of Support: Testimonials from Those Who Know You Best

Letters of support from friends, family members, or colleagues can help corroborate your relationship’s authenticity. Include the writer’s relationship to the couple and the length of time they have known you and give specific examples and anecdotes that demonstrate the genuineness of your relationship. Contact information for the writer should also be provided, in case IRCC needs to follow up with them.

Challenges and Nuances in Compiling and Presenting Evidence

While it is crucial to provide a variety of evidence, it is equally important to strike the right balance in terms of quantity and quality. Carefully selecting the most relevant and convincing evidence is essential.

If there are any aspects of your relationship that may raise concerns or questions for immigration officers, it is essential to address these issues proactively. Being transparent and providing additional evidence to address potential concerns, such as significant age differences, different cultural backgrounds, or a limited amount of time spent together, can help build a stronger case.

Different cultures may have unique customs or practices when it comes to spousal relationships and/or marriage. Being mindful of these cultural factors and addressing them in your application can be critical to proving the genuineness of your relationship. Providing context and explanations for any cultural differences can help immigration officers better understand your relationship.

Ensuring that the information you provide in your application and the supporting evidence is consistent and accurate is of utmost importance. Inconsistencies or discrepancies can raise red flags and may result in delays or even the refusal of your application. Reviewing all the information and evidence carefully to ensure accuracy and consistency can help prevent potential issues.

The Path to a Successful Spousal Sponsorship

Proving the genuineness of your relationship is a crucial aspect of a successful spousal sponsorship application. By providing a variety of evidence and addressing potential concerns, you can improve your chances of a favorable outcome. Navigating the challenges and nuances involved in compiling and presenting evidence can be a daunting task. Understanding these challenges and learning from others who have successfully completed the process can provide valuable insights and guidance.

Please refer to our other blog posts on this topic: · Delays expected for paper-based family sponsorship applications (August 2020) · What’s the best way for me to sponsor my spouse already in Canada? (October 2015) · Minister Kenney Tackles Marriage Fraud with Changes to Spousal Sponsorship Criteria (November 2012)

Taking the time to carefully prepare and present a strong case for your genuine relationship is a significant step towards a future together in Canada. With the right approach and attention to detail, you can build a solid foundation for your life in Canada and pave the way for a successful spousal sponsorship application.

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