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    1. #1

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      Canada Spouse Sponsorships

      One of the goals of Canadian immigration is to reunite families in Canada. Earlier this year, Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenny announced that the Canadian government would be increasing the number of family reunification visas, especially for spousal and child sponsorships. Family reunification is made possible through the Family Class Immigration Program.


      Under the Family Class program, Permanent Residents living in Canada and Canadian citizens may sponsor their family members to become Permanent Residents of Canada. In addition to providing financial support to their sponsored family member, Sponsors must meet other eligibility requirements. Qualified Sponsors can sponsor spouses and common-law partners, parents, children, and other family members to come to Canada. Spousal and child sponsorships are exempt from many requirements of the Family Class program and their applications are prioritized and processed quickly by visa offices.

      When sponsoring a spouse or common-law partner, the applicant must provide sufficient evidence to convince the visa officer that they did not enter the relationship primarily for immigration purposes. While many people assume that a marriage certificate is enough to show that a relationship is genuine, this is not always the case. A foreign marriage must be valid under the laws in the country where it took place and under Canadian Federal law. For example, it is not uncommon that applicants are married through arranged marriages, where the bride and groom have not communicated often or have not even met before the wedding. While in general these marriages are legally valid and accepted for Canadian immigration purposes, visa officers often ask for additional documents to prove the relationship is genuine. Examples of documents that may be requested are email correspondences between the couple, telephone bills, photos of meetings and joint trips, and more.

      Another situation which may be difficult for spousal sponsorship arises when the applicant or sponsor was previously married before entering the current marriage. Applicants and sponsors who were previously married must show they were legally divorced before they remarried. Certain countries do not allow divorces and in these cases, applicants may have difficulties in proving that their previous marriage ended. If the visa officer is not convinced that the previous marriage was in fact ended by a legal divorce, the current marriage will not be considered valid for Canadian immigration purposes. However, these couples might still qualify for sponsorship as common-law partners.



      “While at first glance sponsorship applicants seem relatively simple, they can become complicated when sponsoring a spouse or common-law partner,” says Attorney David Cohen. “It is of the upmost importance that the applicant proves that the relationship between the sponsor and applicant is genuine and this is not always so easy to do. Knowing which documents to provide is essential for a successful sponsorship application.”

      If a couple is not legally married, but they have or had been living together for at least one continuous year, they may apply as common-law partners. In general, common-law partners must provide more documents than do spouses. Rather than having a marriage certificate, common-law partners must complete a Statutory Declaration of Common-Law Union, which is a sworn declaration by the couple that they are in a marriage-like relationship. Furthermore, common-law partners should provide evidence of joint financial accounts, joint property ownership, life insurance policies, attestations from family and friends, etc.



      Same-sex couples can also apply for family sponsorship. Currently, Citizenship and Immigration Canada will only acknowledge same-sex couples as spouses if they were married in Canada. Same-sex marriages that are performed outside of Canada are not recognized for Canadian immigration purposes, but these couples can still apply as common-law partners if they have been living together for one continuous year. Common-law documents can be difficult to obtain for same-sex couples, especially in countries that frown upon same-sex relationships. Even when they can cohabitate, these couples may not be able to open joint accounts or openly disclose their relationship to friends and family.



      Applicants may be asked to attend an interview with the visa officer reviewing their file. This can be a good opportunity for applicants without a lot of documentation to convince the visa officer that their relationship is genuine. However, it can also be an opportunity for the visa officer to find discrepancies between the responses given in the interview and the information in the documents submitted. A visa officer may ask the applicant details of the sponsor’s life (birth date, hobbies, occupation, religion, etc) and may ask for specific dates and details about the first time the sponsor and applicant met. Insufficient or incorrect responses can lead a visa officer to question whether the relationship is genuine and the sponsorship application can be delayed or even refused.

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    3. #2
      LITTLESTAR
      HI
      All the information you have provided is great and very helpful.There are one or there questions I HAVE AND WOULD BE GRATEFUL IF YOU COULD ANSWER.
      my application is common law.My partner in Canada has been approved as a sponser for me.My application is currently in London since 26th Sept" 12 in process"
      I lived in Canada on work permits up to april 2012 5 years with my Canadian girlfriend and her two children.Due to a problem up CIC i was removed for over stay april 2012.
      Will we still qualify as common law partners despite recent break due to exclusion order,is it all going to be a waste of time.??
      I plan on going back to Canada on tourist visa april 2013 cant wait-- its been terrible close to break down Any advice please getting nearer the time now and starting to worry.
      Thanks guys please answer