Spousal sponsorship in Canada: How IRCC checks if a relationship is genuine
Spousal sponsorship in Canada is a way for Canadian citizens and permanent residents to bring their foreign spouses or common-law partners to Canada. The Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) is responsible for evaluating and processing these sponsorship applications. One of the primary concerns for IRCC is to ensure that the relationship between the sponsor and the sponsored person is genuine and not entered into for immigration purposes only. To assess the genuineness of a relationship, IRCC employs various methods and criteria:
Marriage or Common-law Relationship Documents: IRCC typically requires couples to provide proof of their legal marriage or common-law partnership. This may include marriage certificates, divorce certificates (if applicable), and evidence of cohabitation and shared responsibilities.
Photos and Social Media: Photos of the couple together at various stages of their relationship and social media interactions can be used as evidence of a genuine relationship.
Correspondence: Letters, emails, text messages, and other forms of communication that demonstrate the ongoing and genuine nature of the relationship can be submitted as evidence.
Joint Finances: Evidence of joint bank accounts, shared bills, and financial commitments can demonstrate the financial interdependence of the couple.
Joint Assets: Ownership of property, vehicles, or other assets in both spouses’ names can support the genuineness of the relationship.
IRCC may conduct interviews with both the sponsor and the sponsored person separately to assess their knowledge of each other, their relationship history, and their future plans together.
The purpose of these interviews is to check for consistency in the information provided by both parties and to gauge the level of genuine knowledge about each other.
In some cases, IRCC officers may conduct home visits to the couple’s residence to verify their cohabitation and the shared living arrangements.
Affidavits from Friends and Family:
Letters of support from friends and family members who can attest to the genuine nature of the relationship may be submitted as additional evidence.
Both the sponsor and the sponsored person are typically required to provide personal statements explaining the history of their relationship, how they met, their future plans, and their commitment to each other.
It’s important for couples to provide comprehensive and truthful documentation to demonstrate the authenticity of their relationship. Any misrepresentation or fraud in the application can lead to serious consequences, including the rejection of the sponsorship application and potential legal consequences.
Each case is unique, and the IRCC assesses applications on an individual basis. Meeting the requirements for spousal sponsorship and providing strong evidence of a genuine relationship is crucial for a successful application. Consulting with an immigration professional or lawyer can also be helpful in navigating the sponsorship process and ensuring that all requirements are met.