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August 11, 2017

Canadian Permanent Residency visa under marriage or a common-law partner – these tips will increase your chance of success

Here is a very common inquiry we often receive from couples: “We plan on marrying soon/ have been living together for a year and were wondering if we could apply for the permanent residence visa.”

Submitting your marriage certificate and completing the application forms in whole is still no guarantee that it will be sufficient enough to obtain your Permanent Residency Visa.

Though this of course does not apply to all applicants, very close attention has been drawn to by the Immigration Refugee and Citizenship Canada (“IRCC”) especially since there have been cases of applicants guilty of abusing their privilege to apply for the visa through marriage. Some examples include couples caught in marriage frauds such as marriage for convenience. To prevent such things from happening, additional documents to prove whether or not the relationship between the two is genuine is required. In cases where such document cannot be provided, further investigation, as well as interview may need to be taken.

A common-law partner is defined as two people in a marriage-like relationship in which both partners are not married, but have been living together for a period of at least 1 year. This applies to all heterosexual as well as same sex couples.  Generally, more pieces of proof and documents are required for Common-l-aw applicants as opposed to married applicants.

So, what does the IRCC consider as a genuine relationship? They consider all of the following:

  • a significant degree of attachment, both physical and emotional;
  • an exclusive relationship;
  • a mutual and continuing commitment to a shared life together; and
  • emotional and financial inter-dependency.

Apart from the general documents required, I will also go through and introduce you to some other important points that people often make mistakes on as well as some other ways and things to be careful about in order to maximize the potential for your case to succeed. Don’t strictly adhere to submitting only the documents listed in the document list of the IRCC. Include any additional document you would like to add that you think would further strengthen your case.

  • DO Include support letters from people that know you both very well (family, close friends, etc.).
  • DO include a story (approx. 2 pages long) of how the relationship has developed and how that led to where you two are today.
  • DO take photos together!

“He is a shy person and we don’t have many photos together.”   You will have instantly lost an easy way to further strengthening the application you already put so much work into. You can include up to 20 photos in your application. “I strongly encourage for us to take photos of us two as a couple together. I want to receive my Permanent Residence visa and we can stay together as long as possible.”
When submitting your photos to the IRCC, be sure to also include photos of you two in different landscapes, photos from different days and photos with different people in the background along with you two (Family, Close friends, etc.). Finally, when submitting photos to the IRCC, don’t forget to include the dates in which the photo was taken and a brief description of where it was taken and who are in the picture.

  • The sponsored person must show that they are a tax payer of Canada that is responsible for paying taxes.
    Though certain amount of income will not be asked on Marriage and Common-law Applications, you will still need to submit a tax document to prove you are a taxpayer and are paying taxes.
  • If the sponsor’s income is low, the sponsor will be required to submit a document that will show how the sponsor and the spouse will be able to stay together financially.
    In other words, you will need to prove to the IRCC that you will not need any additional welfare assistance from the government of Canada.
  • In the case of a long-distance relationship, you will also need to submit any of your air boarding passes/ e-tickets between your country and Canada.
  • If you have an engagement or marriage ring, please be sure to submit any proof of purchase that came along when you bought the ring. Ideally the proof of purchase should have you or your spouse’s name on it.
  • Confirm that your application being submitted is completed on the latest version released by the IRCC. 
  • Check whether all of your documents make sense making sure it is also consistent in their details.
  • If you have any children, please also disclose information you have about them.
  • In the back of one of your 2 ID photos, please remember to include your name, date of birth, the name and address of the place in which you took the photo and the date in which the photo was taken.
  • This is an important step as forgetting to do so will cause the IRCC to immediately return your application.

At our company, our top priority is to help each client to the very best in helping their applications succeed. We go through all your documents and suggest ways of improvement to maximize your chances of succeeding.

Finally, remember to submit all your documents in a well-organized manner. Not only will your application be more likely to be accepted, you will also save time by not having the whole application returned to you by IRCC due to missing documents and having to resubmit it later.

If you have any further concern on sponsoring your spouse through marriage or common-law, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

You will be assisted in obtaining your visas or permit by an Experienced Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant.

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