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Canadian citizens and permanent residents that have spouses or partners in other countries may wish to sponsor them to come and live in Canada in the near future. This is possible through the Canadian Spouse Visa.

Individuals who intend to use this program to bring their spouse, common-law partner, or conjugal partner to Canada along with their dependents must show proof that their relationship is genuine. This guide will examine the different methods of proof that Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) accepts for this program.

Three types of relationships in the Canadian Spouse Visa

The Canadian family sponsorship program allows Canadian permanent residents and citizens to sponsor family members, spouses, or other kinds of partners. Each of these relationship types is described below:

Spouse

IRCC classifies a spouse as someone that is:

  • 18 years old or older
  • Of either sex
  • Legally married to the Canadian citizen or permanent resident

Common-Law Partner

IRCC classifies a common-law partner as someone that is:

  • 18 years old or older
  • Of either sex
  • Not legally married to the Canadian citizen or permanent resident
  • Has been living as a Canadian citizen or permanent resident continuously for a minimum of 12 months.

Conjugal Partner

IRCC classifies a conjugal partner as someone that is:

  • 18 years old or older
  • Of either sex
  • Not legally married to the Canadian citizen or permanent resident
  • In a relationship Canadian citizen or permanent resident for a minimum of 12 months
  • Living outside Canada
  • Unable to live with their partner in their current country of residence due to legal and immigration factors.

6 Ways to Prove the Genuineness of a Relationship

IRCC allows Canadian residents and permanent residents to show various proof to demonstrate that their relationship with the spouse, common-law partner, or conjugal partner is genuine. These are summarized below.

1. Marriage Certificate

A marriage certificate is a legally issued and recognized document that demonstrates a marriage between two individuals. This is the most important form of proof for Canadian citizens and permanent residents who wish to sponsor a spouse.

Individuals who are in a common-law or conjugal partnership are not legally married, so they must show other forms of proof instead, like:

  • reference letters from friends or family that can attest to your relationship
  • personal statements of when, where, how you met, and difficulties you have faced in trying to be together.

2. Joint Bank Accounts

If the Canadian citizen or permanent resident and their partner have a joint bank account in Canada, they must prove that the account shows the same address. This is useful for spouses and common-law partners who must demonstrate they live together.

3. Joint Leases

If the Canadian citizen or permanent resident and their partner share ownership of a property or have a joint lease, they must present proof of this with the sponsorship application. This is useful for spouses and common-law partners who must demonstrate they live together.

4. Joint Utility Bills

Spouses or partners residing together can present joint utility bills such as electricity bills, water bills, or bills as proof.

5. Relationships Photos

Canadian citizens or permanent residents can offer supporting proof of their relationship with their spouse or partner with photos showing them together. Couples should ideally include a minimum of twenty photos showing their relationship from the time they met up till the present day.

Couples who are married should include their wedding photos with their application. Those who are in common-law or conjugal partnerships and do not possess wedding photos can show photos of themselves with friends and family. This serves to demonstrate that the couple’s friends and family are aware they are in a relationship.

6. Relationship Narrative

A relationship narrative is an important document that applicants should include with their application. This document describes the couple’s relationship story from the time they met up till the present day. Each person should write the narrative from their perspective, as this will help convince the visa officer that the relationship is genuine.

Need help with Canadian spouse visa?

Prospective Canadian permanent residents and citizens who wish to sponsor their spouse, common-law partner, or conjugal partner to come to Canada should get in touch with us. Our exceptional team of Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants understands the requirements for the spouse sponsorship program and can guide you on optimizing the application for success.

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