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Unusual circumstances - improving chances of successful spousal sponsorship

Unusual circumstances - improving chances of successful spousal sponsorship

Old Apr 10th 2011, 1:00 pm
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Default Unusual circumstances - improving chances of successful spousal sponsorship

Hello all. This is my first post...

I am a Canadian guy who will be marrying a Norwegian gal here in Canada in less than four months and we are starting to research the spousal sponsorship process. After reviewing the information on this forum, I'm confident DIY is the way to go. However, I do have some concerns about the level of scrutiny we could face in substantiating our relationship. Here are some facts about our situation:

We have known each other for two months only. It will be a total of 5.5 months that we've known each other by the time we marry. We will see each other in person for the first time two weeks before we marry.

We met online but not on a dating site. Neither of us was looking for a relationship. We met on a forum for athletes.

We have extensive records of our relationship and how it developed. Emails, phone calls, text messages, Skype chat and records of time spent on Skype Video.

We communicate every day, at least 2hrs on weekdays and 4+hrs on weekend days. We had an 11hr marathon one day.

Our families and close friends know about our relationship. A few know we plan to marry.

Neither of us have been married previously although we have both lived in common-law relationships previously.

She is 35 and I'm 39 and we're both professionals.

She has an excellent job and salary that she is leaving behind and had been bidding on homes before we met so there was no intent to move anywhere prior to meeting me.

We are eloping. We will have extensive pictures of our wedding day and honeymoon and plan to notify our parents via letter written by the new son/daughter in-law detailing why we eloped (we're both extremely close to our families but want this to be romantic and about us).

This is a case of meeting someone with whom you share an incredible level of affinity and deep compatibility in values and approach to life. We're both very much in love and feel like we've won the lottery. However, I wonder how this will look from the perspective of CIC. I can only surmise that the validity of our relationship could face scrutiny primarily due to the length of our relationship and the fact that we didn't spend time developing the relationship in person prior to our marriage.

If anyone has any opinion as to the level of scrutiny we might face and how we might be able to mitigate it and improve our chances of a successful application, I would greatly appreciate it.
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Old Apr 10th 2011, 1:33 pm
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Default Re: Unusual circumstances - improving chances of successful spousal sponsorship

To be honest I wouldn't expect you to attract as much scrutiny than someone a wife from , say Lagos or other such place.

Norway is hardly the third world and nt internationally known fr it's trade in human traffic.

The important thing is that itis a genuine relationship and you seem to be able to that up
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Old Apr 10th 2011, 1:37 pm
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Default Re: Unusual circumstances - improving chances of successful spousal sponsorship

Originally Posted by canway
Hello all. This is my first post...

I am a Canadian guy who will be marrying a Norwegian gal here in Canada in less than four months and we are starting to research the spousal sponsorship process. After reviewing the information on this forum, I'm confident DIY is the way to go. However, I do have some concerns about the level of scrutiny we could face in substantiating our relationship. Here are some facts about our situation:

We have known each other for two months only. It will be a total of 5.5 months that we've known each other by the time we marry. We will see each other in person for the first time two weeks before we marry.

We met online but not on a dating site. Neither of us was looking for a relationship. We met on a forum for athletes.

We have extensive records of our relationship and how it developed. Emails, phone calls, text messages, Skype chat and records of time spent on Skype Video.

We communicate every day, at least 2hrs on weekdays and 4+hrs on weekend days. We had an 11hr marathon one day.

Our families and close friends know about our relationship. A few know we plan to marry.

Neither of us have been married previously although we have both lived in common-law relationships previously.

She is 35 and I'm 39 and we're both professionals.

She has an excellent job and salary that she is leaving behind and had been bidding on homes before we met so there was no intent to move anywhere prior to meeting me.

We are eloping. We will have extensive pictures of our wedding day and honeymoon and plan to notify our parents via letter written by the new son/daughter in-law detailing why we eloped (we're both extremely close to our families but want this to be romantic and about us).

This is a case of meeting someone with whom you share an incredible level of affinity and deep compatibility in values and approach to life. We're both very much in love and feel like we've won the lottery. However, I wonder how this will look from the perspective of CIC. I can only surmise that the validity of our relationship could face scrutiny primarily due to the length of our relationship and the fact that we didn't spend time developing the relationship in person prior to our marriage.

If anyone has any opinion as to the level of scrutiny we might face and how we might be able to mitigate it and improve our chances of a successful application, I would greatly appreciate it.
I have some experience of this situation with the UK immigration rather than with Canadian. I met my husband while he was on an exchange trip to the UK from his university in Moscow. He went back to Russia and we planned to marry. They asked for all the stuff you are saying you have already collected plus record of employment for me, bank statements, proof of place to live and that I could basically support him. It was really quite intrusive but keep calm and answer all their questions. It took a year (and in those days there was no Skype so my phone bills were horrible! and we wrote letters to each other every day), but we finally managed to get him to the UK. We have now been married for 16 years, have two children and emigrated to Canada 7 years ago. So good luck and I hope it works out for you both.
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Old Apr 10th 2011, 3:02 pm
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Default Re: Unusual circumstances - improving chances of successful spousal sponsorship

Thanks for the responses guys.

@Zoe: I agree that being from Norway and things like her employment, her home purchasing plans prior to meeting me and all the documentation we have detailing how our relationship developed will bode well for us but there's no getting around the fact that we met over the internet and that we're getting married less than six months after we first met. That's my primary concern.

@HGerchikov: Glad to hear things worked out as they have for you. Love doesn't really understand borders does it? We're prepared to be scrutinized. My concern is that this is a subjective process left to the discretion of the CIC agent. We are willing to be completely open and forthcoming but sometimes that's not enough. So, I'd like to solicit specific input on how to improve our chances.

Regarding financial support, do I just need to commit to it or do I need to provide proof of income and net worth?
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Old Apr 10th 2011, 3:07 pm
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Default Re: Unusual circumstances - improving chances of successful spousal sponsorship

Originally Posted by canway
Thanks for the responses guys.

@Zoe: I agree that being from Norway and things like her employment, her home purchasing plans prior to meeting me and all the documentation we have detailing how our relationship developed will bode well for us but there's no getting around the fact that we met over the internet and that we're getting married less than six months after we first met. That's my primary concern.

@HGerchikov: Glad to hear things worked out as they have for you. Love doesn't really understand borders does it? We're prepared to be scrutinized. My concern is that this is a subjective process left to the discretion of the CIC agent. We are willing to be completely open and forthcoming but sometimes that's not enough. So, I'd like to solicit specific input on how to improve our chances.

Regarding financial support, do I just need to commit to it or do I need to provide proof of income and net worth?
Many of us have met over the internet, I dont think it is at all unusual any more.

We did have to prove we had met in person, for a fiance visa, but each country may have different rules about that.

good luck, and keep documenting everything, it may help for the future
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Old Apr 10th 2011, 11:56 pm
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Default Re: Unusual circumstances - improving chances of successful spousal sponsorship

Originally Posted by canway
Thanks for the responses guys.

@Zoe: I agree that being from Norway and things like her employment, her home purchasing plans prior to meeting me and all the documentation we have detailing how our relationship developed will bode well for us but there's no getting around the fact that we met over the internet and that we're getting married less than six months after we first met. That's my primary concern.

@HGerchikov: Glad to hear things worked out as they have for you. Love doesn't really understand borders does it? We're prepared to be scrutinized. My concern is that this is a subjective process left to the discretion of the CIC agent. We are willing to be completely open and forthcoming but sometimes that's not enough. So, I'd like to solicit specific input on how to improve our chances.

Regarding financial support, do I just need to commit to it or do I need to provide proof of income and net worth?
I had to provide proof - I took bank statements, mortgage statement, letter of employment, character reference from my boss, travel receipts and documents for the trips I made to Russia to meet him the year we were apart, absolutely anything I could think of to prove relationship, financial position and character.
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Old Apr 11th 2011, 3:38 am
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Default Re: Unusual circumstances - improving chances of successful spousal sponsorship

@GoldCoastMag: You're right...it's not the internet aspect. What could be deemed unusual is that we're getting married less than six months after we met online and we'll have spent only two weeks in person right before we marry. It makes perfect sense to us but I can see how people (and specifically a CIC agent) might deem we're nuts (or in the case of a CIC agent, have ulterior motives).

@HGerchikov: Thanks for the info. Character letter from her employer mentioning loosing her as an employee due to marriage in Vancouver is a great idea. Thanks for the info.

My question above regarding financial fitness is about the actual requirements for British Columbia in regards to the 3 year commitment to financially support the sponsored party.
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Old Apr 11th 2011, 3:41 am
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Default Re: Unusual circumstances - improving chances of successful spousal sponsorship

in answer to the last part , the financial undertaking , as far as I am aware you just have to commit to it . No evidence required
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Old Apr 11th 2011, 3:51 am
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Default Re: Unusual circumstances - improving chances of successful spousal sponsorship

Originally Posted by canway
My question above regarding financial fitness is about the actual requirements for British Columbia in regards to the 3 year commitment to financially support the sponsored party.
In the sponsorship forms there will be a spot where you as the sponsor has to say how much income you have had in the last 12 months, as well as a income tax form from CRA saying your income (I didn't provide this as I was out of canada and didn't have one for the last tax year, my sponsorship was approved and so was my OH). The sponsor and the sponsoree both also have to sign a document that says the sponsor will support the sponsoree for 3 years as there will be no access to public funds.

Good luck! I don't think you will have too many difficulties just provide tons of information as you outlined!
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Old Apr 11th 2011, 4:12 am
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Default Re: Unusual circumstances - improving chances of successful spousal sponsorship

Thanks guys.

Originally Posted by alexisatk
In the sponsorship forms there will be a spot where you as the sponsor has to say how much income you have had in the last 12 months, as well as a income tax form from CRA saying your income (I didn't provide this as I was out of canada and didn't have one for the last tax year, my sponsorship was approved and so was my OH). The sponsor and the sponsoree both also have to sign a document that says the sponsor will support the sponsoree for 3 years as there will be no access to public funds.

Good luck! I don't think you will have too many difficulties just provide tons of information as you outlined!
Does anyone know what is deemed to be fit to sponsor financially? Is there a cutoff figure?

Older posts suggest that you can have no income (stay at home mom for example) and sponsor your spouse successfully. That's not my situation but I lost my business in the financial meltdown so I'm on rebuild mode and my income for the last couple of years has been very low...in the $30k range. Will this be an issue?

I have no issue signing to take financial responsibility and this year I can actually do it as my income will be greater but can that be expressed somehow? It makes sense that they would only accept tax filings.
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Old Apr 11th 2011, 4:24 am
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Default Re: Unusual circumstances - improving chances of successful spousal sponsorship

Originally Posted by canway
Thanks guys.



Does anyone know what is deemed to be fit to sponsor financially? Is there a cutoff figure?

Older posts suggest that you can have no income (stay at home mom for example) and sponsor your spouse successfully. That's not my situation but I lost my business in the financial meltdown so I'm on rebuild mode and my income for the last couple of years has been very low...in the $30k range. Will this be an issue?

I have no issue signing to take financial responsibility and this year I can actually do it as my income will be greater but can that be expressed somehow? It makes sense that they would only accept tax filings.
I forget where, but in the requirements, you do not need a minimum income to sponsor a spouse/common-law partner. My income from the last year prior to applying was quite low, I worked for a company for one month, had self-employed income, did not work during the summer as I moved back to Canada from UK, started a new job in September, sent in the app to sponsor in November. I was approved as a sponsor, my OH has had his PPR. I did not include the tax document from CRA as I did not file in 2009, but I wrote a letter explaining why I did not include this document. I also got my new employer to write a letter stating my salary and that I had a permanent job with them and included this in the application pack.
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Old Apr 11th 2011, 1:40 pm
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Default Re: Unusual circumstances - improving chances of successful spousal sponsorship

@Alexis: Great info, thanks! That gives me some ideas as to what I might be able to include to build a strong case.

Any further comments or suggestions welcome!
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Old Apr 14th 2011, 2:53 am
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Default Re: Unusual circumstances - improving chances of successful spousal sponsorship

Originally Posted by canway
Any further comments or suggestions welcome!
Applying for PR may be the easy part.

Being married can be a challenge in the best of situations, and more so when the relationship is so young and you know so little about each other.

I had two colleagues who got married after a whirlwind 6 weeks together, quit two weeks later, and then moved to Australia. It was amazing to watch. They were very much in love/lust. They think they probably should have taken a little more time.

Long distance makes it worse for now, but makes the culture shock of finally being together even more intense because you have not been able to adjust slowly.

I wish you both all the best. And hope you can put off!

Re PR: You might want to do an "out of Canada" application, so that (1) you can appeal and (2) it will get approved more quickly and then your spouse can work if so desired.
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Old Apr 14th 2011, 5:34 am
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Default Re: Unusual circumstances - improving chances of successful spousal sponsorship

Originally Posted by bewillow
Applying for PR may be the easy part.

Being married can be a challenge in the best of situations, and more so when the relationship is so young and you know so little about each other.

I had two colleagues who got married after a whirlwind 6 weeks together, quit two weeks later, and then moved to Australia. It was amazing to watch. They were very much in love/lust. They think they probably should have taken a little more time.

Long distance makes it worse for now, but makes the culture shock of finally being together even more intense because you have not been able to adjust slowly.

I wish you both all the best. And hope you can put off!

Re PR: You might want to do an "out of Canada" application, so that (1) you can appeal and (2) it will get approved more quickly and then your spouse can work if so desired.
Thanks for your thoughts on this. I really appreciate your comments. This is a life-changing decision that impacts a lot of people, not just her and I, and its important to make sure it's well thought out. We both realize our situation has the potential to look like an impulsive and not so well-thought out decision, even to people close to us. That's not the case at all. There are various dynamics that make our particular situation work extremely well and we both have a lot of experience in all the right areas to be able to understand what it is that we're taking on. I would share details but frankly I prefer to keep the thread on topic. Thanks again!
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Old Apr 14th 2011, 7:58 am
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Default Re: Unusual circumstances - improving chances of successful spousal sponsorship

Hmmm you may want to read OP2 - http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/resourc...p/op02-eng.pdf

and particularly section 5:50

5.50. Internet relationships

An Internet relationship alone, without other convincing evidence that the couple has established and maintained a conjugal relationship for at least one year and spent time together, will raise serious concerns as to whether a conjugal relationship exists. Conjugality should be assessed based on the elements of interdependency as set out in Section 5.26 above.


"Conjugal" meaning as a couple - not to be confused with a conjugal application when 2 people cannot meet the requirements for a married or common-law relationship.

5:26...
b) Interdependent – physically, emotionally, financially, socially

The two individuals in a conjugal relationship are interdependent – they have combined their affairs both economically and socially. The assessment of whether two individuals are in a conjugal relationship should focus on evidence of interdependency.

5:26 gives you everything they are looking for to prove that your relationship is established and genuine.

I would recommend reading it, taking notes and then coming back to ask any questions you need answers to.

They may also question your elopement and lack of family/friends attending your wedding, particularly after such a short "courtship".


Edit: There is no mimimum income requirement for spousal sponsorship. You will be asked to provide your latest tax details though.


Last edited by Siouxie; Apr 14th 2011 at 8:03 am.
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