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Best guidelines & advice - Proof of Relationship

Discussion in 'Family Class Sponsorship' started by Napiergen, Jan 8, 2011.

  1. Hi all

    I am beginning to gather all the evidence I can to prove my relationship to my lovely Wifey. From my research on what to include and what's just time wasting I have to say the best pieces of advice I've found are from Love_Young and Vonster. For anyone who has already submitted their application with their proof of relationship for Married couples please share your pearls of wisdom to make this a one stop shop for everyone's questions on a fool proof outline to proving your relationship.

    Love_Young's table of contents

    Chapter 1: Communication
    Section A: Text Messages
    Section B: Phone Records
    Section C: Cards Given To Each Other
    Section D: Notes and Letters To Each Other
    Section E: Cards Given To Us By Friends and Family
    Section F: Cards Given To Friends and Family by Us
    Section G: Letters of Support
    Section H: Messages Sent When Going To Canada
    Section I: Messages About Doing Activities Together
    Section J: Messages Sent To Each Other Before Meeting
    Section K: Messages from (sponsor)'s Family Wishing (applicant) a Happy Birthday
    Section L: Messages Between (applicant) and Her Friends Talking About (sponsor)
    Section M: Messages Sent While (sponsor) Was Visiting (applicant)

    Chapter 2 Joint Documentation
    Section A: Envelopes Received At Shared Address
    Section B: Joint Purchases On Joint Credit Card
    Section C: Joint Scotiabank Account
    Section D: Joint RBC Account and Documents
    Section E: Shared Family Plan with Telus
    Section F: Miscellaneous Joint Correspondence

    Chapter 3 Receipts
    Section A: Receipts From Outings Together
    Section B: Receipts For Purchases of Gifts and Cards

    Chapter 4 Engagement/Wedding
    Section A: Our Engagement Journal
    Section B: Emails Between Us and Our Wedding Planner
    Section C: Our Permit To Marry In The Park As Well As Our Ceremony Agreement With Our Commissioner
    Section D: Copies From Our Wedding Guestbook
    Section E: Copies Of Cards Given To Us For Our Wedding
    Section F: Messages About Engagement, Planning For Wedding, Reception and Our Honeymoon
    Section G: Congratulations Messages On Our Marriage
    Section H: Congratulations Messages On Our Engagement
    Section I: Receipts For Engagement, Wedding, and Honeymoon
    Section J: Emails About Honeymoon Reservation and Permit To Marry In The Park

    Chapter 5 Photos Throughout Relationship
    Section A: Special Occasion Pictures
    Section B: Pictures on Outings Together
    Section C: Pictures From Wedding/Reception/Honeymoon

    Chapter 6 Travel
    Section A: Emails of (sponsor) and (applicant)'s Itinerary
    Section B: Copies Of Our Flight Tickets
    Section C: Copies Of (applicant)'s Passport Stamp and Visitor Records.
    Section D: Miscellaneous Travel Documents

    Chapter 7 Miscellaneous Supporting Documents
    (Whatever didn't fit in the other sections)

    Vonster's Advice

    Prove it's genuine
    So when you complete an application to sponsor your spouse, make extra effort in gathering and submitting evidence to prove that your relationship is in fact “genuine.” I typically categorize evidence into two groups, “sentimental evidence” and “hard evidence.”

    The primary type of sentimental evidence used is photographs. Submit a selection of photographs that capture the essence of your relationship. Photos of spouses together on vacation, with each other's close family and at major life events (birthdays, holidays, vacations, etc.) are usually well received by the government. Do not make the mistake of only submitting photos from a single day or only photos where you are wearing the same outfit. Your photos should represent different milestones in your relationship and not just the wedding.

    Other sentimental evidence to submit includes copies of birthday/holiday cards, email printouts, Facebook printouts, love letters, wedding invitations and reference letters from close friends or family that confirm the nature of your relationship. I had a client once who wanted to submit a racy video that he said confirmed beyond doubt that his relationship was real. I told him he was taking it too far.

    More evidence
    I classify all legal and third party documents as “hard evidence.” Hard evidence that you should plan to submit include copies of a power of attorney, copies of wills or life insurance policies, naming each spouse as the other's beneficiary, copies of leases or land title certificates, showing both spouses as tenants or owners and copies of bank statements, showing both spouses as joint account holders.

    It is also worthwhile to submit copies of boarding passes, hotel reservations, receipts for gifts and dinner, and passport stamps to prove that visits between spouses actually took place. Phone bills are an excellent way to confirm communication between spouses while separated.

    Explain well
    My final tip is to be thorough in explaining your evidence. Explain what each piece of evidence is and why you are submitting it. Handing a visa officer a pile of evidence without any explanation makes their job difficult. In submitting your application, your goal should be to make the visa officer's job as easy as possible to approve your application as quickly as possible.

    A thorough and complete application, leaving no questions to be answered, may even get you out of an interview and thereby speeding up your application processing. Visa officers are empowered with the discretion to waive interviews for applications where it is clear that the relationship is genuine. As such, the extra time that you put into gathering and explaining evidence will save you much hardship and hassle down the road.
     
  2. We provided early emails(just a few examples) from when we first met, and a few example chat records. Then our marriage certificate, and a lot of pictures, all labeled on the back of when and where. We used ones that had other people in them, like from our wedding party, marriage ceremony, trips to each others countries, etc. We have a child so I included the birth certificate. For records of our past trips before marraige, I included copied passport pages that matched the dates and pictures we said we met, and where. But they weren't exhaustive, as my husband didn't have one of his old passports.
    We included 2 different utility bills, with each of our names at the same address.
    We also included reference letters from family and friends on either side giving information about the first time meeting that person and subsequent visits, etc.
    I included everything we had, but since we have lived together since before marriage, and have a child and another one on the way, I think we created a good case. In fact we are in the final stages(police checks) and have been informed he does not need an interview.
     
  3. Just know that my table of contents was based on what we felt we had to provide for our relationship and not everyone will have the same. That is okay not to have everything on there because everyones evidence and relationship is different. Make sure that you both feel comfortable with the evidence before sending off your application so you don't stress too much over it. (though stress is completely natural in this process) Try to portray your relationship story with the evidence. Have them walk along with you in your love story as they read your application. Don't worry too much if you don't have everything from the beginning of your relationship either. Just write and explain the best you can of why something isn't there. They understand that you can't always have everything plus some people just aren't saver's and might not have things. Either way you go about it, just do it with your heart, read over it for errors, and include what you think shows you are genuine. Doesn't matter about the amount of documents you include but the quality.

    *PS I did edit this message from the previous one. I was cranky in the morning when I wrote it so forgive me. This is the answer I should have provided.*
     
  4. Hi!!

    Quick question about emails. Myself and my Wife literally have thousands of pages of emails. How many should we include? I've broken them down into different categories - for example.

    Emails/Messages in relation to our relationship from family
    Emails/Messages sent to each other before meeting
    Emails/Messages sent to each planning Katie’s trip to Ireland
    Emails/Messages sent to each planning Wayne’s trip to Canada
    Emails about joint business venture plan to each other

    This is only a brief example there is alot more across different topics.

    Thanks!!
     
  5. Some people choose a certain number of emails per month of their relationship. So for example if you've been emailing each other for two years, send in one email per week. Others choose a particular type of email that shows how the relationship is progressing, so send romantic emails, emails containing discussions about your relationship, emails where you talk about trips made together, etc.
    You could include a few emails from each of your categories, spaced out over the length of your relationship.
    Also include a note to the visa officer stating that you have just included a sampling of your emails, and that you have thousands more that you can show him or her if needed.
    Do not include any emails where you discuss immigration!

    You should also include a copy of your and your partner's inbox showing all the emails received from each other. This will show the number, the dates, and the topics.
     
  6. Canadianwoman, may i ask why you discouragement providing emails where a couple discuss immigration?
     
  7. Because it could be interpreted that you have arranged your relationship to immigrate to Canada - which would mean refusal.
     
  8. Baloo, I didn't know that.

    Me and my boyfriend are discussing it a lot it seems that we can't talk about anything else.. I thought that immigration would see how serious we are and committed on basis of these data to do our application as best as possible.
     
  9. Obviously people do discuss it a lot, but giving that sort of information to immigration is inviting a lot of hassle in my opinion.
     
  10. Ok I will try to reduce it but chatting is the only easiest way for us to communicate. Would it matter if they notify it between sentences in our chat logs.
     
  11. It's true that even couples in a completely genuine relationship are going to discuss immigration, but I would avoid emails that show you discussing it. An email where you discuss immigration is just one more place where a visa officer could question the applicant's motives.
    If you send in 50 emails all discussing your love for each other, and one discusses how to fill in the application, the visa officer will zero in on that one. It may or may not hurt you, but it is safer to just leave it out.
    There have been a few cases where the visa officer has demanded to see all the emails sent, so if you do discuss immigration, try to make immigration only a small part of your communication. Spend more time talking about your day-to-day lives, your love for each other, how much you miss each other, and plans for the future.
     
  12. Ok Canadianwoman. I understand and thank you for your clear answer!
     
  13. On one hand I understand how such interpretation could be possible, but at the same time it seems completely unreasonable that CIC would expect a couple to go through such a long, complicated process, that will in the end result in someone moving to another country, without ever talking about technicalities.

    From where I stand it just looks like CIC just can't make up its damn mind :D "You planned too much! No, you planned too little! There aren't enough professionally taken photographs! No, there are too many professionally taken photographs and this relationship is obviously staged! You didn't see each other enough! No, you were travelling to see each other too often, it's suspicious! You are not in each others wills! Why are you in each others wills, you are too young for wills, this is fake evidence!"

    Blah blah. Grumble grumble. :D
     
  14. Who said immigration to Canada would be easy?
     
  15. [quote author=canadianwoman
    Do not include any emails where you discuss immigration!

    [/quote]

    My hubby mistakenly did this...we have pages of texts on this...and it caused no problems.
    I had no interview and i got processed in 6months.
    Just goes to show no one knows how the hell they really do what they do at the embassy office.
     

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