If your partner is working and living in Canada and you’d like to re-unite your family it may be simpler than you think.
New immigration laws regarding the Canadian Spousal Visa was passed earlier this year and the changes mean, amongst others, that a married couple with children will be exempt from having to prove their relationship’s legitimacy – their relationship will be deemed legitimate on the grounds that you are a family.
In December 2016, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) announced its commitment to process most spousal sponsorship applications within a 12-month timeframe. This time frame sat at 18 – 24 months at the end of last year.
New application form
To aid the process of fast tracking Spousal Visa applications the IRCC has released an updated application package. There will now only be one application package for both inside and outside Canada spousal sponsorship applications. This means that the same forms will be required by all visa offices.
Proving the legitimacy of your relationship
The proof required varies based on your relationship status. If you are:
• Married for at least two years, have a child together, are married for the first time and are currently living together applicants will not be required to submit additional evidence of your relationship.
• If you are in a partnership or married in terms of common law guidelines you may still have to provide some evidence of an existing relationship with your Canadian partner (or partner who is a Canadian resident). But the requirements have also been overhauled and fewer pieces of supporting material are needed.
This effectively means that applicants will be required to 20 photographs of you and your partner which will support the standing of your relationship. As in the past these photos should still be taken at different times and places. 10 examples of written communication, whether by letter text message, emails or through social media should be submitted.
Other welcome changes include:
• The Canadian Spousal Visa relationship questionnaire is now also more concise and less drawn out and laboursome with fewer questions
• The visa applicant’s background information form will now not have to be submitted upfront; it can instead be either uploaded online, within 30 days of receiving an acknowledgement of receipt, or submitted by mail
• An application guide will help you through the process through the new interactive checklists. Based on the outcome of your answer to each question instructions will be supplied about how to proceed with the application
• The application process will no longer require the applicant’s medical exams to be submitted upfront. Instead the IRCC will send instructions when the medical exam results are needed, the same applies to the applicant’s Police clearance certificate.
While the process will speed up the application process it is by no means a simple task to tackle by yourself – especially if you are not experienced in the requirements and procedures when it comes to applying for Canadian visas. Bearing this in mind most professional migration practitioners or consultants advise would-be applicants to seek professional advice when planning on lodging a spousal visa.
Immigration consultants who are worth their salt will quickly be able to determine the likelihood of the success of your application based on the information you supply.