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How can I demonstrate to the IRCC my relationship with my spouse or partner?

Your spouse or partner must be sponsored for Canadian immigration by you in order to do so, and IRCC needs to verify that the relationship is real. 

You may sponsor a foreign national to move in with you in Canada and become a permanent resident if you are a Canadian citizen or permanent resident in a relationship with that individual. Your spouse, common-law partner, or romantic companion may be sponsored.

You must be able to show that your relationship with the sponsored individual is truthful by offering proof and accompanying paperwork in order to qualify for spousal or common-law partner sponsorship. Whether you have a spouse or partner will affect the criteria for demonstrating your relationship.

Demonstrating your marriage to your partner

A list of documents that can be used to prove your relationship with your spouse is provided by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), including:

  • A completed IMM 5532 "Relationship Information and Sponsorship Evaluation" questionnaire.
  • A marriage license and evidence that the union was officially registered with a government body.
  • If your partner was previously married, evidence of the divorce.
  • Long-form birth certificates or adoption records that list both parents' names if you share children.
  • Pictures and invitations to weddings.

Free Canada Immigration Assessment Form

Couples must also present proof from at least two of the following sources:

  • A rental agreement attesting to the couple's occupancy of the property; evidence of joint ownership of a residential property.
  • Proof of shared bank accounts, credit cards, or utility accounts (such as electricity, gas, telephone, and internet).
  • Evidence from the couple's auto insurance that they both listed the same address as their primary residence with the insurance provider.
  • Documents issued by the government bearing the same address (such as a driver's license);
  • Additional records demonstrating the couple's shared address (such as phone bills, pay stubs, tax records, etc.)

Demonstrating your partnership with your partner

Additionally, the IRCC provides a list of documents that can be used as proof of your relationship with your spouse, among them:

  • A completed IMM 5532 "Relationship Information and Sponsorship Evaluation" questionnaire.
  • Proof of divorce from a prior spouse, if either party was previously wed.
  • A completed IMM 5519 form if one of the partners has ever been in a common-law union with another person.
  • If the couple has children in common, long-form birth certificates containing the names of both parents are required. A couple’s photos are also needed.

Couples must additionally submit two sets of documentation from each of the following categories (or a written justification if you are unable to submit evidence from two or more of these categories):

  • Records attesting to the couple's status as common-law partners (such as employment or insurance benefits).
  • Evidence that the relationship is acknowledged by friends and/or family and that the couple shares expenses or provides financial assistance for one another (letters, social media information showing the relationship is public).

Apply for Canada Spouse Visa

The pair must present proof of at least two of the following sets of documents if they are cohabitating:

  • Proof of shared ownership of a home or a rental agreement proving the couple is the property's tenant.
  • Proof of shared utility accounts (such as electricity, gas, telephone, and internet).
  • Joint bank accounts or credit cards.
  • Evidence from the couple's auto insurance that they both listed the same address as their primary residence with the insurance provider.
  • Documents issued by the government bearing the same address (such as a driver's license);
  • Additional documentation supplied to the couple demonstrating their shared address (such as cell phone bills, pay stubs, financial statements, tax records, insurance policies, etc.)

If the couple is not now cohabitating, they must provide the following to demonstrate that they were previously cohabitating for at least a year:

  • Proof that they were in touch, such as correspondence in the form of letters, written text messages, emails, social media posts, or other documentation attesting to their communication. This should not exceed 10 pages.
  • Documentation such as flight tickets, boarding passes, and passport photocopies bearing stamps proving that the Canadian citizen or permanent resident has visited their partner. The sponsored person must provide an explanation in the IMM 5532 questionnaire if visits were not made (Part C, question 4).

Apply for Canada Family Sponsorship Program

Also read:

How to sponsor your child for Canadian immigration

Canada will extend the Super Visa to 5 years per entrance

Canada to allow super visas for parents and grandparents of Canada PR and citizens