April 8, 2015
“Proving” Your Love: You May Need To Do More Than You Think!
In the Litigation Department, we represent clients trying to challenge refusals on various kinds of immigration applications. This includes spousal sponsorship applications. Naturally, these sorts of refusals are very difficult, as people are often separated from their loved ones while awaiting a hearing or court date.
More often than you might think, marriages which are genuine can still lead to refusals because people do not realize the precise legal test to be met when they prepare their applications. Section 4 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations provides:
- (1) For the purposes of these Regulations, a foreign national shall not be considered a spouse, a common-law partner or a conjugal partner of a person if the marriage, common-law partnership or conjugal partnership
o (a) was entered into primarily for the purpose of acquiring any status or privilege under the Act; or
o (b) is not genuine.
This means that not only does an applicant have to show that the relationship is genuine, he or she must also show that this relationship was not entered into primarily for immigration reasons. This is an important point to keep in mind, as the legal test used to require both of these two prongs, not just one or the other.
The result is that extensive evidence is often required to meet this legal onus, especially if the application contains any facts which may lead to further questions on the part of CIC (such as, significant differences in age, culture, language, religion, education, or complicated relationship histories). Evidence of how the relationship began and progressed should be provided, from first meeting to marriage and beyond. This includes proof of continued communication, family support, and life integration.
If you are facing a refusal of a spousal sponsorship application and are appealing this to the Immigration Appeal Division, preparation for oral testimony is essential. Many clients are surprised by how much detail they may be expected to discuss at their hearing. The more prepared you are, the more comfortable and confident you will be, leading to a better result!
If you need help preparing a spousal sponsorship application or challenging a refusal, please contact our office for more information.