Acing Your Spousal Sponsorship Letter

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC, formerly CIC) wants to know that you and your spouse have a genuine relationship. A marriage of convenience or a forced marriage is precisely what immigration authorities in Canada are on the lookout for. You have to prove that your marriage is not one of convenience, and has been entered into willingly by both you and your spouse. That means a lot of documentation must be assembled in order to make your case to the authorities.

But, as any consultant or lawyer will tell you, a summary of your case will help an immigration officer have an overview of the most important facts. Before they have to wade through all the supporting documentation involved in a spousal sponsorship. And the best way to do that is a cover letter, or Sponsorship Letter. You will be essentially making your case and pointing out to the immigration officer why your sponsored spouse should be accepted as a permanent resident in Canada. Here’s how to organize your sponsorship letter to best help your case.

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Who the &!*$ are you?

That’s the first question the immigration officer will be asking herself (or himself) when they open up your file: who are these people? So the first thing you do in a sponsorship letter is to answer that question by giving:

  • Your full name + birth date + age + the word “sponsor;”
  • Your spouse’s full name + birth date + age + the word “sponsored spouse;”
  • The names of any dependent children + their birth dates + the age of each of them + “dependent;”
  • The immigration class you are applying under: in this case “Family Class Spousal.”

This means the immigration officer will know right away what size of family is applying to come to Canada, with the exact number of children and their ages. Before they do a deep dive into your supporting documentation. 

 

Where the heck are you?

Your spousal sponsorship process will be different depending on whether:

  • You are applying inland: from within Canada;
  • You are applying outland: from outside of Canada.

Your letter should indicate whether your spousal sponsorship application is “inland” or “outland”. You can indicate your current address as well, although this information will be given by you as you fill out your application form.

 

What the &!*$ is your problem?

If there are any issues that might raise questions on the part of the immigration authorities, it is helpful to politely remind the officials in your cover letter that you would like the opportunity to address those issues. That means you are being honest and transparent and are committed to resolving any issues that might be potential problems in your application. Be brief and straight forward. 

 

How the heck did you meet?

You should summarize how you and your spouse met and how your relationship evolved:

  • Describe how, where, and when you met.
  • Describe your relationship after meeting: Did you date? When did you live together and for how long? When did you start to think about marriage? Be brief but try to include all the major transition points in your relationship.
  • A separate letter by your spouse detailing how he or she met you is sometimes used as well, and may help convince the authorities that your marriage is genuine. 

 

So, how was the Wedding?

Summarize your wedding:

  • Was it religious or civil? Or both?
  • Where was it held?
  • Who attended the wedding?

Describe the Honeymoon:

  • Where did you honeymoon?
  • If there was no honeymoon then give reasons why: Lack of funds? Work schedules?

 

Where the heck are you going to live?

This basically applies to outbound sponsorship applications where you, the sponsor, do not live in Canada. You should detail a fairly specific plan on why you have decided to leave your country of residence and move to Canada. And how you are going to go about settling in Canada. The immigration officer needs to be sure that you and your sponsored spouse will live together after arriving in Canada. The following should be included:

  • What factors made you decide to leave your country of residence?
  • What factors made you decide to apply to immigrate to Canada?
  • Where will you stay during your first days and weeks in Canada? You should show you are familiar with renting and/or purchasing a home in Canada.
  • Show that you will or have purchased private medical insurance until your family is eligible for public health insurance.
  • Show that you have researched about schools for any children in the area you will be living in.
  • Show some familiarity with the city/town and province you will be settling in.

Be brief and to the point with each of these sub-topics. You are proving to the officers that you have a detailed plan to settle in Canada rather than filling them in on all the details. It is a covering letter that is meant to sum up your case and help the immigration officer get an overall sense of your situation and the reasons for coming to Canada. Get it right and your supporting documentation will get a fair read through. And your sponsorship application’s chances will get that much greater. 

See a sample letter

 

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Download Your Inland Common Law Parter Sponsorship Package

Download Spousal Sponsorship Package

Download Your Inland Conjugal Sponsorship Package

For outland sponsorship application packages by country, go to this page.


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