Do you feel that a Spousal Sponsorship Letter is a fairly straightforward part of your application where you or other family members lay out the basics of your sponsorship of a spouse or partner?

Think again.

A Relationship Letter of Support is a key document that immigration officials use to try and evaluate whether you and your spouse or partner have a genuine relationship. Whether it’s called a Proof of Relationship Letter, a Letter of Support for Immigration Through Spousal Sponsorship, or a Spousal Sponsorship Letter, it is in fact an effective way of showing Canadian immigration officials that you and your spouse are the real thing.

When you file an IRCC Spousal Sponsorship application, IRCC will be combing through your supporting documents and looking for any clues that your relationship is not well-supported and of dubious authenticity. A good proof of relationship letter has to provide both the facts and the tone that suggest your spouse and you have a genuine relationship, one that is hopefully recognized by members of both your families. Otherwise alarm bells start going off and your application could be in trouble.

Now, the relationship letter can be written by you the sponsor, or it can be written by family members who provide confirmation of your relationship.

You can even include more than one – say one written by you the sponsor and another written by a family member – as long as you review both support letters to ensure the facts in the two letters are consistent and supportive of the events in your relationship

So, you’d better get your Relationship Support Letter right. Let’s start with a few definitions.

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Key Terms to Remember When Writing Your Spousal Sponsorship Letter

  • Sponsor: The Canadian citizen or Permanent Resident of Canada who is sponsoring their foreign-born spouse or partner.
  • Principal Applicant: The spouse or partner being sponsored.
  • Family members: The applicant’s closest relatives – spouse or common-law partner, dependent children, and their dependent children.
  • Spouse: The person the sponsor is legally married to, according to the law of the country they were married in.
  • Common-law partner: Someone the sponsor has shared a conjugal relationship with for at least 1 year, but has yet to marry.
  • Conjugal partner: A person living outside Canada who has been in a conjugal relationship with the sponsor for at least 1 year but who cannot live with the sponsor as a couple or marry due to religious, cultural, or other legal restrictions.
  • Dependent Children: Children of the sponsor or principal applicant who:
    • Are under 22 years of age
    • Do not have a spouse or common-law partner
    • If 22 years or older they can be dependent children if:
      • They have depended financially on their parents since before the age of 22
      • They have an emotional or physical condition that means they cannot financially support themselves
  • Dependent Child of a dependent child: Children of the dependent children of the sponsor or principal applicant.
  • Accompanying Dependant: Any dependent child or grandchild who plans to immigrate to Canada with the principal applicant.
  • Non-Accompanying Dependent: Dependent children who will not be coming to Canada with the principal applicant.
  • Annulled Marriage: A marriage legally declared invalid.
  • Divorced: When you are no longer married because a court has legally declared the end of your marriage.
  • Legally Separated: When you are still married but no longer legally living with your spouse and you do not have any plans to live again with your spouse. (You cannot sponsor someone if you or your spouse is still separated from a previous partner.)
  • Married: You and your spouse have undergone a legally binding ceremony such that your marriage is legally recognized both in the country where it took place and in Canada.
  • Single: You have never been married and are not in a common-law relationship.
  • Widowed: Your spouse has died, and you have not re-married nor entered into a common-law relationship.
  • Sponsor: The Canadian citizen or Permanent Resident of Canada who is sponsoring their foreign-born spouse or partner.
  • Principal Applicant: The spouse or partner being sponsored.
  • Family members: The applicant’s closest relatives – spouse or common-law partner, dependent children, and their dependent children.
  • Spouse: The person the sponsor is legally married to, according to the law of the country they were married in.
  • Common-law partner: Someone the sponsor has shared a conjugal relationship with for at least 1 year, but has yet to marry.
  • Conjugal partner: A person living outside Canada who has been in a conjugal relationship with the sponsor for at least 1 year but who cannot live with the sponsor as a couple or marry due to religious, cultural, or other legal restrictions.
  • Dependent Children: Children of the sponsor or principal applicant who:
  • Are under 22 years of age
  • Do not have a spouse or common-law partner
  • If 22 years or older they can be dependent children if:
  • They have depended financially on their parents since before the age of 22
  • They have an emotional or physical condition that means they cannot financially support themselves.
  • Dependent Child of a dependent child: Children of the dependent children of the sponsor or principal applicant.
  • Accompanying Dependant: Any dependent child or grandchild who plans to immigrate to Canada with the principal applicant.
  • Non-Accompanying Dependent: Dependent children who will not be coming to Canada with the principal applicant.
  • Annulled Marriage: A marriage legally declared invalid.
  • Divorced: When you are no longer married because a court has legally declared the end of your marriage.
  • Legally Separated: When you are still married but no longer legally living with your spouse and you do not have any plans to live again with your spouse. (You cannot sponsor someone if you or your spouse is still separated from a previous partner.)
  • Married: You and your spouse have undergone a legally binding ceremony such that your marriage is legally recognized both in the country where it took place and in Canada.
  • Single: You have never been married and are not in a common-law relationship.
  • Widowed: Your spouse has died, and you have not re-married nor entered into a common-law relationship.

Keep these terms in mind when putting together your relationship letter(s) of support. IRCC wants to know as precisely as possible the nature of your relationship and your sponsored spouse and their situation in their home country – including family members, especially those who might wish to come to Canada at a later date.

But again, your support letter is really about showing officials that:

  • Your relationship is genuine
  • Your marriage is genuine
  • Your wedding ceremony was genuine and hopefully well-attended by family and friends

This is especially true if the supporting evidence is somewhat weak. What do we mean by this? Consider the following:

Factors that weaken proof of relationship Factors that strengthen proof of relationship
Recent marriage Marriage lasting at least several years
Lack of family involvement in relationship Lots of interactions with both families
Wedding poorly attended Lots of family and friends at wedding
No children The couple has at least one biological child
Have lived together for less than 1 year Have built a life together over several years

If your relationship is genuine but, for various reasons, you had a poorly-attended wedding and little family involvement in a relationship that has lasted a relatively short time, your Relationship Letter of Spousal Support will be even more important in convincing Canadian immigration authorities of the authenticity of your relationship with your sponsored spouse.

And of course, you always need to avoid making those key mistakes that will often result in delays or even outright rejection of your sponsorship application.  

In this case, you should strongly consider getting a close family member to write a letter of support to provide immigration officials with evidence that family members are aware of and approve (hopefully) of the relationship. It can be emotional, but it also has to be factually accurate. It can be in addition to a relationship letter you the sponsor also write.

Regardless of who writes it, your spousal sponsorship letter should include the following:

  • WHO - Personal information:
    • Name, date of birth of Sponsor
    • Name, date of birth of Principal Applicant (Sponsored Spouse)
    • Names, dates of birth, ages of any dependent children (Dependents)
    • Immigration Class you are applying under (Family Class).
  • WHERE - Inland or Outland: please indicate from where you are applying:
    • Inside Canada – Inland
    • Outside Canada – Outland.
  • WHY - Any issues/problems that might be flagged by IRCC should be listed with the promise you would like to deal with them as soon as possible. Do not try to hide problematic details about admissibility. IRCC will likely find out anyway. As well, remember to include helpful details in your sponsorship application, like those we mention here.
  • HOW – Describe in detail how you met and how the relationship evolved. Names, dates, places are all important. Be brief but include all the transition points in the relationship. When you first met. When you began to co-habit. When you decided to get married. When you had a child (if applicable).
  • WHAT – What was the Wedding like? Describe it in detail with dates and people who attended and the wedding party afterwards. If there was no Honeymoon give a good reason why. Lack of funds? Conflicting work schedules?
  • WHAT – What are your plans for settling together and living in Canada? This only applies when both the Canadian (or permanent resident) and the sponsored spouse are living outside Canada and are applying to come to Canada under Family Class Spousal Sponsorship. You have to convince immigration officials you will indeed settle and live together in Canada. You should include basic details about where you plan to live and where you will stay when you first arrive, as well your medical insurance, you will need until you get accepted in a provincial healthcare plan.  

Things to keep in mind:

  • Just cover these points briefly. You are writing a spousal sponsorship letter, so you only have to show you have thought about how you and your sponsored spouse will settle in Canada.
  • If you are not the sponsor, then these last points do not need to be covered in your letter of relationship support. In that case you the sponsor should write your own letter of support where you do cover your plans to settle together in Canada. Remember, honest and accurate details in your spousal support letter are what will help convince immigration authorities that your relationship is genuine.

Check out our outline for writing a support letter below for more details.

  • If you are not the sponsor writing the letter what is your relationship to the couple? Family? friend? How long have you known them? How did you meet?
  • Do you care about their relationship? Does it matter to you? As we mentioned above, show some emotion, but be factual. Give a sense of how the couple relate and live their lives together.
  • Your contact information so immigration officials can get in touch if they need to.

Call us at 1-866-760-2623 / (+1) 416-962-2623 or [email protected]

 

Letter of Spousal Support - Outline

Here’s an outline of how to structure a Letter of Relationship Support, in case you aren’t familiar with Canadian norms, or letter writing is not something you have much experience with.

First of all, you need to list the people involved (just like characters in a stage play) as well as what class you are sponsoring under. Go here for more information about Family Class:

 

Name of Sponsor, Applicant, Dependents, Dependents Children (if any)

 

 

Date of Birth of all the above

 

 

Citizenship of all the above and where each currently live (location)

 

Class you are sponsoring under (Family in this case)

 

 

 

Next, you need to outline the basic story of how you met your spouse:

 

 

Where did you meet?

 

When did you meet?

 

 

How did you meet?

 

 

Give dates and locations and even time of day if possible.

 

 

 

 

Then you have to explain how the relationship evolved:

 

 

When did you begin to cohabit?

 

 

What important events occurred while cohabiting?

 

 

What trips did you take together? Dates, Places, Airlines, Hotels names

 

 

What is it about your spouse that you love?

 

 

When did you decide to marry?

 

 

Most importantly, provide lots of detail about the wedding:

 

 

Where was the wedding ceremony? Civil? Religious?

 

 

When was the wedding ceremony? Day, month, year

 

 

Who was at the wedding? Names & Relation to Couple – Family? Friends?

 

 

Where was the wedding party?  

 

 

Did you know Immigroup can review and even help you write a Sponsorship Letter? Give us a call today at 1-866-760-2623 or email us at [email protected].

If you have had a child together provide detail on the pregnancy and birth of the child:

 

 

When did you find out about the pregnancy?

 

 

How was the pregnancy?

 

 

Where was the child born? Hospital/Clinic/Other, Date

 

 

When did you decide to name the child?

 

 

 

Finally, outline your settlement plans for when you are together in Canada:

 

 

Where will you stay when you first arrive in Canada? Purchase or rent?

 

 

Explain how you have researched the town or city you plan to settle in.

 

 

Explain how you have researched school (if you have a child) in your local area.

 

 

Explain how you have purchased private medical insurance for at least your first year in Canada.

 

 

Explain what work you the sponsor will be doing or is doing in Canada.

 

 

Explain what studies or work (if applicable) the applicant will be doing in Canada.

 

 

 

Finally, remember that along with your relationship support letter, your sponsorship application needs a number of supporting documents. Go here for information on your sponsorship document checklist.  

Spousal Sponsorship Application

Did you know Immigroup has been helping Letter of Support for Immigration since 2004? We want to see you succeed, so give us a call today.

Who can skip hiring a professional to help you review your application and who needs to hire one? And why?

Here is simple test, please answer honestly:

  1. I am a good writer, I have written all my life.
  2. When writing and talking I can make a logical argument from beginning to the end, and sometimes I can even change people’s mind about my argument. 
  3. I can follow instructions and filling out detailed application forms doesn’t bother me. With a little research I can even grasp government jargon.

If you agreed with all three of these statements, you can simply follow this article and you can skip hiring an immigration professional (again assuming your case is strong, and the application is thoroughly completed).

If on the other hand this are not your strong points in your skill sets, don’t worry about it, just reach out to someone that can step you through the process. We are just a phone call away, 1-866-760-2623 or email us at [email protected].

Have you ever seen a Sponsorship Appeal? This is what happens when applications are refused as we explain here.

It just happened to the cousin of our colleague’s wife. Her husband failed the interview. Here are some facts of that case to consider:

  • The relationship is genuine, and they even have kids together.
  • Unfortunately, the husband who is from Asia, was extremely shy at the interview and it appeared as an aloof and potentially dishonest demeanor to Canadian immigration officials.
  • Now they are filing a Sponsorship Appeal,
  • Click here and to find out more about this example of these kinds of frustrating situations.

Need help with your Sponsorship Application? Click here to learn more

 

Additional Resources:

Must Read

⭐⭐⭐Sponsorship: Do it yourself course/in-depth tutorial⭐⭐⭐

Common mistakes that could cause your spousal sponsorship application to be returned

Family sponsorship application document checklist

The Basics

When to do overseas vs. inland spousal sponsorship application

Common law partner vs. conjugal partner

Income requirement for Canadian spousal (and other family) sponsorship applications

Sponsoring a spouse with dependent child FAQs

How to prove a common law relationship

Sponsoring a spouse to Canada

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Nationality

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