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

Julia Hornstein
Published: August 16, 2022

If you are a Canadian citizen or permanent resident who is in a relationship with a foreign national, you may sponsor that person to join you in Canada and become a permanent resident. You may sponsor your spouse, common law partner or conjugal partner.

Sponsor your family for Canadian immigration

In order to be eligible for spousal or common-law partner sponsorship, you must be able to prove the relationship with the sponsored person is genuine by providing evidence and supporting documentation. The requirements for proving your relationship will depend on whether you have a spouse or partner.

Proving a relationship with your spouse

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) provides a list of documentation that can be used to prove your relationship with your spouse including:

  • A completed IMM 5532 questionnaire titled “Relationship Information and Sponsorship Evaluation”
  • A marriage certificate and proof that the marriage was registered with a government authority
  • Proof of a divorce if your spouse was previously married
  • If you have children in common, long-form birth certificates or adoption records that state the name of both parents
  • Wedding invitations and photos

Couples are also expected to provide documentation from at least two of the following:

  • Evidence of joint ownership of residential property
  • Rental agreement showing the couple are occupants of the property
  • Evidence of joint utility accounts (such as electricity, gas, telephone, internet), joint credit cards or bank accounts
  • Car insurance showing the couple have both been declared to the insurance company as residents of the same address
  • Government issued identification showing the same address (such as a driver's license)
  • Other documents showing that the couple have the same address (such as phone bills, pay stubs, tax records, etc.)

Proving a relationship with your partner

IRCC also supplies a list of documentation that can be used as evidence to prove your relationship with your partner including:

  • A completed IMM 5532 questionnaire titled “Relationship Information and Sponsorship Evaluation”
  • Evidence of separation from a former spouse if either person was previously married
  • A completed IMM 5519 form if either member of the couple was previously in a common-law relationship with someone else
  • Long-form birth certificates listing the names of both parents if the couple have children in common
  • Photos of the couple together

Couples must also provide at least two of the following sets of documents (or a written explanation if you are unable to provide documents from at least two of the following):

  • Documents showing the couple is recognized as being in a common-law relationship (such as employment or insurance benefits)
  • Evidence of shared expenses or financial support among the couple
  • Evidence that the relationship is recognized by friends and/or family (letters, social media information showing the relationship is public)

If the couple is living together, they need to provide documentation of at least two of the following sets of documents:

  • Evidence of joint ownership of residential property, or rental agreement showing the couple are occupants of the property
  • Evidence of joint utility accounts (such as electricity, gas, telephone, internet)
  • Joint credit cards or bank accounts
  • Car insurance showing the couple have both been declared to the insurance company as residents of the same address
  • Government issued identification showing the same address (such as a driver's license)
  • Other documents issued to the couple showing they have the same address (such as cellphone bills, pay stubs, financial statements, tax records, insurance policies, etc.)

If the couple is not living together, they need to show evidence they previously lived together for at least one year by presenting:

  • Evidence they have been in contact together via letters, text messages that have been printed, email, social media conversations, or other documents showing they have been in contact. This should be a maximum of 10 pages.
  • Evidence that the Canadian citizen or permanent resident has visited their partner via flight tickets or boarding passes, passport photocopies with stamps. If visits did not take place, an explanation needs to be included by the sponsored individual in the IMM 5532 questionnaire (Part C, question 4).

Sponsor your family for Canadian immigration

© CIC News All Rights Reserved. Visit CanadaVisa.com to discover your Canadian immigration options.

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