A danger foreseen is half avoided.
- Then, let's take a look at it...
When you begin to prepare Forms, you realize that many things you should prepare beforehand. To prove your relationship, the embassy(visa-office) give us a hint in application Forms. They ask to write about first meeting, what happend then, about travels to each other (if they were any), about living together, about who and how proposed and was there engagement, about marriage registration and celebration, how do you communicate when you are not together and was there any financial support.
You should collect every evidence to support this information, pictures about everything, bills and receipts from hotels, tickets from travels, expenses from travels, note that for airtickets you need boarding passes as well, phone bills, so every evidence about expenses that related to your relationship.
Then you need to collect receipts and other documents that evidence help that sponsor provided to his(her) spouse - this is important part. When you buy a gift - save orders-receipts and if possible pictures of the gift itself,
About pictures. Highly desirable that you have pictures with you both on it. and pictures when besides you two there are other people on it - your friends, esspecially relatives, and the very best - are your close relatives like parents, brothers, sisters.
Unfortunatelly, you can not allowed to send video discs. But you still can make a 5-10 screenshots in a form of pictures.
You should collect all these in "paper" form, so you could attach it to main documents. I mean flowers, postcards, vases and other gifts should not be sent. But pictures with all this stuff would be very good.
Why should I provide many? Who would read all this? Should I care?
- Nobody will read "all this" thoroughly, You are providing "many" not to prove, but to make it difficult to reject when they see so many evidences proving your relationship, and attached to the application to sponsor your spouse.
"How many" depends on your personal situation. There are couples who had lived together a year or two before applying (and they have evidences). Then those couples can attach less evidences. If your "history together" is shorter the you need more evidences. If there were a very small period of living together (just a one-two weeks visits) or any other aggravating circumstances, then you just have to attach everything what you can collect. There was nothing bad because of "too many" evidences, but there were real problems when there were not enough evidences. Problems can be like delays in processing, invitation to interview or even rejection of the application.
As per 2009-2010 yeares statistics: every tenth sponsorship application in Moscow is rejected, in Kiev is every fifth sponsorship application is rejected.
Here is a good comment from Forum:
Sure there are no fools in Embassy, but they do not have firm criteria as well. When the officer opens the file, she(he) initially thinks - we are all impostors. I am talking about officers who I personally contacted in Embassy. Probably not like this. When they reading the file they "collecting" evidences proving your relationship are real. And when they get them "enough" - nobody knows. That is why every paper has importance, and any "importance" can complete the creation of "enough".
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Very agree with you. About - there is no excess evidences in immigration process - 100%. Better overdo, then miss something. As about "impostors" I agree even for 200%. I started my career in bank as a loan specialist, and we been trained to do not be naive and do not believe everything what client says. So to avoid giving a loan to embezzler, or to a just not honest person. So we exactly been told: assume EVERY client as embezzler. Aassume all his (her) words as a pure lie. And only after he (she) would show you paper evidences, and they would match in crossreference verification with other documents and client saying, then you can trust this. I am sure this is exactly like this and related to all applicants, because there are many "specialists" who will photoshop everything, including passport of Nicaragua citizen. Look how many efforts required to prove for Embassy your financial level and connections to Motherland for getting visitor visa. But here is IMMIGRATION. So, once again I agree that it is better overpay couple dollars for parcel weight and spend couple more nights, describing, attaching evidences, than waiting for months after when they collecting missing info from everywhere, or nervous on the interview because the Embassy did not get enough evidences.
Here is very good description about "how many":
It is enough three-four pictures for every section :) like, here is how we met each other (3-4 pictures with her, her son, with dates), here is we were dating for half a year (3-4 pictures with dates and description who is on the picture and where is it made), here is we met after separation (3-4 pictures with her, her relatives, with dates and description who is who), here is our wedding (you can provide more pictures here :) 6-8 pictures with friends, relatives, dates, description, who is who, where and why:) ), here is our honeymoon :) also 4-5 pictures (sex is not needed :) ) but a couple pictures like, here are we in sauna, half naked would be very good! 3-4 pictures here are we after wedding still together and happy :) . And essay, and your correspondence (2-3 e-mails for each month you were separated)
That was description for document preparation for "middle" version, when couple does not have "years" of living together, but have several months. Here is description for "detailed" preparation to sponsor spouse to Canada:
After reading Forms for sponsor application we understood - how Embassy would like us to prove our relationship. Then we collected absolutely EVERYTHING what we had - starting from first chat in the Internet, then first pictures of visiting museum, then visits of cafe-restaurants (credit card statements and pictures), then all longdistance bills, concert tickets. Then money transfers. And e-mails, we attached list of all e-mails that we send each other and e-mail's text with translation - about 2-3 per month. Also we made copies from monitor screen at the end of each skype-conversation or yahoo-conversation, so it would be visible the length of talk and date - those screenshot we attached just all.
This was before marriage. Then we attached my travel for marriage - all tickets with boarding passes, then wedding itself. We made a simple wedding "at home" so we collected all receipts for food and flowers and "limo" rentals etc. We already were aware of "sponsoring", so we made a lot of pictures. We also made video and added them as well (10-20 screenshots from one video). Then I added my wife to my life insurance as a beneficiary and added this as well. Also I requested second credit card on my wife's name and added this as well.
I scaned on a computer scaner all this and inserted in a MS Word document, added comments and description for everything.
We answered in details all questions in wife's Forms, where they ask about first meeting and similar, about 10-20-30 pages for every attachment. (All together about 130-140 pages). We wrote those from wife's view, and attached documents that belongs to her. Then we wrote another essay from sponsor's view and attached it as well, and added here all my documents (statements from my credit cards, longdistance calls), we described same what was in my wife answers one more time, just we got it bigger - about 240-250 pages.
Then we printed those MS Word documents, it were a very accurate and thick packs. So all the evidences were simple, NOT notarized copies, and originals my had in a special bag, so if they invite her to interview, then she could show them any original receipt. And at the end of essay - we esspecially wrote about this.
Pay attention to (Thanks to Violetta D):
We did not have packs of evidences, we attached 20 pictures and 10 letters, we did not have huge wedding, actually nothing at all, but I got visa in a 4 months. Our attorney siad - what is important is not letters and emails, but personal communication and personal meetings at least 1 month and preferably before the wedding. [SC: Personal - here is face to face, not remote]
Every page that you attach to the official Forms to sponsor spouse must have a special Header:
Petrova Marina, date of birth 12 Aug 1980 Page 1 of 12
Attachment to the form IMM 5490 SPONSORED SPOUSE/PARTNER QUESTIONNAIRE with further details.
Question 24 (page 5 of 6)
Your spouse name if it is attachment for the Form is spouse's Form. And Sponsor's name if it is attachment for sponsor's Form. Then write date of birth so we can find exact file if the page fall out of the package. On the right side - number and total pages in the attachment. On the second line - what Form is this belong to. And on the third page - what question it belongs to, and on what page of the Form.
Can I use stapler? Yes, you can. There is no ban on using stapler or staples, or similar in official instruction. There is the only requirement - to do NOT send pictures IN ALBUMS. So we or glue on paper, or just put into envelope and put a note on it, for example "wedding", "Reception" (svadba).
Advise from Forum:
I have one more question -
so we are collecting receipts - from bars, reastaurants and about all purchases we made together, making a copy and attach... but they all are in Russian or in Ukrainian, how they (in Missisauga) would understand whats on the receipts, were those purchases or something else??
Personally I did like this:
On a regular page (A4 or Letter size) glue on originals and wrote under description on English.
Tickets from cinema, theatre + our pictures "us together" with a movie poster on the background near cinema or theatre also glue on the page with description (on the page I made a Header - what question and Form this is belongs to).
We did the same way. We used MS Word for essay and inserted scanned receipts, pictures and other, receipts on the left and on the right comment on English. And tehre is an item in sponsor's Form, about essay and we wrote essay for this item as well. [SC: this is IMM5540, last page, last question "On a separate sheet of paper..."].
Note 2: the receipts-tickets-other we did NOT translated, just the comments were in English.
It is used quite often. Relatives or friends can write a letter addressed to the Embassy, where they mention, how they related to sponsor or spouse. And write about meeting the couple and their impression. Two-three such a letters would be a good addition to the evidences for application to sponsor spouse to Canada.
No need to notarize those letters - they are personal. Most of applicants "helping" relatives or friends to write the letter.
In the begining of the letter you can write a phrase similar to:
My friends are often asking me about my wife Marina, how is application going on, and if they can help with something. I told them that if they write letters to the embassy it might help. So they have written letters and I am attaching them to the application.
Here is a version of letter provided by Svetlana (Chebie):
Header, on the left:
First and last name
My name is this-and-this, I am a friend of ____, because we studied in the same class, of the same school ____ (name or number). I know ___ and ___ since January 2000 year. I met his(her) spouse on ____. We were together there and there (write dates and places).
I know that ___ and ___ met each other at ___(date) at ____(place). He visited her on ___(date), she visited him on ___(date) (again - dates and places. We just wrote month and year, why do friends know exact dates of the visit?)
I also know that ___ and ___ communicated a lot and were in long distance relationship, and consequently they sent emails a lot, and ___ even sold his car to pay for longdistance calls. Let them write about when was engagement, where and when was wedding, if they have been on the wedding - let them write about it - how many people, where was it.
And they must write that ___ and ___ are amazing couple, who can not live without each other, and they be a beautiful family and parents etc and etc.
At the end they should write: if you have any questions feel free to ask.
Telephone home, mobile:
Here is one more example in English, thanks to Yuriy (Podushkin):
November 25th, 2009
Dmitry and Natasha
To whom it may concern:
Alex Boyko is our family friend for more than five years. We know each other and often get together for a party, or for outdoor activities, or just for cup of coffee in a lunch break.
Alex Boyko and Marina Semenova invited my wife Natasha and me this January to visit their home at Steels Ave. We, my wife Natasha and me, were very welcome. Alex introduced us to each other. We had a really good time in a friendly home. Marina cooked homemade food. Eating tasty food, chatting, laughing and watching musical show programs on Russian TV we enjoyed the evening together. Alex played guitar and we sang old good songs. Alex and Marina looked like a married couple who love each other and lived together for a long time. We really enjoyed this friendly warm family atmosphere.
Later we have visited Alex and Marina a couple times more. Every time when we visited them Alex and Marina were all the time together and happy to meet friends.
If you have any questions please contact us at:
Dmitry and Natasha