Today we run the second of a two-part series on proving to the Canadian immigration authorities that a marriage is genuine.
TO assess whether your marriage is genuine, Canada's Immigration Office will examine the following factors, which are not listed in any particular order or by weighting:
* The intent of you and your husband to the marriage;
* The beginning, evolvement, development, and duration of the relationship before your marriage;
* The circumstances of your engagement and wedding ceremony;
* Communication between you and your husband before and after the marriage;
* The compatibility between both of you, particularly from the educational, social, religious, ethnic and age point of view;
* Significant gaps in age;
* Differences in personal circumstances;
* The existence of intimate relations and the consummation of the marriage;
* Cohabitation and visits;
* Family backgrounds;
* The absence of economical or financial motives, for example, the search of a better life, being the principal reason of contracting the marriage;
* The knowledge of both of your histories and daily lives;
* Financial support and employment;
* Former marital statuses;
* Prior attempts by you to enter Canada;
* Language differences between you and your husband;
* Plans and arrangements for the future, especially if there are children involved; and
* The credibility (or contradictions) of testimonial and documentary evidence related to the relationship.
Compatibility between you and your husband, significant gap in age, and differences in personal circumstances are of particular interest based on the nature of your question. As already stated, gaps in age and differences in personal circumstances are relevant considerations.
Individuals in their 60s and 20s are at different stages of life. Let me emphasise that as a pattern of social behaviour and cultural norms, a 68-year-old is less likely to have similar social interests, aspirations, preparing for the future, raising a family, health status and concerns, leisure activities, employment status, financial priorities, spending habits, and energy levels than a 29-year-old. Therefore, your compatibility may be called into question.
However, as stated previously, age is one factor out of many factors that are considered to determine whether your marriage is genuine and not primarily for the purpose of gaining permanent resident status.
It is important that you to show evidence that demonstrates the genuineness of your relationship and marriage, which may include the following:
* documents showing joint travel, long distance phone bills and other proof of continuous communication;
* the type of communication when you are separated;
* written correspondence;
* photographs of significant events;
* money transfer receipts;
* documentation of shared responsibility of your children;
* evidence of gifts;
* joint loan agreements for real estate, cars, and major household appliances;
* joint ownership of property, and other durable goods;
* operation of joint bank accounts and joint credit cards for a reasonable period of time;
* legal obligations to each another;
* joint membership in organisations or groups, joint participation in sporting, cultural, social or other activities; and
* testimonials by your parents, family members, relatives or friends and other interested parties about the nature of your relationship and whether you present yourselves to others as partners.
For further information, visit jamaica2canada.com.
Antonn Brown, BA, (Hons), LLB, MSc, RCIC, is an immigration counsel, education agent and managing director of JAMAICA2CANADA.COM — a Canadian immigration & education firm in Kingston. Send questions/comments to email@example.com