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Many of our clients are surprised to learn that love is not enough when it comes to immigration. Just because you are engaged, in a common law relationship, married or even have children does not itself mean you are entitled to an immigration benefit.
From both sides of the border, Canadian and US immigration law does not necessarily allow your loved ones to immigrate and live with you just because of your relationship to that person. In my practice I often encounter couples who are together but live in different countries. They proudly show me their newly minted marriage certificates, family photos, joint utility bills etc. When I tell them that their relationship by itself will not make the cut, they look at me like a deer in headlights! How is it possible that we can’t live together? We are married! We just bought a house!
I gently tell them that their relationship to each other is indeed significant but more is needed, much more. Immigration forms have to be filled out and submitted, government fees have to be paid, immigration procedures have to be followed and supporting documents proving the relationship have to be collected. Moreover, financial information about the sponsor has to be disclosed. And the news doesn’t end there: the couple also has to have some patience before they can legally live together because there always is a waiting time for applications to be processed through the immigration system.
But for the vast majority of cases, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. After preparing all the forms and documents and waiting for the approval of the applications, families are indeed reunited. So love is vindicated at the end of the day; its just that it needs a little help when it comes to immigration to Canada or immigration to the US.
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