Express Entry and Your Family: Proving You’re Related

Published on: May 8th, 2023

The Canadian immigration system understands the importance of keeping families together. For this reason, Express Entry applicants may include their family members in an application for permanent residence.

When applying for permanent residence with your family, there are certain documents that are required to prove that you’re related.

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Express Entry applicants can bring their spouse or common-law partners and dependent children with them to Canada. In order to accompany you, they must be marked as dependent on your Express Entry application. It doesn’t matter whether or not these family members are planning on accompanying you, they must be documented on an Express Entry application either way.

Dependents and Express Entry

Applicants must provide proof of their relationships as part of their applications. This proof usually means legal documents that show relation. For example, marriage certificates will prove spousal relationships. The marriage certificate must show that the marriage was legal in the country where it was performed and would be legal in Canada.

For people in common-law partnerships, detailed evidence of a relationship will be needed. The applicants need to include a form declaring their common-law relationship. This document is provided by IRCC. The couple must also prove that they have lived together for at least 12 months. Utility bills, housing leases, and bank account documentation can be evidence of this.

If you have dependent children you also need to prove their relationship to you. For biological children, a birth or baptismal certificate is accepted by Canadian immigration officials. Some families who used surrogacy or other assisted reproduction methods may need to also provide documentation of that. Additionally, documents proving legal adoption are necessary if you adopted any of your dependent children.

Keep in mind that in addition to the legal documents to prove that you are related to your dependents, you must also prove that you can support them. In the Express Entry process, you will be required to prove that you have the funds to support yourself and your family members. Bank statements showing your financial assets, for example, are a great way to prove this. You also might have an easier time if you have a job offer in Canada.

Points for Your Spouse or Partner

Including your spouse or common-law partner on your Express Entry application could boost your CRS points. Spouses can gain points for education, work experience, and language skills, which may have a positive impact on your score.

It is also possible that your spouse or common-law partner could have a stronger application than you. In that case, you should consider having them as the primary applicant for Express Entry.

Marriage During Express Entry

While marriage is undoubtedly a time to celebrate, it may leave you confused about what it means for your immigration status. If you are going through the process of getting married during the Express Entry process, it is important to note that it is essential to inform the IRCC. This is because the Canadian government will need to know of any updates regarding your family composition and evaluate for admissibility. Your admissibility depends on your spouse’s admissibility as well. As a result, this is a mandatory step that you must complete regardless or not if your spouse will not accompany you to Canada.

Just as with couples who got married before applying for Express Entry, it is essential to save important documents to file with your application such as a valid marriage certificate. Once IRCC is notified of the new marriage, they will update applicants on what further steps will be taken regarding their application and additional documents.

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