Today I received my FBI clearance letter. As expected, it indicates that I do not have an arrest record in the United States.
With that I’m just waiting on two documents at this point: two support letters from family members (basically saying they know about us, all in support of our relationship being genuine.)
I’ve also been digging around on my computers and found some very useful material – including chat logs dating back to 2008 – nearly nine months before I even filed for permanent residency the first time around.
Of course, marriage fraud is a serious issue in Canada. I try to look at this objectively, however: most of this fraud is economically driven. In my case, my work isn’t tied to my location. So, from an objective perspective, the typical reasons that one enters into an immigration marriage don’t really make much sense here. Regardless, there are a couple of red flag issues: age difference, income difference and my prior rejection all being the big issues.
I’ve tried to address these issues. The first two are facts: the question is whether or not they undermine the legitimacy of my relationship with my spouse. I maintain that they don’t. First, it’s not as if we jumped into this instantly. We started talking back in the fall of 2008, and while we bumped into each other on the street in November 2008, it wasn’t anything more than a fleeting encounter. We didn’t actually meet until early June 2009.
So, finding chat logs and e-mails that substantiate this help demonstrate that there are some “legs” on our relationship. Then we throw in joint bank statements, our apartment lease, car papers (joint ownership, loan in both our names) and my take is that we have a reasonable argument for a legitimate case.
I’ve read some cases online where people are worried about this as well (one couple had been married for six years and had two children together – to be honest, I cannot fathom how an immigration officer could look at that and think it wasn’t authentic!) So I recognize that it’s easy to over-analyze these things.
Thus, my approach: step back from it and say “given all the evidence, does this look like a reasonable evolution of a relationship?”
We will find out soon enough. My hope is to submit this package in early March, when I return from my next trip.