In a previous post I mentioned that I’ve been collecting documents since January.2012 for our immigration application. This is when I really started focusing on it, but our “collecting” started from the moment we met. Part of the requirement of Ricardo being issued a permanent residency card is that he shows we are in a genuine, committed relationship.
I am sponsoring Ricardo to move to Canada via Family Class Sponsorship for Common Law partners. We met in April.2010 and have officially been together for 2 years this May.11th (Which happens to be my parents anniversary as well… We were too busy this year, and forgot our anniversary. Which means we forgot our parents too- woops! Happy Anniversary Mom and Ness)
Since January I have been putting together as many physical documents that prove our relationship as possible. Here are some of the categories I included:
Cell Phone, Skype and Home Phone History which outlines all the calls we made to each other while I was still living in Canada. My Facebook updates that help get a glimpse of our everyday lives now. Rental Contracts for vacation units we’ve rented in Puerto Vallarta. Receipts for big purchases. Mail from our friends and family. (Thank You again to those who sent us Christmas Cards, Easter cards and letters to say hello) Utility and Bank Contract agreements with our names on them. Travel tickets including boarding passes from trips that I made as well as trips my family have made to visit us. Finally, letters of support from some of the most wonderful people we have in our lives!
I put together a complete photo story with pictures from the first day we met until present. It tells the story of how our relationship started and developed over time. 58 pages of Photos.
I arranged the application into 3 main categories. #1 Application Forms for the sponsor (Me), #2 Application Forms for the Applicant (Ricardo), and finally #3 Proof of Our Relationship.
This was our entire application the morning that it was sent.
To put this into perspective, at the tallest point it measured 4 inches!
Our application consisted of 359 pages not including the cover pages for each section. 21 pages for my forms, 82 pages for Ricardo’s forms and a whopping 256 pages that prove our relationship. I feel really confident about the proof that we have shown in our application and if we are denied based on our relationship not being genuine, I will be convinced the officer is blind.
We were eligible to send in this baby on May.1st but with my mom and sister being here the week before I didn’t have a chance to organize everything. (I would not have had it any other way, we had an amazing week!) Finally on Saturday, May.5th, we were going to send our application in. I had Ricardo sign the last few forms and on one form we came to a question that asked the dates of his previous marriage. Ricardo looked at me with a blank look on his face…
R: “Where’s my divorce papers?”
S: “Rica, you were divorced on XX/XX/XX.”
R: “Well, when was I married?”
S: “Are you KIDDING me? You don’t know when you were married? You only celebrated this 14 times…”
R: “Well, I called the governmentt office last year to get the date, do you still have that scrap piece of paper?”
S: “No I don’t have the scrap piece of paper, do you see how many papers are scattered across our house?”
R: “I need to go ask then.”
Ugh… Ricardo went to get showered while I searched the house for the scrap paper that I was pretty sure I disposed of the week prior. The divorce paper had the date the marriage was registered. However, most official documents have a registration date that is later than the actual date so we weren’t sure. We searched and searched for more papers and after 45 minutes found his marriage certificate! YES!!! Well, wouldn’t you know it… EVERY detail on that marriage certificate was as clear as day, EXCEPT the date of his marriage. I’m not even kidding you, this was our luck.
I then realized it was Saturday and the government office was closed. We couldn’t possibly obtain the date.
Finally, a brilliant idea – he calls his ex.
R: “When were we married?”
MB: “I don’t know, Why?”
R: “Because I need it for our application.”
MB: “oh, I don’t know… umm… I think it was XX/XX/12”
R: “Ok, thanks…”
R: “Babe, she said it was XX/XX/XX.”
S: “Rica, that is impossible, that is a day AFTER your registration date on the divorce paper.”
R: “Oh… Well, she was close then.”
Oh brother… I understand the Mexican culture is laid back and easy going but COME ON, your wedding day is supposed to be one of the happiest days of your life. Shouldn’t you remember it?! It left me wondering what anniversaries are like in Mexico, does the male need to call a government office each year to confirm the date of their marriage so they can plan something special for their wife? We had a few good laughs but made a pact that day that he will always remember our important dates lol.
We waited until Monday, May.7th,2012 to confirm with the gov’t office again and were on our way to DHL.
I had been waiting for this day for what seemed like FOREVER, I could not believe it had finally arrived. We packed up our life in 3 different sized expanding envelopes and waited in line at DHL.
Of course, I have to document everything with pictures – I would never leave you wondering what the DHL office looked like on May.7th, 2012 and how many people were in the line before us. =)
I told Ricardo to Kiss the application Good Luck before we sent it haha 🙂
The application weighed 5.5 pounds and cost approximately $56 CAN to send to Mississauga, Canada. The application was received 2 days later on May.9th and there it sits.
The first part of the process is to review my application and determine if I am eligible to sponsor Ricardo. (Once Ricardo lands in Canada this means I will be responsible for him financially for 3 years. Which really means, If he were to ever take advantage of government assistance, I would need to pay the government back.)
The first part is currently taking 90 days to complete. Once they have approved me, his file will be sent to Mexico City where they will then review Ricardo’s information and at that point determine if he needs to be brought in for an interview for further clarification.
The final few steps includes a federal police check request, and then they request his passport to insert his travel visa. It could take up to 16 months or longer, but I am crossing my fingers everything will be complete within 9 months. (The average a few months ago was 6 months so here’s to hoping.)
After the application was sent, we went for lunch to celebrate. We have always made a point to go out for lunch or dinner after we complete a big part of the application. It has helped to keep us sane throughout this crazy journey and allows us to celebrate our small successes along the way.
I have at times been so frustrated with the immigration journey and how much time and money has been put towards it. But I am thankful to have been able to summarize the first 2 years of our relationship into 359 pages. It was so fun to walk through memory lane and see all of our old pictures and experiences together. Something the average couple does not spend so long doing. =)
**Cross your fingers for a smooth journey for us**
*We will keep you updated.*