At Green & Spiegel, our Senior Associate, Khatidja Moloo-Alam leads the litigation team. Our litigation team handles several types of hearings and appeals before the Immigration and Refugee Board, as well as in Federal Court. One of the most common types of cases we work on is Spousal Sponsorship Refusals. This can be an extremely stressful time for families. Many cases are refused simply because the application was not properly prepared in the first place. From our experience, we have found the following top five reasons are why a Spousal Sponsorship is refused.

#1 – Not enough evidence about your relationship

Spousal Sponsorship applications are based on the relationship being genuine. It can be difficult for an individual to look at their own relationship from an objective perspective. The officer adjudicating the application reviews the genuineness of the relationship based on the evidence provided. Missing crucial aspects of your relationship can result in a negative outcome of your spousal sponsorship application. Officers must be satisfied that a genuine relationship exists.  Providing sufficient evidence to support this is a crucial aspect to the applications. Visit a list of all required documentation of evidence of relationship.

# 2 – Questions raised about the wedding

You are asked to submit photographs as proof that your relationship is genuine. A very popular and important aspect of these photos is the wedding. The officer will review the photos to determine who was present at your wedding. Failure to show that your friends, family, and other guests were present at the ceremony can question the genuineness of your relationship.

#3 – Questions raised about the relationship breaking traditional and culture norms

The officer assessing the bona fides of your marriage are required to take into consideration the cultural context within which the marriage took place. The practice of arranged marriages does not in itself call into question the good faith of the spouses as long as the practice is customary in your culture. Previous decisions have noted that the genuineness of a spousal relationship must be examined through the eyes of the parties themselves against the cultural backdrop in which they have lived.

#4 – Previous sponsorships that are not explained properly in the new application

Evidence of a prior marriage for immigration purposes, in and of itself, does not generally provide a sufficient evidentiary basis for finding that a subsequent marriage is likewise one for immigration purposes.

#5 – Your forms have discrepancies on them

Spousal Sponsorship forms are constantly being updated with new versions being released every one to two months. Submitting an outdated form will result in a refusal. Additionally, there are various forms to complete based on your location of filing, previous marriages, marriages less than two years, children from previous marriages, and common-law relationships. Failure to submit the correct forms will likely result in a refusal.

How can we help?

We understand how devastating a spousal sponsorship refusal is on your family. We will work together to provide you with a favourable outcome on your immigration matter. Our team is friendly and smart and will work hard to get you the decision that you deserve. You can rest easy knowing that by choosing Green and Spiegel, you are in excellent hands.

If you have any questions or need assistance with your spousal sponsorship application, please contact our office. 


  • Khatidja Moloo-Alam

    Khatidja is a Senior Litigation Associate with the firm and handles all types of hearings/appeals before the Immigration and Refugee Board as well as in Federal Court. In addition, Khatidja takes files pertaining to criminal inadmissibility and assists clients with the preparation of an Application for Rehabilitation or for a Temporary Resident Permit. Prior to joining Green and Spiegel, Khatidja was Counsel with the Department of Justice, Immigration Law Division. Khatidja also works with the Ontario Justice Education Network, a non-profit organization that provides legal education programming to youth who are vulnerable and marginalized.

  • Madison Kelly

    Madison Kelly is an Associate at Green and Spiegel LLP in Toronto. Madison assists clients with all aspects of immigration law in Canada and the United States.

  • Green and Spiegel LLP Barristers and Solicitors

    Green and Spiegel is Canada’s largest and oldest immigration law practice with nearly 60 years of experience assisting a diverse global clientele. We are headquartered in Toronto, Canada with U.S. offices in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Providence, Rhode Island and Vail, Colorado.

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