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An Invitation Letter to My Foreign National Spouse: A Fictional Short Piece

This letter has been translated into English for purposes of clarity. Assume it is in the third language of your loved one.


Dear My Foreign National Spouse:

I am writing this letter to invite you to come visit me in Canada. I was going to just private message you or video you as usual, but I know we need to create a paper trail for our Sponsorship Application later on. Sigh, they probably won’t believe our love because our different cultural backgrounds and ethnic backgrounds and the fact I am just an ordinary Canadian. I am merely an ordinary Canadian and product of hard-working immigrant parents.

Anyways, apparently immigration loves these types of “love letters” in addition to diamond rings and fancy weddings. By the way, sorry I could not deliver on the latter two items for you.

You see, you and I were married earlier this year but unfortunately due to visa issues you have not been able to see me since then. I understand your visa was rejected three times in a row since then because they assume you will not leave Canada at the end of your authorized stay. I told then a millions times that you would, but they don’t trust my word – apparently my being Canadian, having been born here, and having studied here all my life means nothing to my country’s visa office located in your country. Apparently they believe you want to flee your home country because of the socioeconomic problems and go underground in order to be with me.

Honey, you know I need you here. I know you graduated from a great university with an MBA and that your entire family is in your home country. However, you know the situation. If I leave my job and join you, I may be able to get a work permit next week but I would not be able to practice in my field. I would have no income. You would be an unemployed new graduate. Plus, I want to raise our family here. Canada should be our home. My parents are getting old and sick too and they need me to stay here. I beg you to sacrifice for me.

I know you are worried about our future together. Last time I visited you, you told me that this long distance could not go on for another year. I know that with each passing day, your family is putting pressure on you to end our marriage. They cannot understand why you would want to go to a country that will not even grant you access to come visit or meet my parents. I know both of our parents have different religious beliefs and probably won’t even write supporting letters for us or hold a wedding for us. I think we may just have to have to get eloped somewhere. None of my friends have the financial capacity nor time to fly out to meet you. I hope Canadian immigration can understand this situation. There’s a freaking recession right now. Sorry again, about that (lack of) a diamond ring.

I promise I will sponsor you – but not for immigration purposes of course.  I also know we will have to wait at least a year and a half maybe up to three years for you to get permanent resident status in Canada. That reminds me, I hope nothing gets lost in the mail during our sponsorship process. I heard from a friend their application has been stuck in limbo for four years because they can’t reach some one at the visa office and get them this police certificate for a country they visited when they were 18 for six months. Another one of my friend’s application was refused downright. Apparently her partner in the visa office interview that there were a hundred people at their reception when there were actually two hundred and because she couldn’t remember which auntie introduced them. How can one panic and forget things so easily?

Sorry for being so negative, maybe I have just been listening to too many horror stories recently. I am sure we will be okay.v  Let’s say this fourth visa application is successful and you can come visit me. Just think of all the possibilities we wil have together in Canada. When I am working my fourteen-hour day, you can stay home to cook and clean. You can self-study English or take a short course, but not a degree program because you will need a study permit for that and no school will take you with your level of English. If I get off work early enough, we may even be able to go for a walk in the park for an hour so you can get some fresh air.

Once you are a permanent resident, remember because we were only recently married we have conditions to live together under the same roof. If you have no job and a parent becomes sick, either you come back in a few months or I will have to quit my job. By the way, do not ever think of disobeying me or leaving me, because I will call immigration and I will have you deported. Tough luck love.

You will be able to work or study in two (or was it three?) years I promise. It won’t matter that you have little on your resume since graduation. I am sure I can cover your tuition to study, in addition to our rent, and food and expenses.

Okay honey, it is getting late now. I will sleep alone again tonight. Honestly, I am so jealous of the Canadian families that can spend time together. We have missed each other’s birthdays and the last several holidays. I always see politicians on TV saying that with new changes it will be quicker and that I can sponsor you sooner. I am not sure any of them have ever spent more than a few weeks apart from their loved ones, and probably only by choice when they need some time apart on their so called recreational trips. Writing letters to you and racking up my cellphone bill face-timing you is now my only recreational activity.

I hold out hope though that if I continue working hard and making a little bit of money we can set up a decent life in Canada. The economy will get better. We will pay off the bank loan that I will need to get to support us for the next few years.

Worst case. I mean worse case. I promise I can sacrifice for you too. Canada won’t care if I am a brain drain and that I give up my profession ambitions to go to a country I have never spent more than a semester abroad in. Right?

Canada can never fully feel like my home, even though it has always been my home, without you here.


Your Canadian Spouse

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Will Tao is an Award-Winning Canadian Immigration and Refugee Lawyer, Writer, and Policy Advisor based in Vancouver. Vancouver Immigration Blog is a public legal resource and social commentary.

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