Immigration Appeals and Photographic Evidence
“pics or it didn’t happen”
The presumed ubiquity of social media, or perhaps more accurately of constantly-accessible digital photography, formed a small role in a decision by the Immigration and Refugee Appeal Board in Osman v Canada (Citizenship and Immigration). The appellant was appealing a decision which refused to approve a permanent resident application made by her spouse. Her appeal was also unsuccessful, largely on the basis on the conclusion that she had misrepresented facts in her application (most notably, that her spouse was also her first cousin). The Appeal Board also formed the view that the marriage was not a genuine one, but rather one made only for the purposes of facilitating the immigration application. There were a number of reasons supporting that conclusion, one of which was the absence of photographs:
 The Appellant and Applicant did not include any post-wedding photos with their application or for the IAD appeal. Given today’s technology, I expect a young couple (in their early 20s) to take many photos together during their honeymoon phase. When asked why they did not present such photos for the appeal, the Applicant testified that they did not take any photos at that time but did not provide a reason for not doing so.