Sponsorship of A Common-Law Partner | Common-law Sponsorship

If you are a Canadian Citizen or Permanent Resident and you want to Sponsor your foreign Common-law partner to Canada, you must ensure that you meet the requirements of your Sponsorship category.

As Common-law partners you must have to fit the definition of a Common-law relationship. Cohabitation is a critical part of being considered a Common-law couple. However, in some cases, due to unforeseen circumstances or inevitable circumstances you and your common-law partner may be forced to live apart. Not to worry! This does not mean your Sponsorship application is doomed. Given that you meet certain other requirements, you may still be able to Sponsor your Common-law partner who is not cohabiting with you currently.

Sponsoring A Common-Law Partner From Outside

Generally to be considered a common-law partner, you and your partner should be cohabiting. However, after cohabiting for one year, you and your common-law partner can live apart for periods of time without legally breaking the required cohabitation. For example, you and your common-law partner may have separated for the following reasons:

  • Armed conflict
  • Illness of a family member
  • Employment or education-related reasons

For the above reasons and similar reasons, you and your common-law partner may not cohabit at the present time.

Even if there has been a break in cohabitation, you and your common-law partner are considered to still be in a common-law relationship, if you have cohabited continuously in a conjugal relationship in the past for at least one year and the two of you intend to do so again as soon as it is possible.

If circumstances have caused you and your common-law partner to be apart for some time, then your Sponsorship application will need to include documentation that proves that you and your common-law partner are continuing your relationship long-distance. Such documentation can include:

  • Proof of visits
  • Proof of correspondence
  • Telephone calls

It is important to keep in mind that for common-law relationships, and even for marriages where the spouses are living separately, the longer the partners are separated without cohabiting, the more difficult it will be to establish that a common-law relationship or a marriage exists. This is why you and your partner must have the intention to cohabit once again as soon as possible, and you must follow through with this intention.

At Akrami & Associates, our team of legal professionals has the skills, expertise, and knowledge to put together a strong application for you that will give you the highest chance of success.


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