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Sponsoring my Common Law Partner to Canada



Does your partner live outside of Canada? Are you a Canadian permanent resident or citizen, and looking to sponsor your partner to come to Canada? Are you confused about what the process entails? Are you wondering how a common law sponsorship works? If you have answered yes to any of these questions, all of your questions about common law sponsorship will be answered in this blog.

What is a Common Law sponsorship in Canada

Sponsoring your partner to come to Canada can be done through various manners. Spousal sponsorship and Common Law sponsorship are very common when it comes to requirements, processes, eligibility and others. However, the main difference is that for a common law sponsorship, there is no need for the couple to get married or be married. A common law partner can be of any sex but needs to be over the age of 18. Furthermore, in order to prove a common law partnership, it is important that the couple has lived together consecutively for at least the time period of one full year. The partners also must have not been living apart unless for short periods of time regarding family or work obligation.

What are the requirements for a common law sponsorship in Canada?

There are many requirements needed for a common law sponsorship in Canada. These might vary between the province of Quebec and the other provinces. The standard requirements for the sponsor include:

  • Having Canadian citizenship, permanent residency or Indian status.

  • You must be living in Canada if you are a permanent resident, and if you are a citizen, you must be planning (and provide proof that you are) to move to Canada once the sponsored partner obtains their legal status

  • Being 18 years of age or older

  • You must have the ability to support yourself, the common law partner, and if so, their dependent children.

  • You must prove the fact that you have lived with your partner for at least one consecutive year, this can be done through:

    • The sharing of ownership of a property

    • Joint rental agreements

    • Bills such as telephone, water, electricity showing a common address

    • Documents (such as a driver’s license) showing a common address

  • You must sign an undertaking

What is an undertaking agreement in Canada?

In Canada, an undertaking is a promising agreement where the sponsor states that they will be responsible for the basic needs of their partner and any dependent children of theirs. This agreement is valid for a period of three years. They are to pay the government back if the sponsored receives any kind of social assistance during the time period that you are legally responsible for them. An undertaking will not be cancelled even under the following circumstances:

  • Your partner obtains Canadian citizenship

  • Your financial situation has worsened since the beginning of the relationship

  • The common law partnership ends

  • One of the partners leaves the country

How do I become a sponsor in Canada?

If you want to sponsor somebody to come to Canada, there are a few factors listed below that ensure your eligibility.

  • You would like to sponsor a partner, however, the undertaking period for a previous partner or spouse has not finished

  • You have sponsored a former partner or spouse, but have not paid back any social assistance they received during the undertaking time period stated in the agreement

  • You were convicted of or threatened to commit an offence regarding sexual or violent acts, or an offence against a relative that caused bodily harm

  • You were previously sponsored by a former partner or spouse, and became a permanent resident of Canada less than five years ago

  • You are currently placed in jail, prison or penitentiary

  • You have received a removal order

  • You have not received a decision regarding the sponsorship of your current common law partner

  • You have filed for bankruptcy but have not been discharged

  • You did not follow through with any court-ordered payments, such as child support

  • You receive any type of financial support from the government such as an immigration loan or social assistance

What happens after I submit my application when sponsoring someone to come to Canada?

When you submit your application for a common law sponsorship, keep in mind that this is a lengthy process and it might take time for it to be finalized. The immigration officer has to be convinced that your relationship with your partner is truthful, and that you are not faking it in order to obtain the legal status. You must be aware of the fact that the Government of Canada might try to communicate with you due to different factors in your application such as missing documents, biometrics, and others. Since these submissions can be sensitive to time (for example, biometrics and medical exams are only valid for a certain period of time), you need to be constantly aware that you might have received communication. It is possible for this to happen via e-mail and correspondence. In addition, a medical exam must be completed for the sponsored and the family accompanying them, this must be done within 30 days of its notice. Failure to do so might result in the refusal of the application.

What are some common reasons for the refusal of common law sponsorship?

Frequent reasons as to why your common law application might be refused include incomplete applications, inability to prove that the sponsor can be financially responsible for the sponsored and their dependent kids, the inability to prove that you will be living in Canada after the sponsored obtains their permanent residency if you are a Canadian citizen, or if the sponsor is ineligible to become a sponsor due to any of the factors described above.

Contact Akrami and Associates

Common law sponsorship has may requirements, steps, and instructions to be followed, making this process long, stressful and tedious. It is easy to get a refused application if one is not properly guided and advised, as these applications are not easy to be completed. The representatives at Akrami and Associates have a wide variety of experience in all immigration matters, and they would be more than happy to help.

Akrami and Associates’ main priority is ensuring your maximum possibilities of success. Having a professional to guide and advise you is consistently recommended, and your immigration matter will be treated in a wise and professional manner. If you have any questions or personal inquiries do not hesitate to contact us at 416-477- 2545 to book a consultation.

With Akrami and Associates, there's always a way!

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