Am I a Spouse, Common-law or Conjugal Partner? | Spousal Sponsorship

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So you want to sponsor the person you love what do you need to determine now? You might have questions such as; does Canada recognize my relationship as being a marriage? Or am I in a common-law relationship? You may also want to know whether your conjugal partner could be sponsored or if your same sex partner could join you here in Canada.

In Canada, there are three types of recognized relationships; a marriage, a common-law relationship, or a conjugal relationship.

A spousal sponsorship is probably the most straightforward of the three. As long as your marriage is a legally valid civil marriage, you may sponsor your opposite sex or same sex spouse. This being said, not only does the marriage have to be recognized under Canadian law, it must also be recognized by the place where the marriage occurred.

What does this mean for same sex couples?

There are still two other classes to look at.

You may sponsor your common-law partner, regardless of the sexual orientation of your relationship, as long as you two have been cohabiting in a conjugal relationship for at least one year. This means living together in an intimate relationship for twelve consecutive months. Of course, allowances are given for short trips that may have to do with business or family obligations, however, these trips must be justified.

The third form of relationship to sponsor a loved one is a conjugal relationship. This relationship entails that you and your partner, whether in a heterosexual or homosexual relationship, has been in a personal and intimate relationship for one year, however, due to circumstances, you two have not been able to live together. This class was created for couples facing barriers that could not allow them to legally marry, but in all other aspects, their relationship is similar to those in a marriage or common-law relationship.

Although defining the relationship seems straightforward, there are various factors that affect the success of an application. For instance, certain provinces may define relationships differently, which may alter your application, the types of evidence needed to prove a relationship, and the application process itself.

At Akrami & Associates, we help our clients every step of the way. Give us a call and let one of our experienced legal professionals assist you.