FAQs for Common-Law Sponsorship

FAQs-for-Common-Law-SponsorshipFAQs Common-Law Sponsorship

In this article, I will address a few popular questions and answers for individuals who are applying for permanent residency through Canada’s Common-Law Sponsorship program. If a foreign national has been in a committed relationship to a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident of Canada for a minimum of one year and have been continuously cohabitating with them, they may be able to apply under the Common-Law Sponsorship program of Canada. Common-Law Sponsorship was intended for these foreign nationals to obtain permanent residency faster and reunite with their partners. If you are in a common-law relationship and would like to apply for the Common-Law Sponsorship, I suggest you read our article on “How to Sponsor your Common-Law Partner” before reading this question and answer article. Essentially, the intention of this FAQs Common-Law Sponsorship article is meant to clarify any questions or information you would like to know with regards to Common-Law Sponsorship.

Q: For Immigration purposes, what is a common-law partner?

A: It is important to determine whether you and your partner fit within the definition of a common-law partner before applying for a common-law sponsorship. A common law partner is defined as an individual who is not legally married to the sponsor; who is of either sex; who is over 18 years old; who have been cohabitating together for a minimum of one year. It is important to note that the cohabitation must be continuous for the year and there may be gaps of temporary leave for work, family or travel reasons; however, the leave must only be for a short period with the intention of always returning.

Q: How long does a common-law sponsorship application take to process?

A: Before submitting a common-law sponsorship, it is essential to determine the processing times as this may affect which common-law sponsorship application you would like to apply to. For instance, if your common-law partner is currently living in Canada on authorized status, such as a visitor visa, they may apply for the inland common-law sponsorship. However, if they need to periodically travel outside of Canada, instead they should apply for the overseas common-law sponsorship as this will allow them to travel outside of Canada without affecting the application process. It is important to note that the processing times have effectively changed for both spousal and common-law sponsorship applications. Now, the common-law sponsorship application will be processed within 12 months which is 1 year.

Q: Is it possible to apply for a common-law sponsorship even if I am still married?

A: The specific circumstance of still being married but also in a common-law relationship can occur quite often. If you fall under this specific circumstance, this will not be a barrier to your application for a common-law sponsorship. A common-law sponsorship requires both partners to be continuously cohabitating for a minimum of one year and must also be in a marriage-like committed relationship. However, if one of the partners is still married, they must provide Immigration with proof that a divorce is emanate. Thus, it is extremely important to provide proof of this and not just state that the partner is separated from their previous spouse. If they do not provide sufficient documentation, the application can be refused. This can result in some complications as the spouse can become uncooperative which can make the divorce difficult to attain. If this is the case, you must provide evidence to show that you have attempted to dissolve the marriage entirely.

Q: How can I prove I have been cohabitating with my common-law partner for a year?

A: This is very important to determine prior to submitting your common-law sponsorship application. Immigration Canada specifically requires common-law partners to prove the genuineness of their relationship through providing evidence of their cohabitation and other supporting documents. In all common-law sponsorship application cases, Immigration officers will assess documents such as shared ownership, lease or rental agreements of residential property; shared utility bills, such as gas, telephone, electricity; receipts of purchases for the household, such as furniture, appliances, etc.; and, government documents that show the same address, such as driver’s licenses and insurance documents. Keep in mind, you do not have to provide all of the aforementioned documents if you do not have them; however, if you can provide these and more supporting documents, the chances of a successful application are much higher.

Q: Can my common-law partner work in Canada?

A: It is possible for your common-law partner to work in Canada. This entirely depends on which work permit they would like to apply for. If you are applying for an inland common-law sponsorship for your common-law partner, you may apply for an open work permit for your common-law partner at the same time as applying for the common-law sponsorship. In this case, if the open-work permit is approved, your common-law partner can work for any Canadian employer anywhere in Canada. In contrast, if you are applying for an overseas common-law sponsorship for your common-law partner, they would have to apply for an employer-specific work permit. In these cases, the sponsored common-law partner would need to obtain a valid job offer from a Canadian employer prior to applying for a work permit. For these work permits, there are multiple steps and eligibility requirements, therefore, it is best to determine whether they have met all of the requirements prior to applying.

Contact Akrami & Associates

Should you have any further questions or need further information about Common-Law Sponsorships, it is important to properly research and ask several questions before applying for one. By doing the appropriate research and asking several questions beforehand, this will ease your worries and assist you with the application process. Many immigration applications are difficult to pursue on your own and it is highly recommended that you seek out professional and experienced help before attempting to apply. Here, at Akrami & Associates, we work and have experience with many different immigration issues. We have helped many of our clients obtain permanent residency in Canada through the Common-Law Sponsorship program. If you believe that you may be eligible to apply under the Common-Law Sponsorship program, please feel free to contact Akrami & Associates at our office at 416-477-2545 for more information or if you would like to book a consultation with an immigration professional for more advice.

With Akrami & Associates, there is always a way!

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