Common-law Sponsorship is an option for permanent residency for a Canadian citizen or permanent resident’s common-law partner. These couples are unique in nature as they have not married one another and don’t legally have to in order to qualify under this specific category of the Family Class Sponsorship. The most important requirement in order to be eligible for this category is that the couple must cohabitate together for a minimum of one year in a marriage-like commitment. As a result, Canadian Immigration thankfully recognizes these types of unions; however, it can become quite challenging for them to qualify them as a genuine relationship due to lack of marriage. Therefore, in this article, I will explain how Common-Law Sponsorship works in Canada and how to properly qualify under this specific category of the Family Class Sponsorship.
What does Common-Law Sponsorship Entail
As previously mentioned, the most important aspect of the Common-Law Sponsorship application and in order to be eligible and qualify is ensuring that you and your common-law partner have been continuously cohabitating for at least one year in a marriage-like commitment. Essentially, the relationship is real and genuine and the couple treats one another like partners; the only thing that the couples do not need is to be legally married. However, it is important to recognize that in order for Canadian Immigration to consider these types of partnerships and couples, they must first believe that the relationship is genuine. In order for them to assess this, the couple must provide sufficient supporting documentation and information with regards to their relationship with their partner. Thankfully, Immigration Canada prioritizes family reunification and, as a result, also recognizes common-law partners. Conclusively, common-law partners who are Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada can then be able to sponsor their common-law partner to immigrate to Canada permanently.
Other important factors that must be considered when applying for a Common-Law Sponsorship is making sure that the couple has combined affairs between one another. They must also be dependent of each other.
Eligibility Requirements for Common-Law Sponsorship
Before applying for any immigration application in Canada, the first and most important thing to do is determine whether you are eligible to apply for sponsorship and whether your common-law partner is eligible as well. Furthermore, the first step in sponsoring your common-law partner to immigrate to Canada is to determine your, the sponsor’s, eligibility.
In order to sponsor your common-law partner to Canada, you, as the sponsor, must:
- Be 18 years old or older;
- Be a Canadian citizen, a permanent resident of Canada or a Registered Indian;
- Reside in Canada permanently or demonstrate the intention of residing in Canada with their sponsored common-law partner if they obtain permanent residency;
- Have the financially capabilities of providing the basic necessities for their common-law partner;
- Not be inadmissible to Canada;
- Sign an undertaking agreement that outlines their commitment of responsibility for and to support the sponsored common-law partner with basic needs for their time in Canada.
As the sponsor, it is very important to recognize that the moment the undertaking contract is signed by both, the sponsor and the sponsored common-law partner, the sponsor will be ultimately responsible for financially, emotionally, and in many other ways supporting the common-law partner for a minimum of three consecutive years. In other words, the exact length of the undertaking is three years time. Consequently, the responsibilities that fall onto the sponsor are very significant; therefore, the sponsor should completely understand what they are signing and going into before sponsoring their common-law partner.
The basic necessities that the sponsor must provide to their sponsored common-law partner include:
- Health Care, Dental Care & Eye Care
- Food, Shelter & Clothing
- Any other necessities they might need (not provided to them by the public health system)
To further explain what it means to provide your sponsored common-law partner with health care, dental care and eye care, the sponsor must provide them all necessities which are not covered under the public health care system. In other words, the sponsor would have to pay all health care necessities, should the sponsored common-law partner need it. It is necessary for the sponsored common-law partner not to rely on any social assistance in Canada while they are under the undertaking as this will ultimately significantly affect the sponsor. The sponsor would then have to, unfortunately, pay the Canadian government back of any debts that the sponsored common-law partner had incurred.
Once you have submitted your Common-Law Sponsorship application, a very important requirement of common-law unions is that the couple must reside together for a minimum of two years once the sponsored common-law partner permanently immigrates to Canada. This regulation had been implemented on October 25, 2012 and continues to be implemented today. Please note, this requirement only applies if you and your partner have been in a relationship for less than two years and have no children together.
Contact Akrami & Associates
Before applying for Common-Law Sponsorship in Canada, it is highly recommended that you have taken all the aforementioned information into consideration, especially if you are in a common-law relationship. If you would like to apply for a Common-Law Sponsorship, it is extremely vital to note that these are difficult applications to pursue on your own. Therefore, it is highly recommended that you seek out professional and experienced help before applying for the Common-Law Sponsorship application. Here, at Akrami & Associates, we work and have experience with many different immigration matters. We have helped many of our clients reunite with their common-law partners in Canada. If you believe that you may be eligible to apply for a Common-Law sponsorship, 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.
At Akrami & Associates, there is always a way!