What is a Common Law Relationship
A common law relationship is not a marriage, nor is it regarded as a marriage in the eyes of the law. According to the (IRCC) or immigration, refugees and citizenship Canada a common law relationship is outlined as a relationship in which you are not legally married to each other or anyone else, both parties have to be18 years old or older, is of the opposite sex or same sex as you and you must have lived together for at least one year without any major separation. That means you have been living together continuously for one year, without any long periods apart. One of you may have left the home for work or business travel, family obligations, and so on. That separation must have been temporary and short.
What is a Common law sponsorship?
A Common Law Sponsorship is a process in which an individual living in Canada can sponsor their common law partner for permanent residency; on the condition that they have lived together in the same household for at least one year or more. This type of application is similar to Spousal and Conjugal applications but the main difference is that with common-law sponsorship you have to prove you have lived together for a period of 12 months consecutively. This is done through providing ample documentation that shows you have cohabited together with your partner.
How can I Prove Cohabitation for Common Law Sponsorship
In order to convince the immigration officer that you and your common law partner are in fact common law partners instead of two individuals using this application as a way to illegally immigrate into the country there are a collection of documents that should be brought forth to the officer at the time in which you wish to apply for common law sponsorship. For example any shared bank statements, utility bills, and/or credit cards as well as any mail, identification documents, drivers licenses and/or insurance policies that will prove to the immigration officer not only that you live in the same house but that you have joint finances as well.
Are my Common law partner and I eligible to apply for a Common Law Sponsorship?
Those who have committed certain heinous crimes, such as an offence of a sexual nature, a violent crime, or an offence causing bodily harm against a family member will not be eligible to apply for a common law sponsorship. If you have a past offence on record and not sure if you qualify to sponsor then consult with immigration representative what type crimes can potentially ban you forever to sponsor a loved one to Canada. Another thing that immigration officers look for when determining ones eligibility for common law sponsorship is ability to meet previous terms set out by the IRCC in regard to a past sponsorship agreement. If one has defaulted on their past sponsorship agreement then the Canadian government may not allow you to apply for another one. For example, if you sponsored a previous common law partner and your relationship failed and your partner decided to go on welfare you owe the government money for everything that was given to her. If you fail to provide all the money owed to the government than you cannot sponsor until everything been cleared. Furthermore, any discrepancies in ones ability to pay child support or alimony as well as receiving government compensation for reasons other than a disability are all grounds for a potential sponsor to be denied.
Can I Sponsor my Common Law Partner if I have Past Criminal Record
If you like to sponsor your common law partner but they have a criminal record they first have to overcome their inadmissibility issue prior to submitting sponsorship application. If the offence occurred within Canada the applicant has to get a suspension record previously referred to as pardon. If the offence occurred outside of Canada they can apply for criminal rehabilitation and wait about 8-12 to get a decision on their application. Depending what your offence was on record, what imposed on you, how you got on record determines your eligibility to apply for criminal rehabilitation. Depending on your unique situation you may either have to wait 5-10 years before being eligible to apply for the criminal rehabilitation. When submitting the criminal rehabilitation application you have to show
- How many offences you got on record which can be done through providing FBI clearance, state clearance
- What was imposed on you and what you served for it this can be done by providing court dockets
- Providing reference letters from friends and family
- Personal statementWhat writing your personal statement ensure to demonstrate remorse, regret and growth to prove that you are rehabilitated can also be a deciding factor in the Canadian governments choice to either deny or accept your application to become a common law (or otherwise) sponsor.
Who does not qualify under Common Law Sponsorship?
- If the sponsor is under the age of 16
- If the sponsor is in a bigamy or polygamy relationship
- If the sponsor has an existing undertaking to support because of a past sponsorship
- If the sponsor’s family is unwilling to be examined
Is there any required documentation when applying to become a common law sponsor?
Yes, there are many documents required when submitting a common-law sponsorship application. See below for some documents you can expect to include:
- Forms for the sponsor (sponsorship agreement and undertaking, sponsorship evaluation or financial evaluation, use of representative if applicable, copy of government fees paid, statutory declaration of common-law union).
- Forms for the person getting sponsored and their family members ( generic application form for Canada, additional dependents/declaration, schedule A-background or declaration, spouse/partner questionnaire, additional family information, use representative if applicable.
- Supporting documents for sponsor (identity documents such as passport, PR card, birth certificates etc)
- Marriage certificate
- If you were married previously proof divorce/annulment/death certificates
- Relationship documents
- Notice of assessment
- Police clearance
- Medical examination
- Proof of cohabitation
Are there any financial requirements when applying to become a common law sponsor?
No, although sponsoring someone to become a permanent resident in Canada doesn’t come with any financial requirements, ones finances will be taken into consideration during the application process. Not only the amount of money one makes in a year, but also how much savings one has compiled and even how many assets can be linked back to the individual and the value of those assets. This is not done to discriminate against those with less money, but instead to ensure the sponsor is capable of supporting the sponsored person and dependents. Last thing the government of Canada wants persons arriving in Canada then depending asking for government assistance such as welfare.
Contact Akrami & Associates
If you are looking at sponsoring your spouse or partner to Canada but not sure if you meet the requirements or how to get the application started then contact Akrami & Associates. Our immigration experts have dealt with all areas of sponsorship ranging from spousal, common-law and conjugal sponsorship. Remember these applications may look easy but the immigration officer looks for ample documents and explanations with every document that is provided. Unfortunately, the government website does not explain what exactly they look for and many clients that have attempted on their have their application returned or refused. Highly recommended to consult with an immigration expert prior to starting contact us today at 416-477-2545 or toll free at 1-877-820-7121 for more information.
With Akrami & Associates there is always a way!!