Do I qualify for Common Law Sponsorship


Do I qualify for Common Law Sponsorship and who can sponsor their family under the Family class


Spousal Sponsorship in Canada allows couples who have separated due to various reasons such as immigration barriers, financial differences, or domestic reasons, to settle down in Canada together. If you are a Canadian citizen or permanent resident then you are eligible to sponsor you

  • Spouse, or
  • Common-law or conjugal partner, or
  • Dependent children

A spouse is any person to whom you are legally married to. If the marriage was performed in Canada, then a viable and suitable certificate is to be presented as proof. If the marriage was performed outside Canada, then it must be deemed legal in the country where the marriage was performed as well be accepted legal in Canada. CIC no longer accepts marriages to be valid if both persons were not physically present in Canada, i.e.: if the marriage took place over phone, fax, proxy, or internet; an exception is made for members of the Canadian Armed Forces

For the sake of this context, our primary topic is dealing with common-law sponsorship.

Do I qualify for Common Law Sponsorship and What is Common-Law sponsorship?

You are entitled to be common-law partners if both, you and your partner, were not married; however, you have lived together for a period of at least one year in a committed and consensual relationship. Citizenship and Immigration Canada will require proof that your partner and you are common-law partners. Proof can be present through the following documents:

  • Both partners have a join bank account
  • Both partners have joint ownership of a home
  • Joint residential leases
  • Joint rental receipts
  • Joint registration of public services
  • Joint purchases of household items or others, such as a car
  • Joint payments of utilities such as electricity, water, gas, and internet
  • Mail or postage that is addressed to either recipients (you and your partner living with you) but under the same address

Should your application advance to a stage where it is under review by an Immigration officer, you and your partner might be called for an interview. Both of you will be interviewed separately. In the interview, the immigration officer will you ask questions relating to the validity of your relationship, such as where and how you met, how did your relationship develop, and where did you two live.

If the officer believes to have doubt concerning the reliability of your relationship, he or she could ask you more pressing questions about the status of your partner which, if you were living together, you should be able to answer.

Difference between a conjugal relationship and common-law relationship?

A Conjugal Relationship is one where both parties could not satisfy the requirements of a committed relationship such a common-law due to factors that were beyond the control of either party. Such factors include cultural and immigration barriers. If these factors did not exist then the conjugal relationship based partners would be able to have a common-law relationship.

A Common-Law Relationship is one where both partners did not have any barriers that were out of their control for them to liv together in a committed environment. Supposing, a partner refused to move to another places due to career priority; then both partners do not come under a conjugal relationship because it shows they were committed enough to compromise for each other’s needs.

Undertaking Responsibility for Sponsor 

When you sponsor for another person to immigrate to Canada, you must sign a contract called the undertaking. The undertaking shows your commitment to provide the financial necessity and support of your spouse or common-law partner’s basic requirements and those of their dependent children, if any.

Such requirement can include providing for

  • Food and water
  • Decent housing
  • Utilities such as heating, electricity, and water
  • Basic household supplies
  • Personal items such as toiletries and personal care items

You obligation and commitment to the undertaking ensures that the persons you are sponsoring do not have to apply for social assistance. The length of the undertaking will vary on the age of the applicant and their relationship to you.

Who can I not Sponsor under the Family Class?

Regardless of what relationship category you and your partner come under, there are certain individuals you cannot sponsor under the Family Class, namely if;

  • You and your partner are under the age of 18
  • Both of you have lived apart for one or are living apart exceeding one year
  • The sponsor or applicant was married to someone else at the time of marriage
  • Your sponsor applied for permanent residency but did not include you

You cannot sponsor if you sponsored another person for spousal sponsorship in the past and at least 3 years have not passed since that person became a Permanent Resident, or 5 years if the application was receive on or after March 2, 2012

If your common-law partner resides outside Canada, then you as a sponsor can sponsor your common-law partner under the Family Class. If your common-law partner resides within Canada, then you can sponsor them through the Canada Class.

Eligibility to Sponsor Spouse or Common Law Partner

To be able to sponsor a spouse or common-law partner, you must meet the applicable requirements. You may not be eligible to sponsor if you

  • Do not meet the basic requirements of sponsorship
  • Are below 18 years of age
  • Are not a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident
  • Were ordered by a Court of Law to pay child support or alimony but did not
  • Were requesting, or received, social welfare or assistance for reasons other disability
  • Were convicted of a crime of sexual nature or misconduct
  • Were convicted of a crime of violent nature, where if another person was involved, you caused physical and/or bodily harm to that person
  • Sponsored a spouse or common-law partner in the past who became a permanent resident less than 5 years ago

Eligibility for Common Law Sponsorship

You can sponsor another person as your common-law partner

  • Regardless of their sex, and
  • Both of you were living together for at least one year in a conjugal relationship. Such a relation exists when there is significant level of commitment from both sides. Partners can prove this if they live together, support each other emotionally and financially, and are known to relatives as a couple.

Contact Akrami & Associates

Applying for spousal sponsorship is a very important task, and an unsuccessful application could mean you may not get to see your spouse for an extra few months. Contact us at Akrami and Associated for assistance on what the right procedure will be for your situation.

With Akrami & Associates there is always a way!!