Can a same-sex partner be sponsored?
If you were married in Canada then your same-sex marriage will be valid in regards to sponsorship of a spouse. If you were married outside of Canada then your same-sex marriage will be deemed valid if it is recognized in the country that the marriage took place.
In terms of same-sex common-law and conjugal partnerships they are deemed to be valid inside and outside of Canada in regards to the sponsorship of a partner.
What are the requirements for Partner Sponsorship?
For this as well as every other type of Canadian Immigration that is offered, there are requirements that need to be met. If you are the one that is sponsoring your partner these are some of the requirements that are expected to be met by you:
- You must be a minimum age of at least 18 years old
- You must be a Canadian citizen or a Canadian Permanent Resident that is living in Canada
- You and your spouse must have an agreement signed stating that you both understand the obligations and responsibilities
- You also must sign an undertaking that you will provide the basic requirements for your spouse (food, water, clothes, a place to live… etc)
- You cannot be bankrupt, in prison or under a removal order (this applies if you are a permanent resident) as well as there can be no charges against you for serious offences
- Cannot within the last five years have been sponsored to come to Canada as a spouse yourself
If you are the one that is being sponsored there are also requirements that you will have to meet. They are:
- You must be at least 16 years old
- You cannot be too closely related to the sponsor
It is important to remember that there could be other requirements that may be expected of you.
Are there requirements in order to prove the nature of the relationship?
There are three categories and your relationship is required to fall under one of them in order for you to prove the nature. The 3 categories are:
- Spouse- This means that you and your partner are legally married. It will be required that you show the Certificate of Marriage from the province or territory within Canada that you were married. This of course includes same-sex marriages performed in Canada too. If your marriage took place outside of Canada then it is required that it be valid under the law of the country in which it took place as well as under the Canadian Federal law. Any same-sex marriages that took place outside of Canada are not accepted for spousal sponsorship, however, an application can be made by using either the common-law partner or the conjugal partner categories IF you can prove the relationship.
- Common-law partner- This is where you and your partner must have been living together for a period of at least a year in order to prove the common-law relationship. Brief separation periods due to business or for family reasons will not be counted as time apart from living together.
- Conjugal partner- You can be classed as conjugal partners if:
- There have been exceptional circumstances that have taken place and they are beyond their control but have prevented them from qualifying as a common-law partner or spouse. An example would be, any immigration barriers or even any legal restrictions limiting divorce or even same-sex relationships.
- Or, you have had a mutually dependent relationship for a minimum period of at least one year that contains the same level of commitment as a marriage or a common-law partnership. An example of how to prove this would be; a demonstration of emotional ties and intimacy, financial closeness (joint bank accounts, joint ownership of assets or mutual financial support) and any efforts that you have made to spend time together and reunite with one another.
We have a lot of experience in dealing with sponsorships and would be glad to go over your application before you submit it. This will allow us to just make sure that you are meeting all the appropriate requirements and that everything that is needed is included.
If you have any questions or concerns regarding Family Sponsorship please do not hesitate to contact our firm and we will gladly answer anything that you need to know. We understand that this can be tricky and that’s what we are here for!