One of the most important factors of a common-law partnership is the requirement of cohabitating for a minimum of one year. This is a requirement in order to qualify as a common-law partnership. Often times, individuals are unsure of how to prove their cohabitation with their partner or what to submit to Immigration to prove this cohabitation. This is a very important and essential step to being able to sponsor your common-law partner. Therefore, in this article, I will explain what a common-law partnership entails, how to qualify for common-law partnership and how to prove cohabitation in common-law sponsorship applications, and more.
What a Common-Law Partnership Entails
Canadian Immigration defines a common-law partnership as a couple that is involved in a marriage-like commitment and has been continuously cohabitating together for a minimum of one year. It is important to note that this cohabitation must have been continuous with minimal periods of not seeing each other. These periods of not seeing each other could be because of work, family obligations, travel and many other reasons. The separation of the partners could not be permanent and must have been only for a temporary period.
In addition, the common-law partnership can be for opposite-sex relationships as well as same-sex relationships. Canadian Immigration recognizes both types of relationships for the common-law partnership.
How to Qualify for Common-Law Partnership
In order to adequately qualify for common-law partnership, it is important to recognize the requirements and conditions of a common-law partnership in the first place. Therefore, the requirements and conditions of a common-law partnership are:
- Must be cohabitating for a minimum of 1 year with your partner
- Must not have left your partner for more than a short period of time
- Must demonstrate that both partners have combined affairs
- Must share a household together
If you meet all of these requirements and conditions, you will be able to qualify for common-law partnership in Canada. Additionally, Canadian Immigration will request specific documentation and information from both partners in order to more accurately prove their common-law union. The intention of submitting these documents and information is to prove to Canadian Immigration the genuineness of your relationship.
How to Prove Cohabitation in Common-Law Sponsorship
As previously mentioned, proving cohabitation with your partner is essential and extremely important to any common-law sponsorship. Without doing this, your common-law sponsorship will most likely be refused. In common-law sponsorships, the partners often support each other by providing emotional as well as financial support. Thus, in order to qualify as a common-law sponsorship, you must share a household and live in the same home. Furthermore, in order to prove that you have been living in the same household for a minimum of one year, there is certain documentary evidence that you can provide to Canadian Immigration. For instance:
- Rental Agreements
- Lease Agreements
- Joint Ownership of Residence
- Utility Bills (telephone, electricity, gas, etc.)
- Joint Bank Accounts
- Joint Credit Card Accounts
- Receipts of shared household items (furniture, appliances, electronics, etc.)
- Any Correspondence mailed to either of you at the same address
- Identity Documents that show the same address (driver’s licenses, insurance policies, etc.)
- Any additional documents that can prove cohabitation
Canadian Immigration will mostly be looking for these types of documents when analyzing and assessing a common-law sponsorship application. It is important to note that if you cannot provide some of these documents, you may still have a chance of an approved common-law sponsorship. However, it is always advisable to submit as many documents to prove your cohabitation and essentially proving your common-law partnership in order for higher chances of approval. Please note that the aforementioned supporting documents for common-law partnership are to prove cohabitation; yet, when sponsoring your common-law partner, you must also recognize that there are certain eligibility requirements that both the sponsor and the sponsored applicant must abide by.
Eligibility Requirements for Common-Law Sponsorship
In order to proceed with proving your cohabitation to Canadian Immigration, both the sponsor and the sponsored applicant must be eligible to apply for common-law sponsorship. Both the sponsor and the sponsored applicant must abide by all of the following requirements in order to apply for a common-law sponsorship. If they do not meet all of the requirements, unfortunately they will not be able to apply.
In order to be eligible to sponsor your common-law partner, you must:
- Be a Canadian citizen, a Registered Indian in Canada, or a permanent resident of Canada
- Be over 18 years old
- Be residing within Canada
- Prove that you have sufficient funds to provide the basic needs for your common-law partner and any dependent children while in Canada
You must indicate that you have the intent of living in Canada when your common-law partner obtains permanent residency in Canada. This is especially the case if you are a Canadian citizen that currently resides outside of Canada. In contrast, if you are a permanent resident of Canada that is currently resides outside of Canada; unfortunately, you will not be able to sponsor your common-law partner to Canada. You must reside within Canada to sponsor your common-law partner if you are a permanent resident of Canada living outside of the country.
Contact Akrami & Associates
It is essential that you have met all of the aforementioned requirements before you attempt to apply for common-law sponsorship. Common-law Sponsorship applications are difficult applications to pursue on your own and it is highly recommended that you seek out professional and experienced help before attempting to submit the application. Here, at Akrami & Associates, we work and have experience with many different immigration issues. We have helped many of our clients unite with their common-law partners in Canada and are now living permanently in Canada. If you believe that you may be eligible to sponsor your common-law partner, 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!