How to Qualify as Common-Law Partnership


How-to-Qualify-as-a-Common-Law-PartnershipHow to Determine Whether You Qualify as Common-Law Partnership

In order to determine whether your relationship qualifies as a common-law partnership, you must assess whether you meet the eligibility requirements as per Immigration Canada. Many individuals in relationships may have misconceptions as to what a common-law partnership entails and what is required to be in a common-law relationship. It is extremely important to recognize an acknowledge what a common-law partnership is defined as prior to applying for this type of family class sponsorship. Therefore, in this article, I will address what a common-law partnership means, how to qualify as a common-law partnership, and much more.

What Does a Common-Law Partnership Mean

According to Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC), a common-law partnership is defined as a couple living together continuously for a minimum of one year without long periods of time of not seeing each other. Keep in mind, either partner may have left the cohabited home for work, travel, family obligations or other reasons; however, it is important to note that the separation must have been temporary and they had every intention of returning shortly after.

To qualify as a common-law partnership, you can be either in an opposite-sex relationship or a same-sex relationship. Both types of relationships are recognized by CIC.

How to Qualify as a Common-Law Partnership

Although, it has been mentioned previously, I will explain in detailed points the necessary requirements that you must abide by in order to successfully qualify as a common-law partnership. Therefore, in order to qualify as a common-law partnership, you must:

  • Be cohabitating with your partner continuously for at least 1 year
  • Have only left your partner for short periods of times for specific reasons
  • Must prove that you & your partner have combined affairs and share a household together

Thus, if you meet all of the aforementioned requirements then you may qualify as a common-law partnership. Furthermore, in order to prove your common-law partnership, there are specific documents and information that you must provide to Immigration Canada. Essentially, these documents and information will prove the genuineness and realness of your relationship with your common-law partner.

Documents Needed to Prove your Common-Law Partnership

As aforementioned, there are documents and information that must be provided to Immigration in order to prove the genuineness of your relationship with your common-law partner. Some of these documents are required and others are supporting documents to make your application much stronger. Therefore, if you can provide all of the following documentation to Immigration, then you will have higher the chances of a successful common-law sponsorship application.

The documents that will demonstrate the genuineness and validity of a common-law partnership are:

  • Joint bank or credit card accounts
  • Joint ownership, lease agreements or rental agreements
  • Joint utility bills, such as telephone, gas or electricity
  • Joint management of household expenses
  • Joint purchases for the household
  • Mailed correspondence that show both partners living at the same household

Supporting documentation that can prove the genuineness of a common-law partnership are:

  • Gift receipts of gifts exchanged between the partners
  • Exchanged correspondence, whether through mail, Facebook, Whatsapp, etc.
  • Photos of the partners together from different points in their lives
  • Any other documents that you think will benefit the application and prove that the partners’ common-law relationship is genuine

It is extremely important to note that these documents will essentially prove the genuineness of your relationship together and prove to Immigration that your relationship is, in fact, marriage-like, but will also prove that the two partners live together. Cohabitation is an essential component to proving a common-law partnership and, therefore, the more documentation you can provide to Immigration demonstrating that both partners live together, the better. Additionally, you must also acknowledge the dates of the mailed correspondence to align with the dates of your cohabitation, making sure that they are from at least one year.

How Can I Sponsor my Common-Law Partner

If you have determined that you do qualify as a common-law partnership and you would like to sponsor your common-law partner to Canada as a permanent resident, it is essential to see whether the Canadian sponsor is eligible to sponsor in the first place. This is the first step to seeing whether you can sponsor your common-law partner.

In order to be eligible to sponsor your common-law partner to Canada, you must:

  • Be at least 18 years of age or older
  • Be a Canadian citizen, a registered Indian or a permanent resident of Canada
  • Reside in Canada or provide evidence that you will intend on living in Canada should your partner gain permanent residency
  • Sign an undertaking with your partner committing to be responsible for and support your partner with basic needs for their time in Canada

The moment you sign the undertaking to sponsor your common-law partner is the moment where you commit to be financially responsible for them and their basic needs while in Canada. This is a very big commitment and with it comes many responsibilities and conditions. The basic needs that you must provide to your common-law partner include health care, such as dental care and eye care, as they would not have access to the public health care system. Additionally, you must provide them with financial support and they should not rely on the government of Canada’s social assistance. If they do, then you are required to pay all funds back to the government of Canada. Therefore, it is very important to recognize and understand all of the responsibilities and conditions that come with sponsoring your common-law partner to Canada prior to applying.

Contact Akrami & Associates

It is essential that you have taken all of the aforementioned factors and information into consideration, if you intend on applying to sponsor your common-law partner to Canada for permanent residency. If you want to apply for a common-law sponsorship, it is extremely important to note that these are difficult applications to pursue on your own. It is highly recommended that you seek out professional and experienced help prior to submitting the 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.

With Akrami & Associates, there is always a way!