Who is considered a Common Law Partner




Common Law Partners

Common-Law Partners are partners that have continuously cohabitated together for a period of 12 months and at the same time have strong relationship commitments aside from just physical relationship. So just living together with your partner does not mean you are automatically considered common-law partners. There are many supporting documents the partners need to show to demonstrate they are not just roommates but life-long partners.

Common Law versus Marriage Relationship

Common law partners are individuals that have lived together in conjugal type relationship for period of 12 months continuously without any long periods apart. Their relationship is not only based on the physical component but rather these partners share a lot of their responsibilities like marriage type couples but they just don’t have the marriage certificate. While persons that are married their relationship exists from the day they get married and have obtained the marriage certificate that proofs they are legally married. Their marriage is legally valid until it is severed by divorce or the partner dies.

So if you are dating and thinking to get married in the future or you are living together and establishing common-law relationship it does not mean you are in conjugal type relationship. To be considered in conjugal type relationship you have made commitments to your significant other. For example, married couples they show their commitment through marriage vows, ceremony and obtaining the marriage certificate through registration. While with common-law relationship there no legal document that attest to the commitment but instead the commitment is shown through living together for a period of time. During this time the partners build intimacy and emotional ties to one another and share many things together such making decision together, purchasing property together, sharing bills, supporting each other financially and much more. All these commitments shared together demonstrate that these common-law partners have a relationship just like married couples.

How can I proof I have been living together 12 months with my Common Law Partner?

There are many documents you show to prove you have been living with your partner for 12 months and more these include:

  • Signing statutory declaration of a common-law union
  • Proof of bank accounts shared together
  • Proof of credit cards shared together
  • Proof of property you share together
  • Proof of lease shared together
  • Receipts of shared rental
  • Proof utilities shared together such as electricity, gas, phone bills
  • Proof of household expenses you share together
  • Proof of mail address shared together
  • Proof of important documents that get sent to the same address such driver license, health card, insurance policies
  • Any other documents you feel it shows you been living together

Remember you do not need to provide every single document to proof you been living together but the more you provide the better it will be for you. Also, make sure you have copies of all your documents because Citizenship and Immigration Canada will not return your documents. Also, you cannot send videos, CD as documents because they will not be looked at. When sending document make sure you check out if you need to send originals or photocopies.

What are my Responsibilities as Sponsor

When you decide to sponsor your spouse or common-law partner to Canada you would have to meet certain obligations as a sponsor. One of these obligations include signing an undertaking, what this means you promise the government of Canada that you will financially support your spouse or partner to Canada and their dependent children if applicable. When you sign the undertaking you are telling government of Canada that you promise to take care of these persons getting sponsored.

As the sponsor you are responsible for their basic needs which includes:

  • Providing them food
  • Providing them clothing
  • Providing them shelter
  • Providing them dental care and other health needs that is not covered by public health

You have to keep in mind that signing an undertaking is a serious matter and you need to think about it before signing. Many individuals sign a contract and they think they can get out of it or they will not be responsible for these sponsors. Should you get divorced, separated or your relationship breaks down you cannot cancel the undertaking. You are responsible for them even if your financial situation is not good. Let’s you get separated from your spouse or partner and you decide not to support them financially anymore, the government of Canada will ask you back all the money they have supported the sponsors with. For example, if your sponsors go on social assistance such as welfare, you have to pay back the government all the money that was paid during your undertaking period.

How long is the Undertaking term for Sponsor?

If your relationship fails, you are responsible for your spouse, common law partner and conjugal partner for a period of 3 years. If they have dependent children you are responsible for the dependent child that is over 19 years of age for a period of 3 years. If the dependent child is under 19 years of age you are responsible for them for a period of 10 years or until the child turn 22 years, whichever comes first.

Can my Spouse or Common Law Partner Work in Canada

Yes, your spouse or common-law partner can work in Canada but they may need to apply for a work permit. Your spouse or partner may eligible to apply for an Open Work Permit. The Open Work Permit allows you to work for any employer and accept any job. Depending on your situation your spouse or common law partner may have to apply for a work permit that is employer specific. If that is your situation, the employer goes through a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) . What this means the employer has to put efforts to hire a Canadian citizen or Permanent Resident prior to hiring a foreign worker. Once the employer gets a Positive LMIA the foreign applicant can apply for the work permit. To find out if your spouse or partners employer needs to go through an LMIA process then contact Akrami & Associates today.

Need help with Sponsorship Application? Contact Akrami & Associates

Looking to sponsor your spouse, common law or conjugal partner to Canada? Confused or overwhelmed with the application process? Contact Akrami & Associates today to help you submit a strong application for approval. Akrami & Associates has submitted many successful sponsorship applications and we can help you too. Call us today at 416-477-2545 to get your application started today.

With Akrami & Associates there is always a way!!