Under the Family Class you can sponsor your spouse, common-law or conjugal partner, dependent children and your parents. For the purpose of this blog will only discuss the requirements the sponsor has to meet when sponsoring a spouse, common-law or conjugal partner.
Who is considered a Spouse?
A spouse refers to either your husband or wife. To proof your relationship as husband and wife you would need to provide a copy of your marriage certificate from Canada, or from wherever your marriage took place. The term spouse also applies to heterosexual couples, as well as same sex couples. It is important to note that the marriage must be legally recognized both by the country where the ceremony took place, as well as Canada. In addition to the proof of legal marriage, you will still have to prove that your marriage is genuine.
Who is considered a Common-Law Partner?
Common-Law are partners that have lived together in a conjugal relationship for 12 continues months this can either be same sex or opposite sex couples. You must also be able to prove that you have an established household together, for which you share the responsibilities; such as providing proof of shared property ownership, or rental agreements, combined bills, shared bank accounts, etc.
Who is considered a Conjugal Partner?
Conjugal partners are couples (either of opposite sex or same sex) who are in a permanent and physical relationship with a commitment equaling that of marriage or a common law relationship, who due to situations beyond their control, have not been able to live together. If you have been in a conjugal relationship with your partner for a minimum of 1 year, but could not marry of live together because of any of the following reasons, you may be eligible to sponsor your partner:
- Immigration barrier
- Marital status- your partner is married to someone else, and resides in a country where divorce is not permitted and/or possible
- Sexual orientation- your partner lives in a country where same-sex relationships or same-sex marriages are not permitted
- You can prove there was a circumstance preventing you from residing together, such as being refused long-term stays in each other’s country.
Please remember that the key to Conjugal Partner Sponsorship is being able to prove that you could not live together. If you had the opportunity to live together or enter into a permanent relationship such as a common-law or marriage and decided not to; Immigration, Refugee & Citizenship Canada could deny your application due to lack of commitment.
Sponsorship Requirements for Sponsor:
Although the financial aspect is pretty big when it comes to the requirements of a sponsor, there are also other things that you are going to have to meet. You must:
- Be a Canadian citizen OR a Permanent Resident that is at least the age of 18 years old
- Be physically living in Canada yourself- the exception to this requirement is if you a Canadian citizen who is sponsoring a spouse, common-law partner, conjugal partner, or dependent child. This is only an exception if you can show/prove that you have the intention to return to Canada by the time your sponsored family member lands in Canada
- Not be in prison
- Not be an undischarged bankrupt- which is where you have not been granted an “order of discharge” by a court
- Not be receiving government welfare assistance- this does not include disability
- Not be under a removal order yourself, if you are a permanent resident
- Not be convicted of a sexual offence, or any offence that is against the person being sponsored within five years before the date of the application you are submitting
- Not be in default of court-ordered support payments to an ex-spouse or child- child support, alimony
- Not behind in any payments on immigration loans- if applicable to you, and;
- Not be the sponsor, where in the past the sponsored family members received social assistance while the undertaking was in effect
What happens if you meet all the above requirements?
Well, then you get to move on to the next stage. In this stage of the process, as the sponsor you must:
- Make sure that you meet all of the sponsorship criteria, as well as the eligibility requirements
- Make sure that whom you are wishing to sponsor is a member of the spouse or common-law partner class in Canada
- Complete the undertaking and the sponsorship agreement
- Respond to the self-declaration schedules that are related to sponsorship eligibility and your relationship with the person you want to sponsor. This will include the length of your relationship
- Include your payment receipt for all of the applicable fees
- State whether or not the application should be discontinued if the sponsorship requirements are not met
- Correctly sign, complete and submit all of the sponsorship and permanent residence application forms that are required. Ensure that they all have the appropriate schedules and supporting documents attached
Do I have to prove my Relationship to Sponsor my Partner to Canada?
Yes, you are going to have to show documents that will prove the relationship between the two of you. The relationship has to be proved for spouses, common-law partners as well as conjugal partners. These documents can include:
- Marriage certificate
- Lease agreements with both names on it- it shows that you cohabitated
- Wedding invitations
- Joint bank accounts
- Insurance policies
Contact Akrami & Associates
If you are confused or unsure about a certain requirement or step allow us to be of assistance to you! Our team have the expertise that is needed in order to successfully help you with your immigration matters. The best way to ensure your application will be processed as quickly as possible is to have a well prepared application, with all of the documentation necessary in order for the processing Officer to easily determine the genuine nature of your relationship. This is where Akrami & Associates can help! Having Immigration professionals complete your application, and provide experienced guidance regarding your documents and proof can make a huge difference in the processing time of your application, as well as your chances of receiving an approval. Missing or incorrect information could not only lead to delays, but it could also lead to refusals, or misrepresentation. When it comes to sponsoring the person you want to spend your life with, it is best to work with an experience firm like Akrami & Associates, who will give you the best chances of success possible.
With Akrami & Associates there is always a way!!