there are many common misconceptions of common law relationships. For this reason, let us first understand what common-law means for the purposes of immigration to Canada.
According to Citizenship and Immigration Canada, the government considers this (Common-law Sponsorship) to mean a couple living together for one year without any long periods of separation. Either partner may have left the home for work or business travels, family obligations, and so on. However, that separation must have been temporary and short.
You may apply to sponsor a common-law partner to Canada, of the opposite sex or the same sex. You simply have to prove you have been living with your Common-Law Partner for at least 12 consecutive months in a relationship like a marriage.
A common-law relationship ends when at least one partner does not intend to continue it.
Now that we have an understanding of what the most fundamental requirement of sponsoring a common-law partner is, we can dispel some of the other, more generally applicable misconceptions about common law relationships.
Most notably, that it falls under provincial jurisdiction and not the federal. This means that each province may have varying and unique views on what they legally consider to be a common law union. For example, in British Columbia, a couple residing together for at least two years in a common-law relationship are treated equally to those who have been legally married. In Alberta, common-law unions are called adult interdependent partners. This is deemed a common-law relationship when the couple has resided together for at least three years or has a child and lives together. Quebec, on the other end, does not even recognize such relationships.
However, for immigration purposes, we simply need to look at the Federal definition of Common Law which is explained above.
Some Other Popular Misconceptions About Common Law Union Are:
In the event of a break up, assets are divided. This is actually untrue, most provinces do not recognize matrimonial property in common law relationship
Common-law partners are not entitled to spousal support in the event of a break up. If a court determines that there were "economic consequences" to the break-up. If one person in the relationship supported the other person regularly, then that person might be entitled to continue that way of life
Children do not affect common law unions. This is a grave misconception, the presence of a child greatly affects the union of a relationship
Again, what common-law union is understood as for the purposes of immigration is different to what is considered provincially.
The main factor you will need to demonstrate in your common-law sponsorship application is that you have been cohabiting in a "marriage like" relationship for at least 12 months.
Depending on the uniqueness of your situation, there are a number of ways you can demonstrate this, as many often ask, "how do I prove I have lived with my partner for a year?"
Common-Law Sponsorship Main Eligibility Requirements
Submitting an application to sponsor your common law partner can be a stressful endeavor. Many of our clients have an easy enough time locating application forms online but have no idea where to start with respect to gathering documents Akrami & Associates will guide you every step of the way with this If you intend on submitting your application without the support of a representative, there are a couple of factors you should keep in mind
You May Not Be Eligible To Sponsor Your Common-Law Partner If You:
Did not meet the terms of a sponsorship agreement in the past
Did not pay alimony or child support even though a court ordered it
Get government financial help for reasons other than being disabled
Common-Law Sponsorship If You Were Convicted Of
An offence of a sexual nature
A violent crime
An offence against a relative that resulted in bodily harm or an attempt or threat to commit any such offences
Common Law Sponsorship Finances
Though there are no financial requirements to sponsor your spouse or common law partner, nor any preclusion therein, your finances will still be assessed. An immigration officer should be satisfied, based on your income/savings/assets, that you will be financially capable of supporting your common law sponsor in Canada. An officer may refuse you based on the fact that he feels you will be unable to maintain your undertaking or promise to be financially responsible for your common law partner for the allotted amount of time.
Common Law Sponsorship Documentation
The documentation you submit for a common law sponsorship is more intensive then a spousal sponsorship in the sense that, in addition to the other requirements, you will need to demonstrate the additional factor of cohabitation. Many people struggle with documentation in this respect as how do you show progression of time with documents? This can be remedied by submitting joint bills, for example, over the span of time. Provided they have both names on it and have the same address, submitting a years' worth of such bills is a good way to begin demonstrating cohabitation to an officer making a decision. Aside from this, your documentation should also reflect the genuineness of your relationship.
We Can Help You With Your Common Law Application To Canada!
We have dealt with hundreds of immigration cases. We have helped our clients in their difficult situations and have guided them to draft a more effective application. We can help you draft your application and arrange the required documents. A well-planned and complete application will increase your likelihood of acceptance and will save your from hassle.
If you are worried about the legal fees – Don't be! Our goal is to help everyone that is interested in immigrating to Canada. Contact us and we can provide numerous options for you. You can also purchase our very affordable Do it Yourself Immigration Kit which details everything for you. If you are still not sure, feel free to get back to us. We will review your case before you submit it to give you the best possible outcome.
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