Discussing Common Law application: understanding eligibility and proof of cohabitation

Many individuals find the concept of common law application confusing, especially in countries where this legal status is not recognized. In such cases, people are often categorized as either married or in a boyfriend-girlfriend relationship. So, what exactly is common law, and how does it relate to immigration?

Firstly, it’s important to note that the definition of common law may vary between provinces and countries. However, for our purposes, particularly in the context of immigration, common law refers to living with your partner in a conjugal relationship for 12 months or more. This duration serves as a crucial criterion to establish eligibility.

To prove your common law status, you must provide evidence of cohabitation. Clients often inquire about breaks in their relationship and whether it affects their common law eligibility. The key consideration here is the length of the break. It’s understandable to spend some time apart, such as going on a vacation with friends for a week or two. However, if the break extends for several months, it may impact your common law status. The reason behind the break is also significant and should be reasonable.

Another common scenario is when clients mention having resided together for several years in the past but experienced a break of 12 or 13 months. They assume that their previous cohabitation automatically qualifies them as common law partners. However, it’s crucial to understand that continuous cohabitation is essential throughout the application process. Periodic breaks in the relationship may raise concerns about the genuine nature of the partnership.


So, how can you demonstrate that you’re living together?

Joint documentation, such as shared bills or property, can serve as evidence. However, it’s worth noting that some clients may face challenges in providing joint documentation due to legal or practical constraints. In such cases, there are alternative ways to prove cohabitation. The truth often speaks for itself. Officers reviewing your application will consider factors such as both partners residing in the same country, shared meals, outings, and the testimony of family and friends who can vouch for your relationship. Social media platforms with photos and dialogue showcasing your relationship can also contribute to the evidence.

Although joint documentation is a strong form of proof, it’s not the only option. If you lack joint documentation, there’s no need to worry excessively. There are multiple avenues to demonstrate the authenticity of your relationship. In some cases, an officer may request an interview with both partners to further assess the genuineness of the relationship.

To summarize, common law eligibility requires residing together in a conjugal relationship for 12 months or more. It’s important to establish a primary residence together rather than being in a situation where one partner is overseas while the other is in Canada, with frequent back-and-forth travel.

If you are in a common law relationship and seeking immigration options, we can help you gather the necessary evidence to establish the legitimacy and duration of your relationship. We will assist you in preparing a strong application that highlights the key factors relevant to your case, such as joint financial commitments, shared assets, and the nature of your cohabitation. Our expertise ensures that your application effectively demonstrates the authenticity of your relationship, maximizing your chances of a successful outcome. Click here to contact us today!


Common Law versus Marriage: exploring the distinctions and implications

In the realm of relationships, there are different ways for couples to establish legal recognition, rights, responsibilities, and navigate immigration processes. Two common paths that individuals often consider are entering into a formal marriage or entering into a common law relationship. While both options provide a framework for committed partnerships, there are notable differences between common law relationships and formal marriage in terms of legal recognition, rights, responsibilities, and the implications they have on immigration processes.


Legal Recognition:

Formal marriage is a legally recognized union that involves a formal ceremony and the signing of a marriage certificate. It is a legally binding contract that typically requires compliance with certain legal formalities and registration with government authorities. Common law relationships, on the other hand, are recognized in some jurisdictions without the need for a formal ceremony or marriage certificate. Instead, they rely on the concept of cohabitation and the duration of the relationship as the basis for legal recognition.


Rights and Responsibilities:

Formal marriage often grants couples a range of legal rights and responsibilities. These can include inheritance rights, the ability to make medical decisions on behalf of a spouse, spousal support obligations, and the right to file joint tax returns, among others. In common law relationships, the rights and responsibilities granted may vary depending on the jurisdiction. While some regions afford similar rights to common law partners, others may provide fewer protections and benefits compared to those enjoyed by married couples.

With our in-depth knowledge of Canadian immigration law, Akrami & Associates can help couples understand the varying degrees of legal recognition and rights associated with common law relationships. We provide personalized consultations to assess your unique situation and offer guidance on the rights, responsibilities, and immigration implications specific to your jurisdiction, enabling you to make informed decisions about your relationship and immigration goals.


Implications for Immigration Processes:

The implications of choosing common law relationships versus formal marriage in the context of immigration can be significant. Many countries have specific immigration provisions for spouses, granting them certain rights and benefits. When partners are formally married, they can often apply for spousal visas or dependent status, facilitating their immigration process. In contrast, common law partners may face additional requirements or limitations when seeking immigration benefits, as their relationship may need to meet specific criteria, such as a minimum duration of cohabitation.

Please note that immigration policies concerning common law relationships and marriage can vary from country to country. Click here to schedule an appointment with Akrami & Associates today to receive accurate information.

Some nations fully recognize common law partners for immigration purposes, while others may have stricter requirements or may not recognize common law relationships at all. Therefore, individuals considering immigration based on a common law relationship should thoroughly research the immigration laws of their desired destination country to understand the specific requirements and implications.

Additionally, it is worth mentioning that the legal recognition of common law relationships and the rights and responsibilities associated with them can evolve over time. Changes in legislation or court decisions may impact the legal status and benefits afforded to common law partners. It is advisable for individuals in common law relationships to consult with legal professionals familiar with the jurisdiction’s laws to ensure they fully understand their rights and responsibilities.

In conclusion, the choice between a common law relationship and formal marriage carries various implications in terms of legal recognition, rights, responsibilities, and immigration processes. While formal marriage provides a recognized legal status and a comprehensive set of rights and benefits, common law relationships may offer varying degrees of legal recognition and may require additional considerations when navigating immigration processes. Understanding the distinctions between these two options is essential for couples to make informed decisions that align with their individual circumstances and aspirations.


If you are considering immigration through a common law relationship or marriage, contact Akrami & Associates today to schedule a consultationOur experienced immigration professionals are ready to guide you through the steps involved in demonstrating rehabilitation, preparing compelling evidence, and navigating the complexities of Canadian immigration law. With our expertise and support, you can embark on your immigration journey with confidence and peace of mind.

Call us today!


𝗣𝗵𝗼𝗻𝗲: 416-477-2545 / 1-877-820-7121


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Common Law | Akrami & Associates

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