Unique Relationships in the Family Class

Same-sex couples access to a civil marriage was extended throughout Canada on July 20, 2005, under the Civil Marriage Act. As CIC has not yet measured the impact on this decision into a formalized set of guidelines, they have come up with an interim policy until on such procedure are in place.

This policy recognizes the validity of marriages in Canada between a Canadian citizen or permanent resident and their same-sex partner for the purposes of family class sponsorship.

Canadian citizens and permanent residents can apply to sponsor their same-sex partner as a spouse if they were issued a marriage certificate by a Canadian province or territory on or after the following dates:

  • Ontario (June 10, 2003);
  • British Columbia (July 8, 2003);
  • Québec (March 19, 2004);
  • Yukon (July 14, 2004;
  • Manitoba (September 16, 2004);
  • Nova Scotia (September 24, 2004);
  • Saskatchewan (November 5, 2004);
  • Newfoundland (December 21, 2004);
  • New Brunswick (on or after July 4, 2005);
  • All other provinces or territories (on or after July 20, 2005).

Other Types of Relationships:

Other such unique relationships exist, such as polygamists. However, relationships as these are not recognized under Canadian Law. A common-law or conjugal partner relationship cannot be established with more than one person at the same time. According to Canadian Law, the term “conjugal” implies exclusivity and a high degree of commitment and therefore a conjugal relationship cannot exist among more than two people simultaneously.

Polygamous-like relationships cannot be considered conjugal and do not qualify as common-law or conjugal partner relationships and therefore are ineligible for sponsorship. This also has implications to separated spouses who have not finalized their divorce. If you are still legally married to one person at the time of getting married to another, regardless of (for example) years of separation, this is not a valid wedding under Canadian law.

CIC also takes into account those who are unable to be in a “typical” relationship due to penal control or persecution. Persons in a conjugal relationship for at least one year but unable to cohabit due to persecution or any form of penal control may be considered a common-law couple.

It is difficult indeed to face separation from your loved one or to be fearful of demonstrating affection for another under fear of some form of punishment, whether it be legal or otherwise. All peoples across the world have the right to their own happiness. Akrami & Associates has assisted many applicants make a new life in Canada and would be happy to assist you in kind. One of our skilled immigration professionals would be happy to discuss your options.

Contact Akrami & Associates Immigration Law firm


For further information with respect to your Canadian immigration, we invite you to contact our experienced immigration representatives.

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