How to Prove Your Common-Law Relationship

Published on: August 10th, 2023

Proving the authenticity of your common-law relationship for Canadian sponsorship requires time and conscious effort. Understanding the significance of validating your bond and showcasing genuine commitment can increase your chances of successfully obtaining approval for your partner sponsorship.

Do you qualify for family sponsorship to Canada?

The Canadian government views family reunification as a cornerstone of society. This is why they offer various programs for partner sponsorship to allow couples to permanently reside in Canada. Under the Family Sponsorship context, partner relationships fall into three categories: Spousal, Common-Law, and Conjugal partners. Each category requires a distinct evaluation process and documentation in order to verify relationship authenticity.

What Is a Common-law Relationship?

There are many reasons or circumstances by which couples may not be able to marry or may not choose to do so. Fortunately, however, you do not need to be married in order to be eligible to sponsor your partner to Canada. Sponsoring your partner will enable them to obtain permanent residence and thus be able to live and work in Canada.

To be considered as a common-law partnership, you and your partner will not be legally married and must be 18 years old or older and living together for at least 12 consecutive months. This applies to couples of the same or different genders.

Common-Law Relationship vs Marriage

Although both spouses and common-law partners cohabitate, the significant difference between these two categories is that in marriage, a legal document recognized by the government of Canada or the country of occurrence is present.

In common-law relationships, however, as there is no legal proof of a genuine relationship, officers will need other forms of evidence. These could include proof of cohabitation or the duration of the relationship.

Conjugal Relationship vs Common-Law

Unlike a common-law relationship where both partners have cohabited for more than 12 months and can provide evidence, a relationship is considered conjugal when the couple has not lived together for an extended period.

Certain couples are unable to live together due to marital status, sexual orientation, or religious circumstances affecting them in their country of residence. This is why this category applies only to specific cases. If there isn’t a valid reason explaining why the couple hasn’t lived together for the past 12 months, the application could be refused.

Applying for sponsorship as a Conjugal relationship is only possible for couples where one of you resides outside of Canada. It is not possible to apply as a Conjugal relationship if both individuals are living within Canada.

How to Apply for Sponsorship

You can submit your common-law partner sponsorship application online. It’s important to remember that this process involves the two main applicants to fill out two applications. The first application will need to be completed by the Canadian citizen or permanent resident and the second will be for the partner who is being sponsored.

As you progress, you’ll need to complete PDF forms and provide evidence of your relationship. Make sure you understand all the fields in the required forms. Also, prepare all the necessary documents in advance to prevent delays or application rejection.

Why Proving Your Relationship Is Essential

Making sure you can sponsor your partner successfully comes down to proving that your common-law relationship is real and genuine. This means showing that your connection is more than just convenient and that you’re not trying to sponsor someone without a true relationship. It’s also important to make it clear that your relationship isn’t mainly about immigration reasons.

Recognizing why it’s so important to prove this authenticity will greatly improve your chances of getting a sponsorship application approval. When you understand this, you’re setting a strong base for your case. Immigration authorities look closely at sponsorships, so having clear evidence of a real bond is a must.

By providing solid proof, you meet the legal requirements and create a strong story that shows your partnership is real. Plus, proving you have a real common-law relationship builds trust between you (the sponsor) and the immigration officials. When you fully get why authenticity is key, you can go through the process better. This is how you show you’re following the rules of the process and making your application stand out among others. This understanding seriously boosts your chances of getting an approved application.

Validating your Relationship

Proving that you have been living together for more than 12 months, requires showing strong evidence. This could mean showing that you both own property or have a rental agreement together. Other evidence could be showing shared bills like electricity and credit cards. Having official IDs with the same address and providing evidence of shared financial responsibilities and expenses further showcases a committed partnership in cohabitation.

Also to demonstrate a genuine, lasting commitment and relationship, you can provide various forms of evidence. Sharing essential life documents like employment or insurance benefits that recognize both partners as each other’s common-law partners can signify mutual recognition. Testimonials from friends and family acknowledging the relationship also reinforce the notion of a genuine bond. Showing proof of consistent contact through messages, calls, and pictures together, contributes to the narrative of a sincere and lasting relationship.

Supporting the authenticity of your common-law relationship is essential when seeking Canadian sponsorship. The documents you attach serve as tangible evidence of your genuine commitment, allowing immigration authorities to confidently evaluate your case. By providing a comprehensive set of documents, you not only fulfill the requirements but also establish a compelling narrative that showcases the legitimacy of your partnership. This approach greatly enhances your chances of successful approval, reinforcing the credibility of your relationship and the foundation for a shared life in Canada.

Looking for guidance on your common-law sponsorship application? We can help! Get started by completing our free sponsorship assessment, one immigration expert will contact you.

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