When it comes to common-law sponsorship in Canada there are many misconceptions that should be clarified. To help demystify these misconceptions let us begin by defining what a common-law partnership is, as stipulated by the Canadian government
Common-law refers to a couple that has lived together, without any significant time spent apart, for at least 12 months. Next, in Canada it is currently legally permissible to try and sponsor a common-law partner of either the opposite or same sex. However, you will still be required to provide sufficient documentation to prove that you and your common-law partner have been living together, within the same residence, for at least 12 consecutive months with minimal disruptions.
There are also many factors to consider that may make your claim for common-law sponsorship invalid. For instance, failing to meet the terms of an agreement in the past may be sufficient to deny your claim. Failure to pay child support and/or alimony, despite court mandates, is another invalidating criterion, as is obtaining financial assistance from the government that is not due to a disability.
Other ineligibility factors to consider include being convicted of a violent crime or sexual offense, or any attempt or threat to inflict bodily harm towards a relative. In regards to finances there are currently no financial prerequisites required to sponsor a common law partner to Canada. However, your financial assets will still be assessed by an officer. While this may seem like an invasion of privacy, the reason sponsorship officers do so is to help determine if you are financially stable enough to support your common law partner.
As for common-law sponsorship documentation, the number of documents required goes beyond what is needed for a spousal sponsorship: This is because, in addition to the other requirements, you will also need to prove that you are in fact cohabiting with your common-law partner. For many, this may prove to be a challenge, as it may be difficult to demonstrate a progression of time via documentation.
However, this can be bypassed by providing your common-law sponsorship officer with joint bills over a given period of time. Furthermore, any supporting documents you provide your officer should help demonstrate the genuineness of your relationship to further increase the probability of success.
If you are feeling stressed or concerned about sponsoring your common-law partner in Canada then the office of Matthew Jeffery can help. Mr. Jeffery is an immigration lawyer with over 15 years of experience in a myriad of immigration related matters; including, but not limited to, family and spousal sponsorships, permanent resident card renewals, citizenship applications, and humanitarian applications. Mr. Jeffery is also recognized as a certified specialist in immigration law by the Law Society of Upper Canada. If you would like to request a consultation with Mr. Jeffery to discuss your unique sponsorship case in confidence, please contact our office at 416-924-3267.