Sponsorship – Common-Law and Conjugal Partner Relationships
For the purpose of sponsorship, Canada recognizes common-law and conjugal partner relationships. If your situation fits into one of these categories, you do not have to be married in order to be sponsored.
A common-law relationship is one in which you and your partner have been living together in a marriage-like relationship continuously (uninterrupted) for at least one year. In a common-law relationship, you and your partner are entitled to the same benefits and rights that legally married couples are entitled to in Canada.
Conjugal Partner Relationship
A conjugal partner relationship is a relationship that does not fit the requirements of a common-law relationship because of circumstances beyond the control of you and your partner. In other words, this kind of relationship is more than just a physical/sexual relationship but, for some reason, you and your partner have been unable to live together for at least one year in a marriage-like relationship, or have been unable to legally marry. One reason might be because you are living in separate countries and there is an immigration barrier. You will not be considered to be in a conjugal partner relationship if you and your partner could have lived together in a common-law relationship but chose not to do so.
Implications for Sponsorship
If you think that your relationship falls into one of these two categories, then it is still possible for your partner to sponsor you. If this is the case, you and your partner would have to follow the same sponsorship application process as married couples. You also need additional paperwork to show evidence of the following:
- In the case of a common-law relationship, you must be able to prove to immigration authorities that
- you have combined your affairs and have been living together in the same household;
- you have been living together continuously for one year;
- you have joint finances (for example, bank accounts, credit cards, ownership of a home) and share household costs (for example, utilities, rent, mortgage payments).
- In order to be sponsored as a conjugal partner, you must be able to show why you and your partner have not been able to live together in a common-law relationship or as a married couple.
It is important to remember that these cases might be considered irregular to immigration authorities and, therefore, your sponsorship application might take longer to process.