People have a different perception when they think about spouse sponsorship versus common-law partner sponsorship. And this notion varies much more than in the eye of the law.
There are only a few distinctions between the definition of a spouse and that of a common-law partner. A common-law partner is simply someone you have lived with for a required amount of time (often One year) in a conjugal fashion. You both are in a relationship similar to marriage but are not legally married.
On the other hand, Spouse is someone who has gone through the process of getting a marriage license and is legally married. Like common-law partners, spouses or married partners commonly live together and share relationship obligations and responsibilities.
Differences between Spousal Sponsorship and Common-Law Partner Sponsorship
For the most part in Canada, immigration rule applies to both types of relationships in a similar manner. The major difference between the two is the level of proof that one has to provide in verifying the relationship.
For married spouses, providing proof of their relationship consists mostly of providing photographs of the wedding ceremony and marriage certificate.
Since common-law sponsorship presents more of a fraud risk for immigration applications, regulations require a stricter variety of proof that involves various types of documentation showing cohabitation along with a relationship.
The Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) website lists the following criteria as proof that will be accepted for the sponsorship process:
- A joint account statement from a bank account shared by both of you.
- Any details about any savings accounts you share together.
- Lines of credit card statements that show activity between both of you.
- If you are renting, a lease that has been jointly signed.
- If you jointly bought a home, present a signed mortgage paperwork or purchasing agreement.
- Statutory attestation from people with knowledge that the relationship is genuine and continuing.
In addition to this type of legal paperwork, it will help your case if you include supporting documents or information such as photos of trips or dates, email exchanges, text messaging logs, phone call logs, gifts, instant messages, receipts and anything else that proves the relationship.
If you have earlier been in another common-law relationship, then you will need to prove that you are no longer involved with that person by presenting a declaration of severance of common-law relationship.
Similar Requirements for Spousal Sponsorship and Common-Law Partner Sponsorship
Other than the burden of proof needed, common-law relationships are also under the same legal framework as spousal relationships for the aim of sponsorship.
Being in a common-law relationship does not deny you from enjoying the same rights or benefits as a married couple, which include, for instance, being able to sponsor a dependent to live in Canada as a permanent resident.