If you are looking at sponsoring your common-law partner to come live with you in Canada, you will have to prove that you have been together with your common-law partner for at least 12 consecutive months.
Though many Canadians permanent residents or Citizens understand that they do not have to be technically married; they can sponsor common-law partners to migrate to Canada, too.
But, many do not really understand the definition of a common-law partner for Canadian immigration purposes or understand the documentation requirements and procedures.
Therefore, this article will enlighten you more on the concept of common law partnership and some other relevant information you may need to know when sponsoring your partner to immigrate to Canada.
What is a common law partnership?
Canadian immigration law defines the concept of a common-law partner as being a person who is cohabiting or living with a person in a conjugal relationship, for a period of at least one year.
Therefore, in order to sponsor a common-law partner to come to Canada, you must show that you have cohabited or lived together for one year and that you are in a conjugal relationship.
Cohabitation must be continuous
Cohabitation means that you are living together, and to be eligible under Canadian immigration law, the cohabitation must be continuous for a period at least one year. Cohabitation cannot be intermittent, adding up to one year.
Of course, one is allowed to temporarily leave the home for work or business trip, family obligations and so on, from time to time. But there is no fixed rule on how long or shot those trip should be. So you need to make a judgment call on how long one of you can be away, so as not to threaten meeting the 12-month cohabitation rule.
You must also cohabit together full time. Couples who live together, intermittently, and maintain separate residences are not considered cohabiting.
Proof of living together
The responsibility is on the prospective immigrant to show that they had been living with their Canadian sponsor, but what constitutes proof? Many people unknowingly delay submitting their application if they do not provide a lease or rental agreement or own their home together.
However, In addition to such proof, other acceptable proof of cohabitation may include joint utility accounts (e.g., telephone, internet, electricity, gas), joint bank accounts, joint credit card accounts, vehicle insurance papers showing both partners as cohabiting at the same address.
Indeed, pay stubs, cell phone bills, tax forms, credit card statements or bank, insurance policies, etc., which demonstrate that you live at the same address, are also acceptable. And, in some cases, even reference letters from friends confirming the cohabitation may just be sufficient.