Common Law Sponsorship Query

Old Jun 6th 2010, 2:04 am
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Exclamation Common Law Sponsorship Query

Hello all:

I have been reading through posts and haven't come across my particular questions/situation yet. I apologize if I have missed the information that would have saved me asking these questions.

Our situation:
I moved to the UK (from Canada) to be with my partner in Jan. 2010. We didn't sign a lease together or get a joint bank account until Feb. 8th, but we were cohabitating from about Jan. 8th onwards.
I am having trouble finding steady work and have better job prospects back in Canada.
My partner probably can't get a skilled worker visa so we think sponsoring him is the best (and fastest) option.

Here are my questions:

1. The immigration website says that to be eligible for common-law sponsorship we have to live together for a minimum of 12 months. Can we apply for sponsorship before that 12-month period is up (say, in mid-December) since the application process takes several months? By the time they get the application, or while it's being processing, the 12 months will elapse. Or should we wait to send the application until we've officially lived together 12 months?

2. Could we move to Canada together, and then apply even though we're common-law and not married? (I think I read that the answer is yes (for spouses), but applying inland takes longer. Or we could apply from outland before we move, but may have to return to London if an interview is requested.) Is that right?

3. I believe I have to be able to prove that I can support my partner through work and monetary savings. How can I prove that I have full-time work in Canada (that will enable me to support my common-law partner) when I am living in the UK? I would like to go back to Canada and secure that full-time work before he arrives, or before we begin the sponsorship process, but can I do that before we've lived together for 12 months?

Any thoughts will be greatly appreciated! Thank you amazing moderators who have incredible patience when repeating answers!
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Old Jun 6th 2010, 4:31 am
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Default Re: Common Law Sponsorship Query

Originally Posted by cmcdonal
Hello all:

I have been reading through posts and haven't come across my particular questions/situation yet. I apologize if I have missed the information that would have saved me asking these questions.

Our situation:
I moved to the UK (from Canada) to be with my partner in Jan. 2010. We didn't sign a lease together or get a joint bank account until Feb. 8th, but we were cohabitating from about Jan. 8th onwards.
I am having trouble finding steady work and have better job prospects back in Canada.
My partner probably can't get a skilled worker visa so we think sponsoring him is the best (and fastest) option.

Here are my questions:

1. The immigration website says that to be eligible for common-law sponsorship we have to live together for a minimum of 12 months. Can we apply for sponsorship before that 12-month period is up (say, in mid-December) since the application process takes several months? By the time they get the application, or while it's being processing, the 12 months will elapse. Or should we wait to send the application until we've officially lived together 12 months?

2. Could we move to Canada together, and then apply even though we're common-law and not married? (I think I read that the answer is yes (for spouses), but applying inland takes longer. Or we could apply from outland before we move, but may have to return to London if an interview is requested.) Is that right?

3. I believe I have to be able to prove that I can support my partner through work and monetary savings. How can I prove that I have full-time work in Canada (that will enable me to support my common-law partner) when I am living in the UK? I would like to go back to Canada and secure that full-time work before he arrives, or before we begin the sponsorship process, but can I do that before we've lived together for 12 months?

Any thoughts will be greatly appreciated! Thank you amazing moderators who have incredible patience when repeating answers!

You have to have been living together for 12 months before you send in the common law application else it will be refused.

In your case, the only way to do this is stay in the UK for 12 months living together, gather every scrap of evidence that you are in a committed relationship, photos, lease agreements, life insurance etc.

Go back to Canada and sponsor your partner outland, as will take about 3/4 months under the family class. You do not need proof of funds to sponsor a spouse, just you cannot be in receipt of any social benefit.

or

you could get married and go back to Canada now and start the process
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Old Jun 6th 2010, 10:04 am
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Default Re: Common Law Sponsorship Query

Originally Posted by anewPR
You have to have been living together for 12 months before you send in the common law application else it will be refused.

In your case, the only way to do this is stay in the UK for 12 months living together, gather every scrap of evidence that you are in a committed relationship, photos, lease agreements, life insurance etc.

Go back to Canada and sponsor your partner outland, as will take about 3/4 months under the family class. You do not need proof of funds to sponsor a spouse, just you cannot be in receipt of any social benefit.
I believe that only applies to married couples and not cohabitees.
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Old Jun 6th 2010, 11:52 am
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Default Re: Common Law Sponsorship Query

Originally Posted by BristolUK
I believe that only applies to married couples and not cohabitees.
Nope as long as you have been living together for a minimum of 12 months, then you can be sponsored under the spousal class as a common law partner

As a Canadian citizen, the sponsorship can start if the citizen is out of Canada as long as they show proof that they will be returning to Canada

If you are a PR then you must be in Canada to sponsor.

Either way, solid proof of the 12 month co habiting relationship is needed.
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Old Jun 6th 2010, 12:31 pm
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Default Re: Common Law Sponsorship Query

Originally Posted by anewPR
Nope as long as you have been living together for a minimum of 12 months, then you can be sponsored under the spousal class as a common law partner

As a Canadian citizen, the sponsorship can start if the citizen is out of Canada as long as they show proof that they will be returning to Canada

If you are a PR then you must be in Canada to sponsor.

Either way, solid proof of the 12 month co habiting relationship is needed.
I was referring to the proof of funds aspect not sponsorship itself - I bolded that part.. I believe there is a requirement to have a specified minimum income as a sponsor but it doesn't apply if married.
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Old Jun 6th 2010, 2:45 pm
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Default Re: Common Law Sponsorship Query

Originally Posted by BristolUK
I was referring to the proof of funds aspect not sponsorship itself - I bolded that part.. I believe there is a requirement to have a specified minimum income as a sponsor but it doesn't apply if married.
Nope again.....I have just been sponsored as common law and my partner did NOT have to prove any funds, only that he was not in reeipt of any state welfare benefits.

Common law applications, as long as you meet the minimum requirements are treated the same as marriage applications.
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Old Jun 6th 2010, 6:17 pm
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Default Re: Common Law Sponsorship Query

Great info. Thank you!
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Old Jun 7th 2010, 8:55 am
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Default Re: Common Law Sponsorship Query

Originally Posted by anewPR
Nope again.....I have just been sponsored as common law and my partner did NOT have to prove any funds, only that he was not in reeipt of any state welfare benefits.

Common law applications, as long as you meet the minimum requirements are treated the same as marriage applications.
Fair enough.

It was 2004 when we did it and I'm fairly sure at that time it was only marrieds who escaped the minimum income requirement. Certainly some posts since then have suggested it was still that way but maybe it changed since.
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Old Jun 7th 2010, 9:04 am
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Default Re: Common Law Sponsorship Query

Originally Posted by anewPR
You have to have been living together for 12 months before you send in the common law application else it will be refused.

In your case, the only way to do this is stay in the UK for 12 months living together, gather every scrap of evidence that you are in a committed relationship, photos, lease agreements, life insurance etc.

Go back to Canada and sponsor your partner outland, as will take about 3/4 months under the family class. You do not need proof of funds to sponsor a spouse, just you cannot be in receipt of any social benefit.

or

you could get married and go back to Canada now and start the process
Why couldn't they return to Canada after 6 or 7 months and continue to cohabit here? (Applying for common law sponsorship in Jan 2011). If the OP can earn more in Canada than her partner can in UK, that might be a better bet.
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Old Jun 7th 2010, 4:56 pm
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Default Re: Common Law Sponsorship Query

Originally Posted by Novocastrian
Why couldn't they return to Canada after 6 or 7 months and continue to cohabit here? (Applying for common law sponsorship in Jan 2011). If the OP can earn more in Canada than her partner can in UK, that might be a better bet.
They can do that indeed, as long as they return to Canada together as there cannot be any break apart in the 12 month to qualify under the common law class.
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Old Jun 21st 2010, 5:08 am
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Default Re: Common Law Sponsorship Query

Great info everyone. Thank you.

There is a new wrinkle to my situation. I have been offered a job in my hometown school board as an occasional (supply) teacher. If I turn it down I figure I will never get hired by that board again as I have gone through the process saying I'm available to work as of September 1st.

What I would like to do is to remain living here in the UK (until the year of cohabitation elapses) but travel to Canada to work for a month at a time. So I'd be in the UK in September, in Canada in October, here in November, Canada in December, and so on. I'm afraid that might violate the cohabitation rules (or my ancestral visa rules, for that matter...)

Thoughts?
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Old Jun 21st 2010, 5:28 am
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Default Re: Common Law Sponsorship Query

the 12 month period has to be continuous however they do allow exceptions for holidays and for business trips so maybe your time spent working in canada would come under the business aspect? I'm not entirely sure though and they sound pretty frequent and on-going, sorry i can't help anymore.

I'm assuming there isn't any way that you and your partner can move to Canada before September? If your partner is a British citizen they could probably get up to 6 months visitor of course that depends if you could afford that etc.

Best of luck!
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