Common law sponsorship query

Old Mar 11th 2016, 12:24 am
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Default Common law sponsorship query

Hi All,

Me and my girlfriend are hoping to go down the common law route for PR as she would like to move in with me. However I work in a job that takes me out of the country every 3 weeks out of 6. So I am only in Canada for half the year. She would be the sponsor as she is Canadian. We spoke to an immigration lawyer but it seems to be a grey area as to whether we would qualify due to the nature of my work. Anybody have any advice on this or information? Anything would be much appreciated as it would be good to know if I will have to look at a different job for it or not.

Thanks.
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Old Mar 11th 2016, 12:31 am
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Default Re: Common law sponsorship query

Common-law partner

You are a common-law partner—either of the opposite sex or the same sex—if:

you have been living together in a conjugal relationship for at least one year in an ongoing 12-month period (you are allowed short absences for business travel or family reasons).
You will need proof that you and your common-law partner have combined your affairs and set up a household together. This can be in the form of proof of:

joint bank accounts or credit cards.
joint ownership of a home.
joint residential leases.
joint rental receipts,
joint registration or payment of utilities (electricity, gas, telephone),
joint management of household expenses,
joint purchases, especially of household items, or
mail addressed to either person or both people at the same address.
Determine your eligibility – Sponsor your spouse, partner or children
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Old Mar 11th 2016, 12:41 am
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Default Re: Common law sponsorship query

Originally Posted by Former Lancastrian
Common-law partner

You are a common-law partner—either of the opposite sex or the same sex—if:

you have been living together in a conjugal relationship for at least one year in an ongoing 12-month period (you are allowed short absences for business travel or family reasons).
You will need proof that you and your common-law partner have combined your affairs and set up a household together. This can be in the form of proof of:

joint bank accounts or credit cards.
joint ownership of a home.
joint residential leases.
joint rental receipts,
joint registration or payment of utilities (electricity, gas, telephone),
joint management of household expenses,
joint purchases, especially of household items, or
mail addressed to either person or both people at the same address.
Determine your eligibility – Sponsor your spouse, partner or children
Thanks for that.

More or less what we have been told from the get go but it doesn't really say if 6 months out of the year only due to work is considered too much or not. Definitely a grey area. I think its a poor rule that when two people want to live together all year round but can't due to work commitments do not qualify for common law due to their work. We would still be sharing rent, bills and groceries and everything else a couple living together for 12 months would be. I would love to be able to live with her 12 months of the year but I work at sea so its impossible. Thanks anyway former lancastrian.
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Old Mar 11th 2016, 12:44 am
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Default Re: Common law sponsorship query

Originally Posted by Joepottinger
Thanks for that.

More or less what we have been told from the get go but it doesn't really say if 6 months out of the year only due to work is considered too much or not. Definitely a grey area. I think its a poor rule that when two people want to live together all year round but can't due to work commitments do not qualify for common law due to their work. We would still be sharing rent, bills and groceries and everything else a couple living together for 12 months would be. I would love to be able to live with her 12 months of the year but I work at sea so its impossible. Thanks anyway former lancastrian.
I tend to think CIC would not accept the 6 months per year as truly being common law. It tends to be short periods i.e. max of say 3 weeks or days over that 12 months.
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Old Mar 11th 2016, 12:48 am
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Default Re: Common law sponsorship query

Originally Posted by Former Lancastrian
I tend to think CIC would not accept the 6 months per year as truly being common law. It tends to be short periods i.e. max of say 3 weeks or days over that 12 months.
Yeah I definitely understand that but I just think its shame that people on shift patterns away from home don't qualify. Like I would get it if I was leaving and going on holidays and such because that is not needed but I need to keep working in my field as my qualification isn't recognized in Canada itself.

Thanks again. Its much appreciated
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Old Mar 11th 2016, 5:13 am
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Default Re: Common law sponsorship query

It may be one of those situations were an immigration lawyer would come in handy to fight your case (there is no hard or fast rule in place either way).

For example, when applying for my wife's Indefinite leave to remain in the UK she was supposed to be living in the UK as my spouse for a 3 year period with only short period out of the country allowed. However about a year in we relocated to Argentina for a 1 year period. On returning and applying we used a lawyer who successfully argued that as we had been living together in Argentina and I had moved for my work it should be allowed.

I know this isn't necessarily the same situation as yours but it gives you some idea of what can be achieved with professional help on your side when you are in a grey area of the law. The fact that your trips are for work may be in your favor.
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Old Mar 11th 2016, 5:17 am
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Default Re: Common law sponsorship query

is it just me or is there a very simple solution to this? a marriage licence is probably cheaper than a lawyer
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Old Mar 11th 2016, 5:58 am
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Default Re: Common law sponsorship query

Originally Posted by Engineer_abroad
It may be one of those situations were an immigration lawyer would come in handy to fight your case (there is no hard or fast rule in place either way).

For example, when applying for my wife's Indefinite leave to remain in the UK she was supposed to be living in the UK as my spouse for a 3 year period with only short period out of the country allowed. However about a year in we relocated to Argentina for a 1 year period. On returning and applying we used a lawyer who successfully argued that as we had been living together in Argentina and I had moved for my work it should be allowed.

I know this isn't necessarily the same situation as yours but it gives you some idea of what can be achieved with professional help on your side when you are in a grey area of the law. The fact that your trips are for work may be in your favor.
Thanks for the info.

Yeah I get the feeling its something that can be sorted with the right legal help but at the same time is it worth risking when I could just take a year out of my job and work part time in Canada for the time being. I think if I was trained and employed in anything other than what I currently am this would not be an issue at all but my qualification is non-transferable at all.
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Old Jul 27th 2016, 11:33 pm
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Default Re: Common law sponsorship query

Hi all again,

So me and my girlfriend are now living together. I still do the same job I did when I last posted on this, HOWEVER I am now going to be starting school at Saint Mary's in Halifax in January so my question has changed where I now ask can I go home to Scotland to work through the summer and still be eligible for common law with her? She would come over there for maybe a few weeks of the three months I would be over for in the summer in one big period. Thanks

Joe
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Old Jul 28th 2016, 1:03 am
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Default Re: Common law sponsorship query

Originally Posted by Joepottinger
Hi all again,

So me and my girlfriend are now living together. I still do the same job I did when I last posted on this, HOWEVER I am now going to be starting school at Saint Mary's in Halifax in January so my question has changed where I now ask can I go home to Scotland to work through the summer and still be eligible for common law with her? She would come over there for maybe a few weeks of the three months I would be over for in the summer in one big period. Thanks

Joe
I wouldn't risk it personally. CIC have been known to refuse applications when one person has been away just for a few days, so there's no way I'd go home for a few months.

Your call, but I suspect a break like that might restart your cohabitation clock, only you can decide if you're ok with risking that.

Good luck.
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Old Jul 28th 2016, 1:09 am
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Default Re: Common law sponsorship query

Originally Posted by christmasoompa
I wouldn't risk it personally. CIC have been known to refuse applications when one person has been away just for a few days, so there's no way I'd go home for a few months.
Your call, but I suspect a break like that might restart your cohabitation clock, only you can decide if you're ok with risking that.

Good luck.
Thanks for the quick reply. My problem is im not sure I can manage on the 20 hours a week limit for work hours. Where as if I went home for the summer I could work 16-18 hours days to pay for tuition costs. I guess I can weigh it up at the time though and see how the relationship stands then too.

Thanks again.
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Old Jul 28th 2016, 1:44 am
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Default Re: Common law sponsorship query

I'm with Oompa on this one, living back home for the 3 months will nearly certainly break your cohabitation.

BTW, are you sure that during non-term-time you are limited to 20 hours a week? I don't know for sure but I thought outside of term time you could work full-time... That's worth verifying...
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Old Jul 28th 2016, 1:54 am
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Default Re: Common law sponsorship query

If you hold a Study Permit where you are permitted to work off campus for 20 hours a week during the academic session, you can work full time during regular scheduled breaks. See the international office at your institution.

"New rules that take effect on June 1, 2014, make it easier for study permit holders to work off campus. Full-time students pursuing an academic, professional or vocational training program at a designated learning institution will be:

eligible to work off campus without a work permit;
allowed to work off campus for up to 20 hours per week during a regular academic session and full time during regularly scheduled breaks; and
able to work off campus immediately rather than waiting six months."

Changes to the International Student Program
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Old Jul 28th 2016, 2:06 am
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^Thanks Snowy! I thought I remembered reading that but couldn't be certain. You rock!
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Old Jul 28th 2016, 7:38 am
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Default Re: Common law sponsorship query

Originally Posted by Joepottinger
Hi all again,

So me and my girlfriend are now living together. I still do the same job I did when I last posted on this, HOWEVER I am now going to be starting school at Saint Mary's in Halifax in January so my question has changed where I now ask can I go home to Scotland to work through the summer and still be eligible for common law with her? She would come over there for maybe a few weeks of the three months I would be over for in the summer in one big period. Thanks

Joe
What everyone else said!!

...but with the addition that until you have lived together 'as if married' for a period of 12 months consecutively without a break, you will not be classified as common-law. Any break during that period would, I believe, start the clock again.

I'd go with what has been suggested - work 20 hours during term time and all the hours you can during the holidays, in Canada!


Last edited by Siouxie; Jul 28th 2016 at 7:41 am.
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