Common Law Visa

Old Feb 1st 2010, 9:05 pm
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Default Common Law Visa

Hi all,

I was hoping to get some guidance maybe on the common law spouse application, I have done lots of research and the common law route would seem to be the most appropriate although I have been told that the conjugal route may also apply to my circumstances.

So my situation is this :

Girlfriend is from Victoria BC, I am from the UK we met in the UK and developed a significant relationship until the point that her work visa ran out and she just needed to go home anyway.

That was in Feb 09 and I have been in Canada since July 09 having arrived back in Blighty a week ago. i know I can make a life there with regards to work etc but the application process is leaving me confused. I have to be able to work if this is going to be successful.

The way I understand it is that we apply for the common law visa and that (if approved) grants me the right to work in Canada for a period of 5 years in which time we are supposed to decide if we want to get married or not. If we do then within those 5 years I am supposed to apply for permanent resident status and when that is granted I have all the rights, respnsibilities and priveleges of any other Canadian citizen. If we don't then I just go home I guess

Is that all about right or not? I have tried checking my facts but you just need feedback sometimes eh?

Many thanks in advance,

me.
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Old Feb 1st 2010, 10:00 pm
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Default Re: Common Law Visa

Originally Posted by spin
Girlfriend is from Victoria BC, I am from the UK we met in the UK and developed a significant relationship until the point that her work visa ran out and she just needed to go home anyway.

The way I understand it is that we apply for the common law visa and that (if approved) grants me the right to work in Canada for a period of 5 years in which time we are supposed to decide if we want to get married or not. If we do then within those 5 years I am supposed to apply for permanent resident status and when that is granted I have all the rights, respnsibilities and priveleges of any other Canadian citizen. If we don't then I just go home I guess

Is that all about right or not? I have tried checking my facts but you just need feedback sometimes eh?
Nope, completely wrong!! Not sure where you've been researching, but I'd suggest you look at the CIC website, as that's the official one and will tell you all you need to know. It's got a guide you can download to spousal sponsorship, and will hopefully clear things up.

Forget conjugal sponsorship, you won't qualify for that as you could have been together (it's really for people that genuinely cannot be together i.e. homosexual couples where homosexuality is illegal, countries where divorce isn't recognised so they can't live with a subsequent partner etc). As you could have gone to Canada (even on a visitor visa) and lived with your girlfriend, you wouldn't qualify.

If you have lived together for at least a year (and can prove it using things like joint bank account statements, joint utility bills, joint mortgage/rental agreement etc) then you'd qualify as common-law.

But if she sponsors you, you'd get Permanent Residency status straight away (no need to get married for it first), and you don't have to get married at all. Not sure where you got the 5 year thing from! It only takes a few months if you do an outland application, and you'd then have PR status.

Hope that helps a bit, good luck.
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Old Feb 1st 2010, 10:42 pm
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Default Re: Common Law Visa

Oh my word am I glad i came here and posted, I'm supposed to be the one who knows whats going on too!!

OK so she sponsors me and I get PR, I'm guessing by the name (the permanent bit) that this state of affairs is forever? I know that her sponsorship of me lasts for 10 years.

Woot!! You just made my flippin day christmasoompa
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Old Feb 1st 2010, 10:46 pm
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Default Re: Common Law Visa

Originally Posted by spin
Oh my word am I glad i came here and posted, I'm supposed to be the one who knows whats going on too!!
Well, you do now at least!

Originally Posted by spin
OK so she sponsors me and I get PR, I'm guessing by the name (the permanent bit) that this state of affairs is forever?
Yes, until you've either spent 1072 days in Canada (at which point you can then apply for citizenship so would become a citizen rather than PR), or unless you do something so heinous that they take away your PR status (so try not to murder anyone).

And not sure about the 10 year thing either, I thought she only had to commit to financially support you for 3 years? Thought 10 years was only for dependent children? But not sure on that, it's only my vague recollection.

Here is the link to the CIC website with the info that you need, I'd suggest you grab a cuppa and get reading! http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/immigra...sor/spouse.asp

Good luck.

Last edited by christmasoompa; Feb 1st 2010 at 10:49 pm.
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Old Feb 1st 2010, 11:27 pm
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Default Re: Common Law Visa

Originally Posted by christmasoompa
Yes, until you've either spent 1072 days in Canada (at which point you can then apply for citizenship so would become a citizen rather than PR), or unless you do something so heinous that they take away your PR status (so try not to murder anyone).
Heh heh, I will try.

Originally Posted by christmasoompa
And not sure about the 10 year thing either, I thought she only had to commit to financially support you for 3 years? Thought 10 years was only for dependent children? But not sure on that, it's only my vague recollection.
If I find anything authoritative I will post a link if no one has done so before I get back. Thank you so much for the clarification, I'm sat having a coffee and will be reading the cic website for a while methinks.

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Old Feb 2nd 2010, 3:37 am
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Default Re: Common Law Visa

Hmm are you certain that she can sponsor me as a spouse? i grabbed this from the cic website :

Spouse

You are a spouse if you are married to your sponsor and your marriage is legally valid.

If you were married in Canada:

You must have a marriage certificate issued by the province or territory where the marriage took place.

If you were married outside Canada:

The marriage must be valid under the law of the country where it took place and under Canadian law.
A marriage performed in an embassy or consulate must comply with the law of the country where it took place, not the country of nationality of the embassy or consulate.
We arent married, thats why I was looking at the common law thing I think. I probably got the 10/5 year thing from the dependant child part sponsoring.

:edit: linkage
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Old Feb 2nd 2010, 4:17 am
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Default Re: Common Law Visa

The application for spousal sponsorship and common law sponsorship is the same.

http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/informa...cations/fc.asp

My partner and I have just gone down the sponsorship via common-law route.
How long did you and your girlfriend live together in the UK, and more importantly, do you have evidence of it?
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Old Feb 2nd 2010, 4:40 am
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Default Re: Common Law Visa

2 and a half years in the UK.

Our evidence would consist of letters from utility companies etc which are addressed to us individually (not a joint account) but the dates would show we were living together, we could back this up with all kinds of peripheral evidence such as emails, photographs from holidays etc (that sounds a bit stupid once I've written it lol) that would demonstrate the fact that we were in a relationship.

Do you or does anyone else know the finer details of what evidence they require?
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Old Feb 2nd 2010, 5:47 am
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Default Re: Common Law Visa

If you look at the link I gave you, there is a section that lists all the types of things you could send.

I sent, copy of rental agreement, copy of joint bank accounts and other banking things showing I pay money into his RSP's, and that we are named as beneficiaries on each others accounts. Cards from family and friends addressed to both of us, 2 letters from friends stating how long they have known us, and that our relationship is genuine and on going. Photos from trips taken together, stamps from our passports showing trips together and trips taking to visit each other before we lived together. Copies of registration showing joint ownership on a truck, receipts showing joint purchases. Erm...can't remember anything else off the top of my head, but I'll post again if I remember anythin else!

If you have been living together for 2 and a half years I shouldn't think you will have any problems!

They seem to be really quick with Spousal sponsorship at the moment. My oh was approved to be a sponsor in less than a month......I'm oping London will be quick approving my PR!!

Good luck, and any other questions just ask!
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Old Feb 2nd 2010, 6:06 am
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Default Re: Common Law Visa

<blush>Where exactly is the section? I cant see it anywhere, plz excuse me if I am being dumb here</blush>

This info is very encouraging Waltzing Matilda, thank you!

Man.. I have learned more from this site and thread in one afternoon than I have done in 4 months of perusing, for once I feel like I'm getting somewhere, thank you so much
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Old Feb 2nd 2010, 7:07 am
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Default Re: Common Law Visa

here we go. It's not a very extensive list, but it gives you a place to start!

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

you have been living together in a conjugal relationship for at least one year in a continuous 12-month period that was not interrupted. (You are allowed short absences for business travel or family reasons, however.)
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:

joint bank accounts or credit cards
joint ownership of a home
joint residential leases
joint rental receipts
joint utilities (electricity, gas, telephone)
joint management of household expenses
proof of joint purchases, especially for household items or
mail addressed to either person or both people at the same address.

I didn't bother senting rent receipts (as there are far too many of them). I sent a copy of the rental agreement and a copy of my Canadian drivers licence showing that we were still at the same address.

What I did was print off all the forms I needed, plus the Immigration guide, then I made a list of all the documents I needed to get together. Once I had all of that I did a rough draft of my application, and got a friend to read through it to make sure it made sense! Then I filled out the final copy, and sent it all off in a BIG brown envelope. Less than a month later my OH was approved to sponsor me. Now I am waiting to hear back from London!
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Old Feb 2nd 2010, 9:50 am
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Default Re: Common Law Visa

Originally Posted by Waltzing Matilda
Cards from family and friends addressed to both of us, 2 letters from friends stating how long they have known us, and that our relationship is genuine and on going. Photos from trips taken together
This is about all we have to prove we cohabited other than a rental agreement. There are no joint utility bills, receipts, bank accounts or anything. I'm worried that they might be like.. "but it isn't official enough mr.spin" there are emails and letters to each of us individually at the same address and with the same time and man.. its painfully obvious that we are a couple lol. What I'm asking is does this kind of stuff hold any sway with the visa people in yours or anyone elses experience?

I mean if it comes to it we could get married in the UK and apply for PR the day after from out of the country, I'm trying to stick with plan A as much as possible though.

Last edited by spin; Feb 2nd 2010 at 9:54 am.
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Old Feb 2nd 2010, 9:55 am
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Default Re: Common Law Visa

Originally Posted by spin
This is about all we have to prove we cohabited other than a rental agreement. There are no joint utility bills, receipts, bank accounts or anything. I'm worried that they might be like.. "but it isn't official enough mr.spin"

I mean if it comes to it we could get married in the UK and apply for PR the day after from out of the country, I'm trying to stick with plan A as much as possible though.
What they need is proof that you were in a 'marriage like' relationship - letters to each of you individually could just prove you were flatmates, rather than in a relationship, so you need something more than that. Emails/photos etc will help with that though.

Do you have wills naming each other as beneficiaries, or joint insurance for anything (i.e. her name on your car insurance etc). Or life insurance naming each other as beneficiaries?
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Old Feb 2nd 2010, 10:38 am
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Default Re: Common Law Visa

Yeh that's exactly what I was thinking about the individual letters, its understandable but frustrating nonetheless.

Nope, I guess the rental agreement is about it in the eyes of the law... thats pretty lame.. what if we opened joint bank accounts now? i could also ask utility companies to add her name to the accounts. Meh.. she is in Canada right now tho and it just wouldnt fly would it.

Looking more and more like there's gonna be a marriage in the uk here lol.
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