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Conjugal Sponsorship/Work permits etc

Conjugal Sponsorship/Work permits etc

Old Jun 15th 2004, 12:49 pm
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Default Conjugal Sponsorship/Work permits etc

Hi, I have a couple of questions that hope can be answered I have read through a lot of the threads from the past couple of years just in the past 4 days but still need some more claficiation & will appreciate any help I can get.

I (Canadian) recently submitted an application to sponsor my conjugal partner (Irish) and we received a letter in April 2004 that CHC London was in the process of reviewing. Well I have since read a lot of topics on this website that a lot of conjugal sponsorships are getting rejected because what most people would take conjugal to mean is actually not what the immigration officers believe.

This is our history:
May 2000 - met online
May 2001 - met in person, I stayed 3 weeks in Ireland with him.
Sept 2001 - he came to Canada & stayed with me for 3 weeks
July 2002 - he came to Canada & stayed with me for 2 months
May 2003 - I stayed with him in Ireland for 3 weeks
August 2003 - he stayed with me in Canada for 3 months

We do not have a joint bank account (how does a person get a bank account in Canada without a job or proof of residence here????) or any leases/utility/phone bills etc in both our names, so I believe that would be a huge strike against us already. What we did have was photos, passport stamps, plane tickets and was well documented but given the rejections I have read about on here we both feel that won't be good enough. And personally, I don't feel that as a Canadian citizen I should have to get married just to prove that my relationship is genuine. I am a very proud Canadian, but this whole experience has left me with a very bitter taste in my mouth about this country of ours.

Anyway, we are now looking at temporary work visas and here are my questions:

1) If I withdraw my sponsorship application, will this count against me? Let's say that if he can get a visa here for at least 12 months we will be able to reach common-law status and then I would like to sponsor him as my common-law partner.

2) If he gets a temporary work visa, can he apply during his visa for a skilled worker or does he have to be outside of the country? I realize it is taking upwards of 2 years for skilled workers to receive their visas.

3) If I leave my conjugal sponsorship as is (in process), can we still apply for a temporary work visa? Or would it be better to cut our losses now and apply for temporary visa with nothing pending?

Thanks, I appreicate anyone who takes the time to read this and who can offer answers to my questions. My boyfriend & I have been apart since he left Canada last November and we had really hoped he would be a permanent resident by now or at least with a positive outlook that he would be in a few months, but now we just want to get rid of the bleak outlook and find another way for us to be together in Canada

Last edited by disillusioned; Jun 15th 2004 at 12:53 pm.
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Old Jun 16th 2004, 1:17 am
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Default Re: Conjugal Sponsorship/Work permits etc

Originally posted by disillusioned
Hi, I have a couple of questions that hope can be answered I have read through a lot of the threads from the past couple of years just in the past 4 days but still need some more claficiation & will appreciate any help I can get.

I (Canadian) recently submitted an application to sponsor my conjugal partner (Irish) and we received a letter in April 2004 that CHC London was in the process of reviewing. Well I have since read a lot of topics on this website that a lot of conjugal sponsorships are getting rejected because what most people would take conjugal to mean is actually not what the immigration officers believe.

This is our history:
May 2000 - met online
May 2001 - met in person, I stayed 3 weeks in Ireland with him.
Sept 2001 - he came to Canada & stayed with me for 3 weeks
July 2002 - he came to Canada & stayed with me for 2 months
May 2003 - I stayed with him in Ireland for 3 weeks
August 2003 - he stayed with me in Canada for 3 months

We do not have a joint bank account (how does a person get a bank account in Canada without a job or proof of residence here????) or any leases/utility/phone bills etc in both our names, so I believe that would be a huge strike against us already. What we did have was photos, passport stamps, plane tickets and was well documented but given the rejections I have read about on here we both feel that won't be good enough. And personally, I don't feel that as a Canadian citizen I should have to get married just to prove that my relationship is genuine. I am a very proud Canadian, but this whole experience has left me with a very bitter taste in my mouth about this country of ours.

Anyway, we are now looking at temporary work visas and here are my questions:

1) If I withdraw my sponsorship application, will this count against me? Let's say that if he can get a visa here for at least 12 months we will be able to reach common-law status and then I would like to sponsor him as my common-law partner.

2) If he gets a temporary work visa, can he apply during his visa for a skilled worker or does he have to be outside of the country? I realize it is taking upwards of 2 years for skilled workers to receive their visas.

3) If I leave my conjugal sponsorship as is (in process), can we still apply for a temporary work visa? Or would it be better to cut our losses now and apply for temporary visa with nothing pending?

Thanks, I appreicate anyone who takes the time to read this and who can offer answers to my questions. My boyfriend & I have been apart since he left Canada last November and we had really hoped he would be a permanent resident by now or at least with a positive outlook that he would be in a few months, but now we just want to get rid of the bleak outlook and find another way for us to be together in Canada
Hello there,

I won't be able to answer all your questions but your situation is very similar to mine and I thought I might share a few thoughts.
From our experience and from what I've read from other conjugal applicants on this board your application is very likely to be declined. You're correct in thinking that Immigration Canada view the term 'conjugal' very differently to how you (and almost everyone else would!)
Our application was declined because they said we were 'long-distance dating' even though this is not the case and at the time of the application I had moved myself and my whole life from Scotland and they knew we were living at the same address etc. I imagine they would term your relationship similarly.
You have to prove that you were unable to live together or get married (not wanting to get married doesn't count as does not living together because of the financial reasons associated with the sponsorship process, ie. not being allowed to work.) There are many people on this board who have found this aspect of immigration regulations particularly unacceptable.
CIC seem to be extremely old fashioned when it comes to recognising modern-day types of relationships. The will not issue fiance visas because they say they are not in the business of guessing the success of a relationship. They say the 'majority' of fiances do not live together before marriage therefore they have not proven a commitment to the relationship!

So, the best advice I can think of is for you and your boyfriend to make all the necessary sacrifices and live together. This way after 12 months you can apply as a common-law couple and your chances are much greater. This really is the only way to avoid being 'forced' into marriage. And I'm with you on that front, why on earth should a couple feel they MUST get married to be able to be together? To feel that the government is making you get married somehow takes the romantic shine off things! They say they can't 'force' anyone to get married but by making their immigration laws so inflexible and old-fashioned they essentially do. We've even been told by immigration representatives at the call centre that we should just get married!!!

And now to temporary work visas (sorry this is taking so long!) If your boyfriend in under 35 he will qualify as an Irish national (I'm assuming he's from the Republic?) for the BUNAC working holiday visa which will allow him to work here for 12 months. Use those months and qualify as a common law couple and then submit your application. At the end of the 12 months he will have to apply for an extension of his visa to allow him to stay as a 'visitor' for another 6 months. The working holiday visa can't be renewed so he will lose the right to work here but at least he can stay in the country. Hopefully the application would go through relatively smoothly and he wouldn't be out of work for long. (Well, that's the theory!) As I said, I'm in a similar situation. I have to give up my job in a few weeks and head home, then try to come back as a visitor. One difference is that we are appealing the negative decision in our case and are hoping to have a hearing in January (a year from when we first filed it!!) We won't be common law until September as for the first month and a half I was here we were still living at my boyfriend's student house and the lease on our apartment together didn't start until September 1st.

As far as canceling your conjugal application that's up to you. You might want to see what happens with it but if you do cancel it you will get back the $500. Again, a slight difference is that our conjugal application was 'in-canada'. You'd need to check if he is allowed to come to Canada while that first application is under way. Although I do know there was a guy on here with an application via London who was living with his girlfriend in Canada, so it looks like it's ok.

As far as the skilled worker application while here on a visa, the only thing I know about that is that it takes way way longer to file as a skilled worker. You might be a lot quicker just waiting out the 12 months then sponsoring him. Others on here will be able to advise you more clearly on time lines.

One thing I'll add is as soon as he gets here work on gathering evidence. Get the bank acounts, shared lease etc and name each other on life insurance, pensions, emergency contacts etc etc. Don't assume you have enough, always look for more ways to prove you're committed and the relationship is long-term. Without that little slip of paper (marriage certificate) it's ten times harder so all the best to both of you and please let us know how things work out. PM me if you have any more questions or just want to let off steam about the whole thing!

Take care and good luck!
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Old Jun 16th 2004, 12:11 pm
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Thank you so much for replying and for your advice, it is a great help I had read into the working holiday visa through BUNAC, I really think that's the way to go now. It's a shame things are the way they are, hopefully one day the system will be revamped and modernized.

And good luck to you with everything going on, hopefully in the end the appeal will work out.
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Old Jun 16th 2004, 12:36 pm
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Hi Dis

Originally posted by disillusioned
Thank you so much for replying and for your advice, it is a great help I had read into the working holiday visa through BUNAC, I really think that's the way to go now. It's a shame things are the way they are, hopefully one day the system will be revamped and modernized.

And good luck to you with everything going on, hopefully in the end the appeal will work out.
It is better than it was. 2 years ago under the old act, marriage and fiance were the only way. Gay/Lesbian relationship had to try Humanitarian and compassionate applications which did not have a high success rate. (there was a work around, but complicated). Common-law relationship were not recognized as sponsorable. Spousal Applications in Canada had to go the H.& C. route and returning home to submit an application in the normal manner was not considered a hardship.

The conjugal spousal application was introduced in the new legislation to recognize those relationships where there was an inpediment to marriage and the couple could not live together in either country. Why CIC is following the guidelines on the Conjugal relationship is because of the boyfriend/girlfriend application where there is no committment on either side, but it is used as a route to Canada. So everyone gets tarred with the same brush.

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Old Jun 17th 2004, 1:29 am
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Originally posted by disillusioned
Thank you so much for replying and for your advice, it is a great help I had read into the working holiday visa through BUNAC, I really think that's the way to go now. It's a shame things are the way they are, hopefully one day the system will be revamped and modernized.

And good luck to you with everything going on, hopefully in the end the appeal will work out.
You're very welcome!

Good luck with the bunac application and enjoy having your boyfriend over from Ireland! (I'll be in the North visiting relatives in a few weeks but am definately planning a trip to Dublin! I love it down there, so much fun!)

Thank goodness for Bunac is all I can say. I really feel for couples who don't meet the age requirements. If it hadn't been for bunac I'd have already spent a year over here doing nothing and would be facing another one while we appeal this thing. At least my thumb-twiddling time has been reduced a bit but I really want to start my career and get so frustrated when I see jobs I'd love but can't apply for! I just wish the Canadin government would realise that it's not always possible for people to come over here and not work while they sit-out the 12 months to become common-law and then the 6plus months for the application (not to mention how demoralising and depressing it is not being able to work.) We're very very lucky that my boyfriend landed a good job straight out of university (very lucky) it would have been extremely difficult for him to support us both and furnish our first apartment, pay immigration fees, student loans, flights etc etc if he'd had to take a lower paying job, especially living in Toronto. I have no idea how people on minimum wage or with part time jobs or those with kids or people to care for do it! I guess CIC figure if you're willing to endure financial hardship and long months of boredom then you must be committed! Everytime I moan about the immigration process I stop myself and think about people who are really stuggling or who are apart and can't find a way to be together because of financial or other personal constraints. CIC really need to figure out a better way to deal with these situations. Ok, rant over, not much we can do about it now!

Keep us up to date with developments and good luck!
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