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HELP.....before my head explodes!!!

HELP.....before my head explodes!!!

Old Feb 18th 2009, 7:58 am
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Default HELP.....before my head explodes!!!

Hi all,

i have been trawling the forums and cant seem to find an answer to my particular predicament, so i turn to you for some help - before i possible die of frustration!

Here goes.....i met my Canadian girlfriend a month shy of three years ago in Australia whilst we were both backpacking. We spend two years together in Oz, doing the usual backpacker thing of staying in hostels and renting campervans to see the continent.

When our Australian visas expired we both left Oz and the missus returned to Canada and i went home for 6 weeks whilst my Working Holiday Visa application was processed and then flew straight to Canada and moved into an apartment with my girlfriend in Vancouver.

We both lived in the apartment for nine and a half months before i had to fly back to the UK for family purposes just before Christmas. I have been in the UK for 2 months now and away from my partner who is still in Canada. She is coming to England to stay with me for three months in March.

My question is... we lived together in Canada for ten months in a 'common-law relationship' (sharing bills, joint accounts,leases etc.) and i have been away for 2 months, technically that is 12 months in a common-law relationship. right? not to forget the 2 years previous to this (although not considered a common-law relationship due to no shared bills ,bank accounts etc.) which i can readily prove with photos,plane tickets,van rentals and trips.

Does that make me eligible to apply under the common-law class of visa? does the 2 months apart change anything?

i hope i explained everything - if you need any more info i am more than happy to give it.

Thanks in advance,
Duncan

Last edited by duncanspilaweller; Feb 18th 2009 at 9:11 am.
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Old Feb 18th 2009, 8:07 am
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Default Re: HELP.....before my head explodes!!!

Ive a feeling the two months apart will be viewed dimly by CIC officials, conjugal is the hardest class to prove and tends to be put under the microscope. Economics and family commitment choices are not sufficient reason to be apart.



See comments here in the wiki regarding it being virtually impossible to prove for people living in "first world" countries...

http://britishexpats.com/wiki/Spousa...sorship-Canada

One of you is going to have to commit to staying with the other longer term in order to qualify for spousal class I suspect.

Last edited by iaink; Feb 18th 2009 at 8:11 am.
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Old Feb 18th 2009, 9:12 am
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Default Re: HELP.....before my head explodes!!!

apologies - i shouldn't have written conjugal relationship as i meant common-law relationship and am not applying for a conjugal visa.

i have edited my post accordingly.

Duncan
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Old Feb 18th 2009, 1:26 pm
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Default Re: HELP.....before my head explodes!!!

Originally Posted by duncanspilaweller
Hi all,

i have been trawling the forums and cant seem to find an answer to my particular predicament, so i turn to you for some help - before i possible die of frustration!

Here goes.....i met my Canadian girlfriend a month shy of three years ago in Australia whilst we were both backpacking. We spend two years together in Oz, doing the usual backpacker thing of staying in hostels and renting campervans to see the continent.

When our Australian visas expired we both left Oz and the missus returned to Canada and i went home for 6 weeks whilst my Working Holiday Visa application was processed and then flew straight to Canada and moved into an apartment with my girlfriend in Vancouver.

We both lived in the apartment for nine and a half months before i had to fly back to the UK for family purposes just before Christmas. I have been in the UK for 2 months now and away from my partner who is still in Canada. She is coming to England to stay with me for three months in March.

My question is... we lived together in Canada for ten months in a 'common-law relationship' (sharing bills, joint accounts,leases etc.) and i have been away for 2 months, technically that is 12 months in a common-law relationship. right? not to forget the 2 years previous to this (although not considered a common-law relationship due to no shared bills ,bank accounts etc.) which i can readily prove with photos,plane tickets,van rentals and trips.

Does that make me eligible to apply under the common-law class of visa? does the 2 months apart change anything?

i hope i explained everything - if you need any more info i am more than happy to give it.

Thanks in advance,
Duncan
Hi Duncan

As you obviously already know to qualify as common-law you have to have a period of cohabitation of at least 12 months. Unfortunately it has to be continuous; it cannot be made up of periods separated by gaps. To quote from the CIC policy "It means continuous cohabitation for one year, not intermittent cohabitation adding up to one year. The continuous nature of the cohabitation is a universal understanding based on case law."

Once an uninterupted period of cohabitation of a year or more has been established then its okay for you to be temporarily separated while you are being sponsored however.
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Old Feb 18th 2009, 4:57 pm
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Default Re: HELP.....before my head explodes!!!

True, but CIC Manual OP2 adds:

"While cohabitation means living together continuously, from time to time, one or the other partner may have left the home for work or business travel, family obligations, and so on. The separation must be temporary and short."

The question then would be: what is "temporary and short".

When she joins you in England that it seems will be 3 months apart. That would possibly not be viewed as a "short" separation . It would depend on the circumstances, but on the other hand assuming she is a Canadian citizen and not a permanent residence you could try to file a sponsorship application once you have lived together again in England. An application like this would however not be a clearcut case.

Sorry, I suppose this does not actually fix your headache ...

Last edited by Ron Liberman; Feb 18th 2009 at 5:03 pm.
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Old Feb 18th 2009, 5:31 pm
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Default Re: HELP.....before my head explodes!!!

So...does the time spent travelling in Oz not count as cohabiting? I ask because we are in a similar situation - we have not yet cohabited for a continuous year but we are currently travelling in New Zealand together and hope to use THIS as our year cohabiting in order for me to apply for PR with common-law status when we return to Canada (we did live together for 3 months in Ontario before my working holiday visa ran out, but I returned to the UK for 10 weeks, while my boyfriend remained in Canada working and saving money for our trip, so I realise this period of cohabitation no longer counts). However, we have bought a campervan (both our names are on the registration paperwork) which we live in, have a joint bank account, are working together and can show airline tickets showing our individual flights to LA and onward journey together to NZ, and may also have some time in rented accommodation together depending on the jobs we hope to get during the winter season here. We can also provide supporting statements from people we've met here saying we're cohabiting should we need to...will this be enough to prove our common-law status? If not, we're a bit b*ggered...

Mia
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Old Feb 19th 2009, 12:14 am
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Default Re: HELP.....before my head explodes!!!

Originally Posted by Ron Liberman
True, but CIC Manual OP2 adds:

"While cohabitation means living together continuously, from time to time, one or the other partner may have left the home for work or business travel, family obligations, and so on. The separation must be temporary and short."

The question then would be: what is "temporary and short".

When she joins you in England that it seems will be 3 months apart. That would possibly not be viewed as a "short" separation . It would depend on the circumstances, but on the other hand assuming she is a Canadian citizen and not a permanent residence you could try to file a sponsorship application once you have lived together again in England. An application like this would however not be a clearcut case.

Sorry, I suppose this does not actually fix your headache ...
Apart from trying to define temporary and short I also think the key phrase here Ron is "one or the other partner may have left the home for work or business travel, family obligations, and so on". Clearly this is designed to capture someone being away on business or visiting family but then coming back to the same home where their partner is still living.

Clearly thererfore it doesnt cover situations where there is cohabitation but it ends, there is time apart with both partners living in different locations, then it resumes at a future point for a few months more somewhere else. And although it isnt 100% clear it sounds like the OP is saying that the cohabitation in Canada ended after 10 months and hasnt been resumed yet or isnt about to be resumed in the same place. But perhaps duncanspilaweller can clarify this.
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Old Feb 19th 2009, 12:28 am
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Default Re: HELP.....before my head explodes!!!

Originally Posted by surreybambina
So...does the time spent travelling in Oz not count as cohabiting? I ask because we are in a similar situation - we have not yet cohabited for a continuous year but we are currently travelling in New Zealand together and hope to use THIS as our year cohabiting in order for me to apply for PR with common-law status when we return to Canada (we did live together for 3 months in Ontario before my working holiday visa ran out, but I returned to the UK for 10 weeks, while my boyfriend remained in Canada working and saving money for our trip, so I realise this period of cohabitation no longer counts). However, we have bought a campervan (both our names are on the registration paperwork) which we live in, have a joint bank account, are working together and can show airline tickets showing our individual flights to LA and onward journey together to NZ, and may also have some time in rented accommodation together depending on the jobs we hope to get during the winter season here. We can also provide supporting statements from people we've met here saying we're cohabiting should we need to...will this be enough to prove our common-law status? If not, we're a bit b*ggered...

Mia
See my other reply above about intermittent cohabitation in different places.

Your situation seems slightly different however since you are saying you have been together continuously without interuption and, although you have been moving to different accommodation frequently, you have presumably always been moving in and out of places together both at the same time.

But I'm not sure this is the type of arrangement that is envisaged by CIC officers. Perhaps what might be more of an obsticle is satisfying the requirement of having a relationship that is marraige-like since you are not together in a permanent home with joint utilities, joint routines for managing the household etc. To quote from CIC policy again "Two people who are cohabiting have combined their affairs and set up their household together in one dwelling".

So you havent really set-up a household together as such. I would personnaly say that travelling together for a year would not necessarily meet the usual definition. I think your application could go either way.
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Old Feb 19th 2009, 12:37 am
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Default Re: HELP.....before my head explodes!!!

Originally Posted by NSpaul
Apart from trying to define temporary and short I also think the key phrase here Ron is "one or the other partner may have left the home for work or business travel, family obligations, and so on". Clearly this is designed to capture someone being away on business or visiting family but then coming back to the same home where their partner is still living.
That's what I was thinking. So if the OP came back to Canada (if practical) rather than the girlfriend going to the UK, then maybe that could count as continuous and, therefore achieve the 12 months.
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Old Feb 19th 2009, 1:58 am
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Default Re: HELP.....before my head explodes!!!

Hi,
thanks everyone for your input so far.

Myself and my partner travelled together for two years, then i went back to the UK to apply for a working holiday visa to Canada. we were apart for 6 weeks at this point then i went to Canada and moved into an apartment on the 6 march 08.

In this apartment we lived alone,shared bills,co-signed a rental agreement,bought household appliances together and opened a joint bank account. we lived in this apartment together between March 6th 08 - December 15th 08.

I left Canada on December the 20th 2008 to return home as i had a family member that was quite ill. I have remained in here in the UK until now. My Partner will join me on March the 4th 2009, as before i moved across to Canada i thought it would be right that she was to meet all my family, and spend some time here with them before i move away for good. Hence the reason she is coming to the UK. Her mother is also coming with her to meet my side of the family.

We will live together in my parents house from March 4th until June 4th -when she leaves to go back to Canada. Whilst she is here in the UK we were planning to fill out the application to sponsor me as a common-law partner. As i am aware, as long as the application is in the pipeline i have the authority to go to Canada and work until a decision has been made to grant me permanent residence.

I have spoken to immigration previously whilst i was in Canada and they stated that although we have been in a relationship for nearly three years, the two years of traveling wasn't considered a common-law relationship as we weren't paying bills and so on.

I have many people who can justify that we have been together for x amount of time whilst traveling and we both have plane tickets from where we have traveled from A to B , however this could only possibly support our case - not be clear evidence of a common-law relationship.

Think thats all the info - thanks so much for all your responses, i am very grateful.

Duncan
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Old Feb 19th 2009, 2:17 am
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Default Re: HELP.....before my head explodes!!!

Originally Posted by duncanspilaweller
Hi,
thanks everyone for your input so far.

Myself and my partner travelled together for two years, then i went back to the UK to apply for a working holiday visa to Canada. we were apart for 6 weeks at this point then i went to Canada and moved into an apartment on the 6 march 08.

In this apartment we lived alone,shared bills,co-signed a rental agreement,bought household appliances together and opened a joint bank account. we lived in this apartment together between March 6th 08 - December 15th 08.

I left Canada on December the 20th 2008 to return home as i had a family member that was quite ill. I have remained in here in the UK until now. My Partner will join me on March the 4th 2009, as before i moved across to Canada i thought it would be right that she was to meet all my family, and spend some time here with them before i move away for good. Hence the reason she is coming to the UK. Her mother is also coming with her to meet my side of the family.

We will live together in my parents house from March 4th until June 4th -when she leaves to go back to Canada. Whilst she is here in the UK we were planning to fill out the application to sponsor me as a common-law partner. As i am aware, as long as the application is in the pipeline i have the authority to go to Canada and work until a decision has been made to grant me permanent residence.

I have spoken to immigration previously whilst i was in Canada and they stated that although we have been in a relationship for nearly three years, the two years of traveling wasn't considered a common-law relationship as we weren't paying bills and so on.

I have many people who can justify that we have been together for x amount of time whilst traveling and we both have plane tickets from where we have traveled from A to B , however this could only possibly support our case - not be clear evidence of a common-law relationship.

Think thats all the info - thanks so much for all your responses, i am very grateful.

Duncan
Hi Duncan

I'm sorry to be the bearer of bad news but my personal view is that the situation you described above would not qualify. If you were planning to go back to the appartment that you were living in together up until 20th December (and presumably where your partner is still living) and live there for a couple more months you might be okay. You could attempt to class the period from 20th Dec '08 until now as a temporary absence to visit family (though 2 months apart is starting to get a bit long for a temporary absence) but maintain that your home was still with her in Canada. But if you are staying in the UK and then she is joining you in March then to me that seems like several periods of cohabitation that are not continuous.

Have you considered getting married?
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Old Feb 19th 2009, 2:44 am
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Default Re: HELP.....before my head explodes!!!

Originally Posted by duncanspilaweller
Hi,
thanks everyone for your input so far.

Myself and my partner travelled together for two years, then i went back to the UK to apply for a working holiday visa to Canada. we were apart for 6 weeks at this point then i went to Canada and moved into an apartment on the 6 march 08.

In this apartment we lived alone,shared bills,co-signed a rental agreement,bought household appliances together and opened a joint bank account. we lived in this apartment together between March 6th 08 - December 15th 08.

I left Canada on December the 20th 2008 to return home as i had a family member that was quite ill. I have remained in here in the UK until now. My Partner will join me on March the 4th 2009, as before i moved across to Canada i thought it would be right that she was to meet all my family, and spend some time here with them before i move away for good. Hence the reason she is coming to the UK. Her mother is also coming with her to meet my side of the family.

We will live together in my parents house from March 4th until June 4th -when she leaves to go back to Canada. Whilst she is here in the UK we were planning to fill out the application to sponsor me as a common-law partner. As i am aware, as long as the application is in the pipeline i have the authority to go to Canada and work until a decision has been made to grant me permanent residence.

...........

Duncan
It sounds to me as though the common-law sponsorship may work if it is presented properly. The rationale for this would be that you were living together in Canada, and would have continued doing so, until a family member became ill. At that point you were temporarily separated, but your partner went over to England to meet you and your family, presumably as soon as she could. You will be living together in England for a number of months, and would like to return to Canada together.

A situation like this could easily occur with a couple that is married - hopefully the real test in the visa officer's mind is a common-sense one i.e. is the relationship still intact.

Sorry, no easy answers on this one, but I do think a sponsorship application with the timing you propose may succeed. It does not, however, of itself, allow you to move to Canada and work while the application is being processed.
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Old Apr 16th 2009, 2:21 pm
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Default Re: HELP.....before my head explodes!!!

I came to canada on a bunac visa to be with my gf,i arrived on the 28th aug 08 but for some reason i booked a flight back to england for the 25th aug 09,iam going to apply in england as then i get chance to see family,does anyone think that going home 3 days earlier than a year will affect the application ?,could i say it was for family purposes ?,i was thinking of buying another flight for the 28th aug but what a waste of money.
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Old Apr 16th 2009, 7:44 pm
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Default Re: HELP.....before my head explodes!!!

Originally Posted by craig25
I came to canada on a bunac visa to be with my gf,i arrived on the 28th aug 08 but for some reason i booked a flight back to england for the 25th aug 09,iam going to apply in england as then i get chance to see family,does anyone think that going home 3 days earlier than a year will affect the application ?,could i say it was for family purposes ?,i was thinking of buying another flight for the 28th aug but what a waste of money.
I'm afraid you'll have to buy another flight or come back to Canada to make up the time - you must have lived together as husband and wive (and prove that) for a minimum of one year. If you are three days short then you won't be eligible.

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Old Apr 16th 2009, 11:16 pm
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Default Re: HELP.....before my head explodes!!!

so partners can leave each other for short absences,would it not be classed as a short absence ?,we have joint bank accounts,photos,lots of mail going to the same address but they would still reject it me going home 3 days early for family purposes is what i would say ?
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