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Moved: Questions for people who have sponsored a common-law partner

Moved: Questions for people who have sponsored a common-law partner

Old Dec 19th 2007, 8:40 pm
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Default Moved: Questions for people who have sponsored a common-law partner

Hi, hopefully someone can help me out! We are a young couple. We lived together for 12 months from January 06, 2006 to January 06, 2007 when my girlfriend came here from the UK on the BUNAC SWAP program. She had to go home after that and since then, we have been trying to prepare for her immigration into Canada. With that background info, on to the questions:

Do we qualify as Common-law partners? Or do we only qualify as Conjugal partners? We never bought a house together, we don't have any joint accounts, the only thing is that she's the beneficiary on my life insurance policy. I called Citizenship and Immigration Canada's information line and have received mixed responses on whether we are Common-law or Conjugal so now I am thoroughly confused.

Also, do we need to fill out the Statutory Declaration of Common-law Union? That would require her flying over here only for that purpose which is an expensive financial sacrifice considering we are trying to save for our future together!

My other question is that on form IMM 1344 A under where it asks your marital status, I put "Common-Law"(I filled it all out in pencil and it still needs finalizing), it asks the date the relationship started, do I put when we began living together or when we first met? Also, under where it says to list all the jobs I've had in the past 5 years, I don't remember all of them or the exact dates, does it matter? Some of the places I worked at closed down and I can't obtain that info through the employer, is there somewhere else I can get records of my past employment? Thanks in advance!
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Old Dec 20th 2007, 1:05 am
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Default Re: Moved: Questions for people who have sponsored a common-law partner

Originally Posted by chris_from_canada
Do we qualify as Common-law partners?
Nope. To qualify as common-law partners you must live together in conjugal relationship and have lived together as such continuously for at least past 12 months. Not just any 12 months, past 12 months.

Originally Posted by chris_from_canada
Or do we only qualify as Conjugal partners?
Nope. Only couples who for serious legal or cultural reasons cannot marry and cannot meet definition of common-law partners despite trying and can document it (visa refusals, etc.) have a chance to apply as conjugal partners. You are not in this category - she has no problems coming to Canada as visitor and you have no problems going to UK as visitor and you can easy cohabit together in conjugal relationship for 12 months continuously. Or, if your relationship is really that serious then you can get married.

Originally Posted by chris_from_canada
We never bought a house together, we don't have any joint accounts, the only thing is that she's the beneficiary on my life insurance policy. I called Citizenship and Immigration Canada's information line and have received mixed responses on whether we are Common-law or Conjugal so now I am thoroughly confused.
You are not common-law and not conjugal partners.

Originally Posted by chris_from_canada
Also, do we need to fill out the Statutory Declaration of Common-law Union? That would require her flying over here only for that purpose which is an expensive financial sacrifice considering we are trying to save for our future together!
You want future together then get married. No other option under the circumstances.
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Old Dec 21st 2007, 9:06 am
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Default Re: Moved: Questions for people who have sponsored a common-law partner

Originally Posted by Andrew Miller
You want future together then get married. No other option under the circumstances.
I wouldn't say marriage is your only option. You could come to the UK on a temporary visa which would allow you to stay here for 2 years (only work for one of those though). This would allow you to live together, share bank accounts, joint lease etc.

After a year you could begin your Common Law application from the UK and both of you could return before your 2 years run out.

Maybe not ideal but always an option.
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Old Dec 21st 2007, 12:39 pm
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Default Re: Moved: Questions for people who have sponsored a common-law partner

Originally Posted by a1anm
I wouldn't say marriage is your only option.
I stated 'no other option under the circumstances', I didn't say that there is no other option at all.

OP obviously doesn't even want to spend money on plane ticket - so, the circumstances eliminate a lot of options.

If they were serious "couple" he would have followed his gf to UK when her BUNAC run out, or she would remain with him in Canada on extended stay as visitor. Seems they weren't so serious when she was leaving Canada. So, now they should become serious again...
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Old Dec 23rd 2007, 10:28 pm
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Default Re: Moved: Questions for people who have sponsored a common-law partner

Well under 'the circumdstances' it is an option.

There is nothing stopping the OP from coming to the UK (based on the information they've provided) so it is still an option (as far as we know)

There's a possibility:

(a) They weren't aware this was an option.
(b) There knew this was an option but would've preferred to go down the visa route. They may now consider this as a common law visa doesn't appear to be possible at the minute.

I would also be wary about jumping to such quick conclusions reagrding how serious they are considering you know very little about their circumstances apart from the limited amount of information given in the original post.

I was in a similar situation and I returned to the UK by myslef as we couldn't afford for me to stay on as a visitor. I wouldn't say this meant we suddenly stopped being 'serious' for the few months we were apart.

If anything the fact they want to apply for a visa shows some level of seriousness as i'd imagine not many people put themselves through the stress, expense and time required to obtain a visa for fun.

Last edited by a1anm; Dec 23rd 2007 at 10:29 pm. Reason: typo
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Old Dec 23rd 2007, 11:49 pm
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Default Re: Moved: Questions for people who have sponsored a common-law partner

I'm not jumping to any conclusion, I only comment on the circumstances as they will be looked at by processing officer. Remember that officers are not looking for how to approve the case - they are looking for a reason to turn it down. Commitment, joint finances and several other elements of interdependency are looked at - in this case there is none, at least not disclosed yet.

"the fact they want to apply for a visa shows some level of seriousness" - are you kidding yourself? People do a lot of things to get to Canada any way they can and applying for visa doesn't prove any seriousness, except trying to get to Canada. Officer must always first assume that it is relationship of convenience (even if relationship in itself has been documented with all elements present) for the purpose of immigration - so, there are many elements to be proven as far as relationship itself and that it is a bona fide relationship.

Maybe reading attached here extracted from Immigration Manual pages related to common-law relationship will give OP some basic idea what he and his girlfriend are against and what they must prove.

I strongly recommend reading it carefully and save for future reference by all who are either considering sponsorship of common-law or conjugal partner or are applying for PR visa themselves with common-law partner as a dependent.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf
_Conjugal relationship.pdf (224.7 KB, 192 views)
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Old Dec 24th 2007, 8:08 am
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Default Re: Moved: Questions for people who have sponsored a common-law partner

Originally Posted by Andrew Miller

"the fact they want to apply for a visa shows some level of seriousness" - are you kidding yourself? People do a lot of things to get to Canada any way they can and applying for visa doesn't prove any seriousness, except trying to get to Canada.
I understand that but my reply was based on the information given by the original poster ie. that they are a couple, and therefore the fact that they are applying for a visa shows that they are obviously serious. This was in reference to their particular case, it wasn't stating that I believe everyone who applies for a visa are genuine.

The problem I had was that you seemed to believe that because one of them was leaving Canada because their visa expired their relationship suddenly became less serious.

Originally Posted by Andrew Miller
Seems they weren't so serious when she was leaving Canada. So, now they should become serious again...
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Old Jan 2nd 2008, 8:01 am
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Default Re: Moved: Questions for people who have sponsored a common-law partner

Just rest safe in the knowledge that your choice not to marry is protected and upheld by a decision made by the Supreme Court of Canada.

Otherwise, yes, if one of you is able to obtain legal status and co-habit with the other in their home country to obtain common-law status, this will count against you if applying for conjugal-partner status.

Being together at all times should be of paramount importance in CIC's eyes. Only a legal, immigration or severe financial barrier (such as financial requirements to obtain a visa) will be sufficient reason to apply as conjugal-partners.

This is the only reason why the number of applicants for this class tend be skewed more towards homosexual couples (legal barrier) but is open to any heterosexual couple who feel they can meet the criteria.
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