Proving common law relationship

Old Jan 17th 2011, 5:09 am
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Default Proving common law relationship

Hello,

I've been here in Toronto with my Canadian boyfriend since 27th July 2010. Our intention is for him to sponsor me as his common-law partner once we have lived together for a year. However, I have been reviewing the forms and think we are going to struggle to prove things, even though we are legitimate.

We live in a rented apartment, but the rental company refuse to add my name to the lease because I am just a visitor and am unemployed. Annoyingly his ex still remains on the lease (despite not having lived there for over 3 years!), but they won't swap it for me, because should he default on the rent they at least have someone else they can go after! So, that's obstacle No. 1. The second is that we have no bills because they are included in the rent. I also cannot be added as a second applicant on his bank account or on his credit card because of my visitor status - if someone knows about a bank account that will allow this I'm all ears!! The only thing he can add me to is the Rogers bill and also his car insurance. Will that be sufficient?

I notice that there is a section on the form (section 4) that says if none of the above are applicable then how else can you demonstrate it. It's not very long though! Presumably this is where I could write freeform about, leaving my job in the UK, moving over here. I've kept every email, got Xmas cards addressed to us both, can document our relationship etc, but I am just worried that none of this is going to be enough. What have your experiences been? Would be keen to know.
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Old Jan 17th 2011, 5:56 am
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Default Re: Proving common law relationship

Originally Posted by victorfoxtrot
Hello,

I've been here in Toronto with my Canadian boyfriend since 27th July 2010. Our intention is for him to sponsor me as his common-law partner once we have lived together for a year. However, I have been reviewing the forms and think we are going to struggle to prove things, even though we are legitimate.

We live in a rented apartment, but the rental company refuse to add my name to the lease because I am just a visitor and am unemployed. Annoyingly his ex still remains on the lease (despite not having lived there for over 3 years!), but they won't swap it for me, because should he default on the rent they at least have someone else they can go after! So, that's obstacle No. 1. The second is that we have no bills because they are included in the rent. I also cannot be added as a second applicant on his bank account or on his credit card because of my visitor status - if someone knows about a bank account that will allow this I'm all ears!! The only thing he can add me to is the Rogers bill and also his car insurance. Will that be sufficient?

I notice that there is a section on the form (section 4) that says if none of the above are applicable then how else can you demonstrate it. It's not very long though! Presumably this is where I could write freeform about, leaving my job in the UK, moving over here. I've kept every email, got Xmas cards addressed to us both, can document our relationship etc, but I am just worried that none of this is going to be enough. What have your experiences been? Would be keen to know.
I've recently sponsored my Common-Law partner and found proving the relationship was the hardest part of the application. We did have a joint bank account and both our names on the rental agreement, but we also sent in loads of photos, greeting cards between us and cards from friends and family addressed to both of us. Would it be possible to get a letter from the rental company saying that you live there and their reasons for not putting your name on the lease?
Definitely include the Rogers bills and car insurance. Have you got an Ontario driving licence? If so send in copies showing the addresses. Also explain in your application that you don't have any utility bills as they are included in the rent.
We also got our parents to write letters saying how we met, when we moved in together etc.
Hope this helps a bit.
Sarah
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Old Jan 17th 2011, 6:16 am
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Default Re: Proving common law relationship

Originally Posted by sarah_gaz
I've recently sponsored my Common-Law partner and found proving the relationship was the hardest part of the application. We did have a joint bank account and both our names on the rental agreement, but we also sent in loads of photos, greeting cards between us and cards from friends and family addressed to both of us. Would it be possible to get a letter from the rental company saying that you live there and their reasons for not putting your name on the lease?
Definitely include the Rogers bills and car insurance. Have you got an Ontario driving licence? If so send in copies showing the addresses. Also explain in your application that you don't have any utility bills as they are included in the rent.
We also got our parents to write letters saying how we met, when we moved in together etc.
Hope this helps a bit.
Sarah
I haven't got my Ontario license yet as my boyfriend uses the car for work and I get by with public transport, so haven't felt the need too, but I reckon i need to fork out for it to provide extra proof. I like your idea on the rental company. I've already got the live-in superintendent for the building to add me to the tennant list in the foyer, so that also counts as proof I guess.
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Old Jan 17th 2011, 7:09 am
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Default Re: Proving common law relationship

i met a common law couple who each had a will created where they left their assets to each other. might be worth doin?

see if you can open another bank account with your boyfriend - try presidents choice. ask your boyfriend to pay the rent out of it and you put your rent into this account. highlight the payments when you print the statement.

you should try get something addressed to you at that address. even your phone bill ?

defo get letters from your family and friends that spell out your relationship and show that they support you in what your doing.
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Old Jan 17th 2011, 7:11 am
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Default Re: Proving common law relationship

Originally Posted by Mdunny
i met a common law couple who each had a will created where they left their assets to each other. might be worth doin?

see if you can open another bank account with your boyfriend - try presidents choice. ask your boyfriend to pay the rent out of it and you put your rent into this account. highlight the payments when you print the statement.

you should try get something addressed to you at that address. even your phone bill ?

defo get letters from your family and friends that spell out your relationship and show that they support you in what your doing.
sorry just re-read your post and noted about your visitor status. doubt you can get a canadian bank account. maybe change the address on your UK bank account to your toronto address???
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Old Jan 17th 2011, 7:19 am
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Default Re: Proving common law relationship

Originally Posted by Mdunny
sorry just re-read your post and noted about your visitor status. doubt you can get a canadian bank account. maybe change the address on your UK bank account to your toronto address???
HSBC Canada let me open a joint bank account with my common-law partner when I first arrived here and I was still a visitor at the time - not sure why, perhaps because I already have accounts with them in the UK and Australia - but might be worth checking!! Also, we have contents insurance for our house in both our names, might be worth looking into that as we got it really cheaply and it's just another thing to prove you live together. Good luck!
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Old Jan 17th 2011, 7:27 am
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Default Re: Proving common law relationship

The problem is that they're looking for proof that you are in a 'marriage like' relationship, so you need to prove you've been living as husband and wife rather than just housemates.

If you can't get added to the rent then there are plenty of other things you can do to help - you can get another bank account (several will allow you to do that on a visitor visa, have a look in the Wiki for info), insurances, joint wills naming each other as beneficiaries etc. Even things like magazine subscriptions in both names at that address will count!

Not sure that it'll help you prove you've been common-law since July though as it'll only count from now, but at least it's additional proof.

HTH, good luck.
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Old Jan 17th 2011, 8:23 pm
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Default Re: Proving common law relationship

i have an account with td canada - opened it as a visitor and later made it a joint account with my canadian boyfriend.

also look for any letters with either your or his name and the address on. any mail with both of your names included e.g. wedding invitations?

also have friends and family write letters confirming the dates you have lived together.

phone bills? phone records?

do wills
get life insurance policies?
get married?
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Old Jan 17th 2011, 8:27 pm
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Default Re: Proving common law relationship

Hi Victorfoxtrot,

My partner and I have just sent off our application and went through the same thing of wondering what to send as proof. You are in a good position if you know in 12 months time you are applying for common-law because you now have the opportunity to start collecting things as evidence that most people would throw out
.
I have put a few things that we sent as evidence of our relationship below - hope this helps.

Wills (both our Wills, notarized, same address etc.)
Joint bank account statements over the years to same address
Life Assurance Scheme
Evidence of paying for flights together
Council tax bills (both names, same address)
Mortgage is under his name, we have included a copy of the statement
Evidence of paying 2 joint bills through joint account

Under Section #25, proof of relationship we have included the following:

Relationship History description (written by us detailing our history together - this was VERY long and hard to think of ALL you have done as a couple but at least you can write it as you go )
Stat decs from 7 individuals (family & friends: we had 3 friends from the UK write and sign them in front of a solicitor. We also had my mom and 3 friends in Canada do the same and had them notarized in front of a solicitor)
Pictures on a word document, 2 per page with a description under each picture. We did a photographic history of the relationship and referred to the photos in our history description. We put in a lot, in total we had 48 pages of pictures, but that is because we went over the whole of the relationship showing pictures of 'big things' that happened.
Telephone bills (highlighted our phone calls from when I was in Canada and he was in the UK to show constant communication)
Copies of all our flights over the years (the itineraries)
Hotel booking
ticket stubs (only 1 flight - who keeps all these?!)
Wedding invitations addressed to the both of us (x 5)
2 postcards sent to both of us from friends

We have noticed some people included cards they sent to one another for birthdays etc. We didn't bother as we thought we sent enough.

Hope this helps - Best of luck!

Megs & Gordie
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Old Jan 18th 2011, 3:13 am
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Default Re: Proving common law relationship

Originally Posted by Mdunny
sorry just re-read your post and noted about your visitor status. doubt you can get a canadian bank account. maybe change the address on your UK bank account to your toronto address???
CIBC will happily open bank accounts for non-residents. My wife opened one while she was visiting from the UK.
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Old Jan 18th 2011, 10:07 am
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Default Re: Proving common law relationship

Thanks for all the advice. I'm most interested to find out that I can open an account. I will try CIBC and TD, I was positive though that when i tried online it states you have to be a resident. But it could so easily have been one of the other banks.

I've got plenty of stuff to document my move over here; emails between me and my boyfriend, leaving messages from people at my old job wishing me luck, my e-ticket, plus wedding invites, Christmas cards, photos, post addressed to me here etc. I just feel annoyed with myself that I didn't act sooner to put my name on bills etc, I am worried that an immigration agent might believe that we have only been living together since January, but I guess I will just have to use personal statements from friends & family to testify that we have been.

I think I am panicking over nothing!!!
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Old Jan 18th 2011, 5:52 pm
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Default Re: Proving common law relationship

Originally Posted by victorfoxtrot
Thanks for all the advice. I'm most interested to find out that I can open an account. I will try CIBC and TD, I was positive though that when i tried online it states you have to be a resident. But it could so easily have been one of the other banks.

I've got plenty of stuff to document my move over here; emails between me and my boyfriend, leaving messages from people at my old job wishing me luck, my e-ticket, plus wedding invites, Christmas cards, photos, post addressed to me here etc. I just feel annoyed with myself that I didn't act sooner to put my name on bills etc, I am worried that an immigration agent might believe that we have only been living together since January, but I guess I will just have to use personal statements from friends & family to testify that we have been.

I think I am panicking over nothing!!!

One other bank you might like to try is BMO. I opened an account with them last June whilst a temporary visitor (still am), and my fiance who is PR already also has an account with the same bank. The bank also let us open a joint savings account and the whole process took us around 25 mins!!

Other than that, it sounds like you have plenty of evidence to support your common-law application so I think you can relax a little with the panicking.


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