Are we Common Law or Conjugal?

Old Sep 25th 2016, 3:37 am
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Exclamation Are we Common Law or Conjugal?

Hey there ....

I will try to keep this short and sweet.... I have had a good nose around but have not found a definitive answer to my question. So here it goes ...

Basically me and my girlfriend (same sex) got together in 2013. We lived together for 11 months in Canada, then lived for 12 months in New Zealand together. (total 23 months).

I'm unsure as to whether we are classed as common Law as we have lived together for over 12 months in a relationship, or if we are conjugal as we are now not living together at this present moment. My parents know about our same sex relationship, however are not very welcoming of it under their roof hence why she is not with me in the UK.

As for me living in Canada I have used up both my IEC permits so am unable to work in Canada anymore and we can not just keep traveling the world to stay together we want to settle down. Any advice as to which road to take would be greatly appreciated.

Many Thanks

Amy
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Old Sep 25th 2016, 4:12 am
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Default Re: Are we Common Law or Conjugal?

Originally Posted by amyg339
Hey there ....

I will try to keep this short and sweet.... I have had a good nose around but have not found a definitive answer to my question. So here it goes ...

Basically me and my girlfriend (same sex) got together in 2013. We lived together for 11 months in Canada, then lived for 12 months in New Zealand together. (total 23 months).

I'm unsure as to whether we are classed as common Law as we have lived together for over 12 months in a relationship, or if we are conjugal as we are now not living together at this present moment. My parents know about our same sex relationship, however are not very welcoming of it under their roof hence why she is not with me in the UK.

As for me living in Canada I have used up both my IEC permits so am unable to work in Canada anymore and we can not just keep traveling the world to stay together we want to settle down. Any advice as to which road to take would be greatly appreciated.

Many Thanks

Amy
IMHO you are common law.

CIC definition of a conjugal partner
A conjugal partner is a foreign national residing outside Canada who is in a conjugal relationship with a sponsor for at least one year, but could not live with the sponsor as a couple. This term applies to both heterosexual and homosexual couples. This category was established for partners of sponsors who normally would present an application as spouse or common-law partner but cannot due to circumstances beyond their control (e. g., immigration barrier, religious reasons or sexual orientation). Thus, they could not live together for a period of at least one year.

In most cases, the foreign partner is also not able to legally marry their sponsor and qualify as a spouse. In all other respects, the couple is similar to a common-law couple or a married couple, meaning they have been in a bona fide (genuine) conjugal relationship for a period of at least one year.

However, a significant degree of attachment and mutually interdependence between both partners must be demonstrated. They must also provide proof of the obstacles or restrictions that prevent cohabitation or marriage.

CIC definition of common law
Refers to a person who is living in a conjugal relationship with another person (opposite or same sex), and has done so continuously for a period of at least one year. A conjugal relationship exists when there is a significant degree of commitment between two people.
This can be shown with evidence that the couple share the same home, support each other financially and emotionally, have children together, or present themselves in public as a couple.

Common-law partners who have been in a conjugal relationship for at least one year but are unable to live together or appear in public together because of legal restrictions in their home country or who have been separated for reasons beyond their control (for example, civil war or armed conflict) may still qualify and should be included on the application.
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Old Sep 25th 2016, 4:18 am
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Default Re: Are we Common Law or Conjugal?

Originally Posted by Former Lancastrian
IMHO you are common law.
Hang on. I know that this is your expertise, but doesn't the 12 month cohabitation have to include the date of application, not just any old 12 month period in the past?
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Old Sep 25th 2016, 4:35 am
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Default Re: Are we Common Law or Conjugal?

Originally Posted by Novocastrian
Hang on. I know that this is your expertise, but doesn't the 12 month cohabitation have to include the date of application, not just any old 12 month period in the past?

Common-Law:
This means that you have lived continuously with your partner in a marital-type relationship for a minimum of one year.
Enter the date (year, month, day) you were married or you entered into your current common-law relationship.

What is cohabitation?
“Cohabitation” means “living together.” Two people who are cohabiting have combined their affairs and set up their household together in one dwelling. To be considered common-law partners, they must have cohabited for at least one year. This is the standard definition used across the federal government. 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.
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.

She can't sponsor her anyway as the OP is not a PR or citizen and would she now qualify as common law because they are not currently living together unless the separation is determined short as per above.

Last edited by Former Lancastrian; Sep 25th 2016 at 4:47 am.
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Old Sep 25th 2016, 4:53 am
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Default Re: Are we Common Law or Conjugal?

Originally Posted by Former Lancastrian


She can't sponsor her anyway as the OP is not a PR or citizen and would she now qualify as common law because they are not currently living together unless the separation is determined short as per above.
My point.
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Old Sep 25th 2016, 5:22 am
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Default Re: Are we Common Law or Conjugal?

Originally Posted by Novocastrian
My point.
Its a very valid point but as we know CIC could deem them common law as its a case by case basis and what evidence is supplied to them and who is applying.

What would be a very interesting decision is the current situation involving the Liberal MP and Cabinet Member Maryam Monsef. Could she lose her citizenship over an allegation of misrepresentation if somebody at CIC decided to report her or her mother. I highly doubt that will come about as it was the mother who directly or indirectly misrepresented her place of birth.

Revocation by Minister — fraud, false representation, etc.

10 (1) Subject to subsection 10.1(1), the Minister may revoke a person’s citizenship or renunciation of citizenship if the Minister is satisfied on a balance of probabilities that the person has obtained, retained, renounced or resumed his or her citizenship by false representation or fraud or by knowingly concealing material circumstances.
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Old Sep 25th 2016, 5:37 am
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Default Re: Are we Common Law or Conjugal?

Originally Posted by Former Lancastrian
What would be a very interesting decision is the current situation involving the Liberal MP and Cabinet Member Maryam Monsef. Could she lose her citizenship over an allegation of misrepresentation if somebody at CIC decided to report her or her mother. I highly doubt that will come about as it was the mother who directly or indirectly misrepresented her place of birth.
I had to google that. Doesn't seem likely that anything will happen (but with Michelle Rempel involved, anything could).
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Old Sep 25th 2016, 8:15 pm
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Default Re: Are we Common Law or Conjugal?

Originally Posted by Former Lancastrian
She can't sponsor her anyway as the OP is not a PR or citizen and would she now qualify as common law because they are not currently living together unless the separation is determined short as per above.
So still no definitive answer. And my OH is a canadian citizen??
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Old Sep 25th 2016, 8:41 pm
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Default Re: Are we Common Law or Conjugal?

Originally Posted by amyg339
So still no definitive answer. And my OH is a canadian citizen??
You're certainly not conjugal as you could get married anytime you wish (see the Wiki article about spousal sponsorship for more info on why people from the UK or other first world countries wouldn't be considered conjugal), whether you're common-law or not will depend on how long you've been apart, and you've not given that info. When exactly did you last live together as spouses?
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Old Sep 25th 2016, 8:54 pm
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Default Re: Are we Common Law or Conjugal?

Originally Posted by amyg339
So still no definitive answer. And my OH is a canadian citizen??
Well you certainly didn't mention that CRUCIAL part in your initial post
How long have you currently lived apart? If too long then CIC will not accept you as common law.
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Old Sep 26th 2016, 12:20 am
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Default Re: Are we Common Law or Conjugal?

If you're that committed to each other why not get married? It would make like much easier as she could then sponsor you as her spouse?
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Old Sep 26th 2016, 1:46 am
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Default Re: Are we Common Law or Conjugal?

This is the really, really grey part of common-law. According to the guidance, once common-law is established, you in theory should be able to retain it as long as you have maintained the conjugal part of your relationship, which you have.

HOWEVER, CIC is so so so so SO SO strict on absences when it comes to common-law relationships, and the fact that you are no longer living together really hurts your case. It doesn't matter that you don't have a work permit and that's why you are not able to be in Canada - CIC doesn't regard lack of a work permit as a sufficient reason for separation when it comes to common-law.

So you *could* try to apply, fight your case, and hope for the best... but honestly, it'll take about a year or so to get your answer, and if you're rejected, you'll then have to reapply as a married couple and that will take another year to get approved.

If it were me and you are serious about being together for the long haul (which you should be if you are considering sponsorship as that's a 3-year commitment from your partner), then I would suggest just getting married and applying as a married couple. It removes the question on whether or not you're still common-law, and it will save you a lot of headache (and money) in applying twice, if you are rejected the first time.

(I also suspect your application will go faster if you apply as married, because the fact that you aren't living together now means that on a common-law application you are almost for sure going to be asked to send in additional information down the road.)

Hope that helps!
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Old Sep 26th 2016, 1:52 am
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Default Re: Are we Common Law or Conjugal?

Originally Posted by christmasoompa
whether you're common-law or not will depend on how long you've been apart, and you've not given that info. When exactly did you last live together as spouses?
I've just re-read the first post. Making the most optimistic assumption that they "got together" in Dec 2013 in Canada and then travelled to NZ together, the 23 months of cohabitation must have ended in Nov. 2015 (more likely earlier).

Given that we're now in Sept. 2016, I think the answer to the title question is "Neither".
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Old Sep 26th 2016, 1:54 am
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Default Re: Are we Common Law or Conjugal?

Originally Posted by Novocastrian
I've just re-read the first post. Making the most optimistic assumption that they "got together" in Dec 2013 in Canada and then travelled to NZ together, the 23 months of cohabitation must have ended in Nov. 2015 (more likely earlier).

Given that we're now in Sept. 2016, I think the answer to the title question is "Neither".
I hadn't put together the math in the post, but that is a good point.

If this is accurate, then this is almost certainly way too long to apply as common-law.

Assuming these dates, then my advice is absolutely to get married and then apply.
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Old Sep 26th 2016, 3:48 am
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Default Re: Are we Common Law or Conjugal?

Originally Posted by SchnookoLoly
I hadn't put together the math in the post, but that is a good point.

If this is accurate, then this is almost certainly way too long to apply as common-law.

Assuming these dates, then my advice is absolutely to get married and then apply.
+1. That's far too long apart to still be considered common-law, so if that's correct (or close to it) I'd also go with 'neither' unfortunately.
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