Sponsoring your common-law partner to Canada may not be a simple process, but Canada welcomes the opportunity to keep or reunite Canadian Citizens/Permanent Residents with their Spouses. The simple definition of a “Common-Law” relationship is a genuine, spouse-like relationship where you have been living together for more than 12 months. Same-sex relationships are also considered too.

Once the Sponsor (Canadian Citizen/Permanent Resident) has satisfied the sponsorship requirement and the applicant (Spouse) has met the below eligibility requirements, the visa grants the following entitlements:

  • Live and work in Canada as Permanent Residents
  • Study in Canada
  • Become a Citizen of Canada within 4 years

The Sponsor must satisfy the following basic requirements to be considered an ‘eligible’ sponsor:

  • Be over the age of 18
  • Must be a Canadian Permanent Resident or Citizen of Canada
  • Must have sufficient income to sponsor under this Class
  • Must have either not sponsored a Spouse under the Family Class visa previously OR at least 3 years have elapsed since your previous spouse became a permanent resident of Canada
  • Must be of good character
  • Must not be claiming any social support/benefits from the Government of Canada (other than disability)

If you are a Canadian Permanent Resident:

  • You must be living in Canada at the time of sponsorship

If you are a Canadian Citizen:

  • You may sponsor whether you are inside or outside of Canada however if you are sponsoring from outside, you must evidence your intent to settle in Canada once the application is approved

The sponsor is obligated to ensure that the persons in which they sponsor are provided with basic requirements such as food, accommodation, clothing etc. as well as financial support for as long as they may require.

Once the sponsors’ application is considered and approved, the Spouse must submit an application and satisfy the following basic requirements:

  • You are over the age of 16
  • You can evidence at least 12 months co-habitation with your Canadian partner
  • You are of good health and character

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