Canada's commitment to family reunification extends to couples who are in a committed relationship but are not legally married. If you are a Canadian citizen or permanent resident and wish to bring your common-law partner to Canada, the process involves sponsorship through the Family Class program.
Sponsoring your common-law partner for immigration can be a complex journey, but with the right information and guidance, you can navigate it successfully. In this blog, we'll walk you through the key steps to sponsor your common-law partner for immigration to Canada.
1. Understand the Eligibility Criteria
Before beginning the sponsorship process, it's essential to ensure that both you and your common-law partner meet the eligibility criteria. You must be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, at least 18 years old, and not be inadmissible for certain reasons. Your common-law partner must prove the genuineness of the relationship and meet admissibility requirements concerning health, criminality, and security.
2. Establish a Legitimate Common-Law Relationship
To be considered common-law partners, you must have lived together in a conjugal relationship for at least 12 consecutive months. This period can be within or outside Canada, but it should be continuous and without significant interruptions. You'll need to provide evidence of your shared life, such as joint bank accounts, shared bills, correspondence, and other documents that demonstrate your commitment to each other.
3. Gather Required Documentation
Proper documentation is crucial to support your sponsorship application. This includes personal identification documents, proof of relationship, evidence of shared residence, financial support, and any additional documents that establish the authenticity of your relationship. Each case is unique, so ensure you provide comprehensive documentation that strengthens your application.
4. Complete the Application Forms
The sponsorship process involves submitting both the sponsorship application and the permanent residence application for your common-law partner. You will need to fill out specific forms, such as the IMM 1344 Sponsorship Evaluation and the IMM 0008 Application for Permanent Residence. These forms require accurate and detailed information about both you and your partner.
5. Undergo Background Checks and Medical Examinations
As part of the immigration process, your common-law partner will need to undergo medical examinations by an approved panel physician. These exams ensure they are admissible to Canada based on health grounds. Additionally, both you and your partner will undergo criminal background checks to ensure there are no admissibility concerns related to criminal activity.
6. Pay the Application Fees
Sponsorship applications come with processing fees, which are subject to change. Ensure you pay the correct fees and keep proof of payment for your records. Payment can be made online through the Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) website.
7. Submit Your Application Package
Compile all the required documents, forms, and fees into a complete application package. Double-check for accuracy and completeness before submitting it to the appropriate address provided by IRCC. Be sure to keep copies of all documents for your records.
8. Wait for Processing and Decision
Once your application is submitted, the processing time can vary based on factors such as the volume of applications and individual circumstances. You can track the status of your application online through the IRCC portal. If additional information or documentation is required, be prepared to provide it promptly.
9. Attend Interviews and Provide Additional Information
In some cases, IRCC may request an interview or additional information to further assess the genuineness of the relationship. If an interview is required, make sure to attend and provide truthful and accurate responses.
10. Prepare for Arrival in Canada
If your common-law partner's application is approved, they will receive a Confirmation of Permanent Residence (COPR). This document, along with the permanent resident visa, allows them to travel to Canada. Upon arrival, they will officially become a permanent resident and can begin their new life in Canada.
Sponsoring your common-law partner for immigration to Canada is a significant endeavor that requires careful preparation and attention to detail. By understanding the eligibility criteria, gathering required documentation, completing application forms accurately, and staying informed about the process, you can successfully navigate the sponsorship journey. Keep in mind that immigration processes can be subject to changes, so it's essential to stay updated by visiting the official IRCC website or seeking guidance from qualified immigration professionals.
If you need further assistance, do not hesitate to contact Immigration Station Canada, where we offer professional immigration advice to help you through every step of the process.
Immigration Station Canada will work with you and guide you through the best process to achieve your goals, wherever they lead!
Immigration Station Canada is a dedicated, professional Canadian Immigration firm practicing out of Northumberland County, just east of Toronto, Canada. We serve clients from Kingston, Belleville, Brighton, Cobourg, Oshawa, the GTA, Guelph, Milton, Stratford, St. Catharines, and around the world. Our Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant, Anne C. McCaughey (Annie) is an experienced immigration services provider and a fifth-generation Canadian who values the immigration process and the unique individuals who immigrate to Canada to become part of the fabric of this wonderful country. If you would like to submit a question to Ask Annie, use the contact form.
How Can We Help? We do work permits, study permits, visitor visas, Express Entry, spousal sponsorship, family class sponsorship, and Canadian citizenship with expertise in Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) applications and Global Talent Stream applications. Please contact us if you would like assistance with your immigration application or to book an appointment.