Common-Law Canada Immigration Proof

Table of Contents


Cohabitation is the act of living together. Key aspects of cohabitation are

  • Common-law partners must live together in the same house
  • Partners must have shared responsibilities for household affairs (household bills and other expenses
  • Common-law partners must have lived together continuously

Documents must show there is a continuous living of common-law partners for a year.  It is allowed to leave the home or travel for a short period. It could be for work or business reasons, or even family obligations.

Under the Canadian common laws, couples must live together full time.  Couples who live in separate houses are not considered to be cohabiting.

Documents that prove common-law partnerships are;

  • Joint bank account or credit details
  • Medical records
  • Shared rental leases
  • Shared ownership of properties
  • Telephone calls record
  • Same address of both parties
  • Documents that show that both parties have the same address e.g insurance documents, driver’s license, and identification documents
  • Emails
  • Text messages

Conjugal relationship

A conjugal relationship is one in which there is a significant degree of attachment. Common-law couples must also prove that they are emotionally, physically, and socially attached. This can show in the commitment of both partners, sleeping patterns, fidelity, and sharing of household chores.

To accept the existence of a conjugal relationship, the immigration authorities consider the presence of children resulting from the relationship, pictures, social media posts, documents, and if family and community members view the two individuals as a couple

Financial responsibility  

To prove common-law status, a couple will also submit evidence of shared financial responsibilities. Documents to prove shared financial responsibilities are;

  • Utility bills(gas, water, telephone, and electric bills)
  • Receipts for household purchases
  • Insurance documents

Public relationship

Attending social events together, pictures, and social media posts and captions are good evidence of the existence of a conjugal relationship. It is best to put photos that show activities, travel and experiences spent together.

You must present yourself as a couple that is dependent on each other

This is a quick and easy way to prove to the Canada Immigration authorities of a common-law relationship

A common-law partnership is prohibited where;

  • One or both parties in a relationship are below 18 years
  • Incestuous relationship
  • Polygamous relationship
  • Criminal record
  • Consanguine relationship

How to sponsor your common-law partner

If you are a Canadian citizen looking to sponsor a common-law partner for Canadian immigration. You and your partner must meet the IRC eligibility criteria and prove you are in a conjugal and ongoing relationship.

A common-law partner does not necessarily have to be in Canada to have sponsorship.

Eligibility criteria for the sponsor

A person is eligible to sponsor if;

  • He/she is a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, or an indigenous person registered under the Canadian Indian act
  • Has the capacity to provide for the financial needs of the sponsored
  • Show that he/she does not receive any form of social assistance unless they have a disability
  • Must be at least 18 years of age

Eligibility criteria for being sponsored

  • Must either be a spouse, common-law partner or be in a conjugal relationship with the sponsor
  • You must be at least 18 years
  • You must pass a health, criminality, and security screening test

How to apply for spousal sponsorship

Once it has been established you and your partner meet the eligibility criteria, you can get the application form on the IRCC’S official webpage and then proceed to pay the necessary fees. This includes a biometrics fee, processing fee, and a right of permanent residence fee.

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