While life may definitely be difficult for most people around the world, one sector of society that faces some of the biggest challenges today is the LGBTIQ+ community.
Even if today’s society is becoming increasingly accepting of the LGBTIQ+ community, it is clearer than ever that the same treatment has yet to be applied to same-sex relationships. In most parts of the world, being together with someone of the same gender poses an inherent risk of experiencing problems like:
- Discrimination against both partners in a relationship
- Continuous mockery and humiliation in public
- Being subjected to the gossip of close-minded conservatives individuals that don’t know any better
If you’re in a same-sex relationship, you’ve probably understood fairly well by now that making your partnership work while withstanding unnecessary hardship is no small feat. Compared to the other challenges that you can handle, the most painful sort to bear is the inability to celebrate the love that you and your significant other share through marriage. Well, unless you’re in Canada!
Why The Great White North is the ally for same-sex marriages
Although it is no secret that Canada is the ideal destination for all minorities because of its highly-advantageous immigration policies, most people don’t realize that it’s also one of the friendliest nations in the world toward the LGBTIQ+ community.
When you take a look at the country’s social landscape as a whole, you’ll quickly see that their support for same-sex relationships goes far beyond parades that are held once a year. According to the 2016 Canadian census, 72,880 same-sex couples were peacefully residing in the country, comprising almost 0.9 percent of the nation’s relationships.
However, the most astounding part of the same census was that one-third of the recorded couples were married, more than the number that any other nation in the world has.
For those who live in countries that don’t allow same-sex marriage laws, the allure of moving to the Land of the Maple Leaf can be even more alluring. Amid all the bigotry and criminal charges (or worse, capital punishment) that are imposed by other countries, Canada offers a safe-haven where couples can finally enjoy a human right they are unethically restricted from.
How does Canada fare beyond same-sex marriages?
Generally speaking, the chances of landing a Canadian permanent residence visa or citizenship are rather high because of its smooth-sailing process.
Canadian law itself (and the same-sex laws and guidelines it upholds) recognizes these two kinds of same-sex partners that are eligible as immigrants: common-law and conjugal partners.
Common-law partners are classified as those who have lived together for more than a year and currently possess joint financial records and major joint purchases. Alternatively, conjugal partners are classified as those that share a physical relationship with one another but cannot live together because of discrimination, a kind of union that is common in countries where homosexuality is criminalized. However, it is critical to note that partners in conjugal relationships must prove interdependence!
While Canada’s immigration laws and programs are widely applicable to any situation that bears the need to move countries, specific options are more appropriate for same-sex couples looking to get married. Here are some of the most relevant citizenship or permanent residency sponsorship programs that same-sex couples can apply for:
- Economic class visas (particularly the Live-In Caregiver program)
- Refugee programs (most commonly available to same-sex partners being persecuted for homosexuality in their home countries)
- Family-class sponsorships (this is most applicable for same-sex partners that were legally wed within or outside of Canadian borders)
Being in a same-sex relationship presents an assortment of unique challenges that bring about some of the world’s greatest difficulties, especially when it comes to the inability to be wed in most countries. Fortunately, Canada provides an asylum for partners being restricted from enjoying a fundamental human right on top of being one of the friendliest environments for the LGBTIQ+ community in the world!
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