People who reach a specific phase in their relationship often decide to have an engagement period before tying the knot. Though engagement is a step toward building a partnership recognized by the government, fiancés do not have the same level of obligations that married people have to each other. As such, they cannot claim the benefits inherent in being another person’s husband or wife.
This is one of the reasons why fiancés are not accepted under family class sponsorship for Canadian residency. People who want to bring their fiancé to Canada must choose other ways of doing so. There are several alternatives, according to immigration experts, and some of which are outlined below:
1. Common-law sponsorship
Those who cohabitate with their partner and have been doing so for 12 continuous months may pursue common-law sponsorship. Those who have not been away from their fiancé for long periods of time can opt for this method, especially if they do not intend on marrying each other for the time being.
Since there is no legally binding document that attests to their partnership, couples applying under this type of sponsorship must prove the genuineness of their relationship. They must show proof of living together such as documentation of property, like their house title or lease agreement, utility bills, bank information, photos together, and more.
2. Conjugal sponsorship
For some couples, they may be engaged but are unable to see each other due to outside circumstances. There may be political obstacles such as war, persecution, or refugee and exile status that hinder them from being physically together. Couples in this situation can apply for conjugal sponsorship.
The stipulation for this route is the same as the one for common-law partnership; parties must prove that they have been in a relationship for a minimum of one year. The only difference is that there need not be proof of having lived together. In situations like these where there are extrinsic, limiting political circumstances, proof of cohabitation is not required.
3. Spousal sponsorship
If the couple can defer their plans of moving, they can go through the normal spousal sponsorship route. Since they are engaged, it will only be a matter of time until they are married. Spousal immigration to Canada involves the party currently residing in the country applying to be a sponsor of the partner who is outside the country.
Aside from their marriage registration and certificate, couples may be required to provide further documentary evidence of their union, as well as submit to an interview.
4. Other ways to get a visa
If none of the routes discussed apply to you and your partner, you can go through other methods of immigrating. If your spouse is from a visa-exempt country, like Australia, New Zealand, or the UK, they can visit you through an electronic travel authorization or eTA.
This allows them to stay in the country for up to six months, during which you can get married and apply for a spousal sponsorship. If your partner is from a non-exempt country, they can either apply for a tourist visa or an Express Entry or EE working visa.
EE is a route through which skilled foreign nationals can obtain permanent residence and eventual citizenship in Canada. The system takes into account your fiance’s age, language skills, educational background, work experience, and other factors that show their capability to positively contribute to the Canadian economy.
Getting a visa for your fiancé requires an understanding of the law and a great deal of patience. Engagements are not considered legally binding and are not a basis for family class sponsorship. You must find other ways of getting your partner to join you in Canada.
For other questions on how to immigrate to Canada, please contact our trusted firm at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1-888-404-8472.