The Effect of Common-Law Relationships When Sponsoring a Spouse

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The Effect of Common-Law Relationships When Sponsoring a Spouse

With Canada aiming to cement its status as one of the most immigration-friendly nations in the world, it is no surprise that the country has pulled out all the stops on its policies and programs.

Although the country is undoubtedly a noteworthy option if you’ve considered moving countries, the truth about its immigration laws and standards is that they can prove to be as rigorous as they are accommodating. In the case of immigrants who possess common-law or marriage-like relationships, compliance is much more essential because of the growing standards that the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) has imposed.

What to know about having a common-law or marriage-like relationship

Generally, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) officers have become much more particular towards watching out for fresh immigrants who have sponsored a spouse after entering Canada on a visa.

The main problem in this situation generally lies in the fact that these officers may form the impression that you were in a common-law relationship for a year before you entered the country on a visa. It may not necessarily seem like a significant factor at first, but the impression of being in a relationship can easily lead to a finding of a material misrepresentation that results from failing to disclose your relationship status.

The main reason such cases are a focal point

Based on the guidelines set by subsection 40 of the Immigration Refugee Protection Act, the CBSA is implored to keep an eye out for a failure to disclose essential information because doing so leads to the conclusion that a line of inquiry was cut off. The line of inquiry in question often affects the potential status of any visa applicant and can bring about a few legal implications along the way when deemed fabricated or cut off altogether.


One such example of the cases stated above can be found in applications to sponsor one’s spouse. When an applicant states that they’ve lived with their spouse for more than a year before they landed as a permanent resident, the Canadian government will deem it as a common-law relationship.

If an CIC officer discovers your non-disclosed relationship and discovers that they have a medical condition or criminal conviction that would have affected your permanent resident status, you may end up facing an investigation.

What to do when faced with an investigation

It is vital to note that an officer, in most cases, would be moved to begin their investigation on the presumption that you intentionally hid the existence of your relationship. Seeing that such an admission would have had a great impact on your application status, authorities will be inclined to lower the standard of evidence required to deem your relationship as common-law.

This particular investigation can easily prove to be much more severe because a determined failure to declare your alleged common-law relationship will result in an exclusion order. Being handed an exclusion order will ultimately result in a five-year ban from Canada and affect your chances of sponsoring your partner for a permanent residency in the future.

The only way to avoid the conclusion that you were in a common-law relationship can be done by proving the following:

  • That you had multiple sexual partners
  • That you did not share financial responsibilities with your partner
  • That you lived with other people in the year before arriving in Canada
  • That you did not present the person who you lived with a year before landing as your exclusive partner to friends and family

Conclusion

Applying to sponsor your partner for a permanent residency in Canada can often prove to be quite easy in most cases. Yet, the situation can take a turn for the worst if the CBSA and CIC officers determine that your relationship was of common-law.

If you are looking for immigration consultants in Toronto to help with spousal sponsorship application or for professional help from a trusted firm please contact us at info@brightimmigration.com or call 1-888-404-8472.

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Expert help, expert care

Our professionals make the difference. Our representatives are recognized by the Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council and Law Society of Upper Canada. We are guided by our commitment to professionalism, ethics, and belief in providing our client with access to quality legal care and immigration help. You can rest assured that you are well represented and protected when you choose Bright.
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