How to Sponsor Common-law Partners to Canada during Covid-19 Outbreak

No matter how far you are now, Canadians can still sponsor their common-law partners amid coronavirus. We all know about the travel restrictions Canada has put to prevent the spread of Coronavirus, which has already taken 1, 974 lives in the country. However, Canada’s travel restrictions do not affect immediate family members, including parents, and common-law partners.

According to Canadian immigration system, common-law partners are those who have lived together for at least one year in a conjugal fashion. The relationship looks much like a marriage-like relationship, but you aren’t married. Canadian citizens as well as permanent residents are allowed to sponsor their common-law partners for Canada immigration.

If you want to sponsor your common-law partner to Canada, then you must prove that you both have lived together for one year. For this, you may provide the following documents as proof during the spouse visa process:

• A joint bank account statement from an account shared by both of you.
• Savings accounts you share together.
• Credit or credit card statements
• If renting, a lease that has been jointly signed.
• If you have jointly purchased a home, present a purchase agreement or signed mortgage paperwork.
• Statutory declarations from individuals confirming that the relationship is genuine and continuing.

To make your application look more authentic, you may also include additional information such as photographs of your travel or dates, text messaging logs, phone call logs, instant messages, or anything to prove that you two are in a genuine relationship.

Tips to sponsor your common-law partner amid covid-19

Considering the travel restrictions due to coronavirus pandemic, common-law partners travel to Canada may submit the above-mentioned documents as proof of their relationship at the Port of Entry.

As the Canadian government continues to bring in more measures to tackle the covid-19 situation, couple might face a little bit difficulty to process their common-law sponsorship application, regardless of whether they are applying for Inland or Outland sponsorship.

Canadian Spousal Sponsorship: Inland vs. Outland

The spousal sponsorship for Canada can be divided into two categories: Inland and Outland. Depending on whether your spouse is residing in Canada, you may apply for either inland or outland sponsorship.

The one major difference between inland and outland sponsorship is where your partner is currently residing. Canadian permanent residents or citizens wishing to sponsor their common-law partners who are not living in Canada may then apply for the outland sponsorship. Outland applicants can apply for a temporary visa to travel to and from Canada. However, considering the current covid-19 situation and travel restriction, Canada has put restrictions on non-essential travel to the country.

Inland sponsorship, on the other hand, is for applicants whose partners are currently living in Canada. In order to qualify, the spouse requires a valid temporary visa status to be in the country- as a student or worker.

IRCC may accept incomplete applications

This is good news for applicants, both for inland and outland candidates, who have not yet filed their spousal sponsorship with the Canadian immigration authorities.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) will continue to accept incomplete applications, provided you are able to prove that you are unable to submit documents due to COVID-19 service disruptions. You may submit a detailed letter of explanation in favour of your case.

IRCC will take 90 days to review incomplete applications. If you are able to submit the missing document within 60 days, your application will be processed further. Otherwise, IRCC officers will request you to submit the incomplete documents before the end of next deadline.


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