common-law sponsorship enough documents?


New Member

I?m currently in the process of sponsoring my common-law partner under the family sponsorship class. I?m a permanent resident of Canada since May 2004 but I decided to go back to the Philippines in May 2009 - May 2012 to finish my university education there and I stayed there for 3 years. During my stay in the Philippines, I met my partner and we started living together from November 16, 2010 to April 30, 2012 and therefore became common-law status on November 16, 2011.

We have a joint bank account, life insurance naming each other as beneficiary, my pension also names her as my common-law partner and beneficiary. My option C printout from CRA also names her as my common-law partner.

The problem I have is that I don?t have any document showing we shared the same address. The lease contract for the apartment we both lived in only has my name on it because it was drafted before we moved in together. Our utility bill is named under the owner of the apartment unit we?re renting. Phone bill is named under my name because it?s usually registered under one person. We have prepaid phones as well so no statement. What we did is my partner signed an affidavit that we did both lived together in the same place for the said period. Do you think that would be sufficient proof for cohabitation? We have a lot of pictures showing we do live together and doing normal house chores ? cooking, cleaning, etc.

The other problem I have is that when I renewed my Permanent Resident card back in September 2013, I called CIC call centre and asked them about what I should put under my marital status and I explained to them that I wasn?t living with my common-law partner anymore because I had to move due to fulfill my residency requirements but there was no breakdown in relationship. They told me I should indicate ?Never Married? and that?s what I did. Now, I?m worried that it might have an effect on my application. What?s your opinion regarding that?

I?m almost done filling out all the forms and gathering the necessary documents. All that?s left is for my partner to send it to me here in Canada so I can sign it and send it to CIC.

I appreciate any advice you can provide.


Riley Haas

Well-Known Member
Hi Franz,
Let's see if I can help you.

Here's the problem, as far as I can tell. You haven't lived together recently, correct? If that's the case, you are not, for CIC's purposes (and, frankly, I believe, for most government's purposes) living common-law any more. Your joint accounts may help prove your relationship but, frankly, it will be hard to convince CIC if you are not living together.

There are basically three types of spousal sponsorship applications:
  • sponsoring your spouse
  • sponsoring your common-law partner
  • sponsoring your "conjugal" partner
Unless I am mistaken, it sounds like you are actually submitting a "conjugal" partner sponsorship. The problem with such an application is that you will be expected to show why it is you could not marry/live together.

I would suggest you marry before proceeding.

Please let me know if I misunderstood the situation.