Difference Between Common Law, Conjugal, and Marriage Relationship

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For facts, one of Canada’s most important immigration commitment and targets is to see families reunited in Canada. As families grow in Canada, so does the country’s population, this would help counter the high rate of decreasing population in Canada and the ageing labour force in the country.

The Canadian spousal sponsorship requires the individuals involved to fall under one of the three relationships Common Law, Conjugal, and Marriage before a sponsorship application for a spouse can be considered. But often time, one or two of these relationships could be confused or mistaken for the other.

To become a sponsor in Canada or actually qualify to be sponsored, you must meet some criteria and requirements which include providing proof that your marriage, conjugal, or common-law relationship is genuine and sometimes it goes beyond just providing some documents.

For a conjugal relationship, it would require a bit more of a supporting document, chat histories, photos if any and so many more.

What is the difference?

A marriage relationship is a legally recognized union between two people either in Canada or outside Canada. Any marriage that took place outside Canada, must be acceptable under Canadian law and also valid under the country’s law the marriage took place.

A common-law relationship is for couples who have lived together for more than 12 months whether in Canada or elsewhere but not necessarily married. The couples may have children or a child together which would make proving their relationship easier or they could provide substantial proof to show they have been together for the past 12 months.

A conjugal relationship is for couples who have been together in a committed relationship for at least 12 months just like the common-law relationship but the difference is that this type may be unable to live together due to some reasons, maybe if the stay in different countries.

The big difference between the three relationships is the level or number of proof that may be required. But you have to bear in mind that the three relationships undergo the same thorough process when it comes to sponsors.

When you are proving a common-law or marriage relationship you are mostly required to provide proof to show that you have lived together for more than a year or a legally accepted marriage document respectively.

But when proving a conjugal relationship, you would have to provide a substantial reason why you and your partner have been kept from each other such as immigration barriers, religious reasons, or sexual orientation. You will also be required to provide supporting documents such as; Pictures together, emails or messages sent to each other, joint bank account statements, or joint residential leases to prove your relationship is genuine.

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