Canada has been recognized internationally as one of the most socially progressive countries in the world. In 2005, Canada legalized same sex marriage across the country although most of Canada’s provinces had already recognized same-sex marriages since 2003. The Canadian Immigration department (Citizenship & Immigration Canada) recognized sponsorship and immigration of same-sex spouses, common-law partners and even “conjugal partners”.
Types of Same-Sex Couples Looking to Immigrate
Same-sex spouses: Two individuals of the same sex who are in a relationship or married to each other.
Common-law partners: Refers to a person who is living in an exclusive relationship with another person (opposite or same sex), and has done so continuously for a period of at least one year.
You may apply for common-law partner immigration if you have the forms of proof of:
- joint bank accounts or credit cards,
- joint ownership of a home,
- joint residential leases,
- joint rental receipts,
- joint registration or payments of utilities (electricity, gas, telephone),
- joint management of households expenses,
- joint purchases, especially of household items, or
- mail addressed to either person or both people at the same address.
Conjugal partners:A conjugal partner relationship exists where two people are in a marriage-like relationship but are not married and have not lived together for a period of at least one year due to extenuating circumstances or other reasons.
You may apply as a conjugal partner if:
you have had a conjugal relationship with your sponsor for at least one year and you could not live together or marry because of an immigration barrier, or your marital status, or your sexual orientation you can provide proof there was a reason you could not live together.
Immigrating to Canada Together
If you are planning to immigrate to Canada as a skilled worker, and you are in a same-sex relationship in your country of origin, you can apply as a couple. If you are qualified to immigrate to Canada you can move together. Your partner can even add points onto your applications with their qualifications, this will help you achieve a greater point total and possibly a better chance of application acceptance. Same-sex couples, residing in another country who are in a common-law relationship or a marriage can apply for Permanent Residence Status in Canada as a couple if they are eligible.
Sponsoring a Same-Sex Partner to Canada
Canadian citizens and Permanent Residents can sponsor their same-sex partners to come to Canada within 6 to 12 months. This is part of the Spousal Sponsorship to Canada. You can apply to sponsor your same-sex partner as a spouse if you:
- Are a citizen or permanent resident of Canada
- Were married in Canada and issued a marriage certificate by a Canadian province or territory on or after one of these dates:
- British Columbia (on or after July 8, 2003),
- Manitoba (on or after September 16, 2004),
- New Brunswick (on or after July 4, 2005),
- Newfoundland and Labrador (on or after December 21, 2004),
- Nova Scotia (on or after September 24, 2004),
- Ontario (on or after June 10, 2003),
- Quebec (on or after March 19, 2004),
- Saskatchewan (on or after November 5, 2004),
- Yukon (on or after July 14, 2004) or
- all other provinces or territories (on or after July 20, 2005).
If you were married outside of Canada, you may apply for Spousal Sponsorship to Canada as long as the marriage is legally recognized according to both the law of the place where the marriage occurred and under Canadian law.