Mon | Nov 23, 2020

Immigration Corner | Can boyfriend file for me?

Published:Monday | August 21, 2017 | 12:00 AM

Dear Ms Powell,

I have been seeing a Canadian man for the past two years. He wanted me to visit this summer and I applied for a visitor's visa, but I was denied because of family ties. Can he sponsor me even though we are not married? He has been visiting me every holiday and some weekends when he can get the time off. We are saving for our wedding, but I was wondering if he could sponsor me in the meantime.

- O.B.


Dear OB,

Your boyfriend can sponsor you if you are able to prove that you are in a conjugal relationship. You and your spouse may be considered to be in a conjugal relationship although you are not married. A conjugal relationship may be defined as a committed relationship between individuals over the age of 18 who have been in a mutually dependent relation for a continuous period of at least one year. You will need to provide proof that the only reason you are not living together is because of immigration restrictions, religious belief, work or other obligations.

It is very important that you are both able to provide proof that you are in a stable, committed relationship and that you have some financial commitment to each other. Some proof that you will need to submit with your application are photographs of both of you together and with family and friends, telephone records, correspondences, shared bills, insurance policies, proof of joint ownership of property, letters from family and friends, social media communication and acknowledgement of relationship openly to friends on your Facebook account.

You may hire a lawyer to guide you, prepare the application and submit it on your behalf, or you can both find the necessary forms on the Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada website.

One of the conditions of sponsorship is that your boyfriend will need to show that he is able to support you financially by providing his notice of assessments or tax returns. He will need to undertake to be responsible for you financially, as well as undertake that you will not become a financial burden to the government. This undertaking will be for a minimum of three years. This means that you will not turn to the government for financial assistance or special allowances, such as housing, assistance with paying for glasses, dental care, or hearing aids. If you happen to need assistance from the government, then your spouse would be legally required to reimburse the government for those expenses.

Other requirements are that you must not have been sponsored by someone else to become a permanent resident within the past three years or have sponsored another spouse in the same period. There are other requirements such as that you both pass criminal and security checks. You will also be required to do a medical test.

- Deidre S. Powell is a lawyer, mediator and notary public who is a member of the Jamaican and Ontario, Canada bars, with main office located in Ottawa, Ontario. Her areas of practice are: immigration, real estate, commercial, personal injury, family and administration of estates. Email: . Subject: Immigration. Tel: 613.695.8777