Under the Common-Law Partner visa, Canadian citizens and permanent residents who are living in Canada can apply to sponsor their common-law partner and eligible dependent children. This visa allows the opportunity to be sponsored for applicants who have been residing with their qualifying Canadian partners for a period of 1 year or more in an ongoing relationship. Applicants and their partners need to be in a genuine and continuing relationship and intend to live together in Canada.

The Canadian partner must be willing to live in Canada with the applicant once the visa is granted, and must be capable of supporting the applicant without accessing public funds. Once granted, the common-law partner will be given permanent residence and the right to join their sponsoring partner in Canada.

Common-Law Partner Visa Basic Requirements

To apply for the Common-Law Partner visa, applicants must provide evidence of an ongoing and genuine relationship and have resided together at a common address for at least 1 year, with a Canadian citizen or permanent resident living in Canada. Both same-sex and opposite-sex couples are eligible for this visa. The sponsor must also sign an undertaking to provide for all of the applicant’s basic needs for a period of 3 years from the partner’s arrival in Canada. In addition, all common-law partners must undergo health and character checks prior to their arrival.

Common-Law Partner Visa Entitlements

A common-law partner who is granted permanent residence under the Family Class will have the right to live, work and study in Canada indefinitely. Permanent residents can access Canada’s unique government-funded health care, subsidized education, language training programs, and assistance for finding employment. Additional benefits of Canadian permanent residence include eligibility for Canada Pension Plan Benefits, Old Age Security and Guaranteed Income Supplement, and the option to participate in retirement plans such as Registered Retirement Savings Plans (RRSP). Together with the many freedoms associated with permanent residence is the ability to apply for Canadian citizenship.