Conjugal Partner Sponsorship

Do you have barriers preventing you from living or marrying your partner? VisaPath can help you sponsor your partner and reunite in Canada.

There are many couples who are neither married nor in a common-law relationship. Many times, couples face situations which prevent them from living together or getting married that are out of their control. Fortunately, couples in these situations may be eligible to apply for conjugal sponsorship.

Who is Eligible?

Both partners must meet the following requirements:

  • At least 18 years old
  • Have been in a relationship at least one year in length
  • The partner to be sponsored (applicant) must live outside Canada
  • The couple is not legally married or in a common-law relationship due to significant

legal or immigration reasons preventing them living together


Significant Legal or Immigration Reasons

This is the primary burden to satisfy. You must demonstrate that the legal and/or immigration obstacle is preventing you from living together with your partner.

The reason for separation must be carefully explained. It is very important for a successful application that the reason be a factor you cannot control, such as legal, social, religious, or political reasons.

Sometimes it may be self-evident, as with a same-sex couple from a country where marriages are not permitted or even recognized. Another valid reason would be if being physically impossible to live with the partner due to the difficulty of coming to the country because of an armed conflict.

Efforts to Resolve Issues
The length of time being separated from your partner without taking action will be significant.

IRCC officers will examine the reasonable attempts you and your partner have made to deal with these circumstances, such as previous attempts to reunify with a visitor visa application.

It is important to show all attempts at resolving the barriers from reuniting and that your relationship is genuine, meaning it is founded on love and honesty. Immigration officers are always on the lookout for signs that a relationship is merely a relationship of convenience, meaning you are together for the primary purpose of obtaining permanent residency in Canada.

Genuineness of Relationship

Demonstrating that your relationship is genuine is a pivotal aspect of common law sponsorship applications.

Couples must demonstrate to the immigration officer that you are a loving, committed couple and did not enter the relationship solely to obtain permanent resident status in Canada. Immigration officers will assess this component through reviewing your documents and through an interview process. Officers look very carefully for signs of immigration fraud through phony relationships.

If you have been in a short-length relationship prior to submitting your application, the genuineness of your relationship must be strong and convincing.

How Can You Demonstrate Genuineness?

As you are not legally married and do not have a marriage certificate, you will need to utilize other documents. Depending on the length and nature of your relationship, examples of evidence supporting a genuine relation include:

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Communication between you and your partner (phone records, text messages, emails, love letters, etc.)

There is a limit to the amount of communication you may submit in support of your application, in absolute page numbers. As such, you should select the most honest and sincere communications throughout the length of your relationship. Ideally, the communications should not be all recent but taken throughout the length of your relationship.

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Without photos from a formal wedding ceremony, you may instead provide quality photos of you and your partner during any trips taken together, family events and/or intimate moments that reflect an honest relationship.

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Personal Statements

A personal statement from both partners in the relationship is very important. It needs to include details from when you first met to the present day and should ideally be supplemented by other statements from family, friends, co-workers, or any others who may have knowledge of the relationship. If some people have not been told about the relationship, or could not participate in important events like birthdays, a civil ceremony, etc., there should be an explanation of why (cultural/social reasons, inability to travel to the country, illness, among others).

Application Process

Step 1: Eligibility

Before starting, you must determine if you are eligible to sponsor and your partner is eligible to be sponsored.

Step 2: Documents

Once you determined that you meet the eligibility requirements, the next step is to gather your documents. There are mandatory documents which must be provided, such as marriage certificate, police clearance(s), birth certificate(s) and genuineness documents.

IRCC provides applicants with a document checklist, listing the required documentation for the application. However, just because you provide the required documents does not guarantee an approval. Every case is unique and must be individually assessed to determine the potential areas of weakness; and to properly address those areas of weakness to give you the best chances of success.

Step 3: Application Forms

There are several application forms to complete with this application. It is important that these application forms be fully complete with accurate and truthful information.

Any missing information or discrepancy in the forms may be returned and deemed “incomplete” or may lead to a refusal. If there is a suspicion of untruthfulness or intention to mislead the immigration officer, you may be charged with misrepresentation, which may result in an automatic 5-year ban in future applications, or at worst, removal (deportation) proceedings.

Step 4: Application Fees

Before submitting your application, you must pay the application fees associated with your sponsorship application. You must pay the application fees online and include the application fee receipt with your application.

Step 5: After you Submit

Once the application is submitted, the application will go through a 2-phase process.

The first phase is called the completeness check. The immigration officer will verify that all required forms and documents were properly submitted and that the fees were paid. If you failed to provide any of the above-mentioned items, then the application will be returned.

The second phase is called eligibility review. The reviewing officer will assess and provide a letter determining whether the partner meets the sponsorship requirements. At this stage, the reviewing officer may request further supporting documentation if any clarification is needed before he/she makes a final determination.

Have a Question?

How We Can Help

In the self-employed stream, immigration officers carefully examine claims of ‘world-class’ experience and the intention to continue these careers after arriving in Canada.

At VisaPath, our representatives understand the minds of immigration officers and can guide you through each step of the process, ensuring you compile a strong and convicting application to give you the best chances of success

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To get started, call and schedule a consolation with one of our representatives.


I would like to thank Shabnam and her team for all their help and guidance in securing my permanent resident status. They are a professional law firm who know the express entry process very well. I would highly recommend them to anyone who is applying through the express entry program.

Mahima Raina

My thanks to you and your team, Shabnam. My wife and I have just entered Canada and received our documents. I am now a Federal Skilled Worker 😉 We couldn’t have done this without you.

Ernesto D

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a conjugal partnership?

A conjugal partnership is when two individuals have made a commitment to be with each other but is not able to get married or cohabitate due to political boundaries, religious differences, sexual orientation or immigration barriers. One partner is inside of Canada and the other is a foreign national. One of the key differences in a conjugal sponsorship is that there is no specific point or legal document attesting to the commitment of the relationship.

How do I know if my partnership falls under the conjugal sponsorship category?
Some examples of partnerships that fall under this sponsorship category include:

– Countries where divorce is illegal or not possible to obtain after being legally married

– Countries where same sex marriages are not recognized

– Countries that are partnership that are permanently separated due to religious conflicts

– Couples that is not able to obtain a long stay visa in order to meet the common law requirements or couples that are not able to obtain any visa.

How long is the processing time for conjugal sponsorship?

For a conjugal sponsorship application, typically it could take from 12 to 24 months to receive a decision. This sponsorship application is for unique and extreme circumstances mentioned in the above question, so it is dependent on the applicant country of citizenship, and the visa office your application is sent too.