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Commom Law Sponsorship, Immigration Lawyer needed?

OrangeMapleIsHome

Full Member
Aug 7, 2019
25
3
Hi,

My SO has been in Canada with me since February on a working holiday visa, and we're planning to begin our sponsorship process now.

My question is, is it a good idea to hire an immigration lawyer? We are both a bit hesitant about doing the papers ourselves(we don't want to do anything wrong and be separated for a long time).

After consulting with an immigration lawyer, we were found to have no issues that would make my sponsorship of her more complicated. But it is a fair bit of money for us to pay for them to do the process. So I wanted to hear from someone who has done this process themselves? Any advice is greatly appreciated.

Thank you
 

Usa2canada<3

Star Member
Feb 21, 2020
155
34
Ontario
Category........
FAM
App. Filed.......
13-08-2020
AOR Received.
11-25-2020
Hi,

My SO has been in Canada with me since February on a working holiday visa, and we're planning to begin our sponsorship process now.

My question is, is it a good idea to hire an immigration lawyer? We are both a bit hesitant about doing the papers ourselves(we don't want to do anything wrong and be separated for a long time).

After consulting with an immigration lawyer, we were found to have no issues that would make my sponsorship of her more complicated. But it is a fair bit of money for us to pay for them to do the process. So I wanted to hear from someone who has done this process themselves? Any advice is greatly appreciated.

Thank you
As long as you read the forms and go over them a few times you should be fine.. i have found the best advice from these forums and other resources on my own... If you have enough proof for common law.. and the lawyer did not see any complications i do not know why any would arise however people on the forums are wonderful
 
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OrangeMapleIsHome

Full Member
Aug 7, 2019
25
3
Thank you for this info. I was worried I didn't have the legal experience to complete the process myself. We will look over the forms again tonight!
 

Usa2canada<3

Star Member
Feb 21, 2020
155
34
Ontario
Category........
FAM
App. Filed.......
13-08-2020
AOR Received.
11-25-2020
Thank you for this info. I was worried I didn't have the legal experience to complete the process myself. We will look over the forms again tonight!
No problem.. If you have any questions at all just post in the forums and im sure someone who knows the answer and has been through it before will be happy to help you the best they can :D
 

armoured

VIP Member
Feb 1, 2015
4,464
2,392
Agree with above. For common law the biggest issue tends to be having good documented proof of living together the full twelve months. That can be a bigger barrier than it seems - think of the 12 months as a minimum. But that documentation is not something a lawyer that can help with.

Honestly, consider getting married. It reduces the documentation bar for living together and having a joint household, etc.
 

Chad4lyphe

Hero Member
Jul 28, 2019
337
89
U have to live together for a year before you can sponsor her as common law, doing the application yourself is not difficult once u read the check list carefully.
 
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OrangeMapleIsHome

Full Member
Aug 7, 2019
25
3
Agree with above. For common law the biggest issue tends to be having good documented proof of living together the full twelve months. That can be a bigger barrier than it seems - think of the 12 months as a minimum. But that documentation is not something a lawyer that can help with.

Honestly, consider getting married. It reduces the documentation bar for living together and having a joint household, etc.
Thank you for the reply! We have a few things such as a rental agreement, joint bank account, lots of photos from the past four years of us together, is that extensive enough?

The lawyer we spoke to told us to start the process now, even though my SO has only been here for just shy of ten months, so we were confused. Does she have to apply for an extension of her visa, and then begin the sponsorship process?
 

armoured

VIP Member
Feb 1, 2015
4,464
2,392
Thank you for the reply! We have a few things such as a rental agreement, joint bank account, lots of photos from the past four years of us together, is that extensive enough?

The lawyer we spoke to told us to start the process now, even though my SO has only been here for just shy of ten months, so we were confused. Does she have to apply for an extension of her visa, and then begin the sponsorship process?
You have to have been living together with solid documentation of the start date for 12 months. Do not apply before that 12 months. Being together for four years means nothing (nothing much anyway) if you don't have solid documentation of the start of the common law. (Unless perhaps you had lived together for a continuous 12 months before, somewhere else? That would also count as common law if can be established with docs)

There have been enough cases here of people getting caught out on technicalities (or what may seem to them to be technicalities) on the establishing the minimum common law period. (And some other cases where apparently the examining officers weren't convinced it was a conjugal relationship throughout, i.e. possibly just sharing a flat).

That's why, if you wish to apply earlier and with a bit more certainty, marriage can help. (It results in a lot of lost time if declined because not fully established common law)

Your spouse will likely have to get an extension of visa anyway, I should think not too much difference before or after applying.
 

canuck78

VIP Member
Jun 18, 2017
34,800
7,909
Thank you for the reply! We have a few things such as a rental agreement, joint bank account, lots of photos from the past four years of us together, is that extensive enough?

The lawyer we spoke to told us to start the process now, even though my SO has only been here for just shy of ten months, so we were confused. Does she have to apply for an extension of her visa, and then begin the sponsorship process?
Avoid this lawyer. Your application will be denied if you applied after only 10 months of living together. Bills with either of your names, the date and address are the best proof along with lease. Pictures or letters from family/friends don't guarantee that you've been living together for 1 continuous year.
 
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OrangeMapleIsHome

Full Member
Aug 7, 2019
25
3
You have to have been living together with solid documentation of the start date for 12 months. Do not apply before that 12 months. Being together for four years means nothing (nothing much anyway) if you don't have solid documentation of the start of the common law. (Unless perhaps you had lived together for a continuous 12 months before, somewhere else? That would also count as common law if can be established with docs)

There have been enough cases here of people getting caught out on technicalities (or what may seem to them to be technicalities) on the establishing the minimum common law period. (And some other cases where apparently the examining officers weren't convinced it was a conjugal relationship throughout, i.e. possibly just sharing a flat).

That's why, if you wish to apply earlier and with a bit more certainty, marriage can help. (It results in a lot of lost time if declined because not fully established common law)

Your spouse will likely have to get an extension of visa anyway, I should think not too much difference before or after applying.
Awesome, thank you for all of this information. We had plans to be married this year and because of covid things were postponed, but we've thought about just doing it anyway by ourselves. Thanks for the tip.
 

OrangeMapleIsHome

Full Member
Aug 7, 2019
25
3
Avoid this lawyer. Your application will be denied if you applied after only 10 months of living together. Bills with either of your names, the date and address are the best proof along with lease. Pictures or letters from family/friends don't guarantee that you've been living together for 1 continuous year.
Thank you for the reply. That's what we figured, I guess maybe the lawyer meant to begin collecting our proof of cohabitation now. So this was my mistake..we are going to apply for an extension of her Work Visa right now.

We're looking into having car insurance bills as well as utilities with both of our names on them prior to applying
 

Usa2canada<3

Star Member
Feb 21, 2020
155
34
Ontario
Category........
FAM
App. Filed.......
13-08-2020
AOR Received.
11-25-2020
Thank you for the reply. That's what we figured, I guess maybe the lawyer meant to begin collecting our proof of cohabitation now. So this was my mistake..we are going to apply for an extension of her Work Visa right now.

We're looking into having car insurance bills as well as utilities with both of our names on them prior to applying
Common law needs a year of dependence on each other... so honestly you might have to wait another year or get married... key word is might... because you need a full year of undeniable proof.
 
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armoured

VIP Member
Feb 1, 2015
4,464
2,392
Awesome, thank you for all of this information. We had plans to be married this year and because of covid things were postponed, but we've thought about just doing it anyway by ourselves. Thanks for the tip.
If you had plans and postponed, you can consider doing a civil marriage, and whatever 'public' ceremonial marriage you want later. Marriage with the relationship evidence you have will likely be stronger - and less prone to judgment/technicality issues - than common law. (There are cases where it may not matter - long periods living jointly, children, etc - depends on circumstances.)

But you can certainly collect the info you have and make your own decision as to how solid the info is for the 12 month living together. Up to you.
 

OrangeMapleIsHome

Full Member
Aug 7, 2019
25
3
Common law needs a year of dependence on each other... so honestly you might have to wait another year or get married... key word is might... because you need a full year of undeniable proof.
We will have a year of dependence on each other on Feb 15/2021, we've had a joint bank account and rental agreement since the beginning. But I guess I'm seeing
If you had plans and postponed, you can consider doing a civil marriage, and whatever 'public' ceremonial marriage you want later. Marriage with the relationship evidence you have will likely be stronger - and less prone to judgment/technicality issues - than common law. (There are cases where it may not matter - long periods living jointly, children, etc - depends on circumstances.)

But you can certainly collect the info you have and make your own decision as to how solid the info is for the 12 month living together. Up to you.
Thank you. We've definitely been considering just a court marriage since things went sideways this year. Glad to know it will help along with what evidence we have..
 
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dillym

Star Member
Nov 14, 2019
129
54
Hi,

My SO has been in Canada with me since February on a working holiday visa, and we're planning to begin our sponsorship process now.

My question is, is it a good idea to hire an immigration lawyer? We are both a bit hesitant about doing the papers ourselves(we don't want to do anything wrong and be separated for a long time).

After consulting with an immigration lawyer, we were found to have no issues that would make my sponsorship of her more complicated. But it is a fair bit of money for us to pay for them to do the process. So I wanted to hear from someone who has done this process themselves? Any advice is greatly appreciated.

Thank you
Hi there, I submitted an Inland application in August 2020. My spouse sponsored me and we prepared the documents together. While it is possible to prepare the documentation on your own, I have seen people's applications returned for many minor issues (that could be fixed with an email correspondence, for example). Given the delay of processing due to the pandemic, I regret not having someone at least look over my documentation.

If you guys can afford it, I would recommend you have a paralegal look over your final application package. Paralegals are typically less expensive than lawyers and you would at least have the peace of mind when you submit your application that you haven't made any "silly" errors.
 
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