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PROOF OF COMMON LAW

amhel26

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Feb 10, 2014
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I keep looking for information other applicants used to prove their common law relationship.

I have a list of certain papers they all mention. However i cant find specifics, and i was wondering if people want to share more information about exactly how they did this paperwork, how much info they put, how they wrote it or what it actually says.

What papers on this list did you added to your application? Aprox how many pages did you added as proof?
Im doing this list considering that im applying OUTLAND.

Is a lot of information, hopefully someone can help me with my questions and we can keep this post to be useful for others too.

1) A statutory declaration of a common-law union.

( anyone did it even if they had a lot of No answers? no joint lease, no joint bank account, no life insurance beneficiary?) Did anyone that used this was only cause they had a lot of yes?? is it better not to do it if you are only answering no?
Does it always has to be notarized?


2) Proof of cohabitation.
-Residential lease shared.
-Shared ownership of residential property.
-Tenant insurance.
-Letter from landlord attesting you were living together.
-Shared rental receipts.

(In my case i dont have anything but the chance to ask landlord for a letter, did anyone did just this? any advice or details that must be included on letter? i cant sign a lease because im on visitor status, is anyone else in this situation? has anyone ever used a shared rental receipt? was it given by landlord or how to obtain it to be valid?)

3)Proof of shared finances.
-Statements for shared bank accounts.
-Shared credit cards.

(The bank wont accept me on visitor status to open a share account or to get an additional credit card, has anyone been in this situation? what did you do?)

4)Proof of financial support.
-Bills for shared utilities accounts, such as electricity, gas or phone.
-Proof of shared management of household expenses.
-Evidence of shared purchases (especially of household items).

(What papers have anyone used for this? could we send both our statements for past 12 months marking purchases related to household, like groceries shopping...or what other purchases could be valid since a bank statement will just mention the place we bought at, not the items; or anyone has used an actual receipt? how many since we are trying to prove a year, or which ones would be relevant?....im mentioning this since we dont have shared bank accounts nor shared bills, so how we proof we share expenses. would love to hear any ideas)

5) Life insurance.

(What if you get this just before applying for common law? If one partner cant get it because of visitor status will one life insurance be worth to get? Has anyone being able to get one while on visitor status?)

6)Change status with CRA from single to common-law.

(how many of you have actually do this? how you do it? does it has to be the same day you reach

7)Proof of shared address.
-Mail delivered to both of you, going to same address.
-Important documents for both of you showing the same address.
*Obtain a drivers licence.
*Cellphone contract.

(how did you added the mail to application? the actual envelopes? did you scanned them? what kind of documents did you considered important enough? how many did you sent?)

8 )Statutory declarations from close friends. VERY IMPORTANT.

(What exactly should a statutory declaration say? any important points? how long is it? how many did you sent, did you asked friends of both partners? any special advice on how to do this declarations?
Do they have to be notarized, i cant find that request anywhere but some people seem to send them notarized.
Do you send an ID or any other paper or contact information from the person who does the declaration?)


9)Letters of support from parents.

(Any main points? one letter for each partner? in my case very relevant since he hasn't been able to meet my parents but they know about him. has anyone done it in another language? had to add an official translation?)

10)Personal letters (from each the applicant and sponsor).

(what main details did you explained on the letters? what made them relevant to the application? i cant really figure out what to write, are they about explaining our relationship history? showing we are genuine?

11)Proof of travel together.

(travel tickets, hotel reservations, what else?). we travel a lot to see each other before we started living together, will this be relevant? or is it more about the year we are proving we lived together).

12)Photos of relationship.

(how you send them? im planing to put them on word, so i can add the caption and the date and place. is it more about photos with other people? photos of trips? what to consider when selecting photos? how MANY should we send? whats a average number of photos for an application.


13) Evidence showing how you stayed in touch when doing long distance.

(we were separated only by 20 days but we dont have phone bills since we used skype, has anyone had this problem? i guess i can rewrite some of our phone messages, but how many? or how others did this?

Am i missing any other point?

Thank you so much!! I really appreciate if you share information about your common law application or answer some of the questions. I will try to keep updating this post and hopefully we can get to know other common law applicants.
 
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Ponga

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For the record, these items are recommend no matter if your applying Inland or Outland. There is no difference in proving your common-law relationship/eligibility.

1. It can only help, so if you can afford the fee to have it notarized (or similar) do it!

2. A letter from the landlord would be good. If not, perhaps letter from neighnours that can confirm that you were in fact living there (and for how long).

3. Scotia Bank and TD Bank will allow you to be added to your partner's account. I know for a fact, because I did the same thing.

4. Whatever you have, is all you have, so...sent it.

5. Agreed, that it's tough to get a policy as a visitor, but you can use your foreign address and get a policy (since you are only `visiting') and can make your partner the beneficiary. Or, simply have your partner take out a single policy and explain in a short letter to CIC that you could not get a policy until you have PR.

6. YES! Your partner needs to change this with CRA as soon as you have reached 1 full year of cohabiting.

7. Copies.

8-13...I will let others comment.

Good Luck!!!!
 

little_apple

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You need proof of living together AND relationship proof.

I tell you what I sent and I got approved:

- lease agreement in only my boyfriend's name and a letter from the landlord stating when I moved in (it was not notarized so CIC didn't accept it) It has to be notarized
- payment receipt for every month we paid rent in both of our names (we created them after Vienna asked for more proof, the landlord signed them)
- mail coming to the same address
- joint bank account, joint credit card (I sent them bank statements for every month)
- joint purchase of condo (included paperwork from the lawyer)
- joint health insurance (copied the health cards and the online profile)
- joint life insurance
- 4 stat. declarations from friends and family
- around 20 pictures (note an the date of location and date)
- holidays together (plane tickets)
- we both wrote letters about the "history of our relationship"
- changed status with Canada Revenue to common-law after exactly 12 months (printout from Canada Revenue showing common-law status)
- explanation letter for documents we couldn't provide
- T4's and Notice of Assessment for the last two years
- joint condo insurance
- joint cat adoption
- joint utility bills
- printout of every paystub to show same address
- printout of every phone bill to show same address

The statutory declaration should include name and full address of the person who writes it. The people have to write who they are and how they know you, when they both met you and where. And then they have to confirm that you are common-law partners (not boyfriend and girlfriend), that you live together and your relationship is genuine and ongoing
 
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outlookcanada

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Feb 1, 2015
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hi little apple.

thank you for sharing your experience.

Can i ask you a question?

so i have been living in my partner's house since last year, how can i prove that me and my partner live together?

thanks a lot.
 

little_apple

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in Calgary since March 29, 2012. Landed as PR May 3, 2014
outlookcanada said:
hi little apple.

thank you for sharing your experience.

Can i ask you a question?

so i have been living in my partner's house since last year, how can i prove that me and my partner live together?

thanks a lot.
A co-ownership agreement is recommended in any situation involving parties, not protected by a marriage agreement. A property co-ownership agreement is a legal document you discuss with and have drawn up by an attorney
 

meiko3886

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Hi there! I got my PR recently, my bf sponsored me as common law.
Here is a topic where i listed all documents i included in my application http://www.canadavisa.com/canada-immigration-discussion-board/common-law-do-we-have-enough-of-documents-t184663.0.html

To answer some of your questions:
8) Ask 2 ppl from your family or friends to write letters about your relationship. Later u need to notarize them. You can attach more than 2 letters, but just 2 must be notarized. Letters must contain few informations: who are you for the person who writes the letter (son, friend etc), how that person met you, what this person knows about you meeting your love, where and when did he/she met your partner for the very first time (dates and places!!), who was also present during this meeting and what did you guys do... describe other meetings (xmas, vacations, going for shopping, to cinema, to grill etc). Its always good to include some other names of ppl who recognize you as a couple as well. Besides, person who writes the letter should say what he/she thinks about your relationship, that you two are very in love etc. Can also write that he/she knows where you guys live right now (for example "i visit them once a month in apartment they rent *address*).
9) You can choose if letters will be from friends or from parents. We got 3 letters: from my mom (she wrote it in polish, she had to do official translation and notarization), friend of my bf and sister of my bf. If your bf didnt meet your parents yet, they can still write that they know about him from you, also that they talk with you guys on Skype webcam conversation etc. They can write you guys are invited for next xmas/thanksgiving etc to their house or that they will visit you in Canada and when. They can write that they met your bf family on webcam too, if it happened (if it didnt happen, just make it happen :p).
10) Just write your story, every relationship got one :) Its just like writing a notebook, remember to include all the dates and places (and as many names of friends as possible). Connect the story with pictures you will attach (remember - best pictures are with friends and families!)
11)Old trips are also important! Show early stage of relationship, make it more real. Maybe you have any emails from travel companies or any passes, tickets..maybe postcard you sent to your family from any trip? Pictures also can help!
12) 20-30pics is enough. Add those where u are on trips, with family and friends. For example - holding hands with your bf when u are in group of ppl). We just printed our the pics, then i wrote numbers beside each of picture (2 pics on each site). I attached another document with explanation of each picture (one or two sentence for each picture).
13)I attached few screenshots of skype showing that we were calling to each other or with some messages. I also attached screenshot of my facebook where they can see my relationship status or that im posting pics with my bf (that can sound silly,but i believe it helps - means my relationship is well known to everyone!). Maybe u got some emails, u can also print them out. Some old conversations from messenger etc - before you guys started to live together. I added 2-3 pages of each.

Good luck ;)
 

outlookcanada

Member
Feb 1, 2015
13
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little_apple said:
A co-ownership agreement is recommended in any situation involving parties, not protected by a marriage agreement. A property co-ownership agreement is a legal document you discuss with and have drawn up by an attorney
hi little apple.

thanks your reply. i dont think we will sign a Co-ownership agreement ( its my GF house, i dont want to take advantage of her).

do you know any other legal document can replace lease contract.

thanks alot
 

Rob_TO

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It may not be similar to most people, but in our common-law app we did NOT include the stat declaration of common-law, nor any shared lease agreement (I already had a mortgage in my name, and it's impossible to add someone partway through), nor any stat declarations from friends/family (just 1 non-certified letter).

These are the only proofs we did include (from our cover letter):
-Copy of Benefits plan from XX employer, showing YY as common-law spouse, dependent for health benefits, and 100% primary beneficiary for life insurance (7 pages)
- Copy of Joint Credit Card account shared by XX and YY (1 page)
- Copy of mail from Revenue Canada and Mobile Phone company, showing YY shares same address with XX (2 pages)
- Copy of upcoming airplane tickets for XX and YY visiting South Korea for 3 weeks (2 pages)
- Letter from ZZ (XX's mother) as character witness to our common-law relationship (1 page)
- Photographs documenting events, meeting and travel during XX and YY relationship (11 pages)

Looking back now the proof we submitted seems kind of lite, and I'm surprised we were approved so easily. If doing it again I would probably try do more to prove the cohabitation.
 

little_apple

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I sent a lot of proof but it was not enough for Vienna. They wanted a lease. The letter from the landlord was not enough (because not notarized). We didn't have a lease so the landlord created payment receipts for us.

They also wanted to see bank statements for every months and the official purchase confirmation of our condo.

They also asked for joint utility bills but utilities were included in our rent.

No matter if you sign a co-ownership or not: when you are common-law you have the same rights than married people. Half of the house/condo is yours in case you split up later. Don't think about "not taking advantage of your common-law spouse" (don't call her girlfriend anymore-CIC doesn't like it), think about how you can prove your common-law status in order to be able to stay with her
 

Panamai

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My partner bought our house 2 years before we met. I hope CIC doesn't take issue with the fact that he didn't add me to the mortgage. I'm not even sure if that is possible. :p
 

Rob_TO

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little_apple said:
No matter if you sign a co-ownership or not: when you are common-law you have the same rights as married people. Half of the house/condo is yours in case you split up later. Don't think about "not taking advantage of your common-law spouse" (don't call her girlfriend anymore-CIC doesn't like it), think about how you can prove your common-law status in order to be able to stay with her
Actually that isn't true when it comes to common-law for immigration purposes. For CIC and CRA (and some other federal programs), common-law is 1 year of cohabitation, but this doesn't actually give you any rights as a common-law couple, it is purely for doing taxes or for immigration.

Laws regarding spousal rights in case of separation, then goes to Provincial legislation of which each province has their own rules. From what I recall most provinces in Canada require 3 years of cohabitation before you have the same rights as a married couple, but some may be less.
 

Panamai

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Yeah, I'm pretty sure that I just read Ontario doesn't give property rights to common-law couples at all.
 

Rob_TO

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Panamai said:
My partner bought our house 2 years before we met. I hope CIC doesn't take issue with the fact that he didn't add me to the mortgage. I'm not even sure if that is possible. :p
It's not possible, as you would need to discharge your current mortgage and pay cancellation fees, then do a brand new application and pay more costs for a new mortgage. Huge hassle and not something you want to do. I went through this as well, since I already had a mortgage before I ever met my spouse. I explained the reason she wasn't on the mortgage or home title in my application, and relied on other proofs to show common-law (see my post above).

Yeah, I'm pretty sure that I just read Ontario doesn't give property rights to common-law couples at all.
Ya in Ontario you are common-law based on provincial legislation after 3 years cohabitation (or less if you have child together). But that only gives you access to things like spousal support in case of separation, and doesn't give you same rights as married couples when it comes to property and assets.
 

little_apple

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Rob_TO said:
Actually that isn't true when it comes to common-law for immigration purposes. For CIC and CRA (and some other federal programs), common-law is 1 year of cohabitation, but this doesn't actually give you any rights as a common-law couple, it is purely for doing taxes or for immigration.

Laws regarding spousal rights in case of separation, then goes to Provincial legislation of which each province has their own rules. From what I recall most provinces in Canada require 3 years of cohabitation before you have the same rights as a married couple, but some may be less.
I know it's different for CRA/CIC and provincial laws. But I was talking about the future.

I would get the co-ownership to me the approval easier