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Same-gender, Conjugal Partner

Discussion in 'Family Class Sponsorship' started by h741108, Jan 21, 2010.

  1. Hi, I am new to this forum and looking for advice/comment.

    I am in a same-gender relationship and is being sponsored by my partner as a conjugal partner. This is our situation:

    We have been together for 4 years since Jan, 2006. We meet while I was studying in Canada under a student visa. After I graduated in May 2006, I went to the US for University.

    I visited my partner in Canada 9 times and my partner visited me in the US for 5 times during this 4 years. So basically, we are seeing each other every 3months, that's a lot of money we spent on flight tickets.

    I also went to my partner's University to study as an exchange student and lived together from Aug 31, 2007 to Jan 1, 2008

    I received a letter from CIC buffalo in December, 2009 that requested to submit more evidences to prove our relationship.

    Here is what we have submitted: 50 hand-written letters, emails record, skype chatting history from 2007 to present (we chat everyday for at least one hour), 50 photos between us, 2 letters from close friends and joined bank account.

    I know conjugal partner is very hard to get approved and we are very worry right now. What's the chance of succeed or we do not know what else we can submit? Thank you!
  2. The first thing that jumps out at me is that you didn't say you submitted any evidence that you made those 14 air flights?

    Have you travelled together? Have you bought things together as a couple (things that both of you own)? Have you made any major commitments together? Have you paid any expenses or utility bills together as a couple?

    For a conjugal partnership application, you have to prove that your relationship is already exactly like a marriage, except for the ceremony and piece of paper, etc. Unless you've made long-term plans (wills, life insurance?), what evidence is there that your partnership is permanent?

    I don't know what was in your letters or photos, but from your description it almost sound like you could either be (former) roommates only, or you could be just dating and have now decided to move together for the long term. Neither of these is acceptable for the "conjugal relationship" definition. For that, you have to be able to prove that your relationship goes beyond that of roommates or buddies and beyond that of boyfriends who are dating. You need evidence that you have already been in a long-term or permanent relationship for at least a year, and have been committed financially, socially, etc.

    They would also like evidence for why you didn't just live together for a year, and become common law partners. You said you lived together for 4 months. Why did you split up after that? Going to school or to work somewhere else is not an acceptable reason. You need to prove that there was something that legally prevented you from living together. If you applied to extend that visa and were refused, that would be excellent evidence.
  3. I would strongly suggest you read the operating manual OP2 available as much of what you are asking is answered there.

    5.26. Assessment of conjugal relationships

    a) Mutual commitment to a shared life to the exclusion of all other conjugal relationships
    b) Interdependent – physically, emotionally, financially, socially

    Financial aspects of the relationship
    Social aspects of the relationship
    Physical and emotional aspects of the relationship -the degree of commitment as evidenced by: (lists evidence)

    Examples of supporting documents:• Family memberships, medical plans, documentation from institutions that provides recognition as a couple; • Marriage certificate (not just a solemnization record), wedding invitations, commitment ceremony (certificate, invitations), domestic partnership certificate;• joint ownership of possessions, joint utility bills, lease/rental agreement, joint mortgage/loan,property title, joint bank statements; money transfers. • documents showing travel together, long distance phone bills; other proof of continuous communication (emails, internet chat site printouts, letters). • insurance policies (documents naming the partner as a beneficiary), wills, powers of attorney;• significant photographs; • statements of support from families, bank manager, employers, financial professionals, religious leaders, community leaders, professors, teachers or medical professionals

    There is a list of supporting documents that are recommended there.

    "... The above elements may be present in varying degrees and not all are necessary for a relationship to be considered conjugal. Whether an element is present may depend on the culture or preferences of the couple. For example, in some cultures, women have a limited role in the management of the family finances; thus there may not be joint ownership of property or joint bank accounts. Some couples may choose to keep aspects of their financial affairs separate and yet are clearly in a conjugal relationship and have merged their affairs in other respects. Officers should consider each relationship individually and take into account any other relevant information provided by the applicant (or information otherwise available to the officer), in order to assess whether a conjugal relationship exists. Officers should also take into account to what extent the laws and/or traditions of the applicant’s home country may discourage the parties from openly admitting the existence of the relationship.."

    You should also read
    5.47. Assessment of conjugal partner relationships

    "... The conjugal-partner applicant should explain why they have not been able to live continuously with their sponsor for at least one year. In most cases, there will be an immigration impediment to continuous cohabitation (e.g., inability to obtain long-stay visas for one another’s country). Non-cohabitation for purely personal or economic reasons (i.e., did not want to give up a job or studies) does not normally qualify as a sufficient impediment, but should be assessed on a case-by-case basis. Applicants should be able to provide evidence that they have seriously considered living together as common-law partners. For example, they might have explored options for living together in one another’s country, such as work or study permits, how their occupational skills and qualifications would be recognized in their partner’s country, visitor visas, long-term visitor status, etc...

    There are specific details as to what they are looking for under each catagory listed below...

    Length of timerelationship has existed
    Amount of time spent together
    Reasons why couple has been unable to cohabit continuously for one year
    Evidence showing howthe long- distancerelationship has been maintained
    The volume, regularity and style of the communication between partners should be considered, e.g., long distance calls and other communication,e-mails, letters, recognition of each other’s significant events, family functions, etc.
    Evidence of efforts to live in the same country

    "... It is important to note that not all the financial, social, physical and emotional factors listed in Section 5.26 above are requirements of any conjugal relationship. They are elements that may be present in varying degrees and not all are necessary for any relationship to be of a conjugal nature. For example, a Canadian and their conjugal partner may not have been able to merge their affairs financially in the same way as a couple living together—for example, they might not yet have joint bank accounts or credit cards, etc. What officers should look for is evidence that the partners have begun to merge their affairs to the extent they can, given that they live in different countries...."

    Hope that helps.
  4. yes, we submitted copy of passport.

    We traveled together to Taiwan in summber, 2007 and west coast in Christmas, 2008. We submitted evdence of photo and passtport copy as well.

    We have a joint bank account in Canada and my partner has a credit card under my account in the US, We have attached statements as evidence of sharing some expenses together, but since we cannot live together, there is not a lot of sharing bills.

    We did some research on life insurance and you cannot buy it for "friend".

    I am from Taiwan and same-gender marriage is not legalized in Taiwan. I have stayed in the North American under student visa all time, but you are right. If we got denied this time, I am going to Canada and stay with her and will re-apply.

    Thank you so much for your advise, we will go over everything again and maybe write the IO an lettter to explain our situation better.
  5. Thank you so much, we will read this for sure!
  6. And more information from the OP2 Manual :)

    In order to assess whether a relationship is conjugal officers may consider the following types of
    • Knowledge of each other’s personal circumstances, background and family situation;
    • The duration of the relationship– the longer the duration, the more likely it is conjugal in
    • Documents predating by a year or more the application to immigrate to Canada showing:
    ♦ Travel together;
    ♦ A chronology of the relationship detailing how the couple first met, the measures taken to
    overcome customs, religious or family doctrines;
    ♦ Evidence of support and commitment to each other through shared information on events
    of importance (for example: births, deaths, family gatherings etc.);
    • If applicable, documents showing how the couple maintained a long-distance relationship and
    made efforts to live in the same country such as: letters to/from foreign officials or government
    • Photographs that document the relationship, airline tickets, visas, visa denials, long distance
    phone bills or other proof of continuous communication, testaments or life insurance policies
    that have been in effect for more than a year in which their partner is named as beneficiary.

    5.45. What is a conjugal partner?
    This category was created for exceptional circumstances – for foreign national partners of
    Canadian or permanent resident sponsors who would ordinarily apply as common-law partners
    but for the fact that they have not been able to live together continuously for one year, usually
    because of an immigration impediment. In most cases, the foreign partner is also not able to
    marry their sponsor and qualify as a spouse. In all other respects, the couple is similar to a
    common-law couple or a married couple, i.e., they have been in a bona fide conjugal relationship
    for a period of at least one year.

    Both marriage and common-law partnership (common-law partnerships may be opposite-sex and
    same-sex) are legally recognized in Canada for purposes of federal benefits and obligations
    (Modernization of Benefits and Obligations Act, June 2000). In order to be eligible for federal
    benefits, couples must either be married or meet the definition of common-law partner in each
    statute or regulation. IRPA brought CIC’s immigration legislation into conformity with the
    Modernization of Benefits and Obligations Act.

    Because of Supreme Court decisions, the choice not to marry is a constitutionally protected
    choice. Thus, CIC cannot require couples to marry in order to immigrate. However, if they are not
    married, they must be common-law partners. There is NO provision for fiancé(e)s or “intended
    common-law partners” in IRPA. If a Canadian and a foreign national can get married or can live
    together and establish a common-law relationship, this is what they are expected to have done
    before they submit sponsorship and immigration applications.

    Marriage immediately creates a legal relationship recognized for immigration purposes. Commonlaw
    partners, however, have to meet the definition, including living together continuously for one
    year to have their relationship legally recognized. In the immigration context, there are some
    exceptional circumstances where a Canadian is in a conjugal relationship with a foreign national
    partner and would ordinarily sponsor that person as a common-law partner, but the two have not
    been able to live together continuously for one year, usually because immigration rules prevent
    them from long stays in one another’s countries. As well, for these individuals, marriage is usually
    not an available option. The conjugal partner category is mainly intended for partners where
    neither common-law partner status nor marriage is possible, usually because of marital
    status or sexual orientation (both analogous grounds of discrimination under the Charter),
    combined with an immigration barrier.

    For example, the foreign partner may be married but comes from a country where divorce is not
    possible or the Canadian and partner may be in a same-sex relationship. In both cases, the
    partners probably will not be able to obtain long-stay visas in order to live together in one
    another’s country and meet the cohabitation requirement for common-law partners
    . Because the
    other option – marriage – is not available to these couples, they are permanently separated. This
    is unfair and discriminatory. The conjugal partner category provides the ability for a Canadian in
    these circumstances to sponsor the foreign national partner. It is not intended to be used to avoid
    the usual requirement to be a spouse or common-law partner before immigrating.

    The conjugal partner category applies only to the family class and only to a foreign national
    sponsored by a Canadian citizen or permanent resident living in Canada. This category does not
    apply to the spouse or common-law partner in Canada class as the exception would not be
    required in Canada.

    Conjugal partners are exempt from meeting the LICO requirements and the excessive medical
    demand criteria. There are no conditions attached to their permanent resident visas although
    sponsorship is required. As members of the family class, their sponsor has appeal rights.

    A conjugal partner is not a common-law partner under Canadian law until the one-year
    cohabitation requirement has been met. Applicants should be counselled that they and their
    partner will not be considered to be in a common-law relationship for purposes of other federal
    benefits and obligations until they have lived together in Canada in a conjugal relationship for at
    least one year. The applicant’s Confirmation of Permanent Residence form will not indicate their
    marital status as “conjugal partner” since this relationship is not legally recognized in Canada
    beyond the IRPA.

    5.47 has a lot of good information!

    Your other alternative, if you so chose, is to have a civil marriage ceremony - you could then apply as a spouse (or change your application to spouse).

    Hope that helps and I wish you luck !

  7. How come you didn't get married? I realize the marriage would not be recognized in your country, but you could've still married in Canada and that would be a legal marriage. Did you explain your reasons why you didn't marry?
    I ask because many IOs seem to feel that if you can live together (which you two can't) or if you can get married, then you should do one of those two. So if you could have married and chose not to, they might wonder whether you have the level of commitment required for a conjugal relationship. They might be looking for something that shows that you are more than just dating. Personally, I'd say the join bank account and everything else you submitted would be enough, but I guess the IO you are dealing with wants more.
    I don't know what else to suggest that hasn't been mentioned yet, so all I have is: good luck!
  8. Her mom does not support on same-gender relationship, not even mention marriage. We are not sure if it's good idea to let the IO knows in the first place??
    My partner wants to get bless from both of her parents, so we want to wait to get married after my partner gets her doctor degree in 4 years.

  9. Hello,
    I am also in Conjugal Partner Application same as you. As of the moment, I'm still waiting for my visa to be released. The latest of my application is we were advise already to pay for the Right of Permanent Residence Fee which we didn't include in paying it prior to the processing of documents. It's been more than a year now since my partner got approved to sponsor me.

    I think you get more advantage compared to me since you already with him in Canada. Why you have to file for immigrant wherein you can still stay with him if you want. With regards to immigration thinks you can clear on that.

    If I were you, since you can go back to Canada back and forth. Look for a permanent job and get a WORKING VISA. This visa will expire until 2 years then after that you can file for your own immigrant application. You don't need your bf to sponsor you and then you could still together. Unlike if your applying for Conjugal this is more complicated for you wherein there is an easy way for both you.

    Hope this could help you...

    Keep posted!
  10. i am also in a conjugal relationship.

    just last december 2,2009, I had sent my passport to the canadian embassy here in manila and my ecase status eversince was in process. the only thing changed was there was my address and they were asking whether or not it should still be my mailing address 'coz if not i should inform them.

    My fiance and I are anticipating that my visa will arrive soon because they are holding my passport just before christmas.

    I could've spent my christmas somewhere that passport is needed so we're thinking that they took the passport without planning of just letting it sit there for a long time.

    i had included additional documents like the cenomar, birth certs and marriage.

    question is, how long can we still wait for the visa to arrive?
  11. that's the problem
  12. I just read some of your posts, do you mind to share what kind of additional documents did they ask you to submit? thx!
  13. If they ask for your passport, you should be getting your visa soon, goood luck!!
  14. travel documents, plane tickets, leasse of contract of our apartment, Monthly Payment Bills, Pictures, Letters, Cards, and testimony letters from the co-workers, friends and family.
  15. I got passport request from Buffalo office by email today!

    Thank you everyone : )

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