Canadian Immigration and Same-Sex Partnerships

By Marwa Badra | February 18, 2011

by Marwa Badra – Pace Law Firm: I received an email today asking about same sex partnerships and how the immigration laws are applied to them.

In 2002, the Canadian government liberalized spousal sponsorship policies under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act. Canadian citizens and permanent residents of Canada were then allowed to sponsor their partners whether they be in a traditional marriage, in a common-law relationship, or in a same-sex partnership.

This is not a simple case of sponsoring your boyfriend or girlfriend to come to live with you in Canada. There must be a committed relationship which exhibits what are called the “four pillars” of a relationship. There must be a physical, financial, social and emotional relationship which partners can demonstrate to the satisfaction of the immigration department. The four pillars apply to both traditional marriage cases and for same-sex common-law partnerships.

We at Pace Law Firm have presented every type of relationship in the category of spousal sponsorship, and we’ve met with a high degree of success.

Similarly, if you are applying in the skilled worker category or another economic category, you can include your common-law or same-sex partner as a dependent, provided you can satisfy an immigration officer that you are in a genuine relationship.

If you have any questions or concerns about this aspect of the Canadian immigration laws, please contact us, or leave a comment on the blog and we will reply soon.