I want to know, if I and my boyfriend can declare a common law relationship? we haven't been living together for 3

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Customer: Hi, I want to know, if I and my boyfriend can declare a common law relationship? we haven't been living together for 3 years, but we want to declare our relationship now
JA: What steps have you taken? Have you filed any papers in family court?
Customer: no we haven't started anything
JA: Family law varies by state. What state are you in?
Customer: ON London
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: no, I just want to ask some general questions
Answered by JJL11 in 1 hour 1 year ago
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JJL11, Expert

Hello - My name is ***** ***** I'm happy to assist you today. I am an Ontario lawyer who is able to answer family law questions.

Is there a reason you want to declare your common law relationship now ?

Customer
hi
Customer
i am an international student here. if we do this, we can save a lot money with my tuition fee
Customer
We were planning on getting married, but it is just not the right time with the covid 19 around
Customer
That is why now we are considering about declare common law relationship now instead of getting married
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JJL11, Expert

I see - Do you mean, if your partner sponsors you to get your permanent resident status, you will pay less tuition ?

Customer
Hi
Customer
The school will take me as domestic student
Customer
The tuition fee will change from 8000 per semester to only 2000 per semester
Customer
That's a lot
Customer
Can we do the declaration now or we have to wait 3 years to do the declaration?
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JJL11, Expert

That is a big difference in tuition and I understand why you would want to pay the domestic fee if you can.

For the purposes of immigration sponsorship, you and your partner need only have lived together for 12 months or more. The 3 year requirement is for family law purposes. So, if you have already lived together for one year, your partner can now submit an inland sponsorship application.

Customer
We almost getting 12 months
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JJL11, Expert

Here is a link from Canada Immigration's website which explains how common law relationships are defined under Immigration law and how they are assessed

https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/corporate/publications-manuals/operational-bulletins-manuals/permanent-residence/non-economic-classes/family-class-determining-spouse/assessing-common.html

Here is the link on how to get the application. You can submit the form after you have lived together for 12 months.

https://www.cic.gc.ca/english/information/applications/spouse.asp

The average processing time is approximately 12 months. You can apply for an open work permit at the same time the application is submitted. Once Canada Immigration decides that your relationship is real, your work permit will be approved. This usually takes 6 months.

I would recommend that you provide detailed proof that your relationship is real and that you make sure that you follow the document checklist carefully to avoid delay in processing due to missing information.

Hope this answers your question.

Customer
Do we have to complete the whole process to get this benefit or as long as we submit it, we can get it? It takes very long for the government to do all this
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JJL11, Expert

You will have to ask your school about what verification you need to provide to them to be able to pay the domestic student tuition.

Customer
The school replied me, I have to declare the common law
Customer
I don't know what this means
Customer
Usually what do people do when they declare a common law relationship?
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JJL11, Expert

In Ontario, there really isn't a compulsory declaration of common law relationship. A lawyer could possibly help you prepare a statutory declaration regarding your common law relationship. However, if you do this, the family law definition of common law will be used which is the three year cohabitation requirement.

I would therefore suggest that you submit the sponsorship which only requires one year cohabitation and you will have your permanent residence in one year which will faster than doing the statutory declaration.

Does that make sense ?

Customer
If I need any declaration documents from a lawyer, then we have to live together for 3 years?
Customer
That's too long, I will already graduate after 1 year
Customer
Seems getting married is the fastest way, but still takes several months to get the marriage certificate
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JJL11, Expert

In that case, I agree that getting married is the fastest way.

Customer
The school will take the marriage certificate as a verification, but It's not the right time, no ceremony, no friends, no traveling, so disappointing like this
Customer
It doesn't really feels right
Customer
Can I come back to you after I get some more details from the school?
Customer
It's already late today
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JJL11, Expert

I know it isn't but COVID 19 has affected our lives in so many ways. Many people are registering their marriage now but holding the wedding banquet or other celebration with friends and family until after COVID 19.

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JJL11, Expert

Sure, feel free to ask follow up questions.

Have a good night.

Customer
Thank you so much, have a good night
Customer
The school reply me, if married, marriage certificate, if in common law, it's common law declaration that has been notarized
Customer
I don't know if you can certify a Common Law Declaration in my case
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JJL11, Expert

Hello again - I would suggest that you contact a family lawyer to get an opinion about this and help with doing the statutory declaration.

The Law Society of Ontario operates a Lawyer Referral Service which can give you the name of a family lawyer and when you contact this lawyer, the first half hour of the consultation will be free of charge.

The number of the service is 1-***-***-**** or(###) ###-####(within the GTA), Monday to Friday, between 9 am -5 pm.

Customer
Okay sounds good. Thanks a lot
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JJL11, Expert

You are very welcome.

Thank you for choosing JustAnswer for help with your question.

All the best.

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