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Can I sponsor my girlfriend or boyfriend?

Many people hear about individuals sponsoring their husband or wife, children, or parents. However, what if you don’t have familial ties to someone you want to bring over? For many people, certain relationships are not accepted by their home countries. So how does one sponsor a domestic partner that is not a spouse?

In order to sponsor someone at all, you must meet certain requirements, as laid out on the Canada.com site. There are other situational criteria as well, but the general guidelines for eligibility are that you must be:

  • 18+
  • A citizen or permanent resident or an Indian
  • Financially stable

Under Canadian immigration laws, you can sponsor a non-spouse. The Canadian government recognizes that relationships involving same sex partners, different ethnicities or different religions may put people at risk in certain jurisdictions. Canadian laws allow you to bring someone over that you are in a relationship with, even if you couldn’t publicly show that relationship in your home country. But there are certain criteria that must be met under these circumstances as well, with the main one being the age requirement – partners must be 18+.

You may sponsor a common-law partner, as long as you can show that the two of you were in a domestic relationship. However, there are people that are not allowed to be that public with their relationship. Canadian laws also allow conjugal partners as well. Under this designation, your partner need not be married to you or meet the requirements of a common-law couple. However, he or she must prove what legal reasons they were facing to be unable to carry-on a public domestic relationship with you.

If you have questions about sponsoring a partner that is not your spouse or common-law partner, it’s best advised to speak to an experienced immigration lawyer. He or she will be able to evaluate your situation, and advise you on the best way to proceed with your case.

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