Spouse or Common-Law Partner in Canada Class
The Spouse or Common-Law Partner in Canada class was created for Canadian citizens or Permanent Residents who wish to sponsor their spouse or common-law partner who is in Canada. This category was created by CIC in recognition that all too often, spouses and common-law partners were being separated while their application was being processed.

Now, you can apply while your spouse or common-law partner is in Canada and likely will not have to leave the country. In February 2005, CIC put out a policy change to that effect: that as long as applicant spouses and common-law partners were not under an enforceable removal order, they would be entitled to a 60-day administrative stay of removal should CBSA attempt to remove them.

Spouse, Common-Law Partner or Conjugal Partner
Conjugal partners are defined by CIC as being "in exceptional circumstances beyond their control that prevent them from qualifying as common-law partners or spouses." To qualify, you must be in a mutually dependent relationship for at least one year, and he following must apply to you and your partner:

  • you cannot be together or marry because of immigration reasons;
  • you cannot marry because you are already married and your country does not allow divorce;
  • you are in a same-sex relationship and live in a country where same-sex marriages are not allowed.
Conjugal relationships are by far the most difficult relationship to prove to CIC, for obvious reasons. You must prove to CIC that you are in an intimate relationship de facto, and that you cannot be together because of the above reasons.

When you are neither married nor in a common-law relationship, the only evidence of an intimate relationship are your correspondence and trips that you may have had together. Applicants often submit copies of e-mails, chat conversations, phone records, photos taken together, bills of expenses from trips taken together, receipts of gifts, etc. This is a very intrusive process, but one that is unavoidable if you truly are in a conjugal relationship and wish to sponsor your partner.

Although a lawyer is not absolutely necessary, it is recommended due to the complexity of these applications.