A conjugal relationship refers to a situation when two people remain in a marriage-like relationship but are not married and have not lived together for a minimum of a year. According to IRCC, a conjugal relationship is an exception category for circumstances when Canadian individuals and their foreign partners are unable to marry each other for a minimum of one year. And therefore, they cannot become eligible for family sponsorship as spouses or common-law partners. Accordingly, if your union is defined as a conjugal relationship, it means there are situations that are beyond your control; and that your relationship cannot be defined as a common law partnership.
To simplify, you need to have more than just a sexual or physical relationship with someone in order him or her to be qualified as a conjugal partner. In addition, you should have lived apart for at least a year from your partner. This must be due to reasons that neither you or nor your partner can’t control. Please note that, if you are willingly choosing not to be considered as a common law union, but actually when you are, then your union will not be defined as a conjugal relationship.
How to define a conjugal relationship
IRCC defines a conjugal relationship by looking at different factors. Then it determines whether you are eligible for sponsorship as a conjugal partner. While IRCC defines conjugal relationship it considers the following factors:
- IRCC analyzes if you are both committed to sharing in each other’s life
- Also, both partners cannot be in another conjugal relationship at the same time – exclusivity
- Partners should be sexually exclusive with each other – intimate
- Both sides depend on each other physical, emotional and socially; and their union must be a permanent and long term
- Others also refer these two individuals as a couple. And both sides present each other as being their permanent partner.
When all these conditions are suitable, IRCC may define your union as a conjugal relationship.
Conjugal partner Canada
According to IRCC, a conjugal partner is an individual living outside Canada in a conjugal relationship with a sponsor for a minimum of a year. In addition, the reason behind their separation must be a situation that is beyond their control. It can be an immigration barrier, religious reasons and etc. Please note that, if you are a principal candidate and living in Canada, then you will not be qualified to be sponsored as a conjugal partner in any of these programs:
- Spouse, Common-law in Canada program
- The overseas sponsorship program
In addition, if you need information such a basic guide on how to sponsor your spouse, partner or child, you can refer to guide 5525 provided by IRCC. You can use the guide 5525 to prepare your application for sponsoring your spouse, partner or as well as a dependent child. Similarly, guide 5525 will help you to prepare a permanent residency application of your spouse, partner; and also a dependent child.
Please note that imm 5525 guide is not relevant to use in a sponsorship application for:
- An adopted child
- An orphaned family member.