Friday, March 20, 2015

How Can Filipinos Benefit from Canada’s Common-Law Partner Visa

Last March 2013, a new legal definition of "spouse" has taken effect in Canada's fifteenth largest state. B.C. lawmakers have redefined the family relations rules, announcing that common-law couples who have lived together for two years will have the same rights as legally married couple.

For several decades, couples – either same sex or of opposite sex – who have been living together in a conjugal relationship for at least one year have been enjoying the benefits the law provides. This is especially true among immigrants and foreign workers in the country who are in a conjugal relationship with a Canadian citizen or resident.

The following are just a few reasons why you should consider applying for a common-law partner visa in Canada.

Ability to Apply for Permanent Residence

Recent changes in Canada's spousal policy sets out that individuals who are in a conjugal relationship with a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident of the country can apply for permanent residency while remaining in Canada.

Include Family Members in the Application

If you are an applicant for the Common-Law Partner in Canada Class, you may include your family members, who are living both in the country and in the Philippines, in your application.

Entitlement to After-Death Benefits

Common-law partnership is somehow like marriage without, well, marriage. When your common-law partner dies, you may be eligible to the following benefits:
  • Survivor allowance (usually available for low-income widowed spouse or common-law partners who is not yet eligible of Old Age Security pension);
  • Death benefit (a one-time benefit);
  • International benefits (for survivors who have lived or worked in another country);
  • Children's benefit (for those with dependent children under 18 years old or between 18 and 25 and are attending school)

Entitlement to Spousal Support in Event of a Breakup

While a split up does not guarantee an automatic spousal support for the dependent partner, it will be granted if one party is seen entitled to it. For instance, if one partner is supported by the other or that one partner has to give up his or her career to care for a child, that partner could be entitled to spousal support.

Canada's common-law partner policy can benefit Filipinos who are working and living in the country with a conjugal partner who is either a citizen or a permanent resident. So, consider assessing your situation with your partner to see if you are eligible for common-law partnership.

To help determine your eligibility, you may visit the Canadian Visa Bureau’s website for the Online Eligibility Assessment.