Same Sex Immigration to Canada
Does Canada recognize same sex relationships?
At present, seven of ten of Canada's provinces have authorized same sex marriage.
The provinces which do not at present are Alberta, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island.
Canada's Yukon territory also recognizes same-sex marriage, while Nunavut and the
Northwest Territories do not.
Canada's supreme court has recently stated that the government has the right to redefine
marriage to include same-sex relationships, and that proposed legislation to allow
same-sex marriage across Canada is legal. It is anticipated that same-sex marriage
may be legalized throughout Canada by 2005.
Can same sex partners immigrate to Canada?
In 2002, Canada's Immigration and Refugee Protection Act was implemented. In such,
same-sex marriage was officially recognized for the purpose of immigration to Canada.
Whereas the previous Immigration Act and Regulations allowed for the immigration of
same-sex partners via special permission by an immigration official, which was commonly
granted in cases in which sufficient evidence existed, the present laws include same-sex
partners within the definition of common-law partners.
What are the requirements of eligibility?
To be considered eligible, a same-sex partner must meet the definition of a
common-law partner: "cohabiting with the person in a conjugal relationship, having so cohabited
for a period of at least one year." A conjugal partner who is prevented from cohabitation
can potentially be considered a common-law partner still.
What documentation is required to attest to eligibility?
Evidence of cohabitation for a period of at least one year is required in order
to meet the definition of a common-law partner. Such documents may include:
There is no absolute list of eligible documentation. The availability of such will
depend on the individual circumstances of the case.
- leases or deeds showing joint responsibility for premises;
- evidence of possession of the same residential address for the
purpose of official documentation such as driver's licence, passports, taxation, etc.;
- evidence of joint responsibility for residential finances;
What status does a same-sex partner earn in Canada?
Once approved in the immigration application process, the applicant is awarded permanent
resident status in Canada. This is the same status awarded to any applicant and is not
governed by the status of same-sex marriage in the province in which the applicant resides.