Immigration is a stressful phase in life. The struggle of uprooting your entire life to start over in a foreign place is not easy. Especially when you take into consideration the entire legal ordeal related to immigration.
If you and your common-law partner are planning to immigrate, we are sure you must have come across the term Statutory Declaration of Common-Law Union.
So, what does it mean? Moreover, how important is it for your application?
To put it simply, for your common-law partner, it is vital. In order to prove your common-law relation to the immigration office, you will need to submit the Statutory Declaration of Common-Law Union along with other required supporting documents.
Therefore, without any delay, we should dive into the discussion about the statutory declaration.
What is the Statutory Declaration of Common-Law Union?
Statutory Declaration of Common-Law Union, also known as IMM 5409, is a type of immigration application form. Someone who wants to sponsor or include their common-law partner/spouse in their immigration application must use it.
The declaration is an oath or swearing the applicant, and the applicant’s common-law partner must take it.
The form is also required for any immigrant applicant seeking sponsorship, permanent residency, and temporary residency. It will help the common law lawyer to understand and determine the applicant’s eligibility.
Furthermore, in some cases of sponsorship, the common-law partner needs to co-sign in the undertaking form. Thus, having a Statutory Declaration of Common-Law Union works advantageously.
What is a Statutory Declaration?
A Statutory Declaration is a solemn declaration or legal oath a person – known as the deponent – must make regarding specific official and legal documents. It is through this declaration they are stating that everything is true and accurate.
When this oath or declaration is legally administered, it is then known as commissioning a statutory declaration. It must be noted that if the deponent makes a false claim about the declaration, they can be prosecuted as a criminal in the eyes of the law.
How Can I Prove My Common-Law Relationship During Immigration?
Before you include your common-law partner in your immigration application, there are specific steps you must take. Your common-law union must meet some criteria in order to prove to the immigration office that your relationship is legit.
Here are three must specifics you must meet to prove your common-law relationship.
- You and your common-law partner must be living together for a minimum of 12 months. This could be outside of Canada or inside Canada in case of an extension of a visa.
- You should have joint personal financial accounts, mortgage, lease, and other relative affairs.
- You must intend to stay together for a long-term or permanently.
How Should I Fill Out The IMM 5409?
Now that you know your partner is eligible and you meet the criteria mentioned above let us move on to the next step. You will now have to get and fill up the IMM 5409 to make your statutory declaration officially. It is crucial to know and understand the correct way to fill out the form.
We recommend you be extremely careful and be utterly truthful about every information required of you. In this section, we will discuss how you can fill up your IMM 5409.
- Use your legal name as given in your passport. It must be the exact same name.
- It would be best if you filled up all the blank spaces with the correct and exact information. Avoid exaggerating or hiding any information.
- You need to give the date of your cohabitation as a couple. The start date should be the day you moved in together, and the end date could be “to present” or the date when you will submit the form in the public office.
- Do not leave any space blank in Boxes 1 and 2.
- Avoid filling in the date and signing the form. It would help if you only did that in the public office.
- You can type in the information or handwrite it – only in black ink.
- You and your common-law partner should go together for the official signing to the public and in front of the Commissioner for Oaths.
Who Can Witness My Statutory Declaration?
Once you are prepared to make your statutory declaration, you need to acquire a witness. This is a mandatory step. A witness can be any professional with a legal license.
In the following list are some people whom you can request to witness your declaration:
- Commissioner of Oaths
- Registered Nurses
Some Tips for When to Seek Professional Advice
Common-law couples may benefit from professional advice where:
1. It’s unclear if your relationship qualifies as common-law since, for example, you’ve lived together on and off but never for more than a year.
2. You are unsure of the exact date when the common-law union began.
3. When you moved in with your boyfriend, you didn’t alter your address.
4. You’ve been together for a year and a half, although you’ve spent some time apart.
5. You claimed to be “single” on previous immigration papers when you were actually married.
6. Despite the fact that you fit the definition of common-law status, you lack practically all of the necessary documentation to prove it.
7. You did not classify yourself as common-law while paying your taxes with the Canada Revenue Agency.
8. You’re unsure how to correctly complete the IMM 5409.
It is natural and relatively healthy to want your partner to be with you when you immigrate to a new place. Especially if it is for the long term. Thus, the government had made it easy for common-law couples to immigrate and live together. All you will need is a statutory declaration form Canada.
A Statutory Declaration of Common-Law Union will help you and your partner in various ways. It will make your relationship legible in the eyes of the law so that you will enjoy many spousal benefits.
Therefore, even if the entire procedure is hectic, do not hesitate or be negligent about getting this done.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do you prove you are common-law?
It is pretty simple to prove you are in a common-law relationship. You will need some legal proves such as joint financial plans, assets, and specific documentation. Most importantly, you will need to prove that you’ve been living together for at least 12 months.
How do you declare common-law status in Canada?
You can do that easily via a statutory declaration of a common-law union.
How do I get a statutory declaration?
You need to fill up a form, have witness(s), sigh, and submit the required documentation. Of course, before any of that, you will need to ensure you and your common-law partners are eligible to make this declaration.
How do I fill my IMM 5409?
Filling in the IMM 5409 is pretty simple. We dedicated a section above in the article, discussing quite simply how you can fill this up.