Expert Info

Posted by
on 16 Jul 2018

Hello guys,

Thanks in advance to those nice enough to take the time to help me! 

I am finding it tricky to obtain clear and consistent info/resources online regarding the best routes for my boyfriend and I to live together permanently in Canada, whether by application for a permanent visa, citizenship (or equivalent) or another route altogether. 

I thought perhaps some of you might have a better idea of the best routes available to us, based on our situation.

-I am Canadian who lived previously in UK where we met, but returned home to Vancouver in 2016. 
-Boyfriend Mark is British and currently lives in London UK, but visits me every 4-7 months. 
-We are very committed to each other and want to live together here in Vancouver. 
-My boyfriend is ready to leave UK. He would be very happy to become an official Candian citizen/resident with permanent permission to live and work here. 
-We are prepared to be married if a spousal visa/sponsorship turned out to be the only/best route, but I am happily divorced so would be interested in other routes first :)

To keep it as short as possible, I thought it might be helpful to provide some bulleted facts, supplied below. Sorry if any info is overkill, figured too much info would be better than too little! Please let me know if other info would be useful, or if I would be expected to perform other steps before posting here.

Thanks again, I really appreciate it and will respond to any posts asap.

Rachel x

Daniela de Castro on 17 Jul 2018 - 08:48

Hi Rachel

From what I understand, as Mark is a UK citizen he should be able to enter Canada without a visa for a maximum stay of six months. If he plans to stay in the country longer than that, he will have to apply for temporary residency in Canada at least six weeks before his arrival.

Getting married might make the permanent residency visa application process easier, but is by no means your only option. If you were married, you would be able to sponsor your husband for permanent residency as you are a Canadian citizen. However, there are other routes you can take.  

What field does Mark work in? If his job is listed as one that would be an advantage to the Canadian economy, then he may qualify for permanent residency as a skilled worker or professional. Alternatively, if he is self-employed or plans to start a business in Canada he might be eligible for permanent residency as an entrepreneur.

If you're both looking to settle down in Canada and Mark would like to become a citizen, you have a longer process ahead of you. To qualify for citizenship in Canada he will have to be physically present in the country for at least 1095 days over a five year period before the date of application. 

Have you tried speaking to an immigration lawyer in Canada? They will probably be the best source of up to date visa information and will be familiar with other cases like yours. It would also be a good idea for Mark to contact his local Canadian embassy directly and ask for a breakdown of the process. 

Have a look at our guide to visas for Canada for more information on the different types of visas that your boyfriend may be eligible for. Canada's government website ( might also be helpful to you.

Hope this helps!

- Daniela

Karen128 on 3 Aug 2018 - 14:43

Hi Rachel,

My situation is slightly different, but this is my perspective (I am a UK citizen, living in London with my boyfriend who was born in Vancouver, but now lives in London (dual nationality) – I am currently going through the PR process so we can move to Canada together).

Myself and my partner have been together for 8 years, but we are not married.  I sought the advice of an Immigration Lawyer, and was advised that it wouldn’t make that much difference to a PR application if we were to get married or not.  The CIC may query the reasons behind a recent marriage (i.e. immediately prior to application) – was this done just to try to influence an application for residency?  Why were they not married before?  That sort of thing.  They are very strict on anything they consider to be “false” about an applicant’s intention.  If we were to have got married, it would not have taken away many (if any at all) requirements in relation to the application process.  We would still have needed to prove we had been a couple in a continuous relationship for a long period of time.  Your situation is obviously different as you do not live together permanently, but you and Mark will have all the travel records to prove his visits to Canada and he should collate as much paperwork/electronic evidence as possible – also, anything you have in joint names.  Have you perhaps stayed at a hotel or B&B and the bill is in both names?  Have you hired a car in both names?  Is he on your (or vice versa) car insurance?  Anything that could link the two of you together.  My partner and I struggled with this at first (we keep our finances separate, utility bills are in one name only, photos we take on holiday usually only contain one of us, not both together …), but the more you can provide as supporting evidence the stronger Mark’s application will be.  It was a two part process – we had to apply for my partner to be my Sponsor, and then apply for my Permanent Residency (both applications were submitted in one pack together).

We have no children, I don’t have any siblings, and my partner’s siblings are Canadian and living in Canada, which makes my application simpler.  If I had any “dependants” (siblings or children), I would have needed to complete applications, police checks, medicals (possibly) for each of them too, as they will be seen as “potential” future applicants.   An applicant’s Parents are not counted as dependants.  As a timeline example, I submitted the applications back in March this year, in July I had my medical which they have now received, and my application is finally “in process”, but it could in theory still take another 4 months or so.  As I said, my application is simpler because of no dependants and that can have an effect on approval timing.

With the Immigration Lawyers I used, I had the option of either using them for the full submission process which incurred a huge cost, and although they would deal with the applications and sending them off for me, I would still need to produce all the supporting evidence myself so I decided to opt for their “checking” service for a reduced fee.  I obtained all the forms online via the official website.  The spouse/partner section is at:

They are now requiring biometrics (fingerprints) too to accompany the PR application.

We also obtained letters from our friends, confirming how long they had known us, brief descriptions of us socialising together (pub meals, dinners at each other houses, that kind of thing) to help support our “proof of couple” relationship.  Although we found it difficult to prove our relationship on paper, I had kept boarding passes to destinations where we had visited together (same flight, date, etc.), and we were listed as co-habitants on each other’s car insurance policies.

As a sponsor, you will need to declare that you will be financially responsible for your boyfriend (I think it’s for the first 3 years after PR is granted when he moves to Canada)?  Also, I had to obtain my police check in advance, but at the time of my application they advised not to have a medical in advance – they will let Mark know when they want him to do this.   Once the PR is granted, he then will have one year (from the date of the medical, not from the date of granting PR) to “land” in Canada and complete the immigration process with an official.

I hope this helps.  It truly is a paperwork logistical nightmare at times, but well worth it.  The process may have changed since I applied 5 months ago, the above is true and accurate to the best of my recollection, but in case I have remembered anything incorrectly please refer to the above mentioned website – it is very comprehensive, provides guidance booklets and all the necessary forms and details the correct process.

Good luck and wishing you both success!