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40 Immigration


live in. Again CIC could refuse to accept this relationship and refuse their application.


Solutions Fortunately most of these issues can be easily rectified well in advance of you needing to supply the information to CIC. The key to this is preparation and timing. As soon as you know you will want to apply for immigration to Canada you should look at mortgage or rental agreements, utility bills such as electricity, gas, water, internet, television etc. bank accounts and investments. Make a list and note who's name is included on each.


The next thing is to try to get as many of these items in both names as possible. Some will be easier than others, but perhaps the easiest is a joint bank account which you then use to pay your bills. If you can show that both your incomes go into one account and all your expenses are paid from that account it helps prove financial commitment to one another and a shared liability for the "marital" home. Next try to add the additional name onto utility bills. Some companies will do this readily, others may take some patience and paperwork. If you cannot get all changed over, don't worry. As long as you can show that many of your bills are in joint names this is


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okay. After all even legally married couples don't always have all their bills in both names. The biggest obstacle will be mortgage or rental


agreements as these will require a legal change and may it may be to your financial disadvantage to change them. This is something you will have to discuss with your mortgage lender or landlord. Again if you cannot easily get this changed, do not despair. As long as you can get a joint bank account in place and can prove you share all or most of the household expenses you should be good to go. The CIC understands that not every couple married or common-law will share absolutely everything. Many married couples still have separate bank accounts or pay separate bills or only have one wage earner who pays everything. But it is taken for granted that a married couple living in the same house are financially and emotionally committed to each other. The same consideration is not extended to common-law couples who rightly, or wrongly have to prove this fact. Because CIC require you to be in a common-law


relationship for at least one year before applying, you should get all these things in order as soon as possible. The information you give on your application needs to be relevant at the time you complete it, not at the time you expect it to be processed by CIC. Always read, re-read and read again the application criteria to make sure you are complying correctly. It is easier to start things off right than to have to correct things later which may delay your processing time, or mean it gets rejected altogether. As with most things, preparation and planning are key.


Useful Links:


Citizenship & Immigration Canada www.cic.gc.ca


Sponsoring Your Family www.cic.gc.ca/english/immigrate/sponsor/ index.asp


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