【你问我答】如何判定common-law关系?

September 30, 2019

大家对common-law partner,也就是同居配偶的认知,是双方同居满1年,就自动符合common-law的定义。

 

但现实生活中,总是有这样那样的complications,其中比较常见的几个问题包括:

  1. 我们已经同居满1年,但中间有两个月我回国了,没住在一起,我们还符合要求吗?

  2. 我们已经同居满1年,但是由于工作原因,我现在在美国,我们还符合要求吗?

 

今天,我们就为大家一一解答。

 

Common-law Relationship

 

老规矩,我们首先来看一下,common-law partner在移民法中的定义。

 

1(1) Common-law partner means, in relation to a person, an individual who is cohabiting with the person in a conjugal relationship, having so cohabited for a period of at least one year.

 

有人可能要问,什么是conjugal relationship?我们仍然可以引用移民局官网的信息来回答:

 

A conjugal relationship is one of some permanence, when individuals are interdependent – financially, socially, emotionally and physically – when they share household and related responsibilities, and when they have made a serious commitment to one another.

 

 

Conjugal does not mean “sexual relations” alone. It indicates that there is a significant degree of attachment between two partners.

 

用一句话来总结,common-law partners,即是指处于正式恋爱关系中,并且已经同居满一年的两个人。

 

如果说婚姻关系的判定,是基于法律,那么common-law关系的判定,就是基于“facts”,也就是所谓的de facto relationship。没有非黑即白,没有量化的标准,而是基于申请所呈现出来的具体情况。

 

Cohabitation

 

Cohabitation,同居。移民局官网的解释如下:

 

Cohabitation means living together. To be considered common-law partners, they must have cohabited for at least one year. It means continuous cohabitation for one year, not intermittent cohabitation adding up to one year.

 

也就是说,双方必须“连续”同居满一年,才可以被认可为common-law partners。但是这个“连续”,是否有例外呢?如果一方去美国出差了5天,是否会打破关系的 “连续性” 呢?

 

对此,移民局是这样解释的:

 

While cohabitation means living together continuously, from time to time, one or the other partner may have left the home for work or business travel, family obligations, and so on. The separation must be temporary and short.

 

由此可见,对于连续性的要求,移民局有一定弹性的。

 

如果一年的同居期中,一方因工作或家庭责任等原因,没有和另一方住在一起,只要这个分离是暂时性的,并且短时间的,那么就不会影响同居的连续性。

 

那么怎么才算是“temporary and short”呢?对于这一点,移民局没有明确的定义,而是会根据实际情况,在一个合理范围内做出判断。

 

通常来说,几周内的分居,是满足temporary and short的要求的。但不建议过于频繁。老话说的好,better to be safe than sorry.

 

Common-law Partner Abroad

 

第一段中的定义,措辞用的是:is cohabiting and having so cohabited for at least one year.

 

大家也许要问,如果移民局要求递交申请时,双方必须仍保持同居的状态,那么当被担保人在境外,是否就无法申请了?

 

对于这一点,移民局是这样说的:

 

The definition should be read as “an individual who is (ordinarily) cohabiting.” After the one year period of cohabitation has been established, the partners may live apart for periods of time while still maintaining a common-law relationship.

 

Despite the break in cohabitation, a common-law relationship exists if the couple has cohabited continuously in a conjugal relationship in the past for at least one year and intend to do so again as soon as possible.

 

所以当“连续同居一年”这个基础条件被满足之后,若双方因为某些原因无法居住在一起,只要能证明,双方有尽快恢复同居的意愿,那么仍可判定为common-law partners。

 

这个“某些原因”,移民局给出的例子包括:illness or death of a family member, adverse country conditions, employment, education related reasons.

 

同第二段中一样,移民局对“有尽快恢复同居的意愿”也没有清晰的界定,而是会根据实际情况,在合理范围内做出判断。

 

但通常来说,双方分居的时间越久,越难证明common-law relationship仍然存在。

 

另外需要注意的是,这里说的“允许双方暂时分居”,仅仅是针对境外担保(Family Class)。因为境内担保(Spouse or Common-law Partner In Canada Class)是有明确规定,担保人和被担保人需一起在加拿大境内居住。

 

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