Is Same Sex Immigration to Canada possible for Gay and Lesbian couples?

We are a same sex couple from New York and wish to immigrate to Canada. How can this be achieved?


For years, Canada has recognized the validity of same sex relationships and considers them on equal par with more traditional family unions. If you are married as a same sex couple or have been in a common law or conjugal relationship together for one year or longer, you could be eligible for sponsorship under the Family Class. If your partner and yourself are neither Canadian citizens or Permanent Residents of Canada, it may be possible that one of you may qualify under the Canadian skilled worker category and the other can apply as a dependent spouse.

In most states in the US and in other countries, same sex marriage is prohibited. Here in Ontario, same sex couples can indeed get legally married. However, whether you are legally married in Canada or elsewhere, you can file for sponsorship or otherwise consider a common law or conjugal application.

Same sex immigration applications are supposed to be treated in the same manner as  all other applications. However we have found that generally a higher level of scrutiny is often applied to these applications. Therefore it is very important to document your relationships very well in preparation for your applications. This immigration office sees a great deal of same sex cases and, like other immigration applications, there is no substitute for well-prepared applications and applicants.

Any information provided here does not constitute legal advice and is intended for general information only. Should you require legal advise, you are encouraged to contact a lawyer directly. All blog postings are public and are not subject to solicitor/client confidentially. Case results depend on a variety of factors unique to each case, and case results do not guarantee or predict a similar result in any further case undertaken by the lawyer.

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About Michael Niren

Michael is a graduate of Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto. He is a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada, the Canadian Bar Association’s Citizenship and Immigration Section and the American Bar Association. He is frequently called upon to appear in the media to discuss Canadian and US immigration issues effecting North Americans. He has been interviewed by Canada AM, CTV, Canada News Net, the Globe and Mail and the Toronto Star and has given lectures on immigration topics overseas.

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