Common-Law Partnership Sponsoring....

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Subject: Common-Law Partnership Sponsoring....
  Hello. Im trying to figure out if my Common-Law Partner can sponsor me for Permanent Residence in Canada but I am having a hard time finding out if we even qualify for Common-Law Partnership. Heres our situation:

My boyfriend and I have been living together in Japan for the past
year. When we first arrived, he had a tourist visa so The apt and bills are under my name, but our Foreigners Residence Card says the same address. He is Canadian and I am American. Is there a way we can prove our common-law partnership? We have the form to fill out. Does it need to be notarized, or can we just sign it and send it off with out other forms?

We are looking to move to Toronto in July, but I need a Visa so that I can get a job (right?). He doesnt have a job in Toronto yet (because we are in Japan). Can he still sponsor me?

I saw all the paperwork that we need to fill out and the money we need to pay. I just want to know that we are qualified for this before we start (its like $1,000, right?).

Do we qualify for Common-Law? Is there something we need to fill out?
Some sort of proof? We have talked about Marriage, but would like to
wait until we are settled in Toronto for a number of reasons (we cant
afford a wedding right now and I dont really think its a good idea for
me to plan a wedding from Japan). Would we be better off signing the
papers and getting married? I would rather not rush our wedding just
for a visa.

I wanted to go to the Embassy here to talk to someone about it, but we
were told the office that would help us is located in Manila (a bit
far from where we are).

We recently went to Toronto for a visit and he added my name onto his
Joint Savings Account. Is there anything else you recommend we do?

Thank you,

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