Common-law and Conjugal

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Subject: Common-law and Conjugal
I lived in Canada on a 1 year working visa last year. I tried to renew my work permit but it got declined. My Canadian partner then came to New Zealand. He has been here 10 months now and will have to return to Canada soon as his NZ working holiday visa will expire.
My question relates to whether I put us as Common-law or conjugal.

We have been together for over the 12 month requirement but spent 3 weeks apart when I returned to NZ (as visa expired and friends wedding to attend) and he stayed in Canada as had his sisters wedding to attend.

Does this then force us into cojugal because of the continous requirement for common-law?

If we apply now (before he has to leave NZ) is that better and just inform that he is having to leave or it is better to apply once he is back in Canada and established with a job etc. He also does not have a job in Canada organised yet so will this affect the application?
What would happen if he left NZ in say June/July rather than August when his NZ visa expires? (I read somewhere that it said living apart had to be due to visa requirements in each country and not social/economic reasons)

So much to read and so many questions and with everyones situation different I´m not sure what to do.

Any insight would be greatly appreciated

Common Law and Conjugal (in reply to: Common-law and Conjugal)
I would recommend applying as Common Law spouses. If you can prove you have been together for over 12 months, in either country continuously.

It states very clearly in the OP2 manual that short absences are allowed for family or business reasons. I think your three week separation is warranted and a Common Law case is much stronger than applying as conjugal.

Make sure you supply all of the supporting documents you can find to prove 1, you have lived together for over 12 months. Joint lease, joint utility bills, visa stamps in your passport, letters from friends and family verifying your relationship etc.

2. That your relationship is genuine and ongoing. Therefore copies of e mails when apart, phone bills, joint bank account, major purchases in both names etc etc.

Good luck,



(in reply to: Common-law and Conjugal)

It is so nice to see that a person like Ray who asks the same question on another forum and gets a proper response to his question passes on the knowledge he obtained.

We all learn by our mistakes but one of the people who responded to Ray correctly (this time) totally messed up their own case by not knowing what is and what is not a dependent child.

What ever advice you take always try to see the common sense in that advice. On my site I explain the difference in everyday language.

You can go to and hhit the search button and look for Operational Manuals, then Overseas Processing then OP2 and read or here is my interpretation.

Definition of a conjugal relationship can be found in the overseas processing manual OP2.

Conjugal relationships are for couples who can not live together in a common law relationship for certain reasons but are otherwise committed to each other by joint bank accounts, owning property together and being each other beneficiaries on life insurance policies.

Examples of Conjugal Relationships, would be an applicant from the Philippines who was previously married and unable to get a divorce, a same sex couple with one not being able to get married due to their countries laws, or a couple who has gone through a engagement type ceremony and war breaks out which makes it unsafe for the sponsor to travel to that country.

I hope this makes it more clear.



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