The IMM 5409 – Statutory Declaration of Common-law Union, is an application form that people who wish to include their common-law spouses in their immigration applications must complete.

There are several programs available that allow family members to sponsor each other for residency in Canada. If eligible, individuals may use these visa programs to sponsor their relatives for immigration to Canada as permanent residents of the country.

If you’re in a common-law relationship and want to immigrate to Canada, there’s one key way you can prove your relationship; by submitting the Statutory Declaration of Common-Law Union along with supporting documents.

Below is our IMM 5409 – Statutory Declaration of Common-law Union guide:

Table of contents

Are we considered Common-Law?

First of all, it is important to understand if you are in a common-law relationship.

The term “common-law partner” is defined as “an individual who is (ordinarily) cohabiting.”

Living with common law status means that you are living in a conjugal relationship with a person who is not your married spouse and has been living with you in a conjugal relationship for at least 12 continuous months.

From the day on which two individuals may provide evidence to prove their cohabitation in a conjugal relationship, a common-law marriage exists. The onus is on the applicant to show that they have been living in a common-law relationship for at least one year before submitting an application.

After living together for one year, partners may still maintain their common-law relationship even if they live apart for periods of time. For example, a couple may have been apart due to the sickness or death of a family member, unfavourable national circumstances (such as war or political upheaval), or work or education-related causes, and therefore are not cohabiting at the time an application is made.

Despite the fact that they are no longer living together, a common-law relationship is still in existence if the pair has cohabited continuously in a conjugal relationship for at least one year and intends to do so again as soon as possible. It should be clear that both parties are continuing their relationship.

couple walking in the forest

Where can I find the IMM 5409 form?

The IMM 5409E form may be downloaded from the IRCC website. In order to open this form, you will need to have Adobe Acrobat installed on your computer, which can be downloaded for free.

Who needs to fill out the IMM 5409 form?

When the Document Checklist for your application requires that you submit an IMM 5409, you must do so.

It is always a good idea to fill out this form at any time your common-law partnership has an impact on the application, especially if you are applying for an immigration benefit based on your relationship.

You should include the form when sponsoring a common-law partner for permanent residence for example when applying for an Express Entry or Alberta Advantage Immigration Program application with your spouse.

The IMM 5409 is also useful for temporary visitors. If you can prove your relationship, all immigration benefits available to married spouses, such as the open work permit for spouses of skilled workers, are equally available to common-law partners.

The IMM 5409 form is advantageous for international students who want a common-law partner to come with them, or for visitors wanting to prolong their stay so they can spend more time with their partner.

Who needs to sign the IMM 5409 form?

The IMM 5409 is a solemn declaration immigration form that requires both parties to declare the truthfulness of its contents. A qualified public official must witness this. In Canada, examples of such officials are Notary services, Commissioners of Oaths, or Commissioners of Taking Affidavits. If you’re outside Canada, a Notary Public or the equivalent can suffice.

There is no official document to show a common-law marriage, as there is with marriage. As a result, the greater formality of the Statutory Declaration of Common-Law Union gives greater credibility to your statements since it is a criminal offence to make an untrue declaration in a Statutory Declaration.

signature on document

What are the IMM 5409 form requirements?

In order to make a Statutory Declaration, you must meet the requirements below.

A Commissioner of Oaths is a professional who will read and make sure you understand the document before asking you to swear that information in it is true. An oath is simply your very serious promise that what you’re saying is accurate.

These are the requirements you must follow to make a statutory declaration:

  • You must be physically present with the Commissioner of Oaths when signing this document.
  • You must certify that you've read and understood the statements outlined in the document.
  • You must state the declaration aloud, believing it to be true and knowing that is has the same legal power as if you made it under oath.
  • The Commissioner of Oaths must verify the identity of the person making the deposition. You must bring a valid government-issued photo ID, such as a driver's license, passport, etc.
  • After all of these criteria have been met, the deponent and the oath commissioner will both sign the statutory declaration of the common-law union IMM 5409. Finally, the Commissioner of Oaths will affix his signature and seal to your certificate.

IMM 5409 form tips

  • First, ensure you meet the common-law criteria.
  • Fill out the form, but don't sign or date it until you're in front of a public official.
  • Do not leave any questions blank.
  • Ensure all the details are correct.
  • Use your complete legal names, exactly as they appear on your passports.
  • The IMM 5409 asks for the length of time you and your spouse have lived together continuously, with starting and ending dates. The start date is when you first moved in together, not when you began dating. If you are still living together when you sign the declaration, the end date can be "to present" or the day you will sign the form.
  • Attend together before the public official for signing, if feasible.

How to sign IMM 5409 form if my partner is in a different city/country?

Even if you are not living together with your partner at the time you will be signing the Statutory Declaration, as long as you have lived together for at least 12 months in the past and your relationship continues, it is still possible to be regarded as a common law partnership.

In Box 5, both partners are considered “Declarants.” The second line doesn’t need to be filled in. Each partner then should take a form to a qualified official for signing, and then submit both signed forms with your application.

documentation

What are examples of proof of relationships documents?

Canada Immigration demands proof that you have lived at the same address in order to maintain a common-law relationship, therefore documents must be produced to show this. Most people will require a lease if they are sharing a home. Because each relationship is unique, no one-size-fits-all document is necessary; instead, standard proof might be as simple as a lease, shared utility bills, or a letter from your landlord stating that you lived there during the time period in question.

Additional confirmation might come from letters sent to each of you, or employment, tax, and bank records that show your residences. Letters from friends and family are less convincing than third-party documents.

Some examples are provided in the IMM 5409, such as life insurance and joint accounts, but no particular document is mandatory. In your situation, it is recommended that you provide reasonable documentation.

Conclusion

The IMM 5409 form is a document by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada used to declare that you are in a common-law relationship with your partner. The form must be filled out and signed in front of a public official and can be completed by hand or typed. You will need to provide evidence of your cohabitation, as well as other corroborating documents to prove to the Canadian government the ongoing nature of your relationship.

When using the IMM 5409 form it’s crucial to use the most recent version of any immigration form when submitting your application. Every form has a date in the bottom left corner.

We hope our IMM 5409 – Statutory Declaration of Common-law Union guide was helpful. If you have any other questions or concerns, get in contact with a law firm that is part of a law society or a Canadian immigration consultant.