October 17, 2010
How Do I Sponsor My Gay Partner Who Has a Conviction?
Q: I am in love with a man from Jamaica. I am in the processing of sponsorship him. We have not submitted any forms. He recently told me that he had a conviction fourteen years ago for assault. Can I still sponsor him?
A: Please keep in mind that there is no distinction between same sex and opposite sex sponsorships especially as it relates to criminality. Criminality or serious criminality includes committing an act outside of Canada that is an offence in the place where it was committed and that, if committed in Canada, would constitute an indictable offence under an Act of Parliament and respectively, be punishable by a maximum term of imprisonment of at least 10 years.
However, once ten years pass since the completion of the sentence with no further criminal activity a different set of rules apply. Specifically, when your partner applies for permanent residency, he will have to satisfy the visa officer that he has been rehabilitated or he is a member of the prescribed class and is deemed to have been rehabilitated.
Your partner is more likely in the group of persons who are deemed to have been rehabilitated. The following conditions must be met:
• at least 10 years have elapsed since the day after the completion of the imposed sentence;
• the person has not been convicted (in or outside Canada) of any other offence within the last 10 years;
• the person is not otherwise inadmissible under the Immigration Act.
I would advise that your partner seek professional advice as to whether he meets the criteria to apply for rehabilitation under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) or a pardon under the Criminal Records Act, which has recently been amended. The onus is on your partner to provide all the required documentation, clearly establishing the date at which the sentence was completed, and that the prescribed period of time has elapsed since the completion of the sentence.
Thank you for your questions.