ResidenceThere are a number of legal factors that determine whether or not someone actually ‘resides’ in Canada. According to the dictionary, the word ‘residence’ refers to a home or physical place where someone lives, however, the legal definition is much more complex.

According to Income Tax Canada, if you “reside” in Canada for more than 186 days each calendar year, then you must file income tax in Canada, as a “resident.” This definition is used by many different legislations such as Canada Business Corporation Act, to be considered an official place of business.

Under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, the word, “reside,” is not defined.  However, it is used in many situations that you, as an applicant, must prove.  For example, if you wish to sponsor an eligible family member to Canada, you must show that you “reside” in Canada as a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident (Regulation 130(1)(b)), but it does not say how you can prove it.  Furthermore, if you are in fact residing OUTSIDE of Canada, you must prove your INTENTION TO RESIDE in Canada, in order to sponsor (Regulation 130(2)).

So, how do you do it?

You must show sufficient documentary evidence to support that you reside in Canada, or, that you have clear intentions to reside in Canada in the future. For example:

  1. Deed of land or rental agreement of where you currently live, or where you will live in the future;
  2. Current domestic identifications such as; driver’s license, health card, etc.;
  3. Current employment confirmation such as; pay stubs, employer’s confirmation letter, etc.; or
  4. Current bank statements detailing purchases made in Canada.

With so many systems going “paperless,” or being moved online, pulling together the required documentation is more difficult than ever before. You also need to be careful that the evidence you submit is not misleading in any way. For example, if you go to school at the University of Guelph but your home address is in Kitchener, with your parents, without clear explanation, you may unintentionally mislead Citizenship and Immigration Canada, which could lead to a much bigger issue such as misrepresentation under section 44 of Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.

In addition, depending on your personal circumstance, it may be important to show one type of document more than another.  This decision can only be made based on your entire  immigration plan to support your sponsorship of your eligible family member(s).

If you have any individual questions or concerns, please contact our office for more customized consultation for your unique situation.  Please note that this posting is for general information only and is not to be considered binding or official legal counsel since situations will vary and can be complicated. The content in this post is current as of the day of entry. Due to the changing nature of Immigration law, the information in this entry may or may not still be applicable.