The Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) and the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR) do not define the term "conjugal relationship", it is defined and interpreted in the case law as referring to a "marriage-like relationship". In M. v H., the Supreme Court of Canada adopts the seven characteristics of a conjugal relationship as set out in Molodowich.
Shelter -- Whether the partners live together in the same home as a couple;
Sexual and personal behaviour -- Whether the partners' relationship is exclusive, committed and evidenced by emotional, intellectual and physical interaction;
Services -- Whether household and other family-type responsibilities are shared and whether there is evidence of mutual assistance especially in time of need;
Social activities -- Whether the partners share time together or participate in leisure activity together -- Whether they have relationships or interaction with each other's respective family;
Economic support -- Whether the partners are financially interdependent or dependent -- Whether the partners have joined, to some extent, their financial affairs (for example, as in joint-ownership of assets or arranged them to reflect their ongoing relationship) (for example, naming the other partner beneficiary in an insurance policy or will);
Children -- The partners' attitude and conduct towards children in the context of their relationship; and
Special perception -- Whether the partners are treated or perceived by the community as a couple.
Raj Sharma JD LLM