When applying, applicants must indicate the category in which they are applying for immigration to Canada. Conjugal partners, common-law partners and spouses are all specific categories with specific requirements. There is no requirement for immigration officers to automatically re-assess an application by considering such an application in terms of a different relationship between the applicant and the sponsor within the family class. The onus is entirely upon the applicant to indicate what their relationship is to the sponsor and to fulfill the requirements of the category under which they apply. There is no option to make a general application within the family class (within the conjugal categories, for example). A fundamental understanding of the family class is that members of that class must establish themselves as one of certain prescribed members in terms of their relationship with the sponsor. Different relationships to the sponsor correspond to different categories within the class as described in the Regulations. Applicants must self-identify within an application and they must meet the requirements of the category under which they apply. Each of spouses, common-law partners and conjugal partners are different categories with different requirements, and applicants choose to identify themselves, voluntarily, depending on their relationship to the sponsor on the application forms. However, applicants are also obliged to inform CIC if aspects of their life change prior to the finalization of their case, including their marital/conjugal status. If their conjugal relationship changes (for example, if applicants are in a conjugal-partner relationship with a sponsor and the applicant and sponsor marry), then CIC does have the power to make adjustments to the application and can proceed with processing in terms of the new conjugal relationship. However- a very strong caution- pick your category carefully and make sure your information and documents reflect exactly the demands of the initial application.
(COURTESY: CIC PUBLICATION)