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Can I Apply for Citizenship by Investment as a Common-Law Partner?

    Is it possible for me to apply for residency and citizenship through investment as a common-law partner?

    Whilst most residency or citizenship by investment (CBI) programs generously allow interested parties to extend their applications to include spouses and dependent children, the options for unmarried couples or common-law partners are somewhat reduced. 

    There are, however, at least five programs; in Canada, Ireland, Spain, Portugal, and Greece that allow non-marital partners to be included in their applications or have options to obtain residency for such partners. 

    The qualifications for each vary, so we at High Net Worth Immigration have put together this straightforward guide on everything you need for your immigration by investment journey with your common-law partner.


    Canada is one of the countries that offers sponsoring a common-law partner when applying for residency by investment. To apply for sponsoring a common-law partner, you must present an application form, submit relevant documents, and pay the associated fees.

    It is important to note that the verification process is the most challenging part of the sponsorship application. As it currently stands, you might be required to provide the following documents and evidence:

    • A narrative, no longer than one page, that explains the context of the relationship
    • Photographs
    • Correspondence from individuals such as family, friends, neighbors, and employers, which confirms the genuineness of the relationship
    • Screenshots of previous conversations (e.g., WhatsApp, Messenger, texts)
    • Either a lease with both of your names listed or substantial banking records.


    Although closing soon, the Ireland Immigrant Investor Program is one of the most successful schemes that allows the inclusion of common-law partners as part of the application.

    Proof of the relationship must be provided by presenting a marriage certificate or civil partnership certificate. If applying as common-law partners, evidence of at least two years of cohabitation preceding the application is required to establish the legitimacy of the relationship.



    Greece’s Golden Visa is one of Europe’s most affordable residency by investment programs, as the investment requirement is only €250,000. 

    You have two options on how to make your investment. You can either choose to invest in a project that will improve the national development or the economy of Greece in some way. With this option, the higher the investment, the more residency permits are granted.

    The alternative is an investment in a residential or commercial property or group of properties that are collectively valued at the minimum amount.

    Whilst you technically cannot include non-marital partners on your application for the residency by investment program, Greek law allows unmarried couples to register for a cohabitation agreement as long as one person is a resident of Greece or the EU. This grants third-country nationals residency permits without the need to get married. 

    Once one party has had their Golden Visa application approved, the cohabitation agreement can be arranged. The process is simple. All you need to do is have your agreement drafted and signed in front of a recognized notary and pay the applicable fees of around €200. Once registered, your partner is eligible for residency in Greece.



    Digital nomads and investors have flocked to Portugal over the last few years to take advantage of its low cost of living, rich culture, and beautiful climate. 

    Portugal has a very attractive Golden Visa, which grants the applicant and their dependents residency with the opportunity to gain citizenship after five years. Portugal allows applicants to include unmarried partners to apply through its golden visa scheme under the umbrella of dependents. 

    Portugal also allows unmarried couples residing in the country to register for something called a non-marital partnership. Couples who have been in a cohabiting relationship for at least two years can apply for legal recognition, which grants them many of the same rights as married couples, such as the ability to file joint income taxes. 

    Those wishing to apply for the residency by investment program in Portugal will most likely have to register in the same way in order to receive legal paperwork accrediting their relationship. This is, however, a relatively simple process in which both parties swear, under oath, that they have been living together in a true relationship for at least two years. The only other documentation you need is the full birth certificates of both parties.

    It is important to note that Portugal Golden Visa is set to close soon (most likely June 2023); therefore, if this option interests you, you should submit your application as quickly as possible.



    According to a 2015 study by the official institute for national statistics, Spain has seen a sharp decline in marriage rates and now has one of the lowest rates in Europe. Due to the lessening cultural significance of marriage in the country, it is unsurprising that Spain is amongst the countries with the most lenient guidelines for including common-law partners in your application for a Spanish Golden Visa

    Spain allows you to include partners, married or otherwise, in both their Citizenship by Investment and Residency by Investment programs. As with married couples whose wedding took place outside of Spain, unmarried couples will need to officially register their union in Spain, in the specific region in which they plan to reside, to receive the appropriate documentation.

    There may be slight variations in the process in each autonomous region but registering as ‘Parejas de Hecho’ usually entails going to the town or city hall, presenting the necessary identification and legal documents, and declaring a desire to be registered as common-law partners.


    The Bottom Line

    Despite the fact that it can be more difficult to obtain residency or citizenship by investment as common-law or unmarried partners, there are definitely options available to you. 

    In order to keep up with the ever-shifting sands of international immigration, it is best to consult the experts. We at High Net Worth Immigration make it our business to know all the up-to-date information you need for your personal immigration process. 

    Get in touch today 

    to find the best plan for you.

    Vicky Katsarova

    A citizen of the world in every sense of the phrase, Vicky has done her fair share of traveling. Born and raised in Bulgaria, she spent 10 years living and working in Abu Dhabi before settling down with her family in Nova Scotia, Canada. And it’s only fitting for the CEO and founder of High Net Worth Immigration to be an avid globetrotter—her extensive travels have given her deeper insight and understanding into her clients’ needs.