What is a Statutory Declaration?

A Statutory Declaration is when a person solemnly declares that the contents of an official document (some government application forms) are true and correct.  A solemn declaration has the same legal effect as an oath.

The person making the solemn declaration is called a deponent.  The act of administering a solemn declaration is called commissioning a statutory declaration.

It is not necessary that the deponent hold a religious book, or raise his/her hand to undertake a solemn declaration.

A person may be prosecuted criminally for knowingly making a false solemn declaration.

What is a Statutory Declaration of Common-Law Union

A statutory declaration of common-law union is a form that Citizenship and Immigration Canada may require an applicant for sponsorship, an applicant for permanent residence, or an applicant for temporary residence, to complete.  The Statutory Declaration of Common-Law Union is used to determine the applicants’ eligibility in connection with an application for sponsorship, an application for permanent residence or an application for temporary residence.

The statutory declaration of common-law union must be solemnly affirmed by both the applicant and the applicant’s common-law partner.

A copy of the statutory declaration of common-law union form may be found here (PDF – external link to Citizenship and Immigration Canada)

How is a Statutory Declaration of Common-Law Union Commissioned?

A commissioner of oaths or notary public first verifies the identity of the applicant and his or her common-law partner(usually by examining photographic identification).  The commissioner of  oaths or notary public then satisfies himself or herself that both the applicant and his or her common-law spouse have read and understand the Statutory Declaration of Common-Law Union. The applicant and his or her common-law partner will then solemnly declare that they conscientiously believe that the contents of the Statutory Declaration of Common-Law Union form are true and that they know that it is same force and effect as if made under oath.  The declarant and his or her common-law partner will then sign the document in front of the commissioner of oaths or notary public.  The commissioner of oaths or notary public will then sign the Statutory Declaration of Common-Law Union form and certify on the document that a solemn declaration has been duly commissioned.

The commissioner of oaths or notary public does not certify that the statements in the Statutory Declaration of Common-Law Union form are true.  Rather, the commissioner of oaths or notary public only certifies that the solemn declaration has been administered (commissioned).  No legal advice is given during a commissioning of an oath.

When attending a commissioner of oaths or notary public’s office the Statutory Declaration of Common-Law Union form being commissioned should be complete but not signed. The document should be read and understood by both the applicant and his or her common-law partner.

Does the Statutory Declaration of Common-Law Union Form Have to Be Commissioned In Person?

Yes.  Both the applicant and common law partner must make the solemn declaration in front of a person who is qualified to take oaths, such as a commissioner for taking affidavits or a notary public.  An oath or solemn declaration cannot be made over the telephone.