Canadian Immigration Department Enacts New Marriage Sponsorship Rules

Under rules announced today, sponsored spouses will receive conditional permanent residence upon arriving in Canada and be required to live with their spouse or partner for two years to receive full permanent residence

Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) introduced new spousal immigration sponsorship regulations today to reduce the incidence of marriage fraud. The new rules require sponsored spouses who have no children with their sponsor to be in a live-in relationship with their spouse for two years to get full permanent residence status.

Under rules in place until today’s announcement, a sponsored spouse received permanent residence on the day they arrived in Canada, and subsequently could leave their spouse and retain their residency status in Canada.

Calls to reform immigration sponsorship rules have increased as several high-profile cases, like those of Lainie Towell and Heinz Munz, have brought the issue of foreign spouses leaving their Canadian husbands and wives soon after arriving in Canada to the public’s attention.

The new rules will not apply to sponsored spouses who have a child with their sponsor on the date of their spousal sponsorship application submission. The regulation also includes an exemption for sponsored spouses or partners who suffer abuse or neglect from their Canadian partner or someone related to their partner.

Those not exempt from the regulation must be in a relationship with their sponsoring spouse or partner for two years from the date that they receive their permanent residency or have their status in Canada revoked.

“I have consulted widely with Canadians, and especially with victims of marriage fraud, who have told me clearly that we must take action to stop this abuse of our immigration system,” said Citizenship and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney in announcing the new rules.

“Sometimes the sponsor in Canada is being duped and sometimes it’s a commercial transaction. Implementing a two-year conditional permanent residence period will help deter marriage fraud, prevent the callous victimization of innocent Canadians and help us put an end to these scams.”

Until today’s announcement, Canada was one of the few countries that did not have an initial conditional permanent residence period for foreign nationals sponsored for immigration by a spouse, and consequently, CIC says was considered a “soft target” by criminal organizations seeking to exploit Canadian immigration rules.

Several large-scale marriage scams have been uncovered in recent years, including the case of over 600 people involved in trading marriage sponsorships for money between 2007 and 2009.

2 thoughts on “Canadian Immigration Department Enacts New Marriage Sponsorship Rules

  1. Pingback: Toronto Star Reports On Government Efforts Against Marriage Fraud | CICS Immigration Consulting - Canada

  2. Hello everyone,
    I am a victim of marriage fraud! I met a beautiful cuban woman on december 31 2012. We saw each other for 3 days till the 3rd of january. She was born and raised in the countryside of cuba 4 hours away by car from Varadero. The relationship according to me was authentic. I sent her a letter of invitation but she was turned down. Sent her a second one;same result; July 12 2013 we decided to stop wasting money and get married which we did officially on the 20th of august 2013. August 25,2014 my spouse recieves her visa and permanent residency. I am in cuba at this time to bring my wife home with me; she wants to come back to canada immediately so I went to purchase 2 tickets on the first available flight which was saturday august 30th; However on the friday august 29th at 5pm more or less,she announces to me that she no longer loves me and that she won’t be coming to canada. after a long conversation,I had no choice but to accept her decision; I tried to cancel her visa while i was in cuba but the embassy answered me that i needed to go to the embassy to cancel in person. I was not able to get to the embassy,therefore did it when i got back to canada on september 6th,date of which my initial return flight was scheduled;oh i almost forgot;,the 2 tickets cost me $760 and were thrown in the garbage. When i arrived on the 6th,I immediately called immigration canada at the airport on sunday september 7th. I told them that I wanted to cancel the visa;I was then told that it was too late to cancel. I then understood she had come into canada without me! My question is the following: Shouldn’t we,the sponsors be aloud to be present in the immigration office when our sponsored spouse arrives at the airport? This would make it harder for sponsored spouses to walk in to canada and disappearing all of a sudden! I have tried to get info from cic and the border security and the privacy act protects my wife of whom I am responsible for a period of 2 years! I have advised the authorities that she is not with me in my household,and I sincerely hope that something is being done to get her out of our country. She duped me but better yet,she duped the embassy official in cuba who interviewed her on the 25th of august that gave her the visa!

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