Bridging Visa Introduced For Temporary Residents Applying for Permanent Residence in Canada

Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) on Thursday introduced a bridging open work permit for those applying for permanent residence under economic class immigration streams (Jarek Tuszynski)

Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) on Thursday introduced the ‘Bridging Open Work Permit’ for temporary residents who are working in Canada and are awaiting a final decision on their application for permanent residence through an economic class immigration program.

The new work permit will save foreign workers from having to discontinue their work in Canada and leave the country while they wait for permanent residence.

A similar bridging open work permit already exists for temporary foreign workers with pending applications in the Live-in Caregiver Program (LCP) and spousal or common-law immigration streams.

Temporary residents with pending applications under the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP), Canadian Experience Class (CEC), a Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) or the Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP) will be eligible for the bridging visa.

CIC has made several changes in recent months to make it easier for foreign nationals in Canada on temporary work or study assignments to transition to permanent residence.

Guinean Deported In Spousal Sponsorship Case Marries New Canadian Woman

Soumah, who was deported back to the West African country of Guinea this year, is appealing the deportation order based on the results of a new paternity test that his lawyer says shows he did not lie about not having a dependent (CIA)

A Guinean man who was deported from Canada after his Canadian wife and sponsor for permanent residence alleged that he lied to her about a child he had fathered and walked out on her three weeks after arriving in Canada has married another Canadian woman, it has emerged.

Lainie Towell married Fode Mohamed Soumah, a native of Guinea and ten years her junior, and sponsored him for immigration to Canada in 2007. Soon afterward, Towell learned in a phone call from a mutual friend in Guinea that Soumah had fathered a child with a 15 year old girl in his home country. She also discovered emails that Soumah had sent to his friends that led her to believe that Soumah was the baby’s father.

The Immigration and Refugee Board agreed with Towell and ordered Soumah deported in 2009 for not having declared his dependent to Towell during his application for permanent residence. In February 2012, after three years of appeals, Soumah was deported from Canada.

The new development in this story is Soumah’s marriage to another Canadian woman, Cassandre Blier, who he met 16 months after his marriage with Towell ended.

Blier and Soumah filed a lawsuit on July 23rd seeking to ban the publication of Towell’s book about the events, How to Catch an African Chicken: A Canadian Woman’s Outrageous but True Story of Marriage Fraud. A Superior Court of Québec justice ordered the sale and marketing of the book halted for 30 days to prevent potential damage to Soumah’s reputation.

The lawyer representing the married couple in the suit, Denis Roumestan, says that a paternity test proves with 100 percent certainty that Soumah is not the father of the child. He also said that Soumah is appealing the deportation order in light of the paternity test.

Towell is not backing down, insisting her book is an accurate account of events, and says she feels sorry for Soumah’s new wife and believes she is a victim.

Foreign Sponsored Spouses of Canadians to Face Tougher Rules

A proposed new federal rule aims to clamp down on immigration fraud committed by foreign spouses of Canadians. This type of fraud involves a foreigner marrying a Canadian and getting their Canadian spouse to sponsor them for Canadian permanent resident status, then getting a divorce once they have gotten their permanent residency.

The new rule would allow Immigration Canada to deport a foreign spouse if the marriage does not last two years. The proposal for a two year probationary period will be open to public input until early April. The Canadian government is planning to enact it in late summer.

The Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration has already started tightening spousal visa rules. On March 2nd it ruled that a foreign spouse who divorced her husband had to wait five years before sponsoring a new partner.

Marriage fraud has become the focus of much attention recently with a series of high profile cases involving Canadians being defrauded by their foreign spouses. The most notable of these is the one of Lainie Towell, who married Fode Mohamed Soumahm, a native of Guinea, and sponsored him for Canadian permanent resident status, only to have him walk out on her three weeks after he had arrived in Canada. Mr. Soumahm was eventually deported, three years after arriving in Canada.