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The Toronto Star has published an interesting article detailing how Canadian immigration officials may be much too harsh when judging the legitimacy of a marriage for Canadian spousal sponsorship applications.
The article tells of several couples who have had spousal sponsorship applications denied for reasons that seem excessive, to say the least.
One example is a couple from Pakistan where the wife was older and more educated than her husband, where it is not unusual for older and more educated women to marry younger men. The couple also had Facebook communication, wedding photos and receipts to prove their marriage was legitimate, but that wasn’t good enough.
In another situation, a surprise visit to a couple’s home resulted in a spousal sponsorship denial because the wife could not find her husband’s socks nor answer the question of whether her husband used a disposable or electric razor. That couple’s appeal has also been denied, and they have a baby together.
Immigration marriage fraud has been a significant topic of discussion as of late, with the government announcing more strict regulations in the spousal sponsorship program and new television ads about marriage fraud from the government. In addition, approximately 16 per cent of spousal sponsorship applications are denied. As the years go on, the gap between the number of appeals allowed and dismissed is closing, with more appeals being denied and fewer being allowed year after year.
What do you think? Determining whether a marriage is fraudulent or not can be very difficult, but proving your marriage is legitimate can be even more difficult for couples, who have a lot on the line during spousal sponsorship applications.
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