Why Marrying a Canadian Does Not Automatically Lead to Citizenship
Do you think your spouse will become a citizen as soon as you’re married? Think again. It’s a widely-held belief, after all, that the marriage joins two people’s lives in such a way that binds their property and their identities.
It’s a widely-held belief, after all, that the marriage joins two people’s lives in such a way that binds their property and their identities.
However, this is sadly not the case, and non-Canadians are NOT given Canadian citizenship after marrying a Canadian. This fact is not widely understood, and it’s important to understand that marrying a Canadian does not automatically lead to citizenship (and why) to navigate the Canadian immigration system effectively.
The government must be able to verify that a marriage is real and not one of mere convenience. Read on to learn how to achieve citizenship after marrying a Canadian.
A Spouse Has a Criminal Record
One reason why marrying a Canadian doesn’t generate instant citizenship is that it’s possible a Canadian may marry someone who is a criminal that may compromise the safety of other Canadians. There are many reasons why an applicant may be deemed not admissible, such as ties to terrorist groups or totalitarian political parties. Proof of espionage or political subversion or violent crime is grounds for declaring an applicant inadmissible.
There are also many other crimes that make an application inadmissible, such as a drunk driving conviction. Being part of a political party that is guilty of crimes against humanity will render the applicant ineligible.
There are many reasons why an applicant may be deemed not admissible, such as ties to terrorist groups or totalitarian political parties. Proof of espionage or political subversion or violent crime is grounds for declaring an applicant inadmissible. There are also many other crimes that render an application inadmissible, such as a drunk driving conviction. Being part of a political party that is guilty of crimes against humanity will also render the applicant ineligible.
This sort of discretion on the part of the Canadian government does not only protect its citizens but also the people of the world generally, insofar as a Canadian passport renders its holder especially mobile on the world stage. Individuals with ill-intent who gain access to Canadian citizenship, therefore, can potentially pose even more of a worldwide threat.
Criminality is not the only factor by which an applicant may be automatically rejected, Health factors are taken into consideration as well. Applicants with a communicable disease or other serious health concerns are also likely to be rejected.
For married applicants already living in Canada, free and clear of criminal or health issues, there are timelines as to when to apply for citizenship. The applicant must have been physically inside Canada as a permanent resident for at least 1,460 days during the six years immediately before the date of the application for citizenship. They also have to be in Canada at least 183 days of each of the four calendar years within the six years immediately before the date of application.
A New Waiting Period
For applicants living outside the country, there’s some good news: Canada’s ruling Liberal Party has removed the 2-year wait for couples to be united. A spousal sponsorship is a likely immigration route to take. Nonetheless, the application process is demanding.
Apart from vetting the applicant for criminal activity or health concerns, he or she and their spouse still have to prove that the relationship is honest and legitimate. Proof takes many different forms. It may include providing documents showing co-ownership of property, bills, or shared bank accounts. Any documentation of the applicant and sponsor sharing household responsibilities counts toward legitimacy, as does proof of cohabitation. Communications between them that are of a loving marital nature may be asked for by the immigration officers.
As well, immigration officials are trained to not use the same set of questions for each set of interviews, so there is no tried-and-true method of answering their questions that will lead to the desired result. Inconsistencies in the couple’s story can lead to the applicant being rejected. The only true way of being sure to pass the interview is, to be honest, and in a demonstrably true marriage.
You need expert guidance to help you navigate the Canadian immigration system to ensure that you understand what is expected of you and why. The citizen application process for everyone can be exhausting for its legal minutia as well as the sheer depth of information that must be provided. You need a professional immigration expert to maximize your possibility of success.
The Help You and Your Spouse Need
All our cases are handled by competent and experienced immigration professionals who are affiliated with VisaPlace. These professionals consist of lawyers, licensed paralegals and consultants who work for Niren and Associates an award winning immigration firm that adheres to the highest standards of client service.
About Michael Niren
Michael is a graduate of Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto. He is a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada, the Canadian Bar Association’s Citizenship and Immigration Section and the Associate Member of the American Bar Association. Read more
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