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Spousal Sponsorship Fraud Leaves Sponsor Broke

According to this article in the Toronto Star, a woman who sponsored her spouse to Canada from Cuba has been left abandoned and broke after her new husband disappeared three days after arriving at the Toronto airport.

Spousal Sponsorship Fraud

Photo from the Toronto Star

New laws were put in place by the government of Canada that prevents sponsored spouses from obtaining permanent residence in Canada for two years after their arrival to ensure they are a “legitimate” couple, but these laws only apply to applications made in October of 2012 and onward – this application was filed long before that.

Spousal Sponsorship Fraud the exception, not the rule

While this kind of fraud does happen, it is rare. That’s why these stories tend to make the news in a big way when they occur. This woman had been sending money to her spouse and his family in Cuba, all the while putting money into her own home through renovations so they could live together in a great place once he arrived – not to mention the cost of the destination wedding.

Spousal Sponsorship is a big responsibility, and anyone who is sponsoring a spouse needs to be aware that they are committing to sponsoring their spouse not just in spirit – but financially. If you sponsor someone and they disappear, you might be forced to repay any social assistance they received during the time you were on the hook for sponsoring them.

While this kind of news story is upsetting to read, it’s even more upsetting for the legitimate and loving couples who try to reunite in Canada each year and are sometimes met with obstacles and red tape because of cases like this.

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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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