Spousal Sponsorships becoming harder for Arranged Marriage Cases

Spousal Sponsorships and arranged marriages

We recently blogged about the Government of Canada proposing new regulations to become tougher on marriages or adoptions of “convenience” for immigration purposes. Now, Canadian immigration officials have released information saying that arranged marriages will be under increased scrutiny, primarily affecting the Hindu, Muslim and Sikh communities as well as some Chinese communities.

However, the government has assured that only fraudulent arranged marriages for immigration purposes will be targeted by the more thorough checks and legitimate immigration applications will not be affected.

Tarek Fatah, of the Muslim Canadian Congress said, “we welcome this move to enforce the policy, the Canadian citizenship is not for sale,” to the Toronto Sun after the news was announced.

The high frequency of abuse with regards to the marriage process for Canadian immigration casts a high amount of suspicion on those who are immigrating legitimately. The government intends to conduct more background checks and will have access to tools that will protect the process and the system’s integrity. Most of the people subject to the increased scrutiny will be those who arrive to immigrate right after a marriage.

Meanwhile, Citisenship and Immigration Canada has stated that annually almost 10,000 Canadians marry people from other countries who already live in Canada, and around 8 to 10 per cent of these permanent residence applications are rejected. Alternatively, over 60,000 Canadians mary overseas and file inernational spousal sponsorships,15 per cent of which are rejected.

In Canada, the spouse generally can receive landed status without conditions, whereas in the United States there is sometimes requirement for the two to live together for a minimum period of a few years for before the spouse can get permanent residence

We will see how this all plays out. The concern is that Canada Immigration will apply an unnecessarily  level of scrutiny to spousal sponsorships for arranged marriages which in some cultures is a totally legitimate process of marriage.

Michael Niren

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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