The Canadian government is quietly bringing in some changes to its policy regarding spousal sponsorship.
Until now, if a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident marries outside of the country, and sponsors his or her spouse, the immigration officer has to prove two conditions to reject the application: that the marriage was not genuine, and that it was conducted for the sole purpose of ensuring the immigration of the sponsoree to Canada.
The Two Conditions
However, sources say what Citizenship & Immigration Canada, the federal department governing immigration issues, wants is to give the discretion to visa officers to reject the application if they could prove just one of the two conditions.
As a first step to this law, the government has implemented a regulation that gives immigration officers authority to reject a spousal sponsorship application if a Canadian citizen or Permanent Resident has sponsored someone whom he or she met in this country and got married, but where the sponsoree does not have legal status.
It has always been obvious that any sponsorship application should be rejected if the visa officer decided the marriage was fake.
But rejecting a spousal unification application even if the marriage is considered genuine but was done for the purpose of immigration?
There have been many dissenting voices about this.
There is concern that with the concept of arranged marriage still popular among South Asians in Canada and in South Asia, they might be adversely affected by these changes.
This is because even many young Canadian-South Asians get married to citizens from South Asia whom their family members may have arranged, or whom they may have met online.
It remains to be seen how far the visa officers will go in using the new guidelines — whether they will take them literally, or whether they will still abide by the principle that genuine partnerships should be approved.
- Sponsoring Your Spouse
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