A recent announcement from the Canadian government has seen the immediate introduction of new spousal sponsorship rules.
Following a statement made by Canadian Citizenship and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney on 5th March 2012, sponsors, sponsored spouses or unmarried partners will now have to wait for five years to sponsor a new spouse or partner, starting from the day that they are granted permanent residence in Canada.
With the aim of deterring people from undertaking marriages of convenience in order to settle in Canada, the move is set to prevent fraudulent marriages where people leave their original ‘spouse’ only to sponsor a new partner while their Canadian spouse is still financially responsible for them for three years.
Jason Kenney said, “I held town hall meetings across the country to hear from victims of marriage fraud. In addition to the heartbreak and pain that came from being lied to and deceived, these people were angry. They felt they had been used as a way to get to Canada. We’re taking action because immigration to Canada should not be built upon deceit.”
This relatively unpublicised aspect of fraudulent marriages is subsequently gaining a welcome focus. Sam S. Benet, President of Canadian Against Immigration Fraud, added, “We welcome the steps taken by the Honourable Jason Kenny to stop marriage fraud. These measures will definitely protect the integrity of our immigration system.”
The point at which spousal sponsorship becomes an abuse of the immigration system is when a person enters into a relationship in order to circumvent Canada’s immigration law. With the Canadian spouse financially liable for their partner for a minimum of three years, regardless of whether the relationship has ended or not, those entering relationships with Canadian nationals simply to gain access to the country will face tougher sanctions thanks to Jason Kenny’s rule change.