TORONTO: In a major crackdown on fraudulent marriages entered into by people to get entry into Canada, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) Friday made it mandatory for the couples to live together for at least two years upon arrival in Canada.
If they split before two years, the spouse who was sponsored into Canada faces deportation.
Announcing the crackdown, immigration minister Jason Kenney said, “There are countless cases of marriage fraud across the country. I have consulted widely with Canadians, and especially with victims of marriage fraud, who have told me clearly that we must take action to stop this abuse of our immigration system.’’
Kenney said, “Sometimes the sponsor in Canada is being duped and sometimes it’s a commercial transaction. Implementing a two-year conditional permanent residence period will help deter marriage fraud, prevent the callous victimization of innocent Canadians and help us put an end to these scams.’’
The new rules will apply to spouses or partners in a relationship of two years or less and who have no children in common with their sponsor at the time they submit their sponsorship application.
The spouse or partner must live in a legitimate relationship with their sponsor for two years from the day on which they receive their permanent resident status in Canada. The status of the sponsored spouse or partner may be revoked if they do not remain in the relationship.
The new measure applies to permanent residents in relationships of two years or less, with no children in common, whose applications are received on or after October 25, 2012.
The immigration minister added, “Canadians are generous and welcoming, but they have no tolerance for fraudsters who lie and cheat to jump the queue. This measure will help strengthen the integrity of our immigration system and prevent the victimization of innocent Canadians.”
Canadians Against Immigration Fraud (CAIF) president Sam Benet, “We applaud Minister Kenney for taking bold steps to address the growing problem of marriage fraud and for protecting the integrity of our immigration system.”
With these new measures to deter fraudulent marriages, Canada joins other nations such as Britain, Australia, the US which require new spouses to fulfill this conditional clause.