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,” Immigration Minister Jason Kenney said Friday in Mississauga.
- The new “conditional permanent residence” applies to spouses or partners in a relationship of two years or less who have no children in common at the time of the spousal sponsorship application.
- The two-year probation starts from the day the sponsored spouse arrives in Canada. Anyone who fails to “cohabit” under one roof with the sponsor for the required time will have his or her status revoked and will have to leave the country.
- “Many Canadians have been the victims of immigration marriage fraud — people whose hearts have been broken by those from overseas who use them to come to Canada as permanent residents, only to be quickly betrayed and left to pick up the pieces of their lives,” Kenney said.
- The new law does not apply to immigrants who end up as victims of abuse and neglect. Such people won’t lose their status or be deported with the breakdown of the relationship.
- “Making permanent residence conditional for sponsored spouses gives power to the sponsor, who may use the threat of deportation to manipulate their spouse,” warned Loly Rico, president of the Canadian Council for Refugees. “This measure is a gift to an abuser.”
- Enforcement of the rules will be complaints-driven, and Kenney said the Canada Border Services Agency “is not going to be going to peoples’ bedrooms.”
- Sam Benet, president of Canadians Against Immigration Fraud, praised the new measure as “a bold step” that “sends a strong message to all the fraudsters that Canadians are very generous, but we are not fools.” His organization estimates there have been at least 15,000 cases of marriage fraud over the past several years. However, Benet, whose daughter-in-law left his son after arriving in Canada, said his members are frustrated by the lack of enforcement by border officials, who he says take no action against offenders despite their complaints.
- In March, Ottawa banned people who have sponsored a spouse once from doing so againwithin five years.
I’m not so sure this will work :)