Making “Marriages of Convenience” Route of Entry to Canada Difficult
Spousal / common-law partner sponsorship immigration program reunite thousands of couples and families, and is one of the many progressive features of Canada’s immigration system. However, it is closely monitored to detect what are known as “marriages of convenience.”
A marriage of convenience is - a relationship that is entered into primarily for the purposes of gaining immigration to Canada, and therefore is not genuine.
Some unscrupulous elements have made ‘marriage of convenience’ their main business and made thousands of dollars. Visa officers have a number of tools at their disposal to detect marriage fraud, including document checklists, interviews, and home visits.
In 2015, 2,288 applications (6.1% of total applicants) for spousal sponsorship were refused in 2015 because the applicants were deemed to be in a marriage of convenience. Between 2013 and 2015, 119,838 permanent residence applications were refused, of which 5.1 percent were in the spousal sponsorship class. So, you can imagine the enormity of the problem there.
Genuine couples may provide a wide range of documents and proofs of their relationship during the application process. Shared finances, shared property ownership or rental carry weight in an application, but a couple does not have to be living together at the time of submitting an application in order to prove a genuine relationship. Photographs, travel itineraries, insurance policies, wills, and further documents may all be considered in the processing of an application.
The spouses or partners are may be interviewed separately. In 2017, IRCC plans to process over 64,000 spousal/common-law partner and dependent child sponsorship applications. Genuine couples who are want to build a life together in Canada may be encouraged by the increasing transparency of the new application process.
Fraudulent applications and marriages of convenience do happen but in minority. It is encouraging to see visa officers taking steps to ensure that such applications are detected. In doing so, they are strengthening the process for the many thousands of genuine couples and families looking to build a future together in Canada.”
To find out if you are eligible to sponsor a spouse or common-law partner, Contact Us today.