Fresh off the heals of announcing an intention to introduce conditional permanent residency for spousal sponsorships, the Canadian government has introduced regulatory changes introducing a sponsorship bar.Read more ›
Citizenship and Immigration Canada has proposed regulatory changes regarding who will be prohibited from sponsoring a member of the family class due to previous criminal convictions. Before discussing the proposals, it is worth reviewing the current law.Read more ›
The Canadian government has quietly put out a notice in the Gazette requesting comments on a proposal to introduce a conditional permanent residence period of two years or more for sponsored spouses and partners in a relationship of two years or less with their sponsors.Read more ›
The first question on the Application to Sponsor and Undertaking form asks…1) If you are found ineligible to sponsor, indicate whether you want to withdraw your sponsorship. All processing fees less $75 will be repaid OR to proceed with the application for permanent residence.Read more ›
Marriage ceremonies vary across the world. Many involve customs and rituals that would be completely foreign to most Canadians.Read more ›
The government has introduced regulatory changes, which take effect immediately, for determining whether a marriage is a “bad faith” marriage or a “marriage of convenience”.Read more ›
According to CIC, during the past 12 months the approval rate for different application streams for permanent residence has been as follows:
Quebec Skilled Workers
Federal Skilled Workers (Pre-C-50)
Federal Skilled Workers (Post C-50)
Canadian Experience Class
Parents and Grandparents
Spouses & Partners
Family Class (Other)
Government Sponsored Refugees
Private Sponsored Refugees
FCH – Family Relations – H&C
90%Read more ›
Last updated on April 28th, 2020
Section 133 of Canada’s Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (the “Regulations“) prohibits a Canadian citizen or permanent resident from sponsoring a foreign family member (generally a spouse, common-law partner, parent or grandparent) if the Canadian is in receipt of social assistance for a reason other than a disability. The Regulations define social assistance as being any benefit, whether money, goods or services, provided to or on behalf of a person by a province under a program of social assistance. It includes assistance for food, shelter, clothing, fuel, utilities, household supplies, personal requirements and health care not provided by public health care.
Pursuant to the internal Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (“IRCC“) e-mail below, it is important to note that IRCC does not consider subsidized housing to be social assistance.
Section 133(1)(k) of the Regulations explicitly provides that a person can still sponsor a foreign family member to immigrate to Canada if the sponsor receives the social assistance because of a disability.
Previous Receipt of Social Assistance
Depending on the circumstances, the previous receipt of social assistance can render a sponsor ineligible. Section 133(1)(b) of the Regulations provides that a sponsor must intend to fulfil the obligations in the sponsorship undertaking. In Alriyati v. Canada (Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship), 2020 FC 496, Justice Pentney determined that it was reasonable for a visa officer to determine that because someone had been on social assistance for a lengthy period, and only stopped receiving social assistance shortly before submitting a spousal sponsorship application, that the person did not have an intention to fulfil the obligations in the sponsorship undertaking. Justice Pentney noted:
There is no jurisprudence of this Court on the interpretation of intention under paragraph 133(1)(b).Read more ›
Canadian immigration law allows people to sponsor their spouses or common-law partners to immigrate to Canada. A question that often arises is whether open relationships count.
Multiple Spouses or Common-Law Partners
Canadian immigration law is clear that a person cannot have more than one spouse or more than one common-law partner for the purpose of immigration. .
Section 119(9)(c) of Canada’s Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations provides that a person cannot sponsor someone if the prospective immigrant is the Canadian’s spouse and (i) the sponsor or the foreign national was, at the time of their marriage, the spouse of another person, or (ii) the sponsor has lived separate and apart from the foreign national for at least one year and either the sponsor is the common-law partner of another person or the foreign national is the common-law partner of another person.
On the issue of polygamous marriages, section 13.2 of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada’s Overseas Processing Manual 2 – Processing Members of the Family Class (the “Guidelines”) further states that:
Officers must counsel both parties that polygamy is an offence under the Criminal Code of Canada. R117(9)(c)(i) states that a spouse is not a member of the family class if the spouse or sponsor was already married to another person at the time of the subsequent marriage. This regulation prohibits a second (or third, etc.) wife from being recognized as a spouse within the family class and provides that only the first marriage may potentially be recognized for immigration purposes.
In order for the first marriage to be recognized as legally valid under Canadian law, the couple must live together in a monogamous marriage in Canada.Read more ›
When someone sponsors their spouse or common-law partner to immigrate to Canada, it can often be difficult to determine how detailed one’s application should be. Should one include every aspect of their relationship history, including marital difficulties? What about instances of fidelity?
Several Federal Court of Canada decisions involving cases of alleged misrepresentation against applicants offer guidance on this topic.
In Chen v. Canada (Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness),(“Chen“), Mr. Chen, a Chinese citizen, married Ms. Zou, a Canadian permanent resident. Ms. Zou then sponsored Mr. Chen for permanent residence. While Mr. Chen’s application was in processing, a friend told him that his wife had been seen “in the company” of another man in Toronto.
When Mr. Chen arrived in Canada, he discovered that his wife pregnant with another man’s child. According to Justice Harrington, Mr. Chen was willing to forgive his wife, and asked her to get an abortion. She refused. On many occasions she made sexual overtures to him but he was both unwilling and unable to perform. Ms. Chen “taunted Ms. Zou’s lack of manhood.”
As one would expect, the marriage shortly dissolved thereafter.
After the divorce, Mr. Chen married an old flame in China. He then attempted to sponsor her for Canadian permanent residency.
Unfortunately for Mr. Chen, Canadian immigration authorities not only disallowed his new wife’s application, but also declared Mr. Chen to be inadmissible to Canada for misrepresentation in his own immigration application.
Essentially, the Canada Border Services Agency (“CBSA“) alleged that Mr. Chen’s first marriage to Ms. Zou was not genuine, that Mr. Chen lied to enter Canada, and that his permanent residency should accordingly be revoked. Specifically, the CBSA was suspicious because Mr.Read more ›
Please note that none of the information on this website should be construed as being legal advice. As well, you should not rely on any of the information contained in this website when determining whether and how to apply to a given program. Canadian immigration law is constantly changing, and the information above may be dated. If you have a question about the contents of this blog, or any question about Canadian immigration law, please contact the Author.
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