Assessing the Genuineness and Primary Purpose of a Marriage

30th Sep 2018 Comments Off on Assessing the Genuineness and Primary Purpose of a Marriage

Last updated on July 28th, 2021

Regulation 4 of Canada’s Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations, SOR/2002-207 state that a foreign national shall not be considered a spouse, a common-law partner or a conjugal partner of a person if the marriage, common-law partnership or conjugal partnership (a) was entered into primarily for the purpose of acquiring any status or privilege under the Act or (b) is not genuine.


From 2012-2017 around 4% of spousal sponsorship applications were refused because an officer determined that an applicant’s marriage was either not genuine or that it was primarily motivated by an immigration benefit.

A Hasty Marriage

In Nadasapillai v Canada (Citizenship and Immigration), 2015 FC 72, Justice Diner held that the fact that a marriage was entered into after a short courtship is not determinative of a mala fide marriage. He stated:

The Panel criticized the haste based on Ms. Raman’s troubled past relationship and marriage, and the fact that Ms. Raman was 38 years of age at the time, i.e., getting on in age for a single mother.  There are two reasons that this is a weak conclusion.

First, one can easily understand why Ms. Raman was ready for the companionship that she clearly explained she had longed for: older couples can be quick in deciding to get married (although haste is certainly not the exclusive domain of any particular age).  Older people are often ready to move more quickly into a lifelong commitment, as they know what they want. As Ms. Raman stated in her testimony, “I am getting older. I am very old now and I don’t know how long I’ll be able to live.

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