(Note from Steven: I met John at the Canadian Bar Association British Columbia branch annual conference in San Francisco.  He is currently involved in some fascinating litigation representing an individual who sponsored a spouse only to watch her  immediately divorce him after she immigrated.  She also left him on the hook for tens of thousands of dollars in social assistance payments.  I invited John to some write articles for this blog, and here is the third of what will hopefully be many into this issue.) — The issue of resolving a […]

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(Note from Steven: I met John at the Canadian Bar Association British Columbia branch annual conference in San Francisco.  He is currently involved in some fascinating litigation representing an individual who sponsored a spouse only to watch her  immediately divorce him after she immigrated.  She also left him on the hook for tens of thousands of dollars in social assistance payments.  I invited John to some write articles for this blog, and here is the first of what will hopefully be many into this issue.) — Marriage fraud happens. You meet […]

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On October 26, 2012, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (“CIC“) implemented conditional permanent residency for certain people who immigrate to Canada under the spousal-sponsorship program.  The implementation of conditional permanent residency took affect on October 25, 2012, the day prior to CIC publicizing it.   The change was not retroactive, and will not affect sponsorship applications which were received by CIC prior to October 25, 2012. CIC has stated that the goal of introducing conditional permanent residency is to reduce instances of marriages of convenience. What Conditional Permanent Residency Is, and Who it […]

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The Federal Court has confirmed that s. 65 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act requires that the Immigration Appeal Division determine whether an applicant is a member of the Family Class before considering humanitarian & compassionate considerations (“H&Cs“). Accordingly, people appearing before the Immigration Appeal Division in a Family Class appeal should be prepared to prove that the applicant is a member of the family class before arguing H&Cs.  This is the case even if the visa officer did not make a determination, or made a negative determination, regarding membership in […]

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Fresh off his efforts to crack down on crooked consultants, and having just introduced legislation to deter “bogus refugees,” Jason Kenney, the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, is now focusing his scopes on deterring sham marriages.  He has made (or is in the process of making) two significant changes to Canada’s spousal-sponsorship program.  While both of his reforms will have its critics, the changes are likely to have the overwhelming support of the Canadian public, and continue the Conservative government’s trend of harmonizingCanada’s immigration system with other Western democracies. The first […]

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Spousal Sponsorships and Criminal Convictions

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.

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Conditional Permanent Residency for Spousal Sponsorships

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.

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Withdrawing a Spousal Sponsorship

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.

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Customary / Tribal Marriages and Immigrating to Canada

Marriage ceremonies vary across the world. Many involve customs and rituals that would be completely foreign to most Canadians.

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Spousal Sponsorship and Social Assistance

Section 133 of Canada’s Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (the “Regulations“) prohibit a Canadian citizen or permanent resident from sponsoring a foreign family member (generally a spouse, common-law partner, parent or grandparent) if that 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 […]

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