Over the last few years, we have seen significant changes made to immigration rules and spousal sponsorship applications in Canada. The Canadian government implemented these changes to facilitate faster processing and a more efficient system for qualifying applicants.
The spouse sponsoring a partner can access real-time information related to the application through the government’s visa portal. There will be one type of application for all candidates under the amended rules, covering people residing both inside and outside the country. Applicants will now have a shorter relationship questionnaire, with fewer items.
Furthermore, immigration no longer requires a medical exam upfront, and they only need police certificates from the spouse’s current country of residence and the country where he spent most of his adult life (if different from current location).
These changes make the sponsorship process efficient, but they do not affect the regulatory or legislative requirements needed for sponsorship. A candidate must still sufficiently demonstrate that they have fulfilled the criteria for sponsorship.
Note that the forms and checklists for Canadian immigration have been updated. Make sure you have the latest list of requirements and application forms before you start the process.
Why are there many requirements for sponsorship?
A frequent concern regarding the liberal application of immigration rules is the possibility of marriage fraud. This is a form of exploitation of a spousal sponsorship program, and many people have attempted to use it as an easy way to enter Canada and achieve permanent residency.
For example, people might marry so that one person can obtain residency. Once the sponsored individual arrives in Canada, the pair simply dissolves their marriage and parts ways.
Sometimes, both individuals are involved in fraud. In other instances, the sponsored spouse leaves after they get to the country. In certain situations, sponsored spouses start collecting welfare, and the sponsor has no choice but to pay for it.
What happens after a sponsored person gets residency?
If a Canadian resident sponsors an individual from another country, the expectation is that they will live together and have a “legitimate” relationship. In most cases, this is what happens, and couples live happily under one roof for many years.
In some instances, though, relationship dynamics change, and the parties might find themselves in a situation they dislike. This creates complications since immigration laws say they must live together for two years; otherwise, the sponsored spouse could face deportation.
This rule is still in effect as of 2020. It applies to couples married for less than 24 months who do not have children, and one of the biggest contentions is that it causes recent immigrants to stay with abusive partners in fear of losing their residency.
The Canadian government states that if there is evidence of abuse, immigration authorities shall waive the two-year requirement. A person in this situation should consult an immigration expert to help them build their case.
An honest couple will have no problems proving their commitment to each other. If you have uncertainties about the strength of your claim, though, or if you are in a situation you had not anticipated, you should seek advice from an expert in spouse immigration.
Bright Immigration’s representatives are recognized by the Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council and Law Society of Upper Canada.