CIC lays down new rules for spousal sponsorship

In an effort to condemn the unethical practice of using fraudulent marriages for the purpose of immigration, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) announced a new regulation for family sponsorships on Friday October 26, 2012.

The new regulation, which is now in force, places a condition on the permanent resident status of certain spouses and partners sponsored to come to Canada.  A sponsored spouse/partner who is granted a conditional permanent resident status would be required to live in a “legitimate relationship” with their sponsor for two years, in order to have the condition lifted by CIC and be recognized as a true permanent resident.

“Implementing a two-year conditional permanent residence period will help deter marriage fraud, prevent the callous victimization of innocent Canadians and help us put an end to these scams,” said Citizenship and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney on Friday.

The new conditional permanent residence applies to spouses or partners in relationships of two years or less, with no children in common, and whose applications are received on or after October 25, 2012.  Evidence of non-compliance with the stringent measure may result in the loss of permanent resident status of the sponsored spouse or partner.

Sponsored spouses or partners who are found to be suffering abuse or neglect are exempted from the conditional measure.  The exemption would also apply in the event of the death of the sponsor during the conditional period.

In addition to the new conditional permanent residence, CIC announced regulatory changes in March 2012 that prohibits sponsored spouses or partners from sponsoring a new spouse for five years from the day they are granted permanent residence status.

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