New proposal for Spousal Sponsorships for Canada

Sponsored spouses must be in relationships for two years

After months of consultations with the public across Canada on preventing marriage fraud for immigration purposes, the federal government has put forth a new proposal for spousal sponsorship applications: those coming to Canada to be with someone already in Canada would have to be in a relationship with them for two years in order to get permanent residence.

If the relationship hasn’t reached the two-year mark yet, the person in a relationship with their sponsor only receives conditional permanent residence. And if they break up, the status could be revoked and the person deported from Canada. This is similar to the rules in place in the US for I-130 Spousal Petitions.

New spousal sponsorship rule could hurt those in abusive relationships

While the new rule would make it even more difficult for anyone in an abusive relationship to get out because of the fear of being deported from Canada, the government is also planning on creating “a process for allowing bona fide spouses and partners in such situations to come forward without facing enforcement action.”

While there is merit to this idea, I am concerned that the two year requirement may lead to further abuse, the opposite of its intent.  I would like to see more detail on how exactly these proposals will play out. In abusive relationships, what kind of proof will be required to exempt an applicant from the 2 year requirement? The fear of coming forward and facing possible deportation for persons in abusive relationship may be just too overwhelming to bear. Therefore I am not convinced this will all work in the real world.

The proposal is now available for public input for the next 30 days.


Any information provided here does not constitute legal advice and is intended for general information only. Should you require legal advise, you are encouraged to contact a lawyer directly. All blog postings are public and are not subject to solicitor/client confidentially. Case results depend on a variety of factors unique to each case, and case results do not guarantee or predict a similar result in any further case undertaken by the lawyer.

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About Fadi Minawi

Fadi is a graduate of the University of Toronto and the University of Toledo College of Law. He is called to the New York State Bar and is registered as a Foreign Legal Consultant with the Law Society of Upper Canada. He is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) and is currently serving as the Media Liaison for the Canadian Chapter of AILA. Fadi has extensive experience in US immigration matters and is the firm’s lead in the area of US immigration. He is specialized in corporate and family immigration, as well as issues dealing with US inadmissibility.

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