Devon Jones a young enterprising South African is fascinated about Quebec. The enchanting culture and history of the French province is alluring and it has remained a life-long dream to move there. But his dream to work and live in the iconic city of Quebec is a fantasy, realizable only in his mind. His last three immigration application has been unsuccessful. Months later at an exhibition in Pretoria, he met Lucy, a Canadian citizen, like a sparkle in the dark their hearts ignited and boom they fell in love.
The following year, through expedited process Devon Jones was proud to brandish his document as a Quebecer (as a permanent resident of Quebec) sponsored by his wife who is now pregnant with their first child. Finally like a well scripted Hollywood movie, they lived happily ever after.
Most Canadian citizens or permanent residents can relate to this heartwarming story of affection and true love, but this noble approach has been marred by controversy.
Every year thousands of people immigrate to Canada through spousal sponsorship, though a fraction of that number is fraudsters posing as lovers just to get their hands on permanent residency. This act is frowned upon by Canadian authorities. If immigration officials suspect your intent of migrating to Canada is not genuine, you may become inadmissible into Canada.
One of the downsides of marriage fraud is the financial implication incurred, the sponsor (Canadian citizen, or permanent resident) by obligation is responsible for the welfare of the sponsored spouse whether they are divorced or not for three years.
As part of the crackdown on marriage fraud, Citizenship and Immigration Canada is planning on introducing more stringent policies that will curb the menace of marriage fraud.
To be eligible to sponsor your spouse for permanent residency in Canada you must satisfy these requirements.
- Must be 18 years or older
- Must be a Canadian citizen or Permanent Resident
- Must provide financial proof to cater for your spouse during his/her stay for three years
- Must not be convicted of any sexual crime or punishable crime that carries more than 10 prison sentence
- within the past five years have not sponsored a spouse
- Must not be dependent on government assistance other than for disability as specified
- Must not default in loan repayment
- Must provide proof of not suffering bankruptcy
Categories Of Spousal Sponsorship
Conjugal Partner Relationship: This relationship involves adults in a relationship but could not stay together due to circumstances. This category mostly applies to same-sex couples
Common Law Partnership: This involves two consenting adults who already in a marriage-like relationship for a period of one year.
Marital Relationship: If the marriage is done outside Canada legally with a valid marriage certificate, Canadian immigration authorities will recognize such union.
Processing time for Spousal Sponsorship depends on the type of application and is usually between 7-12 months, your application will be delayed if there is a piece of incorrect or missing information. The processing time also depends on the backlog of visa application being processed.
Note: It is advisable to employ the services of immigration experts/lawyer to help expedite the entire process.
To be able to prove the legitimacy of your union to the Canadian Immigration authorities, you will have to provide certain shreds of evidence to show your union is genuine and not for the fraudulent intent of obtaining residency.
Proof of Communication: You will need to convince the immigration officer that there exists a proof of regular communication like Phone calls, emails, love letters
Proof Of Gifts: Receipts of gifts you bought for your spouse can help strengthen your case that a loving and genuine relationship exists.
Proof Of Time Together: Vacation pictures at different time and place.
References Letters from family or friends who attested to your relationship as a couple
Pictures Of Honeymoon
The Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada website lists the sponsorship application (per application) $75, this application fee is non-refundable regardless of whether the application is approved.
Fee for the principal applicant who is the spouse is $475.
In the event of sponsorship of a family member of the principal applicant who is
under 22 years of age unmarried and not in a common-law relationship or
is 22 years or older and is financially dependent before the age of 22 due to a physical or mental condition.
The processing fee is $150.
A family member of the principal applicant who is under 19 years of age, unmarried or common-law partner.
Or if the family member of the principal applicant is 19 years or older but is financially dependent before the age of 19 due to a physical or mental condition.
The processing fee is $150
Spouse, common-law partner or conjugal partner of the principal applicant, or where a transitional provision applies, a family member of the principal applicant who is 22 years of age or older
The processing fee is $550.