Immigration Canada launches ad campaign against marriage fraud
Citizenship and Immigration Canada is launching an ad campaign Wednesday warning Canadians to protect themselves against marriage fraud.
A seven-minute video will be posted on the department website, featuring the real-life stories of three Canadians, in silhouettes, whose foreign spouses left them hung out to dry after coming to Canada.
They include an anglophone woman, who met a Cuban man in 2002 while vacationing on the island. The couple married in 2005 and the husband left her on March 24, 2007, shortly after he arrived in Canada with his permanent resident card.
“There are so many people across Canada that are suffering nowadays for the exact same thing that happened to me,” she said.
“After marriage, everything changed. After she arrived in Canada, I was nothing to her,” chimed in another victim, a man wearing a turban.
A francophone woman met a guy online and received a marriage proposal after three weeks. He came to Canada and vanished.
“My self-esteem took a big blow. I became severely depressed and had suicidal thoughts,” said the woman, who also ended up owing the government $30,000 that her sponsored spouse received in welfare.
“I have heard stories from victims across the country that have been left emotionally and financially devastated because of immigration fraud,” Immigration Minister Jason Kenney said. “The best way to protect oneself is to become informed.”
Under a new law passed last year, sponsored spouses must remain in a marriage for two years before they can acquire permanent resident status or face deportation. They are also banned from sponsoring a new spouse for five years.