New sponsorship restriction aims to reduce marriage fraud

In an effort to cut down on spousal sponsorship fraud, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) has put into action a new requirement where any new immigrant to Canada sponsored by a spouse or partner must have permanent residency (PR) status for 5 years before they themselves can sponsor a new spouse or partner from abroad.

This new requirement is effective immediately for new immigration applications under theFamily Class category.

According to the CIC, this requirement is similar to regulations already enacted in Australia, New Zealand, and the United States.

Essentially, the regulation aims to make it harder for newcomers to enter into marriages of covenience with Canadians with the wrong intentions. The new immigrant might have the intention of quickly splitting up and in turn sponsoring the person's more legitimate partner, or, as in other cases, of simply sponsoring someone else for money.

To keep one's PR status, a new immigrant must spend 2 out of 5 years in Canada following the awarding of their PR. As well, when sponsoring a spouse or partner under the Family Class category, the relationship is thoroughly investigathed for legitimacy by the Canadian immigration authorities.

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