Conditional Permanent Resident Status Introduced for Foreign Spouses of Canadians: Transcend Consultants

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Quoting from the recent announcement by Canadian Immigration Minister, Transcend Consultants has disclosed that the foreign spouses of Canadians will now be granted a Conditional Permanent Resident (CPR) status when they land in Canada. The changes, aimed at deterring marriages of convenience and fraud mean that in most cases, a spouse or partner being sponsored by a Canadian would be required to live together with their sponsor in a legitimate relationship for two years of their residency in Canada. Transcend Consultants welcome these changes as a long-standing demand from abused Canadians.

Transcend Consultants

Implementing a two-year conditional permanent residence period will help deter marriage fraud, prevent the callous victimization of innocent Canadians..

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According to Transcend, Canada’s Minister for Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Hon. Jason Kenney announced regulations amending Canada's Family sponsorship program. These are among a series of changes to the broad Immigration system in Canada. The regulations grant a conditional permanent resident status to certain sponsored spouses for 2 years.

The new regulations follow earlier announcements by the Minister on this issue, where in public consultations were initiated.

Marriages of Convenience happen when the Canadian sponsor and the sponsored foreign national enter into a marriage for the purpose of gaining a favourable outcome under the immigration system, without having an intention to live together as a husband & wife. A marriage fraud happens when the sponsored spouse is the only party involved. In both cases, the immigration system and a Canadian is adversely affected, thus being counter-productive to the tenet of family reunification.

Implementing a two-year conditional permanent residence period will help deter marriage fraud (and) prevent the callous victimization of innocent Canadians, the Minister said.

Spouse and Dependent sponsorship is one of the most generous in the current bouquet of Canadian immigration programs. It allows a Canadian to bring in their spouse, without considering their income (thus, the ability to support their sponsored spouses), and has the highest priority in processing (thus, allowing the Canadian consulates to focus on completing these applications).

However, Canadians have repeatedly complained about abuse of the program by non-sincere foreigners who become spouses of unsuspecting Canadians and then ditch them after arriving in Canada. In fact, there are cases of the sponsored spouses 'disappearing' right from the airport upon arrival, without bothering to meet their Canadian sponsors. In other cases, they stay for a short period of time, before leaving. The fact that these individuals become a permanent resident of Canada upon arrival has become one of the shortcomings of the program, which is being addressed with these changes.

The changes bring the Canadian program in line with those existing in the USA, Australia and the UK.

The new regulations grant a conditional permanent resident (CPR) status to the sponsored spouses for a period of 2 years, during which they must live in a legitimate relationship with their sponsor. However, certain spouses are exempt from the CPR status, and are eligible for direct permanent resident status:

  • those in relationship for 2 years or more, at the time of filing sponsorship application; or
  • those with common children

The CPR may be granted an exception from meeting the conditions under the following circumstances:

  • Evidence of Abuse or neglect of the CPR by sponsor or their relative, whether living in the same household or not;
  • Death of the sponsor, provided they were cohabiting till the sponsor's death.

A failure to reside with the Sponsor could result in one or more of the following measures agains the CPR:

  • their PR status could be revoked;
  • they could be face removal from Canada;
  • criminal charges could be laid.

The author is of the opinion that these changes are positive in spirit, as they re-affirm the integrity of the Canadian immigration system, and protect Canadians. At the same time, the changes have a potential of introducing bureaucracy into the bedrooms of Canadians. That, and the additional administrative burden may need to be better thought out by the department, when finalising the parameters of the program.

For more information about the impact of the above regulations, or about Canadian immigration programs, contact the author Deepak Kohli or Transcend Consultants at the coordinates below.

Transcend Consultants is a full-service Canadian Immigration Consultancy firm, operating from Brampton, Ontario and serving clients globally. Their practice areas cover economic and family immigration programs, including spousal sponsorship applications and appeals.

Deepak Kohli
Transcend Consultants
35 - 173 Advance Blvd.
Brampton Ontario CANADA
Twitter: @transcendc
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Deepak Kohli, RCIC
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