One of the key goals of current Canadian immigration policy is family reunification. Canadian citizens and permanent residents have the ability to sponsor their spouses to join them permanently in Canada. Initially, spousal sponsorship was aimed at reunifying those who came to Canada to work with the families they left behind to support.
In today’s technologically connected world, more people are meeting online and more relationships are being carried out over vast physical distances. This rise in long-distance relationships has resulted in a significant increase in spousal sponsorships. Unfortunately, the system is subject to fraudulent applications made by those who enter into marriages of convenience, simply as a means of becoming Canadian citizens or permanent residents.
For those who are in a genuine relationship, the most difficult hurdle to pass is proving that a relationship truly is genuine and the marriage is not simply one of convenience. With a relationship that began online, and carried on over a long-distance, it may be difficult to prove that the relationship is one that was entered into by both parties with the intention of simply being in a relationship, rather than as a means by one party to come to Canada without meeting the requirements under any other category of people qualified to become Canadian citizens or permanent residents.
So, when you think your love is enough, think again. If you cannot prove that your marriage and relationship are genuine, you will not be able to successfully sponsor your spouse to join you in Canada.
Joanna Haban (Articled Student)