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May 5, 2010

A hurdle for arranged marriages

Citizenship and Immigration Canada has recently made moves to strengthen the application process for spousal sponsorships, in order to minimize bad-faith marriages which pretend to be arranged marriages in order to take advantage of the current system. The system allows citizens to sponsor their spouse for another country for Canadian citizenship. Amendments have been proposed that would allow immigration officials to refuse visas to applicants if they suspect a marriage of convenience.

South Asian couples may be subjected to increased scrutiny due to their traditions in arranged marriages. In traditional arranged marriage, the relationship usually only truly begins after the marriage. Many parents may seek long distance matches due to the fact that they have successful lives in Canada. But because of this, and since these couples often don’t meet until after they are married, officers can assume that the marriage was primarily for immigration, and could refuse their application.

Under the amendment, couples like in these circumstances could have their applications subjected to more scrutiny or rejected outright. The amendment could go into effect within 18 months.

Click here for a link to the CBC article for more details.


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