June 6, 2017

Conditional Permanent Residence for Certain Sponsored Spouses No Longer in Effect

Posted by Legal Team - Bellissimo Law Group PC

As had been anticipated for some time, in late April 2017, the Government of Canada announced the repeal of conditional permanent residence which had been in place since October 2012. This condition had required certain sponsored spouses and partners to live with their sponsors for a period of two years from the day they obtained permanent residence.  If a couple did not live together for that period of time, the sponsored partner and any accompanying family members were at risk of loosing their permanent residence status, regardless of the reason for the relationship breakdown, unless an exception was requested and granted.

The intention of the measure was to deter marriage fraud, based on non-genuine relationships; however, serious concerns were raised that this condition may disproportionally affect vulnerable spouses, particularly those in abusive relationships. After review and consultation, the Government confirmed that any benefit of the conditional permanent residence measure could not outweigh the risks to vulnerable spouses and partners.

With the removal of this condition, which came into effect on 18 April 2017, sponsored spouses are no longer required to live with their sponsors in order to maintain their permanent residence status. This upholds Canada’s commitment to gender equality and combating gender-based violence, while ensuring family reunification remains a cornerstone of Canada’s immigration objectives.

If I was sponsored by my spouse and subject to this condition, what does this mean for me?

You are no longer subject to this condition. Conditional permanent residence no longer applies to anyone, even if you were under investigation for not complying with this requirement. This includes if you have received a section A44 report for failure to comply with the requirement to live with your sponsor or been scheduled for an admissibility hearing at the Immigration Division (ID). If you have been issued a removal order based on non-compliance with the condition to live with your sponsor for a period of two years, and you have filed an appeal to the IAD, the repeal of this condition also applies to you.

Sponsored spouses or partners who are under investigation for marriage fraud, including non-genuine relationships, are not impacted by the repeal of the conditional permanent residence measure. These investigations will continue. Relationships of convenience – those entered into primarily to obtain permanent residence or non-genuine relationships – are taken seriously by the Government of Canada and alternative measures continue to be in place to deter entry to Canada on this basis.  If you have received an inadmissibility report under section 44(1) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA), you can obtain more information here.

For more information on Sponsorship, please click here.