March 12, 2012
Conditional Permanent Residence
Conditional permanent residence proposed to deter marriages of convenience.
On March 9th, Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Jason Kenney announced measures to further strengthen the Government of Canada’s ability to crack down on marriage fraud.
Notice of this proposal was previously given and is now open for further public input. It requires a spouse or partner from abroad being sponsored by a Canadian or permanent resident to live together with their sponsor in a legitimate relationship for two years following receipt of their permanent resident status in Canada. If these steps are not pursued, the sponsored spouse or partner’s status could be revoked, possibly leading to their removal and in some instances, criminal charges could also be laid. For all legitimate relationships, the condition would cease to apply once the conditional period has elapsed.
The Canadian Bar Association opposed any proposal which allows for revocation of permanent resident status even in the case of genuine relationships who have suffered genuine marriage breakdown. It goes beyond the proper purview of immigration law to prescribe sanctions against genuine couples who have separated or divorced following their landing. Measures introduced to combat immigration fraud must be carefully circumscribed so that only those with fraudulent intent are penalized.