May 20, 2010

Marriage not Annulled

Posted by admin - Bellissimo Law Group PC

Q. I write to you as I read your column in the newspaper every week for the sake of my friend’s problem.He was sponsored by his wife and arrived in Canada last January 2008, with his 2 sons, only to discover that his wife was living with another man.They agreed to have a divorce and they got it sometimes in 2009.Meanwhile, he has a girlfriend in the Philippines, a single mother.He went home last Feb 2010 and they married.In the Philippines, there is no divorce; the marriage must be annulled, which was not.Now he wants to sponsor his girlfriend/now wife to Canada, including her daughter.Is there any problem from the immigration point of view?

A. Very good question.It appears as though his ex-wife commenced a relationship with another man in Canada while he was living in a common-law relationship with somebody else in the Philippines. There is more to this question than meets the eye. First, if they were both living in a common-law relationship, she in Canada and he in the Philippines, his sponsorship could be questioned.Meaning was the marriage only for immigration purposes?A finding in this regard could translate into deportation proceedings for your friend.

Generally a person who is separated from a spouse and living with somebody else in a common-law relationship may still sponsor the person as his common-law partner even if not divorced.However, if he lived with her for over a year and did not declare her on his permanent residency application as a past common law partner – this too could raise legal challenges.In short, the timing and length of his relationship will be critical determining factors.He should seek out legal counsel immediately. Good luck!