There have been many fraudulent cases of “marriages of convenience” where the primary reason of the union is to obtain permanent residence status in Canada. Immigration officers must ensure that the relationship between the sponsor and their common-law partner or spouse is genuine and not entered into for the sole purpose of immigration. The same criteria must be factored into assessing the genuineness of relationships with their respective children. Moreover, in order to properly assess the genuineness of such relationships between partners or spouses the officer in question must consider the factors that actually constitute a conjugal union; factoring in issues of child dependency and the sponsor’s contribution to such relationships if applicable.
In regards to a conjugal relationship, the officer must first be satisfied that a genuine conjugal relationship actually exists. In this case, the term “conjugal” refers to a relationship that is exclusive between two people. The degree of attachment must also be both emotional and physical, and must involve an enduring and mutual commitment to a shared partnership for the foreseeable future. In addition, financial and emotional inter dependency must be demonstrable in some capacity. A qualified and competent spousal sponsorship officer will always factor in the aforementioned criteria when determining the eligibility of a common law or spousal residency application.
In regards to marriage, applicants must provide evidence of the marriage in question. Furthermore, if the marriage took place in a country other than Canada, then the parties involved must provide valid documentation proving that the marriage was legally recognized in the country where the marriage took place. The marriage must also be in full accordance with Canadian Federal Law to be qualified.
In the event of an annulment or divorce of a previous marriage the officer may need to confirm the validity of a foreign annulment or divorce with the suitable visa office; as divorce is illegal in certain countries.
In regards to eligibility criteria for common-law partnerships, the sponsor and their common law partner must be living together/cohabiting for at least 12 months. Interestingly, in some cases a person may be currently married to a third party but may still be considered as part of a common-law partnership. For instance, their marriage may have broken down and they may be living with a common-law partner for at least 12 months. In other words, the cohabitation with a common-law partner may have commenced after one party physically speared from their spouse. In such an event, the sponsorship officer may look for evidence of spousal separation; including a separation agreement or a court order regarding the legal custody of dependent children.
If you would like to learn more about spousal sponsorship genuineness, or require the services of a qualified and experienced immigration lawyer in Canada then look no further. Matthew Jeffrey is a Canadian immigration lawyer with over 15 years of experience; including expertise in Family and Spousal Sponsorships and appeals to the Federal Court. For a consultation please contact the office of Matthew Jeffrey at 647- 496-5877, or visit our website.