Foreign Sponsored Spouses of Canadians to Face Tougher Rules

A proposed new federal rule aims to clamp down on immigration fraud committed by foreign spouses of Canadians. This type of fraud involves a foreigner marrying a Canadian and getting their Canadian spouse to sponsor them for Canadian permanent resident status, then getting a divorce once they have gotten their permanent residency.

The new rule would allow Immigration Canada to deport a foreign spouse if the marriage does not last two years. The proposal for a two year probationary period will be open to public input until early April. The Canadian government is planning to enact it in late summer.

The Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration has already started tightening spousal visa rules. On March 2nd it ruled that a foreign spouse who divorced her husband had to wait five years before sponsoring a new partner.

Marriage fraud has become the focus of much attention recently with a series of high profile cases involving Canadians being defrauded by their foreign spouses. The most notable of these is the one of Lainie Towell, who married Fode Mohamed Soumahm, a native of Guinea, and sponsored him for Canadian permanent resident status, only to have him walk out on her three weeks after he had arrived in Canada. Mr. Soumahm was eventually deported, three years after arriving in Canada.

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