As of April 28, 2017, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) announced that the conditional permanent resident status for all spouses and partners sponsored to immigrate to Canada will no longer be in effect. As a result, spouses and partners that immigrate to Canada will automatically have full permanent resident status upon arriving in Canada. This comes as a great relief to all spouses and partners that are arriving in Canada. These changes came into effect by the Liberal government to help spouses and partners that may be vulnerable when coming to Canada. In this article I will address the changes to the PR provision for spouses and partners immigrating to Canada and what this means for permanent residents as a whole.
Changes to the Conditional PR Provision
As previously mentioned, the Liberal government has implemented these changes in order to reduce the vulnerability of sponsored spouses and partners that are immigrating to Canada that may stay in abusive or dangerous relationships only due to the fact that they are afraid they might lose their permanent residency as a result. Abuse can come in all forms, such as physical, sexual, psychological, emotional and/or financial abuse. Although, there is already an exception to the condition for those specific circumstances, sponsored spouses and partners still feel scared and vulnerable in those cases.
The original conditional permanent residence provision was placed into effect by the Conservative government as a way to reduce the amount of individuals looking to immigrate to Canada through non-genuine and misrepresented relationships. It is important to note that the current Liberal government still takes this into consideration as it is a very serious problem; however, the Liberal government also states that “the majority of relationships are genuine and most spousal sponsorship applications are made in good faith.” They truly believe that the elimination of the conditional permanent residence “upholds the Government’s commitment to family reunification and supports gender equality and combating gender violence.” Canada is extremely committed to social equality and is a very progressive country; therefore, these new implementations do not come as a surprise and have been anticipated for some time now.
Overall, IRCC has stated that the benefits of the conditional permanent residency provisions have not seemed to have outweighed the risks to the vulnerable spouses and partners that may be experiencing abuse in their relationships and still have to maintain the two year cohabitation requirement. In contrast, the elimination of the provision has recognized that the majority of relationships and sponsored spouses that are immigrating to Canada are genuine and made in good faith. As stated before, the elimination of this conditional provision also assists with family reunification and removes the potential of vulnerability for spouses and partners experiencing abuse.
This new change enforces the notion that the Canadian government trusts its new immigrants and does not encourage the vulnerability of sponsored spouses going through abuse. Canada’s main priority is to keep their residents safe and in an environment that welcomes them. Canada and it’s government hopes that with the elimination of this provision, they will be able to allow more spouses and partners to immigrate to Canada, knowing that Canada will be their home long-term.
The Benefits of Being a Permanent Resident of Canada
There are many benefits to becoming a permanent resident of Canada. The first and most important benefit is that you will be a resident for a long-term period of time and enjoy the comfort of being able to stay within Canada and make a future here. Another benefit worth mentioning is the fact that permanent residents of Canada are able to get most social benefits that Canadian citizens receive, such as health care coverage. This can be extremely valuable for permanent residents who may have come from another country that does not offer this kind of social benefit. Permanent residents of Canada also have the benefit of living, working and studying anywhere in Canada if they desire to do so. The educational and work opportunities in Canada are highly regarded in any country in the world and are of great value to any individual that experiences them. Permanent residents also have the prospect of applying for Canadian citizenship after living in Canada for 4 years continuously out of the 6 years after signing your permanent residence application. And last but most certainly not least, permanent residents of Canada are also protected under Canadian law and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The Canadian government believes in human rights for all and extends this privilege to its permanent residents as everyone should feel safe and protected in Canada. This could be very significant for spouses and partners who have immigrated to Canada from countries that may not have had these types of laws in place. These individuals can now feel safe in their new home of Canada without worrying about their human rights being infringed upon.
Contact Akrami & Associates
If you wish to sponsor your spouse or partner to Canada, we can help you with this process. Applying to sponsor your spouse or partner can seem like a complicated procedure. Much like any other immigration application, a spousal sponsorship application process can become overwhelming if done alone; therefore, it is highly recommended that you seek out professional and experienced help before attempting to apply for a spousal sponsorship application. Here, at Akrami & Associates, we work and have experience with many different immigration issues. We have helped many of our clients be reunited with their spouses in Canada and gain permanent residency. If you believe that you might be eligible, please feel free to contact Akrami & Associates at our office at 416-477-2545 for more information or if you would like to book a consultation with an immigration professional for more advice.
With Akrami & Associates, there is always a way!