Marriage of Convenience Protect Yourself from Marriage Fraud
Are you currently a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident? Have you ever been outside of the country on vacation or for other purposes? On this vacation, for instance, have you met any interesting people that may have caught your attention, or vice versa, they were trying to get your attention? The purpose behind them trying to get your attention could actually be to try and get a one-way ticket to Canada. Many foreign nationals all around the world feel as though Canada is a country with ample opportunity and would love to come to Canada. Many try to come to Canada through a marriage of convenience and manipulate Canadian citizens or Canadian permanent residents to pursue a romantic relationship to gain access to Canada. Read our blog on spousal sponsorship fraud for things to be aware of when sponsoring
Things to Consider if Someone Really Wants to Marry you
These are signs that you must look out for, especially if someone is attempting to marry you or wants to be sponsored by you, in order to come to Canada:
- You have just met the person
- They want to get married quickly
- They have been married or in a common-law relationship many times before they met you
- They have not shared very much information about their background, family or personal information
Things to Consider Once you Marry Someone
Remember that once you marry someone, you are responsible for them when they come to Canada. Furthermore, you must financially support them for a minimum of 3 years even if the marriage or relationship fails. Due to the severity of a sponsorship, it is important to note that it is, in fact, a legal contract with the Government of Canada and if any of the conditions are broken, then there will be consequences. For instance, if your spouse were to be in the receipt of social assistance from the government, unfortunately, you would have to repay all of the money that they received. Additionally, if you plan on sponsoring anyone in the future, you may not do so until the debt has been repaid. Therefore, you must meet their terms and conditions for Spousal Sponsorship.
If anyone is trying to marry you or trying to gain spousal sponsorship from you, please note that it is a crime for any foreign national to marry a Canadian citizen or permanent resident only to gain entry into Canada.
Marriages of Convenience
The primary purpose of marriages of convenience is to allow the sponsored spouse or partner to immigrate into Canada. This is an agreement between the sponsor and the foreign national that is wishing to gain entry into Canada. A criminal offence can be placed on the Canadian citizen or permanent resident if they prove to be guilty of being in a marriage of convenience.
Immigration officers are now adequately trained and prepared to recognize real immigration applications. It is necessary to know the difference between real marriages and false marriages.
Ways of Detecting Marriage Fraud:
Immigration officers determine whether the marriage is real or false by:
- Document checks
- Visits to people’s homes, and
- Interviews with both sponsors and applicants
Once these techniques have been completed, it is entirely up to the immigration officer to finalize a decision.
Information for the Sponsor (Canadian Citizen/Permanent Resident)
First and foremost, if you feel as if someone is using you to gain entry into Canada, discuss this with your family and friends to see whether their intentions are true or not. If you still feel unsure about the person, do not marry or sponsor them until you know their true intentions. On the other hand, if you feel as though their intentions are true and would like to sponsor them as your spouse, and if they offer you money or other rewards, please reconsider your decision. If they are offering your money and/or other rewards, the chances are they are trying to marry you out of convenience in order to immigrate to Canada. Know that if you engage in marrying them or sponsoring them, then you may face serious consequences, such as criminal charges. Moreover, you will also be obligated to abide by the terms and conditions of the sponsorship, regardless of the outcome. Keep in mind all of the risks and consequences you might face if you are involved in a marriage of convenience. Do not feel sorry or take pity for someone that is trying to marry you out of convenience. You do not need to help them by being part of a marriage of convenience, no matter what the reason is. It is not worth the risk!
Information for the Visa Applicant (Foreign National)
Do not engage in a false marriage. This can ruin your future goals of entering Canada. Specifically, your visa will be refused and Canada will ban you from travel to the country for 5 years. Additionally, this will forever stay on your immigration record and if you want to immigrate to any other country in the future, their government will most definitely take this into consideration.
Canada is well aware that even genuine and real marriages can fail. However, if you decide to enter into a marriage of convenience in order to gain access to Canada as an immigrant, there are several actions that the Canadian government may take.
The Canadian government may:
- Take legal action against you
- Not allow you to enter Canada for 5 years, and
- Deport you from Canada
Therefore, please be aware of the severe risks and consequences that will ensue if you decide to enter a marriage of convenience. Our recommendation is to never do it!
An Example of a Marriage of Convenience
A woman had visited a hotel in Cuba for one week in 2002. During her trip there, she met a man that she thought was the love of her life and she decided to marry him. Evidently, in 2005, they were married and she sponsored him as her spouse in order for him to come to Canada in 2006. Before he came to Canada, she did not have any hesitations or doubts with regards to who she was marrying. On the 24th of March, 2007, he had left and her whole world came crashing down. She now realized his intentions and what he set out to do. He had successfully gotten his permanent residency. In addition, he also received his work card and health card. He decided to stay with his friends and that was when she finally realized that the entire marriage was false and fake. Unfortunately for the woman, she had remortgaged her home to have enough money to buy him gifts and clothes, not only for him but for his family members, friends and anyone else he knew. As a result of all of this and the stress that the poor woman had to go through, she became heavily medicated and had to take a leave of absence from work. Her mental health also deteriorated; she believed that she was a worthless person and did not deserve to be happy. Ultimately, she thought that he was different and she truly never saw this outcome ever happening. The lesson to take from her experience is to be extremely cautious and careful when meeting new people from foreign countries. There are several people all across Canada who are suffering from the same exact situation.
Contact Akrami & Associates
Report the individual to immigration. Advise the sponsor of their legal rights.
If you feel as though you are a victim of a marriage of convenience or believe that your spouse or partner is attempting to come to Canada through a marriage of convenience, contact Akrami & Associates. We will advise you of your legal rights and notify the Canadian government of the individual who is trying to commit marriage fraud. Feel free to contact our office at 416-477-2545 for more information or if you want to book a consultation with an immigration professional for more advice. At Akrami & Associates, we have experience in dealing with a variety of different immigration matter which gives us a unique perspective on handling your case.
With Akrami & Associates there is always a way!!