Planning on getting married for immigration? Think Again

Fode Mohamed Soumah walked out on his 2007 marriage to Lainie Towell three weeks after uttering his wedding vows, but it took more than three years for the Canadian Board Services Agency to deport him after he used every avenue of appeal.

Fode Mohamed Soumah walked out on his 2007 marriage to Lainie Towell three weeks after uttering his wedding vows, but it took more than three years for the Canadian Board Services Agency to deport him after he used every avenue of appeal.

Married newcomers to Canada better be in love or be prepared tough it out in the relationship for two years if they don’t want to be kicked out of the country.
Citizenship and Immigration Canada is changing Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations to make a sponsored spouse stay in the relationship for at least two years once they receive permanent residence status, or they have to leave Canada. “For two years, you have to stay married,” said Winnipeg Liberal MP Kevin Lamoureux, who heard the news on Valentine’s Day as a member of the standing committee on Citizenship and Immigration.
The government is bringing into force regulatory changes to deter marriage fraud, he said. It will impose a two-year “conditional residency” on sponsored spouses, common-law partners and conjugal partners.
If they don’t stay in a bona fide relationship, they’ll be removed by the Canada Border Services Agency, he said. Jilted spouses may be happy to see them get the heave-ho but victims of violent spouses could be in jeopardy, critics say. “This is just dangerous,” said Lamoureux. “The most vulnerable are those coming to Canada not knowing a soul.”
Newcomer and women’s advocates worry that the rule will make it more difficult for people to escape abusive relationships. Ten per cent of the abused women who seek shelter at Osborne House in Winnipeg are newcomers to Canada, said Barbara Judt, executive director. “We see it all the time,” Judt said Wednesday. “Women are brought over — maybe through an arranged marriage — and literally, they’re a prisoner in their own home.
They can’t go to the community — they hardly know the community,” she said “Fortunately, they end up at our door.” Judt wants to know what immigration officials will do when a spouse who’s been abused comes forward. “We need more clarification on that,” she said. “People working in the shelter need a better understanding for when we go to advocate on (a woman’s behalf)
.”The government is developing a process for allowing spouses to come forward without facing enforcement action but those and other details haven’t been worked out, said Lamoureux. Getting married to emigrate is against the rules and difficult to prove, Citizenship and Immigration said when it first proposed regulatory changes in March.
It needed to do more “to deter individuals who might otherwise use a marriage of convenience to circumvent our immigration laws, and to protect the integrity of our immigration system,” the department said in the Canada Gazette. “It forces women to stay in a violent or abusive relationship for fear they could be deported if they don’t do what their spouse says,” said Winnipeg’s Wanda Yamamoto, president of the Canadian Council for Refugees and executive director of Welcome Place.
“They have that threat hanging over them.” She said she’s not sure how the federal government will be able to work around the new regulations when an abused spouse leaves a marriage. “The problem is, especially when they’re sponsored through family class, some of that information doesn’t get to family members,” Yamamoto said.  “They don’t know who they can trust — will it get back to their husband?” There are people who marry to get into Canada but, Yamamoto said, “it’s very sporadic.” She wants the federal government to provide some data if it’s taking such steps.
The Citizenship and Immigration Department says “firm figures” on the extent of marriage fraud are not available. Of the 46,300 immigration applications for spouses and partners processed in 2010, close to 16 per cent were refused for different reasons — “many” on the basis of evidence that the relationship was not bona fide.
By Carol Sanders, Winnipeg Free Press

Published by CityFella

Big city fella, Born and Raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. Lived in New York (a part time New Yorker) for three years . I have lived in the Sacramento area since 1993. When I first moved here, I hated it. Initially found the city too conservative for my tastes. A great place to raise children however too few options for adults . The city has grown up, there is much to do here. The city suffers from low self esteem in my opinion, locals have few positive words to say about their hometown. visitors and transplants are amazed at what they find here. From, the grand old homes in Alkali Flats, and the huge trees in midtown, there are many surprises in Sacramento. Theater is alive is this area . And finally ,there is a nightlife... In.downtown midtown, for the young and not so young. My Criticism is with local government. There is a shortage of visionaries in city hall. Sacramento has long relied on the state, feds and real estate for revenue. Like many cities in America,Downtown Sacramento was the hub of activity in the area. as the population moved to the suburbs and retail followed. The city has spent millions to revive downtown. Today less than ten thousand people live downtown. No one at city hall could connect the dots. Population-Retail. Business says Sacramento is challenging and many corporations have chosen to set up operations outside the cities limits. There is vision in the burbs. Sacramento has bones, there are many good pieces here, leaders seem unable or unwilling to put those pieces together into. Rant aside, I love it here. From the trees to the rivers. But its the people here that move me. Sacramento is one of the most integrated cities in America. I find I'm welcome everywhere. The spices work in this city of nearly 500,000 and for the most part these spices blend well together. From Ukrainians to Hispanics and a sizable gay community, all the spices seem to work well here. I frequently travel and occasionally I will venture into a city with huge racial borders, where its unsafe to visit after certain hours. I haven't found it here. I cant imagine living in a community where there is one hue or one spice. I love the big trees, Temple Coffee House, the Alhambra Safeway, Zelda's Pizza, Bicyclist in Midtown, The Mother Lode Saloon, Crest Theater, and the Rivers. I could go on and I might. Sacramento is home.

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