Marriage of Convenience – Marriage Fraud

Many people who plan to immigrate to Canada have a wrong notion that getting married to a Canadian citizen or permanent resident is the best way to do so. The Canadian government warns the people from becoming a victim of marriage fraud. It is also a crime to marry a Canadian citizen or lawful permanent resident of Canada just to gain entry into Canada. Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) has been working in order to prevent such fraudulent marriages. CIC had found that the foreign applicants and their sponsors arrange a “marriage of convenience” to sponsor the spouse to immigrate to Canada, where immigrating to Canada is the only purpose of that kind of marriage.

Now the CIC officers are specially trained to detect such marriages of convenience and to recognize genuine marriages. There are several methods through which they reveal marriage fraud. They verify the marriage documents, visit the sites and arrange individual interviews with the sponsors and the spouses. The officers also charge the Canadian citizens and permanent residents with a crime, if they are found to be a part of a marriage fraud.

CIC also warns the Canadian citizen or permanent resident to be aware when they meet someone from another country on the internet or through some other way, while planning to get married to them and sponsoring them to Canada. It is because, the sponsoring Canadian citizen or the permanent resident must financially support the spouse for three years, even if their relationship breaks. If the sponsored spouse makes use of social assistance, the sponsor will be responsible to repay the debts and will also be unable to sponsor anyone else until the money is repaid fully. A sponsorship is a lawful financial commitment to the Canadian government.

CIC recommends the sponsors not to be tempted through money offers and other rewards which may be offered to enter a marriage of convenience. In doing so, and in involving in marriage fraud just for a person to immigrate to Canada, the sponsor will face serious felonious charges along with meeting the conditions of sponsorship.

The visa applicants are also strongly advised to avoid getting involved in marriage fraud. If the visa applicants are found to do so, their visa application will be rejected and they may be banned from traveling to Canada for two years. This marriage fraud will remain permanently on the CIC records. On entering Canada through a marriage of convenience, enforcement action may be taken against those involved. This enforcement action is more likely to result in deportation, by the Canada Border Services Agency.