Feds zero in on marriage fraud
Canada's Citizenship and Immigration department has launched a print ad campaign to call attention to the problem of marriage fraud.
Nancy Caron with the Citizenship and Immigration department says it's become enough of a problem for the government to warrant and ad camapign, particularly for immigration sponsors, who are financially responsible for the sponsored spouse for three years.
"It's important for Canadians to understand that this is a problem, and we wanted to raise awareness," Caron says, "and to help them avoid this kind of situation, especially nowadays, with more and more couples meeting online.
"[The sponsor is] on the hook if the person leaves, or goes on welfare."
Sponsors are being urged to resist offers of money or other rewards to enter into a marriage of convenience for the sole purpose of having the person come to Canada, and are being warned they could also face criminal charges. Visa applicants who get involved in marriages of convenience can also face criminal charges and travel bans.
In 2010, about 46,000 immigration applications for spouses and partners were processed. Of these, about 16 per cent were refused for various reasons, mainly because the relationships were not judged to be genuine relationships.
For more information, visit the Citizenship and Immigration Canada web site here.