Within a timeframe of the next couple of months, Immigration Minister John McCallum is planning on introducing changes that would grant permanent residency to sponsored spouses.
Sponsored spouses currently are granted only conditional permanent residency upon arrival in Canada, having to wait for two years to obtain permanent-resident status. This system was introduced by the Conservatives in 2012 as a measure to combat marriage fraud.
Minister McCallum has called the two year processing time on spousal sponsorship applications, and subsequent two year wait time to receive permanent-resident status, “abominable”.
One issue that many MPs have with this status quo is that it places a lot of vulnerability on sponsored spouses. Many have noted that it makes the sponsored spouse, especially women, overly dependant on the relationship as if it breaks down the sponsored spouse can lose their permanent residency.
NDP Immigration critic Jenny Kwan has announced her support for Minister McCallum’s changes. Kwan suggests that marriage fraud should be combatted not with a 2 year wait time, but with proper due-diligence before the sponsored spouse arrives in Canada.