In my last two columns, I replied to questions from readers about immigration issues.
This week I will address a problem dealing with sponsorship which came to my attention
in a letter from another reader. Similar problem are reported to be not uncommon in the
Dear Mr. Ram:
I am a Canadian citizen. I came to Canada from Trinidad with my parents about 10 years ago. An old boy friend with whom I went to school in Trinidad, had been writing to me, stating that he could not live without me and that we should get married and I should sponsor him so that he can get to stay with me in Canada. Well, we eventually got married in Trinidad in 2013 and I sponsored him. In January 2015. he came to Canada as a landed immigrant.
Well , sir, this was the biggest mistake I made. It turns out that he was just using me to get his papers. All of a sudden, he tells me has a number of relatives in Canada. He had never told me about them before. Practically every other night he comes home about three to four o’clock in the morning, and whenever I ask him about his late hours, he says that is none of my business.
He is very secretive and he always hides his cell phone and letters from me. When I tell him of my suspicion that he is seeing another woman, he gets very angry and threatens to beat me up. He is very abusive, evasive and dishonest and offers me no support and told me bluntly that he does not want any children. I suspect he has a girl friend from Trinidad who is in Canada illegally. I know Immigration put him on a “condition” that he must live with me for two years but we are together for just over one year and he is behaving so badly and not contributing to the family home and like he just doesn’t care. All the love that was there before sponsorship has completely vanished. He says a lawyer told him Immigration cannot do him anything. Mr. Ram, is there any way I can withdraw my sponsorship?
On October 25, 2012, the Conservative Government introduced regulatory amendments to the Immigration Act which require that permanent residents who have been in a spousal, common law or conjugal relationship with their sponsor for less than two years and who have no children in common at the time of the sponsorship application must cohabit in a conjugal relationship with their sponsor for a continuous period of two years after the day on which they became a permanent resident.
The amendments were made after complaints that persons were using “Canadian spouses” just to get to Canada but had no conjugal relationship with their sponsors.
In my opinion you cannot withdraw the sponsorship as your husband is already landed. If, however, you have evidence he has not been residing with you continuously from January 2015 to present, and you have some evidence that he may have used you to come to Canada and that he may have lied on his application, and further that he is abusive, you may contact Citizenship and Immigration and inform them of your circumstances.
Perhaps after considering the evidence against him, they may take the appropriate action against him and have him removed from Canada as he has failed to remain in a marriage relationship with you for the two years or that he misrepresented himself. Again, in order to meet the condition of his landing, he must remain in a marriage relationship with you for two years to retain his status. Of course, the immigration officer will have to assess the entire situation and make his recommendation with respect to enforcing the law.
This is not an automatic process. In fact it is a rather a lengthy one. Your husband will be contacted by an immigration officer and will be requested to provide a number of documents for the purposes of completing an assessment.
The documents may include, but are not limited to, proof of relationship with you, documents that he has resided with you until the period of cohabitation ceased, photos, family documents, address changes, housing documents showing the same address, He may also be asked to provide documents showing a break in the relationship, With respect to abuse , if it reported to the police, he will be required to produce reports.
In other words, to remain in Canada, your spouse will have to prove that he always resided with you and has not breached this condition of his sponsorship. He will also have to furnish documents to support same.
If the officer decides that he did not breach the marriage condition, he will be allowed to remain in Canada. This process may take up to one year.
On the other hand, if the officer is not satisfied that he meets the condition, he will be referred to an Admissibility Hearing before a member of the Immigration Division who will then make a determination if he breached the condition of marriage.
If the Division makes a ruling that he did breach the condition, a removal order will be issued against him but as a landed immigrant, he will have a right of Appeal to the Immigration Appeal Division (IAD) and the removal order will be stayed until a final determination of his matter.
If the IAD rules that the Immigration Division decision is legal, then he can argue Humanitarian and Compassionate relief and it is up to the IAD to grant relief -or not.
So you see, this is not an easy road and it may take up to two to four years before the matter is resolved.
SUKHRAM RAMKISSOON is a member of ICCRC and specializes in Immigration Matters at No. 3089 Bathurst Street, Suite 219A. Toronto, Ontario. M6A 2A4, Phone 416 789 5756.