Man Faces Removal from Canada after $38,000 Fake Marriage Exposed

Man deported after paying $38,000 for a fake marriage 

Sukhram Ramkissoon

by Sukhram Ramkissoon

Canadian Immigration does not tolerate persons who pay for fraudulent marriages for the purpose of gaining permanent status in Canada. Persons who do so are violating immigration law are stripped of the privilege of living and working in Canada.

Let us examine a recent case that dealt with a person who paid for a “fake” marriage to obtain landed status in Canada. Lee (not his real name) was granted permanent residence in Canada in April 2008 after being sponsored by his “wife” Agnes (not her real name).  In October 2023, a member of the Immigration Division (ID) ordered Lee removed from Canada as they found that he violated the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act. It was determined that his marriage was not genuine and that Lee had entered the relationship primarily to obtain status in Canada. 

As a permanent resident of Canada, Lee was eligible to appeal the removal order to the Immigration Appeal Division (IAD). He recently appeared at his hearing and conceded that the removal order is legally valid and requested special relief under humanitarian and compassionate grounds considering the best interests of a child who would be directly affected by the decision. Sufficient humanitarian and compassionate considerations may warrant special relief in light of all the circumstances of the case.

Lee is a 44-year-old citizen of China who came to Canada in 2005 on a work permit. In 2007, he married Agnes; an In-Canada sponsorship application was initiated, and he became a permanent resident in April 2008. 

An investigation by the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) was initiated in 2014. During that investigation, Lee claimed that he believed it was a genuine marriage, even though he paid $38,000 to somebody to arrange it. As a result, he was referred to the ID, which determined that Lee misrepresented his marriage as genuine when applying for permanent residence and was therefore inadmissible to Canada.

At Lee’s recent appeal hearing, he was the only witness. The only documentary evidence he filed consisted of tax returns and a one-page written statement in which he conceded that he paid $38,000 to enter a “marriage of convenience” and apologized for his actions.

In cases involving misrepresentation, the IAD member is required to assess whether the misrepresentation was intentional or simply inadvertent or careless. However, Lee conceded that the misrepresentation was deliberate and calculated.

The IAD member found that Lee’s misrepresentation is a significant barrier to overcome in the appeal. If he had not engaged in this relatively complex fraud, he would not have been granted permanent resident status, and his establishment factor does not weigh in favour of granting special relief. Lee testified that he has $70,000 in savings and these funds will assist him to re-establish himself in his home country.

The IAD member also found that Lee’s misrepresentation was very serious as he engaged in a deliberate fraud on the Canadian immigration system.  The establishment factor is a neutral consideration in this case and Lee seems fully capable of re-establishing himself in his home country, where his mother and siblings reside.

Lee did not establish that dismissing the appeal would result in a significant hardship to him or his aunt and cousins who reside in Canada. There was no evidence that it would be in the best interests of any child to grant special relief.

The IAD dismissed Lee’s appeal and the removal order made against will now be enforced by the Canada Border Services Agency.

Fraudulent marriages are taken very seriously in Canada, and although the investigation process took years in Lee’s case, his misrepresentations did not override any special relief by the IAD, considering the circumstances of his case.

SUKHRAM RAMKISSOON is a member of CICC and specialises in Immigration Matters at No. 3089 Bathurst Street, Suite 219A, Toronto, Ontario. Phone 416 789 5756.