Canadian Immigration and Marital Status

By James Metcalfe | February 25, 2011

by James Metcalfe – Pace Law Firm: One of the recurring issues that we encounter are persons asking for assistance in having their spouses and children join them in Canada.

When the present act and regulations came into force in June 2002, Canada introduced regulation 117(9)(d). This regulation excluded some spouses and children from being sponsored by a Canadian citizen or permanent resident.

A typical scenario goes something like this: a successful single applicant for permanent residence in Canada is approved and a visa is issued. Prior to moving to Canada, the visa holder marries and proceeds to Canada. Then they subsequently wish to sponsor their spouse, and in some instances their children.  Unfortunately, regulation 117 (9)(d)  excludes the spouse or children from being sponsored. In addition, the prospective sponsor may be reported under the Immigration Act for making a misrepresentation upon entry to Canada. Such an accusation can then lead to removal of the sponsor from Canada.

“Do not make any misrepresentation of your marital status to immigration officials.”

We have noted that some visa offices include warnings in their correspondence both before and after visas are issued. When completing the landing process upon arrival in Canada, individuals are again asked to declare that all the details on their documents are correct, including their marital status. Despite all the warnings given to them, some applicants have continued to make the mistake of failing to reveal that they are married.

There are no easy solutions to this problem, except to say that all applicants must ensure that the information they provide to visa offices is current and correct.  Do not make any misrepresentation of your marital status to immigration officials.

If you are confronted by a 117(9)(d) situation, or you have been accused of misrepresentation by immigration officials, you should seek legal counsel as soon as possible.