The federal government is considering imposing language and education requirements on people whose husbands or wives want to sponsor them as immigrants, the Star has learned.
The notion, which community representatives say Immigration Minister Chris Alexander has floated in a series of consultations since January, has raised instant alarm.
Some attending the consultation say the possible change is aimed at better protecting and integrating immigrant women. But critics fear it would prevent many overseas spouses, particularly those from the developing world who haven’t learned English or French, from ever qualifying for family reunification.
The government is also considering requiring Canadian sponsors to reach a minimum income level to be eligible to bring in a wife, husband or children from abroad, critics say.
As for stiffening the financial requirements of sponsors seeking to bring their spouses to Canada, the current policy in this area is doing just fine and needs no improvement.Spousal sponsorship rules may need improvements, but definitely not in the directions being considered. If the government is concerned about the economic issues, then let it immediately issue a work permit to a newly arrived spouse to Canada so they can begin earning money – and paying taxes.