Canada To Tighten Policies For Permanent Residency

Canada to tighten policies for permanent residency

Northern News
April 29, 2009

Citizenship and Immigration Canada plans to tighten its policies for preventing people from gaining permanent residency though marriage fraud.

Spokesman Nicolas Fortier said the department is doing additional training in interview and investigative techniques for visa officers in Canadian missions abroad. The department is also seeking advice from provincial governments and cultural groups.

Visa officers don't interview every applicant for whom a sponsorship application is made; that depends on the specific case, Fortier said. He couldn't estimate the number of immigration marriage frauds but Immigration Minister Jason Kenney said recently it's “very widespread.” Julie Taub, an Ottawa immigration officer, said Ontario alone might have 3,000 cases.

Shah Maoyedi, spokesman for Canadians Against Immigration Fraud, said Canada is “known all over the world” as an easy mark for marriage fraud.

Kenney declined an interview on the topic, but told Canada AM there is a network of “highly trained, often former police officers or lawyers who are specialists in our missions abroad; they work with our visa officers.

“I want to crack down on this kind of practice that leaves so many Canadians stranded, here in Canada. But people have to take responsibility as well and make sure they are getting into relationships that they can really trust.”

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