Jason Kenney has been busy announcing all kinds of changes to Canada’s immigration system, but one of the most significant changes on the way involves spousal sponsorships under the Family Class.
Under the present system, a spouse who is sponsored to immigrate to Canada becomes a permanent resident as soon as they arrive here. Under the proposed changes, there would be a two-year waiting period for permanent residence so that if the couple splits up before the two years are up, the sponsored spouse is not granted permanent residence and will have to leave the country.
With all of the publicity surrounding marriages of convenience, where the one partner or the other goes through with the marriage only to get immigration status in Canada and bails out at the first possible opportunity, this new measure has received quite a bit of popular support.
There is concern among women’s shelters and other NGOs that spouses will feel compelled to stay in abusive or other unhealthy marriages until they qualify for permanent residence and it remains to be seen whether there will be any special provisions to protect vulnerable spouses.
What do you think of Kenney’s latest move? Do you support conditional permanent residence for spouses or do you think it puts too many vulnerable people at risk?