Many Canadians find their spouses outside of Canada, via online dating, family connection, or meeting during international travels.  Under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, as a permanent resident of Canada or Canadian citizen, you can sponsor your bona fide spouse to come to Canada as a permanent resident – to live with you in matrimonial bliss.

The definition of bona fide means “made in good faith; without deception or fraud”. In order to be successful, you need to show not only that you did not marry your spouse simply so they can come and live permanently in Canada but also that your marital relationship is a REAL marriage.  How real?  Official government paperwork is always helpful; but you must show something real about your relationship – how you met, how you fell in love, what you share in common such as beliefs or values, and so on. The more documentation you have, the better.

If Citizenship and Immigration Canada does not find your marriage as a bona fide one, your spouse will be considered non-family member under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and, as such, you do not have a right to bring them to Canada as your spouse.

If you have any individual questions or concerns, please contact our office for more customized consultation for your unique situation.  Please note that this posting is for general information only and is not to be considered binding or official legal counsel since situations will vary and can be complicated. The content in this post is current as of the day of entry. Due to the changing nature of Immigration law, the information in this entry may or may not still be applicable.

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