MARRIAGE: Genuine or Convenient?

02/20/2014 by

Canada: the land of the free and the land of opportunities. Many people dream of immigrating into Canada to improve the quality of their life for themselves and their future generations.

My parents were born and raised in Pakistan where they later married through a formal family arrangement. It was a blissful marriage that completed their lives and gave them healthy children.

Sounds like a perfect fairytale, doesn’t it?


Fairytales turn into nightmares very fast.

For many reasons outside of compatibility, many marriages break down simply due to the fact that they were done “out of convenience.” These marriages that are done out of convenience to perhaps gain profits through sponsoring spouses for amounts of money or to get a faster ticket into Canada. Not all marriages begin like the one of my parents that I described.

Marriage Fraud is not a new issue in Canada, but it still occurs to many Canadians and foreign nationals as well. Some sponsored individuals often stay in abusive relationships with their spouses because they have no way out. On the other hand, some sponsors are cheated by their spouses and find out that they merely viewed them as a “free ticket.” Sometimes upon the day of arrival in Canada, sponsored individuals often leave their Canadian spouses.

For sponsored individuals, it is important to know that if the marriage is out of convenience then

Canada might deport or take legal action against the sponsored citizen.

Moreover, not only are there legal consequences, but financial and emotional consequences for the sponsors as well. I can only imagine the trauma and betrayal that an individual might feel after they find out that their marriage was a sham.

Sponsors are responsible for their spouse up to three years even if they may not be together.

Furthermore, if the sponsored individual is under social assistance then the debt falls onto the sponsor. The Government of Canada takes this very seriously since they deem it as a contract.

As an aspiring Paralegal and fellow member of the Canadian society, I advise everyone to be very careful in what they may be getting into. It is also completely understandable that some marriages end up failing for other reasons that are not convenience based, but out of compatibility or love. Take the proper steps to solve the issue without harming the other person and protecting yourself too.

If you or someone you know might be a victim of marriage fraud please visit: