Citizenship and Immigration Canada here in Calgary is investigating individuals that came to Canada by marrying a Canadian/permanent resident spouse and subsequently divorced that spouse to remarry and sponsor a new spouse.
One officer is tasked with this responsibility and there are perhaps 40 individuals that are being interviewed in the next few weeks.
I attended with my client for the first interview last week. The purpose of the interview is to discuss the first marriage -- and to do an after the fact exercise in determining whether it was genuine. If the officer is not satisfied, the individual could be written up for misrepresentation and face removal from Canada.
The typical fact scenario is the following:
- Individual marries a CC (Canadian Citizen or Permanent Resident) and is sponsored to Canada;
- Individual divorces the CC or PR and (typically within a year of the divorce) returns to their country to marry again;
- The second sponsorship is submitted but CIC gets concerned, puts that sponsorship on hold and refers the matter to the local office for further investigation;
- Time passes ... the individual and his (second) spouse are separated ... the visa office abroad refuses to process the application for the second spouse until the investigation in Canada is concluded -- only now, in 2011 is there movement on these investigations;
- The concerned individual is interviewed by an immigration officer here. If the immigration officer believes that there is grounds to believe that the first marriage was not genuine, a report alleging inadmissibility can be written up;
- If the officer is satisfied then the investigation is at an end and the overseas visa office is instructed to continue processing the suspended sponsorship application;
- If the inadmissibility report is written, it is referred to the Immigration Division which, after review can either find the report unfounded or issue a removal order (an exclusion order if the allegation is of misrepresentation); and
- This removal order can be appealed to the Immigration Appeal Division which can consider both the validity of the removal order and humanitarian and compassionate considerations (all the circumstances) and can order the removal order set aside, a stay imposed, or a dismissal of the appeal.