Senior Citizen in BC must pay back Government After Sponsored Spouse Collects Welfare

An 82-year-old British Columbia man who sponsored a Russian spouse to Canada has been left to pay back the $25,000 the woman received on social assistance after leaving him once she gained permanent resident status in Canada. 

The couple met on an internet dating site while the woman was in British Columbia on a temporary visa. He sponsored her because the woman’s daughter had applied to sponsor her but it took too long. As a spouse, the process is much faster.

The main requirement for a person to sponsor a spouse or relative to Canada is that they demonstrate they are financially stable and can support the spouse or relative, while also signing an agreement that states they will pay back any social benefits or welfare the sponsored spouse or relative receives.

Unfortunately, cases like this are why the government is about to pass serious restrictions on sponsored spouses, for example by only giving them full permanent resident status after they’ve stayed in a marriage for two years in order to prove the marriage is legit.

Let us stress that this type of immigration marriage fraud is very RARE

Immigration marriage fraud is rare, and the phrase “a few bad apples spoil the bunch” is perfectly appropriate here. As the government gets ready to impose much stricter marriage regulations that may cut down on this fraud, they will also be forcing couples to stay together despite legitimate marriage breakdowns or domestic abuse, which is very concerning.

If you are going to sponsor a spouse to Canada, it’s a big responsibility. Your sponsorship agreement is legally binding, and if your spouse leaves you and goes on social assistance you may be on the hook. This is why immigration marriage fraud is so unfortunate, although those in legitimate, loving relationships have NOTHING to worry about.

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