The Canadian Spousal Sponsorship Program

Due to abuse of the spousal sponsorship applications, CIC has already made an important change to the sponsorship program for spouses. In order to help prevent marriages of convenience, as of March 2012 a Canadian spouse is barred from sponsoring a second spouse in Canada for five years. There is also consideration in the Canadian think tank to make the Canadian system more akin to the U.S. system in that a two year conditional status will be granted to new sponsored spouses. If this goes through, a new spouse seeking permanent residence may have to prove that he or she lived with their spouse for two years, as true spouses do, before their conditional PR can be made permanent.

But what about Divorce? In the U.S.A., if a sponsored spouse can show that he or she was married in good faith, but had to Divorce before two years were complete, that spouse can still obtain permanent residence at the end of the conditional status. This seems both logical and human, since no one should be forced to live in an intolerable marriage only to gain immigration status. But will the new Canadian program give married spouses that option?