Q: I always read your article in the newspaper and noticed that you have been a blessing to a lot of people who need assistance and advice. Now I am writing this letter to seek some. I am under the Live-in Caregiver Program (LCP) and soon will acquire my landed status. I have a fiancé overseas. What is the best, right and fastest way to be reunited? Thanks a lot. God bless.
A: Congratulations on your engagement. Since you are under the LCP you are entitled to apply for permanent residence from within Canada after completing two years of caregiving here. Your fiancé cannot be included as your dependant in your application until you are married, or in a common law or conjugal relationship, as defined under our immigration laws.
Family members will be processed concurrently if they are included “at the time the application was made.” Applicants must list all family members in Canada and abroad, and indicate which ones they wish to have processed concurrently for permanent residence. Family members may not be added to an application once processing has begun (i.e. passing the initial evaluation stage).
You absolutely must notify immigration authorities in writing of any changes in your marital or common law status before you are landed. If you marry after applying but prior to landing, make sure you have confirmation that CIC has received your notice and ensure your spouse is examined before you are landed. If he is not examined prior to your landing, you will not be able to sponsor him later as your spouse. Furthermore, an undisclosed marriage prior to landing will be treated as a material misrepresentation and could lead to deportation proceedings, if discovered. CIC usually catches these misrepresentations when a sponsor includes a marriage certificate that pre-dates their own landing as a single person.
It is unimportant where you marry. However, the biggest reason for you to avoid getting married before you are landed is if your husband is medically or criminally inadmissible, both your applications will be refused. A newly wedded nanny can see two to three years of hard work go down the drain because of their grooms’ undisclosed drunk driving conviction or previously undetected medical problem.
He can apply for a visa to visit you here but there is no guarantee it will be approved. He should be truthful about having a fiancée/spouse in Canada even though it may make it more difficult for him to get the visa. Any lack of candour may come back to haunt you later when you sponsor him.
Of course, this will result in a longer separation from your partner, but this may be better than risking your hard work and future in Canada.