Sponsored spouses and common-law partners will no longer pass through a period of conditional permanent resident status, after the Liberal government of Canada, as expected, removed the provision, which was first introduced in 2012 by the previous Conservative government.
Under the provision that was in effect for around four-and-a-half years, sponsored spouses and common-law partners had to live with their sponsor for two years if, at the time they applied, their relationship was less than two years old, and they had no children in common. If they failed to abide by the condition, they risked losing their status in Canada.
The rationale behind this rule was to deter people from seeking to immigrate to Canada through non-genuine relationships. While the government states that it recognizes that cases of marriage fraud exist, it also states that 'the majority of relationships are genuine and most spousal sponsorship applications are made in good faith,' adding that 'eliminating conditional permanent residence upholds the Government’s commitment to family reunification and supports gender equality and combating gender violence.'
Effective as of April 28, conditional permanent residence no longer applies to anyone, whether they were sponsored by a spouse or partner for permanent residence, or sponsored by someone who had conditional permanent residence (i.e. child or parent).
The government stated on its online noticeboard that individuals who received Confirmation of Permanent Residence on or after April 18, 2017 with a message indicating that they “must cohabit in a conjugal relationship with your sponsor or partner for a continuous period of two years after the day on which you became a PR”, may now note that this requirement no longer applies to them.
In addition, individuals who were under investigation for not complying with the requirement to live with your spouse or partner are no longer under investigation.