Vol. 149, No. 14 — April 4, 2015

Regulations Amending the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations

Statutory authority

Immigration and Refugee Protection Act

Sponsoring department

Department of Citizenship and Immigration

REGULATORY IMPACT ANALYSIS STATEMENT

(This statement is not part of the Regulations.)

Executive summary

Issues: Through this regulatory proposal, the Government of Canada will help address growing concerns regarding the vulnerability of women in the immigration context, specifically with regard to early and forced marriage.

Description: A suite of three regulatory amendments is proposed.

  1. Raise from 16 to 18 the minimum age of eligibility to immigrate to Canada as a spouse or partner in all temporary and permanent immigration programs.
  2. No longer recognize marriages that were conducted abroad by proxy, telephone, fax, Internet or other similar forms, across all permanent and temporary immigration programs. Include an exemption for members of the Canadian Armed Forces who, due to travel restrictions related to their service, were not physically present at their marriage ceremony and registration.
  3. Address an unintended consequence of amendments made to paragraph 130(3)(b) of the Immigration and Refugee Regulations in 2012 that resulted in certain Canadian citizens, who were themselves sponsored as spouses, becoming ineligible to sponsor a subsequent spouse or partner.

Cost-benefit statement: The costs associated with these proposed regulatory amendments are based on government estimates in 2015 values with a coming into force date of 2015. The estimated costs to Canadian citizens and permanent residents who would be affected by these changes is $108,613, as an annualized average in present value terms in the 10 years following introduction of the proposed Regulations. These costs stem from Canadian citizens and permanent residents who marry by proxy and, in order to sponsor a foreign national spouse, travel outside Canada to remarry in an in-person ceremony. It is estimated that Canadian citizens and permanent residents who choose to remarry abroad would incur return travel costs, and the costs of their time to travel to the marriage ceremony. Citizenship and Immigration Canada would incur costs associated with an increased number of interviews of applicants to assess the genuineness of marriages, with communicating the changes via news releases and Web updates and with updating forms, application kits and operational manuals during the transition period.

Raising the minimum age of eligibility of a spouse and addressing an unintended consequence of amendments made in 2011 would not result in costs for Canadian citizens and permanent residents.

“One-for-One” Rule and small business lens: Neither the “One-for-One” Rule nor the small business lens applies to this proposal, as there is no change in costs to business.

Background

The Government of Canada has made it a priority to address the vulnerability of women in the immigration context. In the October 2013 Speech from the Throne, the Government announced it would take steps to ensure that women and girls would no longer be “brutalized by violence, including through the inhumane practice of early and forced marriage” on Canadian soil.

In recent years, the Government of Canada has taken several steps to protect women in the immigration context, including making regulatory amendments to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR) that strengthened the spousal sponsorship bar by preventing individuals with a history of family violence from sponsoring a spouse and that provided the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration with the discretionary authority to instruct officers not to issue work permits to those whose situation could make them vulnerable to abuse or exploitation, including sexual exploitation or human trafficking. In 2012, the Government of Canada launched the National Action Plan to Combat Human Trafficking, to consolidate efforts to combat human trafficking, while the Women at Risk program ensures that female refugees who face a heightened risk to their safety and security are identified and brought to Canada quickly and safely. In November 2014, the Government introduced the Zero Tolerance to Barbaric Cultural Practices Act, an Act to amend the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, the Civil Marriages Act, and the Criminal Code, to address the issue of forced marriage. On December 10, 2014, a Private Member’s Motion (M-505) was passed to ban marriages performed by proxy, telephone and fax for immigration purposes in the interest of reducing the vulnerability of individuals married by these means.

Early marriage (spouse under the age of 18) and forced marriage (without the consent of both individuals) have also been identified internationally as an issue that must be addressed by concerted and coordinated efforts. Canada has provided leadership on this issue through its support for the International Day of the Girl, which focused on the issue in its first year. Furthermore, as part of a cross-regional group including industrialized and developing countries, Canada played an active role in the development of a procedural resolution addressing child, early and forced marriage (CEFM) at the 24th session of the Human Rights Council. Canada also co-led with Zambia the first-ever stand-alone resolution on CEFM at the United Nations General Assembly last year. Both resolutions were adopted by consensus with over 100 co-sponsors — a testament to the importance the international community places on this issue.

Currently, foreign nationals 16 years of age and older may be eligible to immigrate to Canada as a spouse, common-law partner, or conjugal partner. Likewise, individuals who are not physically present at their wedding ceremony are also eligible to immigrate to Canada as spouses. These rules apply in all permanent and temporary immigration programs.

For the purpose of the regulatory amendments to be described in later sections of this Regulatory Impact Analysis Statement, a “proxy marriage” is defined as a marriage in which one or both of the participants are not physically present and are represented by another person at the solemnization of the marriage. A telephone, fax, or Internet marriage is a marriage in which one or both of the participants are not physically present at the same location, but participates at the solemnization of the marriage by telephone, fax, Internet, or other means (e.g. Skype). It is possible that someone other than those getting married participates on their behalf as well over the telephone, by fax, Internet or other means.

Issues

Early marriage and forced marriage impact the lives and futures of girls and women around the world. According to the International Centre for Research on Women, one third of the world’s girls are married before the age of 18. (see footnote 1) When these types of marriages occur, there are a number of negative consequences that heighten the vulnerability of the women involved. The practice of early marriage disrupts their education, jeopardizes their health (early pregnancy is closely associated with increased risks of maternal mortality and obstetric fistula), makes them more vulnerable to violence, and limits their participation in economic and social spheres. Early marriage may also contribute to a person’s vulnerability to forced marriage as individuals under the age of 18 are more likely to be coerced into marriage by the family members upon whom they are dependent. Enabling spouses under the age of 18 to qualify for immigration may also increase the potential of forced marriages occurring solely for the purpose of facilitating immigration to Canada.

As noted above, foreign nationals 16 years of age and older may be eligible to immigrate to Canada as a spouse, common-law partner, or conjugal partner under the current regulatory framework. These rules apply in all permanent and temporary immigration programs.

The nature of proxy, telephone, fax, Internet and other similar forms of marriage can help to facilitate forced marriages because one or both spouses are not physically present, making it more difficult to determine that they consent to the marriage. In recent years, a small number of cases of forced marriage facilitated by proxy have been brought to the attention of Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC).

In the existing regulatory framework, proxy, telephone, fax, Internet and other similar forms of marriage, including those forms used to facilitate forced marriage, are not explicitly barred, and there are no grounds to refuse them as long as they are legally valid in the country in which they occurred. There is also an issue with identifying such marriages; for example, marriage certificates — one of the primary documents used by officers to assess spousal relationships — do not typically indicate how a marriage was performed or whether both parties were physically present. For the most part, this information is obtained only when the sponsor and/or applicant voluntarily comes forward with such information, for example, in the application form or during interviews.

CIC would also like to address an unintended effect created by previous amendments to the IRPR. In 2012, amendments to paragraph 130(3)(b) of the IRPR had the unintended consequence of barring certain long-standing Canadian citizens from ever being eligible to sponsor a foreign national as a spouse or partner. Specifically, subsection 130(3) of the IRPR was intended to bar permanent residents and Canadian citizens who were themselves sponsored as spouses in the family class from being eligible to sponsor a new spouse for a period of five years after they became permanent residents. However, as currently worded, paragraph 130(3)(b) of the IRPR has the unintended effect of barring individuals who have been Canadian citizens for over five years and who were themselves sponsored as spouses or partners from ever being eligible to sponsor a subsequent foreign national as a spouse or partner.

Objectives

The proposed regulatory amendments would support the Government’s commitment to protect Canadians from child, early, and forced marriage by raising the minimum age of eligibility of a spouse and by no longer recognizing, for immigration purposes, marriages in which one or both parties were not physically present.

The proposed amendments would raise the minimum age of eligibility of a spouse or partner from 16 to 18 in the immigration context to prevent foreign nationals under the age of 18 from immigrating to Canada as a spouse. It could also act as a disincentive for individuals under the age of 18 to enter into a marriage in order to obtain immigration status in Canada (i.e. enter into “marriages of convenience”, in which foreign nationals marry a Canadian citizen or permanent resident in order to be eligible to immigrate to Canada as a permanent resident), since they would no longer be able to be sponsored as a spouse until they are 18 years of age. Accordingly, although the number of cases is very small (under 1% of all immigration applications received for spouses and partners from 1999 to 2013), the amendment could result in fewer foreign national women under the age of 18 entering into marriage (either freely or as a result of coercion) with Canadian citizens or permanent residents in order to be sponsored for permanent residence.

This proposed amendment would also be in line with Canada’s stance against early and forced marriage in international fora as well as with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, to which Canada is a signatory and which defines children as being persons under the age of 18.

The proposed amendments would bar marriages conducted by proxy, telephone, fax, or Internet and other similar forms to help the immigration system make it impossible for forced marriages conducted by these means to be a mechanism to gain immigration status in Canada (i.e. through “marriages of convenience,” as described above). They may also help reduce the number of vulnerable individuals who fall victim to forced marriage in order to gain immigration status in Canada.

Lastly, the proposed amendments would address the unintended gap that bars certain Canadian citizens who were themselves sponsored as spouses or partners from ever being eligible to sponsor a subsequent spouse or partner. This would ensure that the Regulations comply with the original policy intent of this amendment.

Description

CIC is proposing the following suite of regulatory amendments as part of the Government of Canada’s efforts to address the vulnerability of immigrant women and to ensure the integrity of Canada’s spousal sponsorship system.

Age of spouse

The proposed amendments would raise from 16 to 18 the minimum age of eligibility to immigrate to Canada as an accompanying spouse or partner, or to be sponsored as a spouse or partner of a Canadian citizen or permanent resident. This would be achieved by amending section 5, subsection 117(9), and section 125 of the IRPR, which currently outline the conditions under which a relationship is considered “excluded” (e.g. foreign nationals under the age of 16, foreign nationals who, at the time of the marriage, were married to someone else).

The minimum age of eligibility would apply to all temporary and permanent immigration programs. If, after attaining the age of 18, applicants are sponsored by their spouses or partners in Canada, their age at marriage will only be relevant if it prevents the marriage from being legally valid according to the laws of the country where they were originally resident.

Marriage by proxy, telephone, fax, or Internet and other similar forms of marriage

The proposed amendments would no longer recognize marriages that were conducted by proxy, telephone, fax, or Internet or other similar forms across all permanent and temporary immigration programs. This would be achieved by amending section 5, subsection 117(9) and section 125 of the IRPR, in order to add these types of marriages to the list of excluded relationships for the purpose of immigration. An exemption would be made for members of the Canadian Armed Forces who, due to travel restrictions related to their service, were not present at their marriage, where that marriage was conducted and registered in a foreign jurisdiction where it is legally valid. It should be noted that marriages conducted by proxy, etc., cannot legally be conducted or registered in any province or territory in Canada.

Sponsorship error

Subsection 130(3) of the IRPR would be amended to ensure that persons who became Canadian citizens after being sponsored as spouses or partners are not barred from sponsoring a new spouse, if they have maintained permanent resident status, citizenship status, or a combination of both, for a minimum of five years after having obtained permanent residence status.

Regulatory and non-regulatory options considered

Raising the minimum age of eligibility of a spouse or partner from 16 to 18

Consideration was given to incorporating an exception into the proposed Regulations in order to enable spouses and partners in refugee camps who are aged 16 and 17 to meet the definition of a family member. However, as child and forced marriages are increasing in refugee camps, (see footnote 2) creating an exception to the minimum age of eligibility of a spouse for persons under the age of 18 in refugee camps could have the unintended effect of encouraging child and forced marriage in the resettlement context. Girls under the age of 18 could be forced into marriage in order to acquire immigration status in Canada (if their spouses are being resettled in Canada) or in order to confer immigration status on a spouse (if the girls are being resettled in Canada along with their families). Thus, maintaining discretionary power for officers in assessing these applications on a case-by-case basis is desirable. Safeguards exist in the resettlement context under current legislative authority and policy guidance to provide flexibility to respond to individuals in vulnerable situations. For example, in cases where underage spouses or partners are in situations of dependence, they may be processed as de facto dependants in accordance with existing policy guidelines in the refugee stream to ensure family unity.

No longer recognizing marriage by proxy, telephone, fax, or Internet and other similar forms of marriage as valid spousal relationships across all immigration streams

Under the current Regulations, marriage by proxy, telephone, fax or Internet and other similar forms of marriage conducted outside Canada, in countries where they are legally valid, are recognized for purposes of immigration. Such marriages cannot be legally conducted in Canada.

CIC officers currently have the authority under the “bad faith” provisions (section 4) of the Regulations to consider an otherwise legally valid marriage as invalid for immigration purposes where there are suspicions that the marriage is not genuine or that it was entered into primarily for the purpose of acquiring any status or privilege under the Act. Consideration was given to strengthening only the administrative guidelines that correspond to the “bad faith” provisions in order to direct officers to increase the scrutiny of proxy marriages. Explicitly identifying such a marriage as an “excluded relationship” through a regulatory amendment to section 5 of the IRPR, however, would strengthen the tools to deny all such marriages for immigration purposes. The proposed regulatory amendment would also make clearer the policy intent of denying all such marriages for immigration purposes, given their possible connection to early and forced marriage.

Eliminating a sponsorship error

While an interim mitigation strategy through administrative measures has been developed for cases where a sponsor is unintentionally barred by paragraph 130(3)(b) of the IRPR, this strategy should not be used indefinitely in the place of a regulatory amendment. Under the temporary administrative measures in place, a foreign spouse or common-law partner who cannot be sponsored due to the error created by paragraph 130(3)(b) of the Regulations could apply for permanent residence under humanitarian and compassionate (H&C) grounds (section 25 of the IRPA). Some foreign nationals who are spouses or partners of Canadian citizens or permanent residents may, however, be barred from applying under H&C grounds (generally for one year) if they have received a negative determination on a refugee claim (subsections 25(1.01) and 25(1.2) of the IRPA). Applications for permanent residence under H&C grounds could also take longer to process than those received under the family class, potentially resulting in longer periods of separation. Moreover, using H&C grounds to mitigate an unintended consequence of paragraph 130(3)(b) of the IRPR is not consistent with the objectives of H&C considerations.

Benefits and costs

Benefits

Raising the minimum age of eligibility of a spouse from 16 to 18 and barring marriages by proxy, telephone, fax, Internet, and other similar means would help reduce the vulnerability of women in the immigration context.

Eliminating a sponsorship error created by amendments in 2011 would provide a small, non-quantifiable benefit for certain Canadian citizens who wish to sponsor a foreign national spouse but have been unintentionally barred from doing so. The proposed amendments would ensure these Canadians are not barred from sponsoring as a result of being a citizen for more than five years.

Costs

An analysis of the costs was conducted based on the Regulations coming into force in June 2015. The total cost associated with the proposed Regulations is estimated to be $170,521 as an annualized average in the 10 years following introduction of the proposed Regulations.

It is anticipated that some Canadian citizens and permanent residents affected by these changes would pay additional travel costs amounting to $100,752 as an annualized average in present value terms.

CIC would incur $69,769 as an annualized average in costs associated with a higher number of interviews of spousal sponsorship applicants to assess the genuineness of marriages, with communicating the changes via news releases and Web updates, and with updating forms, application kits and operational manuals during the transition period. These costs would be financed from CIC’s existing operational budget, with no incremental funding required.

Age of spouse

It is not anticipated that this amendment would result in costs for Canadians. Relatively few foreign nationals aged 16 to 17 are sponsored to immigrate to Canada as spouses by Canadian citizens and permanent residents (approximately 0.1% of spouses and partners), and no incremental financial costs are expected to be imposed on them as a result of the proposed increase of the minimum age of eligibility of sponsored spouses from 16 to 18.

Canadian citizens and permanent residents wishing to sponsor a spouse aged 16 or 17 will be required to postpone submitting a sponsorship application until the spouse turns 18.

Proxy, telephone, fax, Internet and other similar forms of marriage

Given that proxy, telephone, fax, Internet and other similar forms of marriage would no longer be considered as valid spousal relationships, applicants may choose to remarry through an in- person ceremony in order to have their relationship considered valid under the proposed regulatory amendments. Those who choose to remarry would have to ensure that the marriage also meets the laws of the country in which it is performed.

CIC does not currently track the number of marriages that are performed by proxy in the family class sponsorship program. Anecdotal information received from CIC visa offices suggests, however, that these types of marriages account for a very small percentage of all marriages. It is estimated that proxy, telephone, fax and Internet marriages account for 0.5% of all spouses or common law spousal sponsorships applications (47 677, based on projections for 2014).

The number of those who choose to remarry as a result of the proposed regulatory amendments is therefore expected to be relatively low. The analysis of costs assumes that following the introduction of the proposed Regulations, in half of the cases of spouses married by proxy, the spouses would rather choose to marry abroad, or alternately in Canada, by an in-person marriage. For these cases, the sponsoring spouse, who is a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident residing in Canada, would pay transportation costs associated with meeting the foreign national spouse for an in-person marriage outside of Canada, or vice versa. This would include the average cost of return transportation, along with the value of three days of time (approximated by the average wage rate) to travel to the foreign country, have the ceremony performed, and then return to Canada. The total cost of in-person marriages is estimated to be $108,613 per year in nominal 2015 dollars, or a total of $757,171 in present value dollars over 10 years. The question of foreign nationals who travel to Canada for an in-person marriage is outside the scope of this analysis. It is worth noting that some of the proxy marriages would likely involve an in-person ceremony at a later stage, regardless of the proposed Regulations. These costs are nonetheless included in this analysis.

The proposed regulatory amendments are not expected to have any further costs for Canadians, permanent residents or businesses.

Sponsorship error

No costs would result from the proposed regulatory amendment.

“One-for-One” Rule

The “One-for-One” Rule does not apply to this proposal, as there is no change in administrative costs to business.

Small business lens

The small business lens does not apply to this proposal, as there are no costs to small business.

Consultation

In the October 2013 Speech from the Throne and in subsequent public statements, the Government of Canada and the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration signalled their intention to implement legislative, regulatory, and administrative measures to ensure that forced marriages do not occur on Canadian soil. In early 2014, the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration held five consultative roundtables across Canada on broad issues related to violence against women in the immigration context. A variety of non- governmental organizations that provide services to immigrants were invited to participate in these discussions. Some of the issues raised included a need to reduce the vulnerability of immigrant women and address forced marriage.

Stakeholders are invited to provide additional comments on the proposed Regulations during the 30-day prepublication period.

Rationale

Age of spouse

Raising the minimum age of eligibility of a spouse or partner from 16 to 18 may discourage some foreign nationals from entering into a marriage before the age of 18 for the sole purpose of obtaining immigration status in Canada. It may also decrease the number of potentially vulnerable young spouses immigrating to Canada who have not yet reached full maturity or who possess the ability to act in their own best interest, which could potentially prevent a forced marriage from occurring. While this amendment will have some qualitative costs for Canadian citizens and permanent residents wishing to sponsor a spouse aged 16 or 17, it should be noted that since 1999, less than 1% of spousal applications received by CIC have been for spouses or partners aged 16 or 17. However, it is an issue that must be addressed.

While restricting spousal immigration to persons 18 years of age and older supports the Government’s objectives in terms of reducing the vulnerabilities associated with early and forced marriage, CIC recognizes that, in the refugee context, this approach could result in young spouses being left behind in situations where they would be highly vulnerable, such as refugee camps. CIC will address this concern through administrative measures. Visa officers will be instructed to give special consideration to including vulnerable spouses and partners under the age of 18 applying for resettlement as de facto family members. De facto family members are persons who do not meet the definition of a family member but who are in a situation of dependence within a family. Those who do not qualify as de facto family members may be considered on humanitarian and compassionate grounds.

Proxy, telephone, fax, Internet and other similar forms of marriage

No longer recognizing legally valid marriages conducted abroad by proxy, telephone, fax, Internet or other similar forms is expected to help prevent early and forced marriages conducted by these means as a way of gaining immigration status in Canada. It would also help reduce the number of individuals — mainly women and girls — who are made vulnerable as a result. The proposed amendments may have qualitative costs to Canadians, permanent residents, and foreign nationals intending to come as a dependent spouse, given that these groups would no longer be able to sponsor or be sponsored, or come to Canada as an accompanying spouse of a temporary resident (such as a foreign worker or international student), in cases where a marriage has taken place by proxy. The proposed changes are expected to be of overall benefit to society, as greater rigour would be applied in the assessment of relationships where it is suspected that such marriages have taken place, thereby potentially preventing vulnerable individuals from falling victim to early or forced marriage.

Measures would be taken to mitigate the effect on individuals in genuine marriages conducted by these means, so that these individuals could be processed as common-law partners or conjugal partners, or under humanitarian and compassionate consideration.

An exemption would also be made for members of the Canadian Armed Forces who, due to travel restrictions related to their service, were not present at their marriage, where that marriage was conducted and registered in a foreign jurisdiction where it is legally valid.

Sponsorship error

The proposed regulatory amendment to eliminate the error in the sponsorship program will have a small, non-quantifiable benefit for certain Canadians who would otherwise be unintentionally barred from sponsoring a foreign national as a spouse or partner.

Implementation, enforcement and service standards

All three of these proposals would come into force upon registration. A communications strategy would inform the public, stakeholders and other key audiences of the changes outlined above. News releases and backgrounders would be issued publicly and posted on the CIC Web site.

Age of spouse

For applicants who submit any permanent resident application or sponsorship application on or after the coming-into-force date, the proposed new minimum age of eligibility for a spouse or partner would apply. For all applicants whose permanent residence or sponsorship applications are received by CIC prior to coming into force, the existing minimum age of eligibility would continue to apply.

Individuals applying for permanent residence as an accompanying spouse or partner or as a sponsored spouse or partner must meet the minimum age of eligibility at the time the permanent residence application is received by CIC.

No longer recognizing proxy, telephone, fax, Internet and other similar forms of marriage as valid spousal relationships across all immigration streams

The proposed regulatory amendments to no longer recognize proxy, telephone, fax, Internet and other similar forms of marriage as valid spousal relationships would apply to applications received as of the date the regulatory amendments come into force. Applications received prior to the coming-into-force date would not be subject to the new Regulations.

In order to support the proposed regulatory amendments, administrative measures, such as operational guidelines and updates to application forms, will be developed to enable officers to better detect marriages conducted by proxy, telephone, fax, Internet and other similar forms in which one or both parties were not present and to process these cases accordingly.

Eliminating a sponsorship error

As of the coming into force of the Regulations, the new rules would apply to all spousal sponsorship applications for which a sponsorship decision has yet to be rendered, irrespective of the date the application was received.

Contact

Justine Akman
Director
Social Immigration Policy and Programs
Citizenship and Immigration Canada
365 Laurier Avenue West, 8th Floor
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 1L1
Email: Justine.Akman@cic.gc.ca

PROPOSED REGULATORY TEXT

Notice is given that the Governor in Council, pursuant to subsections 5(1) and 14(2) (see footnote a) and section 26 (see footnote b) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (see footnote c), proposes to make the annexed Regulations Amending the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations.

Interested persons may make representations concerning the proposed Regulations within 30 days after the date of publication of this notice. All such representations must cite the Canada Gazette, Part I, and the date of publication of this notice, and be addressed to Justine Akman, Director, Social Immigration Policy and Programs, Citizenship and Immigration Canada, 365 Laurier Avenue West, 8th Floor, Ottawa, Ontario K1A 1L1 (fax: 613-941-9323; email: justine.akman@cic.gc.ca).

Ottawa, March 26, 2015

JURICA ČAPKUN
Assistant Clerk of the Privy Council

REGULATIONS AMENDING THE IMMIGRATION AND REFUGEE PROTECTION REGULATIONS

AMENDMENTS

1. (1) Paragraph 5(a) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (see footnote 3) is replaced by the following:

(2) Section 5 of the Regulations is amended by adding “or” at the end of paragraph (b) and by adding the following after paragraph (b):

2. (1) Paragraph 117(9)(a) of the Regulations is replaced by the following:

(2) Subsection 117(9) of the Regulations is amended by adding the following after paragraph (c):

3. (1) Paragraph 125(1)(a) of the Regulations is replaced by the following:

(2) Subsection 125(1) of the Regulations is amended by striking out “or” at the end of paragraph (c) and by adding the following after paragraph (c):

4. Subsection 130(3) of the Regulations is replaced by the following:

Five-year requirement

(3) A sponsor who became a permanent resident or a Canadian citizen after being sponsored as a spouse, common-law partner or conjugal partner under subsection 13(1) of the Act may not sponsor a foreign national referred to in subsection (1) as a spouse, common-law partner or conjugal partner, unless the sponsor has been a permanent resident, or a Canadian citizen, or a combination of the two, for a period of at least five years immediately preceding the day on which a sponsorship application referred to in paragraph (1)(c) is filed by the sponsor in respect of the foreign national.

TRANSITIONAL PROVISIONS

5. (1) Paragraph 5(a) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations, as enacted by subsection 1(1), applies only to applications received after the day on which these Regulations come into force.

(2) Paragraph 5(c) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations applies only to applications received after the day on which these Regulations come into force.

(3) Paragraph 117(9)(a) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations, as enacted by subsection 2(1), applies only to applications received after the day on which these Regulations come into force.

(4) Paragraph 117(9)(c.1) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations applies only to applications received after the day on which these Regulations come into force.

(5) Paragraph 125(1)(a) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations, as enacted by subsection 3(1), applies only to applications received after the day on which these Regulations come into force.

(6) Paragraph 125(1)(c.1) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations applies only to applications received after the day on which these Regulations come into force.

(7) Subsection 130(3) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations, as enacted by section 4, applies only to applications that are pending on the day on which these Regulations come into force or to applications received after that day.

COMING INTO FORCE

6. These Regulations come into force on the day on which they are registered.

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