Recently, I have been writing for/with the passionate, Kelly Toughill, a journalist and immigration advocate who I believe is doing amazing and thoughtful work for international students.
I recently published a piece highlighting some of the concerns international students have been coming to me with in respect to pressure to enter into relationships that can secure one’s status.
It is a very difficult subject. As Canada does not have a “fiance visa” similar to the United States, the idea or entering into a common-law relationship or marriage usually arises quite early in the context of conversations.
My own advice, one that I followed myself (as someone who is married to a recently-landed permanent resident) is that I let my relationship guide my immigration rather than my immigration guide my relationship. Too often I have come across individuals who, as a result of poor and sometime negligent advice, have told me that they were recommended to marry a Canadian or “find a boyfriend/girlfriend” in order to secure immigration. Others have told me of the pressure placed by the Canadian partner to marry or enter into a common-law relationship to get the clock ticking.
In this piece, I talk about the international student in Canada who has a pathway to permanent residence (on their own) and who should think carefully before deciding to jump into a sponsored relationship and abandon their own options. I also talk about the importance of choosing the right pathway to do the sponsorship and ensuring strong enough evidence of the genuineness and purposes of the relationship are established before pursuing a decision to marry and sponsor.
For the article see here: https://studentimmigration.ca/letting-relationship-guide-immigration-not-immigration-guide-relationship-advice-international-students/