Detecting marriage fraud in Canada called ‘racist and offensive’

Sean Saulnier married his Brazilian wife in their backyard last May. They didn’t kiss on the lips for photos. There was no diamond ring and no family in attendance.

According to a leaked training guide meant to help immigration officials detect marriage fraud, the Victoria, B.C., couple’s marriage would have raised a bunch of red flags as a “non-genuine” relationship…

…The three-page training guide, titled “Evidence of Relationship,” lists clues officers should look for in assessing a spousal sponsorship application. Ostensible warning signs that it’s a sham marriage include: couples who are not depicted kissing on the lips in their wedding photos; university-educated Chinese nationals who marry non-Chinese; a small wedding reception in a restaurant; a Canadian sponsor who is relatively uneducated, with a low-paying job or on welfare…

…The training material, obtained under an access to information request and posted online by immigration lawyer Steven Meurrens, has created an uproar on social media among some Canadians and their foreign-born spouses…

h/t Marvin

  • Ed

    “Racist and offensive” has been so thoroughly denuded of any genuine meaning, it’s become a laugh line. Anyone reversing course because they’ve been called “racist and offensive” is a fool.

  • Drunk_by_Noon

    Now that I think about it…
    If I married a Canadian, we could run immigration scams on BOTH of our governments.
    I don’t know what that would get us, but still, I like the idea.

  • eMan14

    Marriage fraud is an issue. What’s wrong with having guidelines? Yes, I suppose they could be racist or offensive, even ridiculous. In that case tighten up the guidelines. We can’t always go with our gut feeling.

  • Fatima

    There is a $10,000 dowry to the Canadian man who marries me.

    Looking for a man who is a faithful follower who is looking for some excitement and to go out with a bang!

    Looking for marriage and a very short term commitment.

    Write to:

    Fatima 666
    c/o Hassan Nasrallah
    Postman you know where to deliver this if you
    ever want to see your wife and kids again

    • Rosenmops

      Hmmm, seems a bit fishy. You might have to up that dowry to get a man to kiss you on the lips.

  • Drunk_by_Noon

    It keeps me sane!

  • Alain

    Why even bother with a scam marriage when our generous family reunification offers so much more.

  • Frances

    Diamond ring – no. Small reception – yes (about 30 people, though in separate area from restaurant). Pictures kissing on lips – no. Honeymoon – two days at nearby resort before travelling back to workplace. Length of marriage – 46 years and counting.

    Heck, their criteria would disqualify a lot of Canadian marriages. Particularly the honeymoon bit. These days, a couple often waits several months before going away on a special holiday.

    • Minicapt

      Since the malign document was written up in 2011 or so, it is not obvious how it would be current in 1970. And secondly, it is a compilation of details which are *suggestive* of a false marriage, rather than a checklist for confirmation.


      • Frances

        Was just making the point that a diamond rings and an extravagant wedding do not a marriage make. There are many reasons why a couple may not wish to splash out on what are now considered the “essentials” for a real wedding.

        • Minicapt

          I understand, but I would suggest that the guide has been written in accordance with the experiences of those investigating these fake weddings, and that missing too many non-current standards suggests grounds for investigation.


  • Waffle

    Uh oh, I feel a song coming on: