National News

Government of Canada Bars Violent Criminals from Sponsoring Members of Their Family

Ottawa, November 23, 2011 — The Government of Canada is making it much harder for people convicted of crimes that result in bodily harm against members of their family or other particularly violent offences to sponsor any family class member to come to Canada, Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney said today.

"I was very concerned after a court decision in 2008 found that a Canadian citizen, who was convicted in India of killing his sister-in-law after setting her on fire, could sponsor his new wife," said Minister Kenney.

"The regulatory changes now in force aim to prevent a similar situation from happening again." Previously, a sponsorship application would not have been approved if the sponsor had been convicted of a crime resulting in bodily harm against a list of family members or relatives. This list has now been expanded to ensure that prospective sponsors convicted of such crimes against an expanded list of individuals, or particularly violent offences against any person, are generally not allowed to sponsor family to come to Canada for five years following the completion of their sentence.

The proposed regulatory changes were pre-published in the Canada Gazette on April 2, 2011, followed by a 30-day public comment period. The changes came into force on Friday, November 18th, are posted on Citizenship and Immigration Canada's website and will be published in Part II of the Canada Gazette on December 7, 2011.

"Family violence is not tolerated in Canada," added the Minister. "Someone who commits a serious crime should not benefit from the privilege of sponsorship."

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