Proxy marriages are no longer recognized by Citizenship and Immigration Canada for the purpose of sponsoring spouse to Canada for permanent residence effective from June 11, 2015. However, there are exceptions to the new regulations regarding the personals of Canadian Armed Forces. The regulation would affect many applicants from Asian and Middle Eastern countries where the proxy marriages are legally permissible. The couple will be required to remarry in a ceremony where both applicant and the sponsored spouse are physically present.
Citizenship and Immigration Canada has made amendments to Canada Immigration and Refugee Protection Act Regulations to exclude the marriages conducted abroad by proxy, telephone, fax, Internet or other similar forms of marriage where one or both parties are not physically present at the ceremony. Proxy marriages were previously allowed for sponsoring spouses if the marriages were conducted in a country which legally allowed such marriages.
The members of the Canadian Armed Forces have been exempted from this exclusion. This exemption applies to Canadian Citizens and permanent residents who are applying to sponsor a foreign national spouse who he or she married by way of proxy, telephone, fax, internet or similar means where he or she could not be physically present due to travel restrictions related to their military service.
The amended regulations has the provisions for special consideration in certain circumstances. If an individual applying under any of the immigration streams is determined by an officer to be in a marriage that was conducted by proxy, telephone, fax, internet or a similar form where one or both parties was not physically present but the individual meets the definition of common-law partner, the officer will continue processing the application with the relationship status category as common-law partner in lieu of spouse.
If the relationship is found to be genuine despite that fact it was conducted proxy, Humanitarian and Compassionate considerations may be applied to overcome the regulation, provided that sufficiently compelling circumstances exist, including situations where the best interests of the child is a consideration.
If your spousal sponsorship application is refused because the marriage was conducted by proxy, then you will have the option to remarry in a wedding ceremony where both bride and grooms are physically present. After your marriage you can submit the application to sponsor your spouse for Canada immigration.
Image courtesy: http://www.andhrawishesh.com/