News Release – National online consultation launched to gather views on impact of marriage fraud

Ottawa, September 27, 2010 — Canadians are invited to participate in an online consultation on the issue of marriage fraud, also known as “marriages of convenience,” Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney announced today.

The national consultation questionnaire, available on this website: cic.sondages-surveys.ca/s/marriage-fraud/langen/, will gather input on the magnitude of the problem as well as opinions and ideas on how best to address it. The questionnaire is part of consultations launched by Minister Kenney at a Town Hall meeting held in Brampton, Ontario, on September 1.

In Brampton, I heard heartbreaking stories from people duped into marriage by fraudsters simply looking for a ticket to immigrate to Canada,” said Minister Kenney. “It took a lot of courage for these people to speak out—and in doing so they have helped bring attention to this sensitive issue, which undermines the integrity of our immigration system.

A backgrounder is provided to inform participants of initiatives taken by Canada and other countries to address this issue. The questionnaire will be available on the CIC website until October 27, 2010.

Responses to the online consultation, along with messages collected from the Town Hall meeting in Brampton and other meetings to be held this fall, as well as research data on the issue, will help inform future actions taken by the Department to address marriage fraud.

Minister Kenney raised immigration fraud issues during his recent visit to China, India and the Philippines. There, he discussed opportunities to collaborate to combat fraud, including attempts to use marriages of convenience to circumvent Canada’s immigration laws.

While we may never be able to completely eliminate marriage fraud, we can and must do more to pursue those who engage in this kind of exploitation, while better protecting the victims,” added Minister Kenney.

The survey is voluntary. It is not designed as a tool to enforce Canadian law or to deal with individual cases, but rather to inform the public policy process. Individuals who believe they are victims of marriage fraud should also contact the police or appropriate authority. Please visit our How to report fraud page for more information about appropriate authorities.

Follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/CitImmCanada.

For further information (media only), please contact:

Celyeste Power
Minister’s Office
Citizenship and Immigration Canada

Media Relations
Communications Branch
Citizenship and Immigration Canada
613-952-1650
CIC-Media-Relations@cic.gc.ca

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