Internet Dating Can Lead to Sponsorship

2007-12-22
Here is an interesting case from the Federal Court of Canada (Savard, 2006) that begins like this:
Armed with a computer and the Internet, Carole Savard and Abderaouf Samadi fell in love! As a result of the development of this relationship, Ms. Savard attempted unsuccessfully to sponsor Mr. Samadi as a conjugal partner. The visa officer rejected her application. However, on appeal to the Immigration Appeal Division (IAD), the IAD ruled that the couple were indeed in a conjugal relationship and overturned the visa officer’s decision. The applicant, the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, applied for judicial review of this decision of the IAD, and the Court must now rule on this application.

The facts, simply put, are these:
Carole Savard and Abderaouf Samadi met on a website in June 2001. Ms. Savard is a Canadian citizen, while Mr. Samadi is a citizen of Morocco and a resident of Spain since 1992, where he lives with other members of his family. After a few keyboard sessions, they were madly in love and by August 2001, Carole Savard and Abderaouf Samadi were a couple.
Following an exchange of personal emails and letters and telephone calls, Ms. Savard travelled to Spain on June 14, 2002 to meet her sweetheart at last. She then made a second trip in December 2002.

On March 31, 2003, Ms. Savard filed a sponsorship application for Mr. Samadi in the family reunification class as a “conjugal partner” and an undertaking, and Mr. Samadi filed his application for permanent residence in Canada on April 11, 2003. Meanwhile, the lovebirds continued their relationship and she made two further trips to Spain.

The Visa officer rejected the application because he did not believe they were in a committed relationship. The couple appealed to the IAD and won. The government (CIC) appealed to the Federal Court of Canada.

The result? The Federal Court of Appeal ordered that the IAD re-hear the case and allowed the applicants to bring forward new evidence.

This case shows that Internet dating can lead to sponsorship, but it can get tough, especially without legal counsel from the beginning of the application.

About the author

Gianpaolo Panusa Gianpaolo Panusa is a Canadian immigration lawyer, writer, and founder of the PanCanadian Immigration Law Group based in Vancouver, Canada. Google+ Profile

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