Marriage migration

Immigration Minister John McCallum says he’s planning on introducing changes in the “next couple of months” that will grant permanent resident status to the sponsored spouses of Canadians, immediately, upon arriving in Canada.

“When spouses come in now, they don’t immediately become permanent residents; there’s a two-year period where they are not yet permanent residents,” Mr. McCallum (Markham-Thornhill, Ont.) said in an interview with The Hill Times. “We said in our platform that we will end that so that they will become permanent residents on arrival.”

One of the issues the Supreme Court may examine is whether the foreign spouse’s income might count towards the threshold. At present, some low-earning British expatriates have trouble moving back from abroad with their foreign spouse, even if that partner is a high earner. The court has the power to declare these rules unlawful, though that is unlikely, believes Ms Grant. In the absence of many other ways of reducing immigration, the government will want to cling on to the strict new rules, for better or worse.

Les mariages mixtes ont toujours eu une relation ambiguë et souvent problématique avec la loi. D’une part, ils ont souvent été perçus comme étant un indicateur de l’intégration socio-culturelle dans la société. En termes juridiques, cette perception a été exprimée via un accès privilégié à la nationalité pour les membres des familles des citoyens. D’autre part, les mariages mixtes sont souvent vus comme représentant une menace à la société et la cohésion sociale. Dans cet article, Betty de Hart essaie de démontrer que les perceptions contradictoires des mariages mixtes ont influencé le développement du droit à la citoyenneté à travers le temps. 

Mixed marriages have always had an ambiguous and often problematic relationship with the law. On one hand, mixed marriages have been seen as a key indicator of sociocultural integration into mainstream society. In terms of the law, this perception has been expressed, for example, as privileged access to citizenship status for immigrant family members of citizens. 

According to IPS estimates, non-EU family migration to the UK increased from an average of 35,000 per year in the 1990s to 45,000 in 2013, or 20% of all non-EU immigration that year. These estimates include both dependents and family unification migrants. Family migration, like overall migration to the UK, increased from 1997 to the mid-2000s, peaking at 74,000 in 2006 (see figure 1). Also similar to other categories of migration, family migration declined in the second half of the 2000s. But these shifts in family migration were smaller in magnitude than similar shifts in migration for work or study. As a result of these trends, family migration comprises a smaller share of overall migration now than it did in the 1990s (see our the Migration Observatory briefing on Immigration by Category: Workers, Students, Family Members, Asylum Applicants). Although this briefing focuses on non-EU migration, it is worth noting that, including  EU nationals, family migration is now at similar levels to the 1990s. LTIM estimates of family migration were 90,000 in 1991 and averaged 75,000 during the 1990s. LTIM estimates had increased to 105,000 by 2006 but fell to 71,000 in 2013.

My colleague David North recently wrote a thought-provoking blog about American citizens who become victimized by what might fairly be called one-sided marriage frauds — marriages where they wed for love and don't realize that, from the alien spouse's point of view, it's a loveless marriage conceived of for the sole purpose of obtaining a green card.

Le capitalisme avancé est caractérisée par un niveau de production symbolique qui non seulement entraîne une dématérialisation du travail, mais repose de plus en plus sur des composantes hautement émotionnelles, allant du désir de la consommation à la gestion de la main-d'œuvre. Des sentiments aussi variés que l'amour, la colère, et le désir sont parties intégrantes des processus néolibérales, mais pas d'une manière sans problèmes et monolithique.

De Hart discute de ces formes de régulation du sexe, des relations et des mariages entre les groupes qui ont été considérés comme mélangés sur le plan de la race ou de l'ethnie. Elle fournit des exemples historiques, tels que les mesures contre les «Negrocabarets» et contre les mariages néerlandais-chinois dans les années 1930.

De Hart discusses these forms of regulation of sex, relationships and marriages between groups that were considered ‘racially’ or ‘ethnically’ mixed. She provides historical examples, such as the measures against ‘Negrocabarets’ and against Dutch-Chinese marriages, both in the 1930s.

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