Toronto Metropolitan University
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Re-emergence of paper marriage discourse as immigration fraud

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posted on 2021-05-23, 13:21 authored by Sugandha Chatterjee
This paper examines marriage fraud to bypass immigration restrictions. It assesses media representations of marriage fraud for the purpose of immigration in Canada and Germany between 2000-2019. Paper marriages refer to a marriage which is not bonafide but is done to get residency status in a country by at least one of the partners. In this study, I will examine the media’s role as an agency that both shapes and reflect public opinion on this issue. I am interested in understanding what led to the rise of the discourse of paper marriages? Is this an attempt to bypass tightening of immigration rules, or is it because of the rising tide of xenophobia and distrust to foreigners? I will also examine two competing perspectives on paper marriages. The first approach looks negatively and sees paper marriages as a form of deceit or fraud. The other, takes a more compassionate perspective and sees it as an attempt to help others gain residency status. I will examine the role of the media as a moral entrepreneur in creating “moral panic” about immigration fraud. Keywords: Paper marriages, marriage migration, marriages of convenience, marriage fraud, moral panic, moral entrepreneurs, opinion leaders.





  • Master of Arts


  • Immigration and Settlement Studies

Granting Institution

Ryerson University

LAC Thesis Type

  • MRP