Toronto Metropolitan University
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Women as sponsors : gendering Canadian family class immigration policy

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posted on 2021-06-08, 11:04 authored by Rebekah Cunningham
Canada's family class immigration policy has been studied as a gendered policy that has differential and harmful effects on women sponsored by their male spouses for immigration to Canada (Côté et al., 2001; National Association for Women and the Law, 1999; Thobani, 2000). As women are commonly seen as migrating for marriage and men for work (Sweetman, 1998), there has been little research done on the experiences of women who sponsor male spouses for immigration to Canada. This study explores the experiences of sponsoring women, mainly how their economic and family situations are affected by immigration policy and process. Using multiple forms of data, particularly judicial cases and interviews with sponsoring women, the study extracts themes related to immigration policy, immigration process, neo-liberalism, and the Sponsorship Agreement. It concludes that immigration policy and process create barriers to the family reunification of sponsoring women and their partners, increase the economic marginalization of women, and re-victimize women who have been abused by sponsored partners by holding them responsible for the Sponsorship Agreement.





  • Master of Arts


  • Immigration and Settlement Studies

Granting Institution

Ryerson University

LAC Thesis Type

  • MRP

Thesis Advisor

Vappu Tyyskä