Islamic marriages to child brides are legal in Canada, say Canadian officials.
Muslim men immigrating to Canada frequently bring their wives, who in the case of many Islamic nations may have been legally married as small children or teenagers.
According to Canadian immigration services, many of these men then attempt to sponsor their “wives” for dependent visas.
One official denied a Pakistani man a visa for his 15-year-old wife, but was frustrated to find that the marriage itself remained legal, official documents reveal:
“I can find no section (of law) that states the marriage is ‘invalid’ or ‘void.’ I am afraid the age does not invalidate the marriage even if it is illegal to marry.”
Canadian immigration officials say they reject applications for spousal visas where the spouse is clearly underage, and it is clearly illegal to marry children in Canada, but that pre-existing marriages to children are unaffected.