The authorities recognise that foreign nationals might leave young spouses behind in situations that render them highly vulnerable. Therefore, situations could arise where an underage spouse is in a refugee camp. In this scenario, officers would need to use their discretionary power for:
- Assessing the entire range of circumstances on a case-by-case basis
- Showing flexibility in responding to individuals in vulnerable situations and,
- Considering the possibility of processing underage spouses and common-law or conjugal partners in situations of dependence as de facto dependents (in accordance with the existing policy guidelines in the refugee stream)
Similarly, officers might come across underage spouses, common-law or conjugal partners in situations of dependence that do not qualify as de facto family members. In this scenario, the officers would need to process them on humanitarian and compassionate (H&C) grounds. This is in accordance with the provisions specified under sections 25 and 25.1 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA).
Source: Citizenship and Immigration