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Marital Status in Personal Information


tightlywound
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Just started filling in the personal information for my first application: University of Toronto. The application denotes marital status as a required field. I feel very uncomfortable with this as I would not like the fact that I am married to be held against me. Is this legal in Canada?

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IMO, rather than soliciting legal advise on an internet BB, your interests might be better served by calling the graduate school directly at (416)-978-6614. I recommend that you ask why a reply is required, listen to the answer, say thank you, and if you don't like the answer, ask to speak to someone higher up in the food chain. And so on. At each step of this discussion, get the full contact information of each person to whom you speak. Be friendly throughout.

As the purpose of this conversation is to clarify your understanding of the policy, I do not recommend getting into an argument about the legality of the question.

If as it turns out, the question has been asked in error, make sure you CYA when you do not reply. That is, include somewhere in your application materials that such and such a person told you that you would not have to provide the requested information.

If you're required to provide the information and the reasons make sense to you, you will have to decide if you want to challenge the question's legality on general principle.

If you're required to provide the information and you do not want to, you will have to decide if you want to challenge the question's legality.

To be clear, my recommendation centers around what I think should be the "big picture" for you -- focusing on the process of getting your applications in on time. The other big picture, the legality of an institution's policies, is a question for another day, another time, and, maybe, for other people.

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I would be surprised if the fact that you are married was held against you. I am currently in graduate studies at U of T, albeit in a very different field, however I know many individuals in my department and in other departments who are married and have children. In fact, from my observations, the university has a very active family care office that plans excellent events. While you may or may not have children, this is indicative of the university's overall tolerance towards families and those in relationships. Besides, married individuals are much more likely to finish grad school.

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I would be surprised if the fact that you are married was held against you.

It might not be about the marital status per se, but about the martial status in conjunction with the politics of immigration policy. That is, the question is actually Are you going to bring with you a foreign national who will take a job away from a Canadian?

As Cheech and Chong used to say "Things are tough all over."

I am an American who has attended three different Canadian Universities in two different provinces.

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