Mom gets third chance to be Canadian
In June of 2012 a very confused, distraught and hopeless young woman came into my office with a number of close relatives seeking advice on her options to remain in Canada.
Her last bid to remain in Canada was her second appeal to the Immigration Appeal Division in April 2012 on humanitarian grounds, which was rejected. She agreed to publication of this article using “Monica” as her name and that she is from the Caribbean.
She disclosed the following:
She and her children aged six, 10 and 12, obtained permanent status in 2005 through humanitarian and compassionate grounds at a visa post abroad on the premise that she and her children were the only family members remaining in her country as she had divorced her husband, the children’s father, in mid 2001 and all her relatives reside in Canada.
Approximately eight months after landing in Canada, she was advised by a tax consultant who held himself as a lawyer that she can return to her country and remarry her ex spouse and sponsor him to Canada. Foolishly she did so and in 2006 submitted an application.
That sponsorship application was refused. She then appealed to the IAD and was represented by a large law firm. This application was dismissed when the tribunal found that the parties divorced for no other purpose than to acquire permanent status in Canada.
Now, her problems with immigration seemed endless as less than four months after the dismissal of this appeal, Immigration Canada took action to seek to remove her and the children from Canada, alleging that she misrepresented a material fact on her application for permanent residence and sent her for an admissibility hearing at Rexdale Holding Centre. At this hearing in April 2010 she and the children were found inadmissible for misrepresentation. Removal orders were issued.
They appealed to the Immigration Appeal Division and the matter again was argued by a well- known lawyer. In a 24-page decision in early 2012, the tribunal ruled there were not sufficient humanitarian and compassionate grounds to grant the appeal with respect to the mother and dismissed her appeal but allowed her children to remain in Canada. Monica lost her permanent resident status.
Her lawyer advised there was nothing further that could be done and that she would have to leave Canada. She pleaded with me for help and I advised her to challenge the decision in Federal Court and to also make an application under humanitarian and compassionate grounds, based on her present circumstances. She opted to do both and retained my firm to submit the application.
In June 2012, a lengthy and well-documented humanitarian application was prepared by my daughter. Cindy Ramkissoon-Shears, citing all the positive factors in granting special relief and exemption to Monica. It was sent to the Backlog Reduction Office in Vancouver. She also filed a Pre-Removal Risk Application as she was facing removal from Canada.
In December 2012, Monica was called into the removal office on Airport Road for a decision on her PRRA application and at this interview was handed a letter dated Nov. 21, 2012, which stated that a representative of the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration (Senior Immigration Officer) approved the request for an exemption from the requirements for the processing of this application. Upon receipt of this decision she was overwhelmed with joy as she was no longer facing removal and consequently withdrew her Federal Court application.
In March 2013, CIC asked Monica to obtain fingerprints and police clearance from her home country and proof of divorce. Her divorce proceedings were filed by a reputable attorney in her country who sent her sealed copies of the decree nisi and absolute which were forwarded to the CIC.
Monica again began to experience nightmares and stress as she was informed by the CIC on May 6, 2014, that the Registrar’s Office in her home country advised that the divorce decree is not genuine and that her application may be refused for misrepresentation. Monica found this shocking and unbelievable as she was of the opinion all the divorce documents were legitimate.
She immediately contacted a relative to approach the Registrar’s Office to again obtain certified copies of the decree and a personal letter from the Registrar confirming the divorce documents were indeed genuine. Upon receipt of these documents I prepared a statutory declaration in which she declared them genuine and the CIC may contact the Registrar for further clarification.
On June 5, 2014, I received a letter from CIC stating they have reviewed the letter from the Registrar and the certified true copies of the divorce decree nisi and absolute and the officer is satisfied there is no misrepresentation or enforcement action contemplated. This has brought a little relief to Monica but she will not smile until she receives her Permanent Resident Status in Canada.
SUKHRAM RAMKISSOON is a member of ICCRC and specializes in immigration matters at 3089 Bathurst St., Suite 219A, Toronto / 416 789 5756.