Farm worker approved for permanent residence from within Canada

By Sukhram Ramkissoon

Humanitarian and Compassionate factors are assessed by Immigration Officers to determine whether to grant an exemption from certain legislative requirements.  This is required under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act to allow applications to be processed within Canada for permanent residence status.

So it is important that when authorized persons represent non status persons, they should put their best foot forward when submitting a humanitarian application.

The applicant’s circumstances must be fully explored both in his native country and in Canada. Some factors to examine should include if there are children and what is in their best interest; if applicants will encounter hardship if they have to return to their country, work history and community ties. How well they are establishment in Canada may also be considered among other relevant factors.      

Let us visit some of the facts that were submitted in a Humanitarian and Compassionate application that was recently approved by a representative of the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada. The writer represented the applicant who I will refer to as “Leslie” from Jamaica (not his real name).

Leslie had been travelling under a work permit under the Farm Workers Program on a yearly basis since 2001 to 2014.  From 2001 to 2004, he worked as apple picker in Collingwood.  From July 2005 to 2014 he worked in Nova Scotia as a labourer and driver. After he completed his work project, he met Pamela (not her real name) in Toronto, who became his common law partner.

Leslie did not return to Jamaica after his work permit expired. He maintained a very close and loving relationship with Pamela. In late 2016 she submitted an inland Family Class Sponsorship Application on his behalf under the condition that they had met the criteria under common law relationships. His application was acknowledged and he was issued medical instructions. Unfortunately, Pamela withdrew her sponsorship in mid 2017 and Leslie was so notified.

As a result of the withdrawal of his spousal sponsorship application he was required to leave Canada; he immediately contacted our office for advice.  We suggested that he may apply for permanent residence on humanitarian and compassionate grounds. We submitted that application on his behalf in November 2017.

In a personal statement he indicated that he had worked on a farm in Canada from 2001 to 2014. He described his common law relationship, and the subsequent breakdown of that relationship which resulted in the withdrawal of sponsorship.

While working in Nova Scotia he was in a brief relationship with a Canadian citizen which resulted in the birth of a child who is now nine years of age.  In Jamaica, he has two children – a son born in 2004 and a girl born in 2012.   All of his children were included in his application; and those residing in Jamaica were listed as his overseas dependent.

In our submissions we indicated that Leslie will not meet the requirements outlined in the Immigration Act to apply in the normal manner as he will be unable to acquire the competitive points under the Express Entry System, specific to the Federal Skilled Worker Program nor as a Nova Scotia Provincial Nominee.  He is also unable to qualify under any other program that is available for applicants to apply for permanent residence from overseas.

We submitted that he had been travelling to Canada as a Seasonal Agricultural Worker from 2001 to 2014, and remained in Canada until the present time. He contributed to the Canadian economy and his community while still supporting all his children.  Seasonal Agricultural Workers have been a major contributor to the Canadian economy, particularly in the agricultural sector.

We mentioned in our submissions that with his earnings in Canada, Leslie has been able to support his children financially, both in Canada and Jamaica.

We argued that after residing in Canada for almost 17 years, our client has settled into his community and has grown accustomed to life in Canada. It would cause severe hardship to require him to uproot and return to Jamaica as he would be separated from those who have become dependent on him.

We also pointed out various factors with respect to the best interest of all his three children.  Leslie mentioned that since coming to Canada he was able to provide a better life for his children in Jamaica – they were able to obtain a better education, eat healthier, and have experienced better living conditions with functioning electricity and plumbing facilities. If he was to return to Jamaica, he would not be able to provide for his children.  

Last week our office received a letter from Citizenship and Immigration informing us that   Leslie’s application for permanent residence from within Canada on humanitarian and compassionate grounds was assessed.  A representative of the Minister of Immigration approved his request and his application will be processed from within Canada.  He can now apply for a work or student permit.

Good luck Leslie.


SUKHRAM RAMKISSOON is a member of ICCRC and specialises in Immigration Matters at No. 3089 Bathurst Street, Suite 219A, Toronto, Ontario.  Phone 416 789 5756.