Guyanese woman wins one more chance

By Sukhram Ramkissoon

A Guyanese woman whom I will call Veera recently was successful in challenging the decision of a Trinidad and Tobago visa officer who refused an application for an authorization to return to Canada that impacted an underlying spousal sponsorship.

According to court documents she had a long immigration history, including approximately nine years in Canada between 2001 and 2009 wherein numerous immigration proceedings were engaged, which ultimately resulted in her deportation from Canada.

Her immigration history includes some of the following key events and dates:

In 1988, she obtained a divorce from her sponsor in Guyana. They reconciled in 1992 and lived together in Guyana until the sponsor came to Canada in 2001, at which time he landed as a permanent resident being sponsored by his daughter.

Veera first arrived in Canada as a visitor in December 2001. She said she was coming to visit her family but made no mention of the sponsor and was granted six months until June 4, 2002, and was refused further extensions.

In Canada, he sponsored Veera and contended that his children were unable to sponsor the couple together as they were unable to meet the income eligibility for the two of them and decided that Veera  would be sponsored under family class (which has no income requirement) after she entered Canada.

They submitted several applications to remain in Canada.

The first was submitted in February 2002 after the couple was married. This was refused late in 2002 as they were found not to meet the definition of spouse class in Canada.

The following year, Veera briefly left Canada for the U.S. and upon her return to Canada claimed refugee protection in March 2003. That was refused in June 2004 and she was issued a departure order which became a deportation order.

A second spousal sponsorship application was filed in February 2004 but discontinued in July 2004.

A third sponsorship application was submitted in November 2006. This time the sponsor was found to be ineligible as Veera had not been declared and examined in the sponsor’s original PR application, as the sponsor stated he thought it was irrelevant to his PR application.

Veera also submitted an H&C application and PRRA which were both denied. Leave to judicially review these decisions was dismissed.

She was removed from Canada in May 2009 and paid her own way back to Guyana.

In October 2010, Veera submitted a sponsorship overseas application which was refused early in 2011 because, according to the visa office, Veera had not been declared in her sponsor’s application when he was applying for permanent residence in 200, and was therefore excluded.

This overseas decision was appealed and it was allowed in January 2012 because it was found that at the time the sponsor obtained his permanent residence in 2001, a common-law partner did not need to have been declared under the former immigration legislation.

This error was acknowledged and the file sent back to the visa office for continued processing. This included the need for Veera to return to Canada due to existence of a deportation order.

She had to obtain an Authorization to Return to Canada (ARC) which was refused and she then sought judicial review of that decision.

After reviewing written arguments, the judge allowed a judicial review and stated, “I am neither able, nor is it necessary, to pronounce on the issue of whether denying the ARC on the facts before the officer was reasonable.

“Indeed, the basis of the fairness argument is that the officer denied issuance of the ARC based on an incomplete record and in the absence of a key piece of evidence. Procedural fairness thus dictates that I send this matter back for reconsideration.”

Sukhram Ramkissoon is a member of ICCRC and specializes in immigration matters at 3089 Bathurst St., Toronto. Phone 416-789-5756 .

Sukhram Ramkissoon
Sukhram Ramkissoon