It’s unbelievable that a person can live in this country with family ties for 48 years without proper immigration documents.
But from my experience it is possible, so let’s examine some of the key facts in this case while not disclosing the man’s true name.
I will call him John from the Caribbean. He came to Canada as a visitor at about 19 years old.
He had a very difficult life in his home country, filled with abuse and hardship encountered by him and his brother as a result of being separated from his mother who came to Canada for a better life and future.
Unknown to him his mother was married in Canada, had two children and became a landed immigrant and was divorced. On one of her visits back home she saw the plight of her two sons and brought them to Canada in 1968.
Upon arrival he commenced babysitting his two step-siblings and delivered newspapers part time.
Prior to 1972 a person could have applied for permanent residence from within Canada and he did so. His application was refused and was ordered deported.
He appealed and was granted a two-year stay. He complied with the terms and the order was eventually quashed. He still did not obtain his landed status as a result of a minor criminal conviction.
In 1973 he was married and had a daughter as a result of the relationship but a few years after they were divorced as a result of religious differences.
In 1978 he commenced a relationship with his present spouse and they have a 35-year solid relationship and have been married more than 29 years with three children and three grandchildren.
However in 1978, he foolishly bought a camera lens from the back of a truck parked behind his work place. At the time he thought everything was legitimate
However he soon discovered it was not so as police came to his home and arrested him for receiving stolen property. He went to court and was ordered to pay restitution. He now had a criminal record and here is where his problems started.
In early 1980 he began to apply for a Minister Permit so he could remain in Canada and process his application but did not follow up and has remained in Canada continuously to this date.
From 1968 to the present he never left Canada and never had permanent resident status. He was living and working all this time in Canada without proper documents.
He contacted my firm recently as he was fed up living like this, with a wife, children and grandchildren, a home and productively employed as a mechanic with a large organization since 1989 earning over $95,000 annually and, of course, paying taxes, etc.
He retained our firm to submit a spousal application and an application for a Temporary Resident Permit from within Canada. That was forwarded Oct. 27, 2014, with detailed information and submissions.
Last month our office received two letters, one addressed to John and one to his spouse.
The letter to his spouse stated that she meets eligibility requirements and will be responsible for him for three years.
The letter to John stated that he has also met eligibility requirements to apply for permanent resident and he can now apply for an open work permit and must also pay the Right of Landing Fee.
It is hoped he will be called into the CIC to collect his Permanent Resident document shortly.
John was very fortunate that during this very long period without status he was not arrested by CBSA for non status or working without status. He has now overcome this hurdle.
Good Luck John!
By Sukhram Ramkissoon is a member of ICCRC and specializes in immigration matters at 3089 Bathurst St., Toronto, Suite 219A. Phone 416-789-5756.