By Sukhram Ramkissoon
In October 2014, I made a written plea to Chris Alexander, minister of citizenship and immigration, about non-status citizens of West Africa whose countries were afflicted with the deadly disease ebola.
I mentioned that I am representing an unnamed client and urged the minister to allow not only him but other nationals from ebola-stricken counties to remain in Canada permanently.
This person has given me permission to write about his case and refer to him as Simon.
He entered Canada in 2009 and made a claim for protection which was denied in 2011. In late 2011 he submitted a spouse or common-law partner in Canada class application.
This was approved in late 2012. However, in mid-2014 his common-law spouse withdrew the application and his file was closed.
In October 2014, our office submitted a detailed humanitarian and compassionate application on his behalf with a large number of supporting documents.
We submitted that in view of the circumstances and the tremendous amount of disproportionate hardship Simon would face if removed from Canada. We requested an exemption from the law which requires every person who wishes to migrate to Canada to submit an application from outside of Canada.
We submitted several letters of support from several friends who described him as a person of sound character and who has the potential of becoming a productive member of Canadian society.
He also submitted a letter from his employer which states he is a member of Laborers International Union of North America, he is in good standing and earns approximately $32 an hour.
His children overseas will suffer enormously as they depend on him for financial support.
We also enclosed several articles published online about the effects of ebola in West Africa and also submitted that there is enormous support given by our client’s friends and de-facto family members in Canada and that he has integrated socially.
Several of his relatives have succumbed to the deadly disease. If returned to his country he has no prospects for future and livelihood as it will be very difficult for him to adjust to that country due to the prevalence of ebola.
In light of the extensive documentation and submissions presented in the application, we requested that Citizenship and Immigration concur with our office that there are disproportionate hardships in this particular case and the best interests of our client’s children should be reviewed and assessed.
On April 27, 2015, our office received a letter on behalf of Simon stating that a representative of the minister of citizenship and immigration approved his request for an exemption under the act.
Good luck, Simon.
Sukhram Ramkissoon is a member of ICCRC and specializes in immigration matters at 3089 Bathurst St., Toronto. Phone 416-789-5756.