Marlene allowed to remain in Canada after spousal
applications were rejected
In previous columns about Family Class Spousal Applications, I have often stressed the importance of providing all the necessary documentation and proof of cohabitation to show that the relationship between the spouses is genuine.
Often spousal applications are refused because immigration officers believe that those relationships are not genuine but just “marriages of convenience. ” In other words,sham marriage entered into solely for the purpose of providing permanent resident status to parties in the “marriage.”
Let us look at the recent case of Marlene (not her real name), a client whose spousal application was refused although she was residing with her spouse and children .
When an application is refused, the sponsor has several options Let us look at the steps which Marlene took to regularize her status in Canada.
Marlene came to Canada from the Caribbean in 2006 as a visitor and in 2008 she made a claim for refugee protection which was refused in 2010. That year she married a Canadian citizen who twice applied to sponsor her – first in 2012 and then in 2016. Both applications were refused.
On the first occasion, her husband withdrew his sponsorship because of marital problems .On the second occasion, the application was refused because the officer believed the marriage was one of convenience, even though there are children of that marriage. To date, the parties are still married and are “working on their relationship. ”
In late 2016, Marlene was notified that her spousal application was refused and she contacted my office. She wanted to pursue another application – this time under humanitarian and compassionate(H&C) grounds. After a thorough review of her situation, I believed that her only option to apply for permanent residence was under these grounds.
In early 2017 our office submitted a detailed H & C application. In Marlene’s letter she indicated that she is the mother of two Canadian children and she is married to the father of these children. Apart from these children, she has three other children who are in Canada.
Marlene then pointed out that during the processing of her second spousal application, she received a call from an immigration officer who enquired about her marital status. At the time she was close to giving birth and was residing with her mother but told the officer that she was married and explained the reason why she was residing with her mother at the time.
The officer then told her that she (the officer) had spoken to Marlene’s husband (the sponsor) and he told her that they were separated.
But Marlene who denied that they were separated, further explained in her statement that what her husband said was because of his past experience with the Children’s Aid Society and because he was not sure if someone was trying to trick him into getting information.
In our H&C submissions we also stated that it would be in the best interests of her children for her to remain in Canada with them. Her youngest Canadian-born child has multiple psychological problems and is diagnosed with a pulmonary heart condition. We pointed out that Marlene would be returning to her country where she has no job and as a result would be unable to afford to purchase the medication which her son requires.
We also noted that Marlene has several very close family members in Canada – her mother, sister and other relatives – who all provided letters of support. In addition, we also submitted a psychological evaluation in support of her application as she has been severely traumatized about her pending removal from Canada and how it will affect her children.
Last February, an immigration officer requested additional documents and information from Marlene, her spouse and her children. The officer requested school report cards, proof of custody of the children, copies of the telephone and electricity bills and other statements along with her son’s latest medical report. As a result of the volume of documents requested by the officer, we asked for an extension of time to provide them and were given until the end of April 2018 to do so.
Last week, our office received a letter from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada stating that Marlene’s H&C application was approved and an exemption was granted. She is allowed to process her application from within Canada under humanitarian grounds. She was further advised that she can apply for a study or work permit and has to pay the right of landing fee of $490.00.
Upon hearing the good news, Marlene expressed her happiness and was thankful to all who assisted her in this very stressful situation.
Good luck, Marlene.
SUKHRAM RAMKISSOON is a member of ICCRC and specializes in Immigration Matters at No. 3089 Bathurst Street, Suite 219A, Toronto, Ontario. Phone 416 7879 5756.