In my last article I explained in some detail what is misrepresentation under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) and how this can negatively affect
an applicant for permanent residence in Canada.
This week I will discuss a recent case in which a landed immigrant directly or indirectly misrepresented or withheld material fact related to a relevant matter that induced or could induce an error in the administration of the IRPA. The immigrant in question was ordered removed from Canada.
This case which was presented to the Appeal Division, was dismissed. The appellant who I will refer as Anson, a citizen of Senegal, was issued a removal order by the Immigration Division (ID) which concluded that he was inadmissible to Canada because of misrepresentation.
At the hearing, Anson indicated that he was contesting the legal validity of the decision. Let us look at the facts of the case.
Anson arrived in Canada as a permanent resident in 2008 and indicated in his application that he had previously been in a common-law relationship with Yaneesa from May 2003 to August 2004. He did not declare that he had any children.
Anson lived in Senegal until 2000, where he obtained a Bachelor of Law degree. In October 2000, he left to study in France, and returned to Senegal in December 2002. He was introduced to Yaneesa and in early 2003 both parents agreed to their marriage which took place in May 2003.
The marriage was consummated in December 2003 and he returned to France to pursue his law studies. During his absence from Senegal, Yaneesa felt neglected and their relationship ended in August 2004.
In September 2014, Yaneesa was questioned at the hearing before the ID and stated that Anson’s mother paid a visit to her parents and herself in 2007. This was first time Anson’s mother saw this child, who was born in September 2004. She was never told that this child was the result of the relationship between Yaneesa and Anson.
In September 2007, Anson returned to Senegal and spent time with Yaneesa, during which time they had intimate relations. He asked Yaneesa whether she had a child and she responded in the affirmative, and when he asked whether it was his child, she replied in the negative.
At the hearing before the ID, Anson testified that his mother phoned him in France, prior to his returning to Senegal in November 2008, and told him that she had visited Yanessa and her parents and had seen a girl child named Cara and that the child resembled him. His mother also indicated that there was a second child who was still an infant.
Anson stated that he was not aware that Yaneesa was pregnant prior to his returning to Senegal in November 2008. Anson stated that in that same month, he was told that Cara was his daughter and also that Myron was born in May 2008, whom was his son. Anson decided to marry Yaneesa in a civil marriage which took place in December 2008.
In January, 2010, Anson filed an application to sponsor Yanessa and his children. On the basis of such sponsorship, immigration officials decided to question Anson regarding the fact that he had not declared his common-law relationship with them when he became a permanent resident on October 11, 2008, nor the existence of his daughter. He was then found to be inadmissible because of misrepresentation, However, he had the right of appeal to the IAD.
At the appeal hearing the tribunal found that Anson lacked credibility.
- Yaneesa became pregnant at the time their marriage was consummated in December 2003, and their daughter, Cara was born in September 2004.
- Anson and Yaneesa communicated between January and August 2004, at which time their relationship supposedly was terminated.
- It was not believable that during this eight-month period Yaneesa never communicated to Anson that she was carrying their child.
- It was also unlikely that during the same period, Anson’s mother was not in communication, either with Yaneesa or her parents, and would not have been aware that Yaneesa is expecting a baby, given that the relationship did not terminate until the month of August.
- Anson falsely indicated that he had not previously been in a common-law relationship.
The panel ruled that the issuing a removal order against Anson was well founded both in fact and in law. With respect to the seriousness of the misrepresentation, it is difficult to assess whether Anson’s application for immigration status would have had a different result, had he disclosed the existence of a common-law partner and a child.
The extent of Anson’s misrepresentation and his persistence in maintaining that he acted in good faith, at the time of questioning by an immigration officer; at the time of his evidence before the ID, and before the IAD in October 2017, is evidence of the fact that he has no respect for the Canadian immigration system and does not comprehend the importance of the integrity of persons who seek acceptance as immigrants to Canada.
Anson insists that he did nothing wrong. The Tribunal disagrees. He intentionally concealed his conjugal relationship with Yaneesa and the existence of his daughter, Cara, when he applied to become a permanent resident. This constitutes mendacity. His inability to comprehend the seriousness of his actions indicates that he cannot truly be remorseful.
The appeal was dismissed and the removal order is now enforceable.
SUKHRAM RAMKISSOON is a member of ICCRC and specializes in Immigration Matters at No. 3089 Bathurst Street, Toronto, Onario. Phone 416 789 5756