Recently a young woman from Trinidad who I will refer to as ‘Reva’ was given the green light to apply for permanent residence from within Canada on humanitarian and compassionate grounds.
Reva who was represented by Cindy Ramkissoon-Shears from my office originally came to Canada in 1989 as landed immigrant with her parents and siblings. While in Canada she completed her OSSD and gained scholarships for her academic achievements. She did volunteer work and was actively involved in her local church.
Unfortunately, her paternal aunt who she had a very close bond with in Trinidad became very ill and she was asked to return to Trinidad to assist in her care. She felt compelled to return and offer her assistance. Her aunt was an instrumental figure in her childhood and upbringing.
Reva returned to Trinidad in 1994 to care for her aunt and uncle and their household. She assisted in doing all the chores and errands, took courses in accounting and subsequently assisted her uncle in his business.
During this time she always traveled to Canada, keeping in contact with her parents and other siblings. In 2004 due to several medical complications her aunt became bedridden. Reva then commenced round the clock supervision of her aunt until she succumbed in 2006.
In 1998, after being questioned by CBSA officers as to her stays and frequent travels to Trinidad, Reva decided to give up her permanent resident status and relinquished this status at the Port of Spain visa office. Since she was not residing in Canada, she was required to obtain visitor visas and was issued numerous allowances to visit her family on a regular basis.
Reva last entered Canada in June 2008 with the intention of remaining permanently as there were no longer any ties in Trinidad. She immediately engaged a family friend who professed to have knowledge in immigration matters. He was an unpaid representative and told her he submitted an application on her behalf. He even furnished her a copy of a submission which he claimed he submitted to the CIC on her behalf.
In 2010, Reva used the call centre number to make numerous calls to CIC but was always told no application was received by that office on her behalf. In 2014 she was advised by the call centre to submit a new application.
In late 2014 Ramkissoon-Shears interviewed Reva and requested that she furnish a series of documents so she could submit a Humanitarian and Compassionate Application on her behalf.
In February 2015, a 19-page submission on humanitarian grounds was submitted on behalf of Reva supported by an undertaking by a parent who is a Canadian citizen.
In the submission several factors such as assessment of hardship, establishment in Canada, family relationship, community support, reasons for returning to Trinidad, loss of permanent residence status, and best interest of the child were fully addressed.
In January 2016, our office received a letter from the Backlog Reduction Office at Niagara Falls which stated that a representative of the minister of citizenship and immigration approved Reva’s request for an exemption from these requirements for the purposes of processing this application.
Reva was further advised if she wishes to work or study in Canada she may apply for authorization to do so from the CIC.
Reva was ecstatic that she can remain permanently with her family members and at her ability to regularize her status by applying for a work permit so she can be a contributing resident of Canada.
Sukhram Ramkissoon is a member of ICCRC and specializes in immigration matters at 3089 Bathurst St., Toronto, Suite 219A. Phone 416 -789-5756.