By Sukhram Ramkissoon
A 65-year-old Trinidadian has succeeded in Federal Court in having a negative decision with respect to an application for a Temporary Resident Visa (visitor’s visa) and authorization to return to Canada.
While this decision is of public record and I can mention his real name, it is not my practice to do so, so I will refer to him as Duce.
His wife passed away in 1985 and his 102-year-old mother is a Canadian citizen. Duce also has seven brothers and sisters, all of whom live in and around Toronto.
He first entered Canada in September 2002 when he made a refugee claim in which he alleged persecution at the hands of criminals in Trinidad and Tobago. A conditional removal order was issued upon his arrival. In June 2004, his refugee claim was denied.
He then applied for a Pre-Removal Risk Assessment (PRRA) which was later denied and, as a result, the conditional removal order became enforceable in January 2007.
Duce was arrested and detained and in March 2007 he was deported to Trinidad. He subsequently reimbursed the Canadian government for the cost of his deportation.
Prior to being deported, he submitted an application for permanent residence for humanitarian and compassionate reasons. In, 2012, he learned his application was refused. In February 2008, he applied for a temporary resident visa to visit his family in Canada. That application was refused.
In December 2012, a relative retained counsel to prepare a multiple entry visa application for him and submitted an Authorization to Return to Canada (ARC) application. Both applications were refused.
The decision refusing the ARC was as follows:
“Applicant entered Canada as visitor and remained without authorization; was issued a deportation order and failed to appear for removal. Was subject of a national arrest warrant, arrested and detained; removed from Canada at Crown expense. Purpose of travel is to visit family.
“The risk posed by applicant to Canadian society is not high based on his history. He has egregiously manipulated the immigration system to remain as a permanent resident in Canada though he has not obtained permanent resident status.
“He was not cooperative with immigration authorities in Canada. The negative factors in this application outweigh the positive and thus the application for ARC is denied.”
The judge in his decision allowing judicial review stated, “In my view the decision is unreasonable because the officer relied on the factual errors described below:
“The officer’s statement that ‘the applicant entered Canada as a visitor and remained without authorization’ is inaccurate. In fact, he remained as a refugee claimant and a PRRA applicant.
“The officer’s statement that the applicant ‘has egregiously manipulated the immigration system’ is also inaccurate. What the applicant did was avail himself of applications for Refugee Status, a PRRA and H&C consideration that he was entitled to make under Canadian law.
“The decision is also unreasonable because the statement ‘purpose of travel is to visit family’ minimizes the importance of the applicant’s trip. The applicant’s application for the ARC shows he wished to visit family members, including a sick mother, a sister who had had a stroke, a niece who is in a wheelchair and a brother who had been in a car accident.
“The decision was set aside and is to be reconsidered by a different officer.”
Sukhram Ramkissoon is a member of ICCRC and specializes in immigration matters at 3089 Bathurst St., Toronto. Phone 416-789-5756.