In June 2014 an American family comprised of a 35-year-old widow and two children ages 12 and nine retained our firm to submit a Humanitarian and Compassionate Application from within Canada.
She has asked to me refer to her as Geeta and is represented by my daughter Cindy Ramkissoon-Shears from my firm.
In submissions to Citizenship and Immigration Cindy stated, amongst other things, that Geeta and her children have situated themselves in Canada that will face undue and disproportionate hardship if they are required to return to the U.S., their country of citizenship, and apply from there.
This family last entered Canada in May 2014 and were granted visitor’s status for six months.
Geeta was born in Guyana and met and married her spouse Carl, now deceased, who was a citizen of the U.S, in 2001. They had two children who are with Geeta and they lived as a family unit until the death of Carl at age 40 in February 2013, as a result of a sudden heart attack.
In March 2013 Geeta went began experiencing depression and visited her family in Canada for a few weeks. She continued to do so from time to time, taking time off from work.
During these visits she was encouraged by her family and friends to leave the U.S. and after much deliberation she did so and joined her family in Canada in the best interest of her children.
She has a solid family relationship with her parents and two sisters who are all legal residents of Canada and are very close to her and willing to assist, if necessary. Her deceased husband’s parents and their family in the U.S. wrote letters attesting to the fact they reside very far from Geeta and that it is impossible for them to visit their daughter-in-law and grandchildren on a regular basis and they believe they would be much happier and safer residing in Canada with her parents and siblings.
Geeta provided a number of letters of support from Carl’s family, friends in the U.S., her employer and coworkers. They all essentially stated they are aware of the struggles and hardships faced by Geeta after the death of her spouse.
Her employer wrote that she was an exceptional employee and is now unable to focus and work as she does not have any assistance with her children. She was advised to be with her family in Canada as they are the only ones able to offer such comfort and aid.
Based on the lack of support in the U.S. as opposed to the overwhelming support from family members and friends in Canada, the supportive letters and the great support system in Canada for Geeta we submitted that her application be approved and that she be granted an exemption from the law under humanitarian and compassionate grounds.
The law requires that anyone who seeks to live in Canada must first make an application outside of Canada.
Cindy also submitted that the best interests of the children will be directly affected by this decision if they are required to leave Canada.
The only relatives they have in the States reside hundreds or thousands of miles away and cannot provide the daily support needed. They have witnessed their mother’s depression, her inability to be an active parent in their lives and further see the happiness she once had while the father was alive.
Since in Canada, both have observed the positive changes in their mother and the willingness to remain in Canada with their relatives. They lost their father at a very young age and without a proper support system or positive role model in their lives, the childhood may be compromised.
In Canada they have been surrounded by an extensive family with an enormous positive influence.
In early February our office received a letter from Citizenship and Immigration stating that a representative of Citizenship and Immigration approved Geeta’s request for an exemption from the requirement and she can apply for an employment authorization.
Sukhram Ramkissoon is a member of ICCRC and specializes in immigration matters at 3089 Bathurst St., Suite 219A, Toronto. Phone 416-789-5756.