Undeclared child of Canadian father allowed to join him in Canada


By Sukhram Ramkissoon 

Sukhram Ramkissoon

Canadian immigration law stipulates that if an applicant for permanent residence fails to declare their dependents, which includes a spouse, or child/ren in their application or at the time they are granted permanent residence, they cannot sponsor these dependents in the future.

Let us look at a recent case where I acted as counsel for a Canadian citizen in his application to sponsor his non declared daughter and at his appeal before the Immigration Appeal Division (IAD). However, my daughter Cindy Ramkissoon-Shears concluded this representation.  

Patrick (not his real name) was married to a Canadian citizen in 2010 and soon after their marriage, his spouse filed a Family Class Sponsorship application. At the time he declared on the application forms that he did not have any children.

After submitting his application for permanent residence, Patrick had a brief and intimate relationship with a young woman who gave birth to a daughter in 2012.  He never informed the visa office of this new development as required, nor did he inform the immigration officer at the port of entry when he was granted permanent residence.  Patrick maintained he had no children.

Patrick arrived as a permanent resident in 2013 and took full responsibility for his daughter, by visiting her on several occasions and providing regular monthly financial remittance to her through her mother for her upkeep. In 2018, Patrick was granted Canadian citizenship. He received advice that he can never sponsor his daughter for permanent residence in Canada, since she was not declared as part of his application and therefore not eligible for sponsorship. However, in 2019, Patrick heard that he may sponsor his daughter as the Government declared a new Public Policy to sponsor undeclared family members and he was advised that he was eligible to file such application.

He retained my services in early 2020 and we submitted a sponsorship application on his daughter’s behalf.  Within that application, Patrick was required to provide a detailed statement why he did not declare his child, and the visa office also requested a DNA test to be completed, which they stated was not mandatory.   Patrick reviewed his options, taking into account he had established a solid child parent relationship, provided a birth certificate and also provided proof of several trips made to visit his daughter, including photographs that established their very close relationship.

In April 2022, the visa officer refused the sponsorship application stating amongst other things that the applicant and sponsor failed to undergo a DNA testing, and that prior to gaining permanent residence, Patrick failed to declare his child and therefore does not meet the requirement of the current Public Policy.

Patrick was advised about this decision and immediately contacted an accredited DNA testing center and underwent the DNA test and the results were forwarded to the visa office. During this time, he requested a reopening of his application and also filed an appeal with the IAD.

Upon preparing for his IAD hearing, a pre-conference hearing was scheduled to discuss the issues. The Minister received copies of the DNA results and was not satisfied as to the credibility of this document since an immigration official was not present at the time the sample was taken from Patrick’s daughter. 

At Patrick’s hearing held in June 2023, he and his daughter’s mother gave testimony as how the DNA test was done and parent child relationship between Patrick and his daughter.   While the panel and the Minister accepted the child’s mother’s testimony as credible and trustworthy they did not feel the same about Patrick’s testimony, and the Minister had serious concerns about his credibility especially how he came to Canada and did not declare his child.

It was requested that my firm provide written documents as to how the DNA testing was done, confirming correct protocol and chain of custody was completed. Cindy prepared and forwarded submissions and the relevant documentary evidence to the Minister and the IAD.   Although the Minister, continued to have issues surrounding Patrick’s credibility, the documents as a whole were found to be credible and proved he is the biological father of the child and recommended the appeal be allowed.

As a result of the Minister’s position, the IAD allowed the appeal, and the decision to refuse a permanent resident visa is set aside.  The visa office must continue processing the application in accordance with IAD decision.

Good luck Patrick!


SUKHRAM  RAMKISSOON  is a member of CICC and specializes in Immigration Matters at No. 3089 Bathurst Street, Suite 219A, Toronto, Ontario. Phone 416 789 5756.