By Sukhram Ramkissoon
Immigration law stipulates that all foreign nationals who hold a permanent resident visa and are seeking to become a permanent resident must at the time of their examination inform the officer if:
- He / she has become a spouse or common-law partner or
- ceased to be a spouse, common-law partner or conjugal partner after the visa was issued or
- material facts relevant to the issuance of the visa have changed since the visa was issued or were not divulged when it was issued and establish that they and their family members, whether accompanying or not, meet the requirements of the act and regulations.
I represented this client at his appeal hearing and I will refer to him as Allan from Jamaica. He was granted a permanent resident visa in 2012 through the sponsorship of his spouse and in his application for permanent residence he did not declare his dependent daughter who was born in 1985.
At the port of entry upon landing, the officer asked him if he had a child. He answered yes. As a result of this non disclosure of his child in his application, his permanent residence visa was cancelled.
At the interview with the CBSA officer he gave this explanation for his non disclosure of the child: the child is a result of a one-night stand; he had no relationship or contact with the child since she was three; she is not dependent on him and he was unsure if he is the father; he heard she was living in Florida; he had no intention of sponsoring her to Canada.
A report was written under the Immigration Act and he was convoked for a hearing before a member of the Immigration Division for an inadmissibility hearing. The member ruled that he did not declare his child and found him inadmissible to Canada and issued an exclusion order against him.
As a visa holder he had the right of appeal to the Appeal Division which he exercised.
In his recent appeal hearing at which he and his spouse testified the appeal was allowed on humanitarian grounds. His spouse told the panel that Allan is very attached to her minor daughter who he has known for over 11 years. He provides financial and parental support to the household. She was very emotional in her testimony about the role her husband plays in her own life and that of the child.
The panel ruled that based on the evidence, there was a deliberate misrepresentation in the non- disclosure of the child and that if the appeal is dismissed, Allan would have to depart Canada and his spouse would have to file another sponsorship application which would take nine months or longer due to new circumstances related to this appeal.
Allan might also have to apply for authorization to return (ARC). He has been out of Jamaica since 2002, most of the time in the U.S. on a work permit, he no longer has a place to stay in Jamaica and his employment prospects outside Canada are limited.
The panel stated that given the evidence of Allan’s role in the child’s life as a financial contributor to the household and as a caregiver, taking into account the income of his spouse derived from full-time work, expenses, rent and necessities of life and the age of the child being 11, the best interest of the child and the potential hardship of Allan’s wife are factors that weigh in favor of granting special relief on humanitarian and compassionate grounds.
The panel allowed the appeal.
Good luck, Allan!
Sukhram Ramkissoon is a member of ICCRC and specializes in immigration matters at 3089 Bathurst St., Suite 219A, Toronto. Phone 416-789-5756.