Wife’s appeal allowed

Immigration Matters

By: Sukhram Ramkisson

In 2005, June who lived in Canada, met Alex (not their real names) at a festival in the Caribbean. They exchanged phone numbers and after June returned to Canada, they kept in touch with each other. The following year, Alex came to Canada on a student visa for nine months and during this time, they developed a close relationship.

After Alex completed his studies, he returned to his country and  in 2008 he proposed to her. The following year they got married in the Caribbean.

June then sponsored Alex for permanent resident status in Canada but this application was refused. It was discovered that, unknown to June, her previously sponsored son, who I will refer to as Collin, collected social assistance.  She was then determined by the  immigration authorities to be not an eligible sponsor as she had defaulted in her previous undertaking.

In 2015, she paid a substantial amount to the government for the social assistance collected by Collin and the following year  she filed a new application under the family class sponsorship program on behalf of Alex.

This second application again was refused on two grounds -firstly, that she was in default as her son collected social assistance and secondly, her marriage was considered to be one of convenience and for immigration purposes.

She then retained my services to represent her in an appeal process.  I immediately filed an appeal with the Immigration Appeal Division (IAD) and in due course received a copy of the Appeal Record.  An Appeal Record contains all of the application forms, supporting documents and notes of the officer with respect to issues and/or an interview in this type of matter.  Upon reviewing this record, it was discovered that apart from the default, the visa officer was claiming that he was not satisfied that the relationship between the parties was genuine but was a marriage of convenience for immigration purposes.

In March 2017, the matter was scheduled for an Express Triage Pilot project. However, when I attended this interview on August 16 last, the Triage Member informed me that this project was no longer in force and that she would have to refer the matter for an Alternate Dispute Resolution (ADR) hearing.


Before the scheduled Triage conference I  had filed documents establishing that our client was no longer in default and had provided proof that all outstanding sums issued by social assistance were fully re-paid since 2015. With respect to her marriage itself, I filed proof of her travel every year to visit Alex, communications such as e-mails, telephone calls and chat messages, photographs of the parties before and after marriage, joint assets held by both of them, and a volume of letters from friends and family, indicating that the marriage was in fact genuine.

It was also pointed out that Alex is the Chief Cultural Officer in his country and they both travelled together and visited the United Kingdom, the United States and several Caribbean countries over the years.

After June’s examination at the recent ADR hearing, the counsel for the Immigration Minister stated that he was satisfied the marriage is genuine and recommended that the appeal be allowed. He further stated that with respect to the default of the undertaking concerning her son, the money has been repaid in full and is no longer an issue

The Minister’s Counsel was also satisfied that the marriage was genuine and that the applicant did not marry the appellant for the purpose of acquiring status or privilege under the Act.


June had answered all questions put to her in a direct and sincere manner.  She provided details of their relationship since they met in 2005 and pointed out that since their marriage in 2009, she has traveled annually to the Caribbean to visit with Alex.

She also shared details of their future plans here in Canada and addressed the concerns raised by the visa officer.

The  counsel for the Minister was of the opinion that if this case proceeds to a hearing before the Immigration Appeal Division, June would likely win her appeal.  Consequently, he found that it is not in the public interest to litigate this matter further.

The appeal was then allowed by a Member of the IAD who set aside the visa officer’s decision. The officer is now required to continue processing of the sponsorship application.

Congratulations to June and Alex!

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