By Sukhram Ramkissoon
A 34-year-old woman from the Caribbean who entered Canada with false documents was recently granted permission to apply for permanent residence under humanitarian and compassionate grounds.
In late 2000, Carol (not her real name) entered the U.S. with a multiple-entry U.S. visa issued by the embassy in her country. She traveled to the States and was granted legal entry for six months.
She remained there for approximately one month and during this time applied to the Canadian High Commission in New York for a visitor’s visa, but was unsuccessful.
In her home country, she was the victim of domestic abuse. Her life was threatened and she did not wish to return to her country.
In Canada Carol has a number of close family members and wanted to be reunited with them in hopes of receiving some support. Her acquaintances in the U.S. knew of the abuse and made arrangements for her to enter Canada. They introduced her to a gentleman who assured her he could take her to Canada.
This was done and she was met at the bus terminal in Toronto by her relatives.
About six months after being in Canada Carol met a Canadian citizen and gradually a close friendship developed. They have been residing continuously since 2004. They have two children out of this relationship, the first born in 2005 and the second in 2012.
Her common-law spouse submitted an.application for permanent residence on her behalf under the Spouse or Common-Law Partner in Canada class but that was refused in 2012.
The reason for the refusal of this sponsorship application was because her sponsor was convicted in Canada under the Criminal Code for an indictable offence involving violence, punishable by a maximum term of imprisonment of at least 10 years, and as a result did not meet eligibility requirements.
In late 2012, my firm submitted a humanitarian and compassionate application for permanent residence from within Canada. In this application we disclosed all the negative and positive factors for both the applicant and her Canadian spouse and presented a number of documents in support.
In a 13-page submission, we stated among other things that they are the parents of two Canadian- born children and have been in a long and genuine common-law relationship. The husband has been in permanent employment for a number of years and provides all the financial support in the home.
The mother of these children is an enormous support for the family and strongly believes that if she is removed from Canada, her home and family life would become very dysfunctional.
She is very involved in the community through volunteer work and attendance at church for several years. Carol would suffer great hardship if forced to return to her country as she would be separated from her family and friends who depend on her on a regular basis, in which her presence is desperately needed in Canada.
Her removal would not only affect her but, most importantly, it will affect those who have a legal right to remain in this country, specifically her Canadian-born children and her common-law spouse.
She has been in Canada for over 12 years, is in good physical and mental health, never sought public assistance or has a criminal record in any part of this world. The best interest of her children would be served best in her remaining in Canada.
Recently my firm received a letter informing Carol that a representative of the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration approved her request for an exemption from these requirements for the purposes of processing her application.
Sukhram Ramkissoon is a member of ICCRC and specializes in immigration matters at 3089 Bathurst St., Suite 219A, Toronto. Phone 416-789-5756.