The Immigration Appeal Division has jurisdiction over appeals regarding refusals of the family class. As stated by Justice Barnes in Gill v. Canada (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration)  F.C.J. No. 229, [in sponsorship appeals] the Panel "must proceed with great care because the consequences of a mistake will be catastrophic to the family."
To determine the appeal, the IAD usually holds a proceeding where it hears from the parties - both the sponsor (and any witnesses he or she wishes to call) and the Minister (represented by a hearings officer).
There are occasions however, where the IAD can or has determined the outcome of a matter without a full hearing. This has been the subject of judicial review on more than one occasion.
Depending on the particular circumstances, a legitimate expectation may arise that a full hearing will be held by a division of the Immigration and Refugee Board:
In Albarahmeh et. al. v. Canada (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration) 2010 FC 1153, the applicants claim for protection was heard, but there was an initial issue to be decided with respect to the exclusion of the male Applicant. Evidence was led and the a continuance occurred as the Panel scheduled a further hearing to conclude evidence and submissions. Prior to the further hearing being scheduled, the Board rendered its decision. In challenging the decision, the applicants alleged they were denied procedural fairness.
Phelan J. in finding a breach of procedural fairness had occurred, relied on the doctrine of "legitimate expectation." In so doing, he stated that, "The male Applicant contends that he did not think that the case was closed - not a startling position." Phelan J. went on to summarize the caselaw surrounding this doctrine noting that if the claimant has a legitimate expectation that a certain procedure will be followed, this procedure will be required by the duty of fairness."
Phelan J. continued in stating that:
"The male Applicant had a legitimate expectation that no decision would be made until all the evidence was in, on all the issue [...]
There was the potential matters that could arise in the third hearing which would affect the exclusion analysis... Therefore, there is substance to the procedural fairness issue foreclosed [...]
Lastly, more harm would be done to the parties, the administration and the public if a decision rendered in such a flawed manner is allowed to stand than if the matter is subject to a new determination by a new member . . . Perspectives and arguments may change but it is preferable, in the interests of justice, to have the whole of the truth exposed than to allow a flawed decision to stand."
In MCI v. Miltimore the matter was sent back to the IAD for reconsideration after the Applicant (the Minister) was denied an opportunity to cross examine the Applicant (at the hearing). In his decision, Justice Shore noted the following:
 In a tribunal proceeding wherein parties are heard (viva voce), listening to each party is not an option but is the very quintessential essence to any oral hearing. That is to ensure that parties will not only have been perceived to be heard but, in fact, will have been heard.
 A breach of procedural fairness renders a decision incompatible with the need for natural justice. When an opportunity for cross-examination is not provided, contradictory evidence cannot be said to have been evaluated by a decision-maker.
 ... a similar situation arose “where the duty to allow Mr. Kamtasingh to fully present his case was sacrificed for the desire for administrative efficiency. That is not a permissible trade-off [citations omitted]
It is imperative that efficiency not trump fairness.
One of the advantages in hiring counsel rather than try and handle an appeal by yourself is that counsel will be fully aware of your rights and will act vigorously to ensure that you have your (full) day in court.
What is a Temporary Resident Permit (TRP)? It's a discretionary tool that an immigration officer can use to overcome a foreign national's inadmissibility or non-compliance with the IRPA. Conrad Black is here in Canada on a TRP despite being a foreign national and criminally inadmissible to this country.
Subsection 24(1) of the IRPA states that "A foreign national...becomes a temporary resident if an officer is of the opinion that it is justified in the circumstances and issues a temporary resident permit, which may be cancelled at any time." The TRP is discretionary and utilized in many cases as a safety net for individuals that have fallen through the cracks so to speak.
The Federal Court, in Farhat v. Canada (MCI) 2006 FC 1275 noted that the objective of s.24 of the IRPA was to "soften the sometimes harsh consequences of the strict application of [the] IRPA" and allow a foreign national to enter or remain in Canada despite inadmissibility or non-compliance. Basically the TRP allows an officer to respond to exceptional circumstances while meeting Canada's social, humanitarian, and economic commitments. In deciding to grant a TRP, an officer must assess whether the person's need to remain in Canada is compelling and sufficient enough to overcome the health or safety risks to Canadian society. The degree of need is relative to the type of case.
The officer also needs to have regard to section 5.5 of the Manual which sets out who may be eligible for a Temporary Resident Permit:
Any person who is:
- inadmissible and seeking to come into Canada if an officer is of the opinion that it is justified in the circumstances [A24(1)];
- in Canada and is inadmissible, subject to a report or reportable for violation of the Act, or does not otherwise meet the requirements of the Act;
- not eligible for restoration of status.
When determining whether a TRP should be granted, officers, managers or National Headquarters are obligated to weigh the needs and risk factors of each case. The Manual provides at paragraph 12.1 specific factors, some obligatory and some discretionary, that are to be considered in performing this assessment:
Officers must consider:
- the factors that make the person's presence in Canada necessary (e.g., family ties, job qualifications, economic contribution, temporary attendance at an event);
- the intention of the legislation (e.g., protecting public health or the health care system).
The assessment may involve:
- the essential purpose of the person's presence in Canada;
- the type/class of application and pertinent family composition, both in the home country and in Canada;
- if medical treatment is involved, whether or not the treatment is reasonably available in Canada or elsewhere (comments on the relative costs/accessibility may be helpful), and anticipated effectiveness of treatment;
- the tangible or intangible benefits which may accrue to the person concerned and to others; and
- the identity of the sponsor (in a foreign national case) or host or employer (in a temporary resident case).
The TRP allows those that are otherwise criminally inadmissible (or otherwise inadmissible, including medically) entry or permission to remain in Canada. After a certain period of time, a holder of a TRP can apply for permanent residence under what's been called the 'permit holder's class'.
The Refugee Appeal Division (or the "RAD") appeals decisions of the Refugee Protection Division. Rejected claimants (as well as the Minister) can appeal negative (and conversely, positive) decisions of the RPD. This appeal is available only for "new" refugee claims and is not available for individuals from Designated Countries of Origin.
The Immigration Appeal Division has jurisdiction over permanent residents facing removal orders and sponsorship appeals by either citizens or permanent residents. Time frames are lengthy; the IAD is a court of record.
Finally, the Federal Court has jurisdiction to hear judicial reviews over refugee decisions, or decisions of the ID, RAD and the IAD. They also have jurisdiction over humanitarian and compassionate decisions, and decisions made in-Canada and outside Canada by an immigration officer. This is not a true appeal. The Court can't substitute it's own decision, but can find a reviewable error and send the matter back for redetermination by a different Panel or officer.
Today I will be appearing before the Immigration Division. My client, a Permanent Resident of Canada, is the subject of a section 44 report alleging inadmissibility. In essence, the report indicates that my client committed a (serious) crime overseas that would also be a (serious) crime in Canada. The Minister bears the onus or responsibility to prove this on the standard of "reasonable grounds" (less than the balance of probabilities).
I will be presenting Mr. Hersh Wolch, QC expert opinion on the nature of the Canadian offence. This is an administrative setting, and the formal rules to qualify experts is not strictly applied. Nonetheless, it's important not to assume that your expert will be qualified. The IRB has dealt with the qualification of expert witnesses. Member Renee Miller dealt with it in Nguyen-Tran v. MCI and qualified a police officer who had no post-secondary education but had significant experience and "read" widely on gang structure and membership.
It is a long established principle of law that an expert witness is a person possessed of special knowledge acquired through study or experience, which entitles him to give an opinion on a topic of expertise which is likely outside the experience and knowledge of the decision-maker. - Member Miller in Nguyen-Tran.
Canadian Citizenship is now harder to get and easier to lose.
Bill C-24 has received Royal Assent. Canadian Citizenship was perhaps the last item to be crossed off on Jason Kenney's to-do list. Kenney has now re-made Citizenship and Immigration Canada (somewhat) in his (or, the Conservative Party's) own image.
The changes include lengthening the residency requirement for citizenship (and making it far more objective with far less discretion); asking applicants to indicate their intent at residing in Canada; increasing language proficiency requirements (ages 14-64); and dramatically expanding the ability of the government to revoke citizenship.
This article will discuss the residency requirement which in my view is the least controversial and the one reform that is easily justifiable.
In my opinion there is only one way to become a "Canadian" and that is to spend a substantial amount of time here. Prior to 1977 an applicant for Canadian citizenship had to be resident in Canada for five years. Other developed countries in the world have similar (and more stringent) residency requirements than Canada. That being said, the world is a different place than 1977 (although an excellent year in other respects). The reality is that many professionals are required to travel extensively, in many cases to support their spouses and children that live in Canada. Should we allow a balancing of the requirement for physical residency with the demands of modern life?
One major justification for the more objective language surrounding residency was the confusion regarding the old test. The old test's residency requirement was set out in s.5(1)(c) of the Act which stipulated residency in three of the previous four years. But the Act did not provide a definition of residency.
There are three potential tests that may be applied by Citizenship Judges. In my opinion, these three tests are really two, one being objective and the other subjective. One requires, in essence, two feet on the ground for 1095 days (this was articulated by Justice Muldoon in Re Pourghasemi  FCJ No 232 or see Re Papadogiorgakis  2 FC 208). The other, the so-called "Koo" test, from Re Koo,  1 FC 286 asks whether the applicant has "centralized his mode of existence" in Canada. Justice Harrington in Salim, 2010 FC 975, eloquently and succintly, as always, summarized them as follows:
According to one school of thought, residence means physical presence. Two others state that in certain circumstances a person satisfies the requirement if here in spirit, but not in body.
For over 30 years, we have been plagued with three residency tests or, as some would have it, two tests, the second having two branches.
The new bill has brought clarity to the residency requirement and order to chaos. Indeed, the Federal Court itself has "long lamented the current state of the law on this issue, but until Parliament rectifies the situation, the choice of which of the three tests to apply appears at the complete discretion of hte citizenship judge..." See also Justice Russell's comments in Ayaz 2014 FC 701; or Justice Mainville's comments in Takla 2009 FC 1120:
"It appears to me preferable to promote a uniform approach to the interpretation and application of the statutory provision in question. I arrive at this conclusion in an atttempt to standardize the applicable law. It is incongruous that the outcome of a citizenship application is determined based on analyses and tests that differ from one judge to the next. To the extent possible, coherence in administrative decision making must be fostered..."
Finally, the gold standard for the Federal Court cases reviewing the residency requirement has to be Justice Rennie's decision in Martinez-Caro, 2011 FC 640 who makes the government's case (at least with respect to the residency requirement in Bill C-24):
On a plain and ordinary reading of the statute, as a whole, Parliament has expressly defined the degree or extent of latitude or flexibility to be granted to putative citizens. Residence speaks of presence, not absence. In my view, the qualitative tests do not adequately take into account either the literal meaning of the section nor the requirement that the statute be read as a whole. The qualitative approach also leaves unanswered how or under what principle of statutory interpretation the Court imports into otherwise precise language greater absences or periods of non-residency greater than those already expressly defined by Parliament. There is, in sum, no principle of interpretation that would support the extension of periods of absences beyond the one year expressly provided by Parliament.
The Conservatives are weathering a firestorm of criticism; however, this one aspect of Bill C-24 has sufficient policy rationale. Moreover, and for a change from most pieces of legislaton from this government, it will likely be welcomed by the Federal Court.
Raj Sharma is a Calgary Immigration Lawyer and the Managing Partner of Stewart Sharma Harsanyi, one of Canada's largest immigration law firms.
I was before the Immigration Appeal Division today on an appeal from an overseas spousal sponsorship refusal.
The sponsor needs to establish, on a balance of probabilities, that they are not caught by s.4 of the IRPR. In essence, the relationship needs to be both genuine and not entered into primarily for the purposes of immigrating to Canada. Evidence needs to be adduced by way of disclosure (prior to the hearing and in accordance to the IAD Rules) and by the testimony of the parties. Generally speaking, both the appellant and applicant should be called (the applicant is usually called by way of telephone call).
I have written on this issue many times. There is no one determinative factor for the IAD to assess genuineness. Counsel need to be aware and deal with the following:
Inconsistent or contradictory statements (at the visa office interview, or at the hearing itself). You must deal with credibility.
Pull/push factors. Has the applicant tried to come to Canada in the past? Is there another reason for him/her to come here other than to join his/her spouse/common-law partner?
Knowledge. Most appeals turn on this. Remember that knowledge varies with the nature of the relationship. There may be cultural reasons as to a lacunae in knowledge on certain issues by the parties. There should be appropriate knowledge of family/extended family members.
Contact. Communication. Return visits. There should be evidence of all three or a clear reason as to the absence of any.
Financial support/interdependence of the sponsor/applicant.
Children (either brought into the relationship, or born into the relationship) are a significant factor.
Compatibility. This is self-explanatory.
The test is disjunctive, that means that the appellant needs to establish that neither prong applies.
It is vital that success is achieved at this hearing. The Federal Court gives deference to the IAD.
As stated by Barnes J. in Gill v. Canada (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration)  F.C.J. No. 229, in sponsorship appeals, the IAD "must proceed with great care because the consequences of a mistake will be catastrophic to the family."
The hearing (for claimants in the Calgary region) is held at the IRB offices at 201, 225 Manning Road NE. It may be held via videoconference despite the fact that Calgary has RPD Members (Mr. Douglas Cryer, Ms. Luella Gaultier, Ms. Kerry Cundal, Ms. Bindu Narula, Ms. Jodie Schmalzbauer, and Ms. Preeti Adhopia). There is a wide disparity between the decisions of the RPD, even for the same country. You can read the disappointing and dispiriting analysis of Professor Sean Rehaag here. To a large degree, the success or failure of your claim depends on the identity of the decision maker.
Picking the RPD Member for your hearing would have been my first tip but unfortunately, you can't do this.
My first real tip then is to carefully pick the lawyer that is going to represent you. It's clear that success or failure depends on the quality and experience of your legal counsel. "Refugee Roulette: Disparities in Asylum Adjudication" published in Stanford Law Review confirms Professor Rehaag's findings regarding the personality of the particular judge that determines the claim; the article also found that:
Given the complexity of the asylum process and increasingly stringent corroboration requirements in immigration court, it is not surprising that legal assistance plays an enormous role in determining whether an asylum seeker wins her case ...
The Stanford article found that unrepresented asylum seekers won at a rate of 16% compared to those with legal representation who succeed at a rate of 46%. You can download the article here: Download Stanford law review
Research the lawyer that you want to hire. Find out how many refugee hearings and Federal Court applications he/she has handled; how many years he/she has been practicing; whether immigration is his/her principal area or whether he/she is a generalist.
My second tip is to prepare. Preparation by an experienced lawyer is key.
Tip #3. Ensure accuracy of interpretation. An interpreter will be provided by the Board and interpretation can be provided by videoconference, teleconference, or in person. The quality of interpretation may make a significant difference in the claim. Where possible, have someone that you know and trust with facility in your language and in English attend the hearing. It is very important that the interpreter is accurately relaying the question to you in your native language, that you understand and that your answer is accurately relayed back to the Board Member. It is important to raise issues with the interpretation at the time, not after the fact.
This is not a tip but common sense: be on time; check in with reception 30 minutes before the scheduled start time and make sure that you have the original documents on hand for the presiding Member to review. Review all the documents. An "Exhibit List" (at least in the Western Region) is generally provided to counsel/self-represented claimants prior to the hearing and references the Basis of Claim Form (generally Exhibit "1"), information from CIC/CBSA (the Port of Entry materials and the referral interview), the Screening Form (which identifies important/determinative issues such as state protection and IFA) as well as the National Documentation Package containing country condition information.
Tip #4 is to make sure that the Basis of Claim Form contains all of the relevant grounds for your claim. Ensure that there are no errors, omissions or contradictions. Look at the POE materials as well; there may be contradictions or other information in there that may raise concerns.
Tip #5. Gather and disclose all documents that support your claim. You and your lawyer should be tracking down corroborating evidence andyour lawyer should perhaps retain experts with respect to country conditions and/or testify regarding the applicant's mental health or trauma suffered. Disclosure of documents intended for use at the hearing must comply with the RPD Rules and should be submitted at least 20 days before the hearing.
Tip #6. Know the procedure. The hearing begins by the presiding Member and counsel canvassing some preliminary issues. The claimant is then sworn in and the Basis of Claim form is "confirmed".
The presiding Member begins the questioning of the claimant. It's important that the claimant doesn't speculate or guess. "I don't know" or "I don't remember" are perfectly acceptable responses.Counsel then follows with questions or moves directly to submissions, keeping in mind issues that have arisen during the course of the hearing.
Of course, additional questions arise given the responses, and questions dealing with credibility are very important. The claimant may be asked questions dealing with inconsistencies between his or her testimony, the Basis of Claim Form, claimant's documents or country condition information. Plausibility, inconsistency and omission are all relevant.
I can't stress this enough. The preparation of the claimant by counsel is vitally important.
It's important to note that jurisprudence in this area is developing all of the time. There are instances where a so-called victim of crime may in fact fall within the definition of a refugee. You can research Federal Court case law yourself on CanLii.org.
Tip #7 Your lawyer must understand the issues raised by your claim and know the jurisprudence. This is a technical area of immigration law. For example, there are two very relevant concepts, State Protection and Internal Flight Alternative. It is true that claimants must generally approach own state for protection (unless the state itself is the agent of persecution) and then show the state is unwilling/unable to provide protection or that it would not be reasonably forthcoming. The 'burden' of displacing the presumption of state protection increases where the claimant is from a democratic or 'rule of law' country. Internal Flight Alternative (or IFA) tends to be another determinative issue. If there is an area where the claimant can go to and be safe (and is "reasonable" in the circumstances) that claimant will be denied refugee protection. There are important caveats and there is extensive jurisprudence surrounding both of these terms of art.
Two IRB/RPD publications are important to review: Interpretation of the Convention Refugee Definition in the Case Law and Assessment of Credibility in Claims for Refugee Protection. Both are available on the IRB website.
If you lose your refugee hearing, you may have the option to appeal to the Refugee Appeal Division. My advice is to do your best now and not contemplate failure; justice is best obtained at the first instance.
These past 10 years of practice have been spent largely, almost exclusively in the practice of immigration law and immigration litigation. I have had occasion to appear before the Court of Appeal on a criminal matter (the client was a high profile former professional sports player that was facing removal from Canada) and my partner deals, more regularly, with criminal matters. There are two associates here that do practice family law and I've kept away, from a lack of interest and the fact that immigration is keeping me quite busy.
I have dealt with those accused of marriage fraud and the victims of marriage fraud; one young woman approached me in March of this year. Her husband had abandoned her within weeks of coming to Canada, after taking advantage of her financially, physically and emotionally. She was clearly suffering from his actions, was under the care of a physician and on prescription medication. She wanted a divorce and advice regarding her situation as the sponsor of someone that used her for immigration. I canvassed the response of CIC to allegations of marriage fraud and the relevant sections dealing with inadmissibility that could be utilized against her husband but cautioned her that he did have the right to challenge removal proceedings. In any event, we filed a statement of claim for divorce based on cruelty (not the typical, "one year separate and apart"). The fraudster had not left a forwarding address, so we obtained an Order for Substitutional Service allowing us to serve him documents via email (the same email that he provided to the government for his Permanent Residence application, the same email address he used with his wife). This was done at the end of April; in May, with no response after 30 days, he was Noted in Default. The balance of the paperwork was provided.
The defendant to the divorce action re-emerged; obviously concerned that he was facing removal under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations, he retained counsel. An application was made to set aside the Noting to Default/Divorce Judgment (the judgment was granted just prior to the application being heard) which was granted by a Justice in Chambers who was satisfied, despite a 'thin' and contested affidavit, that the Defendant met the test to set aside the Order(s).
I think we're headed to trial since the two diametrically opposed positions of the parties cannot be reconciled. It seems that my education in family law is to continue!
If you have failed to respond to a Filed and Served Statement of Claim for Divorce and have been Noted in Default, you must act quickly or otherwise face getting divorced without being able to contest the assertions made.
The onus is on the Applicant in such matters. It is not a de minimus test and is not one of "common courtesy". The test is actually a substantive one and set out by Judge Higa of the Alberta Provincial Court who relied on Palin v. Duxbury, 2010 ABQB 833. The Applicant must show:
1. He has an arguable defence; and
2. He did not deliberately let judgment go by default and have some excuse for the default, such as illness or a solicitor's inadvertence; and
3. after learning of the default judgment, he moved promptly to open it up.
Some cases indicate that the court may also consider whether the Plaintiff will suffer any prejudice by the setting aside of the judgment. It's important to note that the court's power to set aside a default is discretionary.
The case law indicates that the meritorious or arguable defence must have evidence. In terms of service, the Applicant's affidavit should state when he knew; what was the time between knowledge and action. The final part of the test looks at how long the Applicant waited before applying prior to applying to the Court to have the Noting in Default set aside.
It was my pleasure discussing citizenship revokation with CBC's Jim Brown on The 180.
Under the former law, you can only lose citizenship if you lied in your application to obtain same. Individuals under threat of revokation had the right for a full hearing before the Federal Court.
Bill C24, the so-called "Strengthening Canadian Citizenship Act" has dramatically expanded the scope of revokation. Even individuals born in Canada (as long as they are dual citizens) can have their status taken away. The process is largely a paper one. The Minister will give notice of his intention to revoke; the individual concerned can respond and a decision will be made. In some circumstances there remains a recourse to the Federal Court. This can be contrasted with Permanent Residents, who (in most cases) can challenge their removal orders to the Immigration Division and the Immigration Appeal Division.
Is citizenship an "inalienable" right? Minister Chris Alexander doesn't think so. To some degree he's correct. There's nothing stopping a dual national from renouncing citizenship (Exhibit "A" Ted Cruz). But there's a difference between a voluntary renunciation and unilateral action by the state.
This new law is skirting "exile and banishment" which is contrary to the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. It will be interesting when the first revokation cases under the new law come before the Courts.
Perhaps this is a fundamental change to our concept of citizenship. Or perhaps citizenship was always akin to swiss cheese. Deepan Budlakoti, born in Canada, is not a Canadian citizen, and neither are any children born to diplomats during their service in Canada.
Rex Murphy compares citizenship revokation to a lawyer getting disbarred. His argument is weakened on his reliance on false analogies. There's no Charter right to practice a profession. Should citizenship be dependent on good behavior?
Ultimately, revoking citizenship sounds great in theory - let's take away Canadian citizenship from terrorists -- but the implementation while respecting our values beggars the imagination.
We detain thousands of refugees, foreign nationals and there are also permanent residents under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.
Refugees are generally detained because of identity concerns. Here in Alberta, these individuals, with no criminal record and without criminal charge, are housed alongside serious criminals in maximum security provincial institutions. The average length of stay in the Prairie region is over 30 days.
The legislation and rhetoric that we've seen over the last few years tends to scapegoat refugees and frankly, detract from Canada's humanitarian tradition. Combine this with legal aid cutbacks and there are significant concerns at play.
Deportation and detention simply does not make sense for the other guest on the panel. He wants an overhaul of the entire immigration system. Like I said, I would like to believe in unicorns and fairy dust, but I am grounded in reality. Countries will always get to determine who gets to enter and who has to leave. Practically and pragmatic reform should be concerned with alternatives to detention, whether electronic monitoring or reporting conditions.
I am appearing at the Federal Court this morning to challenge a negative PRRA decision by my client, a national of Egypt.
There are myriad considerations for a PRRA. This is a highly technical area of refugee law. The PRRA constrains consideration to "new evidence" and is generally speaking a paper based review. The acceptance rate for a PRRA is very low, less than 5%. Another area, and the issue for today is the requirement to hold an oral hearing.
Duri Cho v. MCI 2010 FC 1299 involved an applicant originally from Bangladesh. He moved to South Korea and obtained citizenship there. He first came to Canada in December 2006 and made a refugee claim which was withdrawn prior to referral. He returned in 2009 and made a claim for refugee protection which was determined to be ineligible (because of his previous claim). He was left with only the PRRA in terms of a risk assessment. He requested an oral hearing (pursuant to s.113(b) of the IRPA). In essence, he had problems in South Korea because of his status as a minority and the fact that he was a human rights activist. The PRRA officer found that state protection did exist in that country; and ultimately concluded that there was insufficient evidence to corroborate the claim.
At the Federal Court Madam Justice Tremblay-Lamer agreed with the applicant that the PRA officer "made a veiled credibility finding" and thus, was owed a oral hearing. A PRRA applicant is not generally entitled to an oral hearing, section 167 of the IRPR sets out the prescribed factors.
The starting point is to first determine whether or not the officer's decision to dismiss the applicant's statements was based on a finding of credibility or whether it was based merely on insufficiency of evidence.
In Cho, Justice Tremblay-Lamer states "In the absence of a determination as to credibility, an applicant's evidence is presumed to be true. Is it possible that the officer, in this case, accepted the applicant's allegations regarding having been assaulted in 2005, 2007 and 2009 as true, but nonetheless found that the burden of proof had not been satisfied in this regrd? Did he merely assess the probative value of the applicant's evidence, without making a credibility finding, and determine that it was insufficient, on its own, to prove that the alleged events took place? I do not think so"
The second factor requires that the determination has to be central to the decision with respect to the application for protection. Finally, the third factor requires the following assessment: had the impugned evidence been accepted, it might have justified allowing the application for protection.
Hamadi v. MCI 2011 FC 317 is also instructive and determined by the most eloquent Federal Court jurist, Justice Harrington. Hamadi involved a Lebanese widow. Her husband was murdered by Hezbollah apparently for his pro-Israel beliefs. She fled to Canada but her refugee claim was refused 10 years prior to her PRRA assessment. The PRRA officer gave Mrs. Hamadi's evidence "minimal weight". As in Cho, the Respondent argued that this was a question of insufficient evidence; Justice Harrington characterized it as one of credibility and a hearing should have been convoked to address those concerns.
The PRRA officer had concerns regarding Mrs. Hamadi's evidence which was, in essence, two letters purportedly from Hezbollah. He assigned minimal weight to one because it was not on Hezbollah letterhead, undated, and appears to have been requested by Mrs. Hamadi's then lawyer. The officer thought it was implausible that Hezbollah would issue a document to assist Mrs. Hamadi's PRRA (as an aside, speculation by an officer or tribunal as to the modus operandi of foreign organizations like Hezbollah, FARC, the Los Zetas is always fertile ground for attack on judicial review.)
Justice Harrington quite rightly points out that there was no PRRA pending at the time the document was issued (and that it was in fact dated). Also, Hezbollah "was treating itself as a government asnd was simply certifying one of its records. Why not identify the appellant? If one obtains, and pays for a certified record of this Court, the receipt is addressed to that applicant".
The second letter (the one that was actually un-dated, but had a logo) identified the Hezbollah files and a judgment of death. The officer found this to have minimal probative value because the translation was unofficial and informal with no translator's declaration [as an aside, a huge error for whomever was assisting Mrs. Hamadi at the time of her PRRA].
I hope Mrs. Hamadi has a portrait of Justice Sean Harrington in her house adorned with flowers (as per the admittedly non-applicable South Asian tradition). Here's how he dealt with this:
"One cannot give minimal value to a death sentence. One must give it considerable value, or no value whatsoever. If one gives no value to it, it follows that the officer considers it a forgery, and therefore considered Mrs. Hamadi a liar.
...if the two so-called Hezbollah documents are legitimate she would clearly be at risk. Therefore, this decision turned on a credibility issue, not an insufficiency of evidence issue. If the officer was concerned about the provenance of the letters and the accuracy of one of the translation, he should have put these issues to Mrs. Hamidi [sic] at a hearing.
In the result, the decision is both unreasonable and procedurally unfair."
At my radio show last week, we asked Minister Manmeet Bhullar some questions from the "Proust Questionnaire". He turned the tables and asked me "Your heroes in real life". I think I have to add Justice Harrington to that very short list.
I will be appearing before the Law Society of Alberta tomorrow.
Thankfully, only as counsel.
My client completed his law degree (LLB) through distance learning at an educational institution in the UK.
The NCA will only issue a CQ (Certificate of Qualification) if my client completes 8 law school courses. This is based on their policy.
One problem. Neither the U of C nor the U of A law offer seats to NCA students.
There is a remedy available - an appeal to the Benchers which can consider special circumstances.
I've appeared before administrative tribunals for 12 years, 2 of which I was a tribunal officer. However, every tribunal inhabits its own "universe of discourse" as Professor Arthurs would say. I'm looking forward to this new experience, and hope that future appearances before the Benchers are also only in the role of counsel.
On August 6, 2014 I participated in a presentation before CAPIC-BC. I am attaching my notes of my presentation which focused on the increased (physical) residency requirement. Download 2014_09_20_10_10_09 notes for speech on 24
Deepan Budlakoti was born in Canada and held, not one but two passports.
He was to all appearances anyway, a citizen of this country. Despite holding all the accoutrements of Canadian citizenship, he is not and has never been a citizen of this country.
The reason for this is s.3 of the Citizenship Act RSC 1985, c C-39. Deepan's parents (nationals of India) were apparently employed in the service of a diplomatic or consular officer at the time of his birth. I say apparently because this is now a point of contention.
This came to a head because Deepan was convicted of serious crimes in Canada involving weapons and drugs (cocaine) in 2010. He received a three year sentence; immigration sought his removal from Canada because after review and investigation they determined he was not a citizen. It seems pretty clear that the issue of his citizenship would never have arisen or been at contention if Deepan had not brought himself to the attention of the authorities with his unlawful activity.
The Immigration and Refugee Board agreed and found that Deepan was not a citizen and issued a removal order against him. Deepan sought judicial review of that decision. Justice Barnes of the Federal Court agreed with the IRB's determination that Deepan was not a Canadian Citizen.
CBSA is stymied in removing Deepan despite a valid removal order because there is no country of return. India has denied that Deepan is a citizen and won't take him back.
Undeterred, Deepan sought a declaration from the Federal Court that he is and always was a Canadian citizen. Justice Phelan has recently (September 9, 2014) rejected Deepan Budlakoti application for a declaration that he is a Canadian Citizen. Starting off, he has "grave doubts" that the Court should issue a bare declaration of citizenship. He wants a decision to review.
For what it's worth, I don't share Justice Phelan's concerns on this point. The Court can certainly make a declaration as to whether an individual is a citizen pursuant to the relevant legislation.
He then takes issue with the fact that this matter has already been essentially decided by the Court. The IRB decision finding that Deepan was not a citizen was challenged and Justice Barnes agreed with the IRB in May 2012. Justice Phelan thinks Deepan's application is a "collateral attack" on the 2011 IRB decision and an "end run" on Justice Barnes' decision.
In any event, he feels that he can't give a declaration based on the evidence provided. Justice Phelan feels that it "might have been preferable if this case had been converted to an action". Had it been so, then credibility could have been better tested. Justice Phelan found that Deepan is not and never was a Canadian Citizen based on the evidence before him.
Justice Phelan's decision appears thorough; he discussed and rejected each one of Deepan's arguments. The Court noted that the dates when Deepan's parents left their employ are "hotly contested and the facts in this record are difficult to make out". They entered Canada in 1985; later a diplomatic note advised that they had moved into the Indian High Commissioner's official residence to continue their domestic work (August 26, 1988). Deepan argues that his parents left their employment in June 1989. This argument was undermined by several factors. Deepan relied on the affidavit of S.J.S. Chhatwal, a former Indian High Commissioner who confirms that they left employment in June 1989 but "cannot otherwise remember anything from that period. The integrity of this affidavit is undermined because the 3rd page of the four-page affidavit is missing".
Further, Deepan's evidence is undermined by contemporaneous documentation including:
Even on their application for Permanent Residence (June 1992) Deepan's parents listed him as a dependent child. A visa and record of landing was therefore issued for Deepan. Obviously his parents would not need to apply for permanent residence if they felt that Deepan was a Canadian Citizen. Further, permanent residence would not have been issued if that was an issue for the responsible officer (you're not eligible to be a permanent resident if you are already a citizen).
Justice Phelan finds that Deepan's case "is significantly undermined by ... the internal inconsistency of his own records". The Court has "credibility concerns about the evidence relied on by the Applicant".
In terms of the other argument; Justice Phelan finds that the Respondent has "done nothing to deprive" Deepan of his citizenship. In essence, you can't revoke something when it didn't exist in the first place. He also makes short shrift of the constitutional arguments.
Where does this leave Deepan?
Personally I think Deepan is barking up the wrong tree. Or, he's beating a dead horse. Feel free to pick your own aphorism.
There are other, more practical and pragmatic solutions out there.
The Minister does retain the discretion to grant citizenship. Perhaps this is one option that Deepan should seek; should it be rejected, he would have the ability to seek judicial review of that decision.
He can also apply for permanent residency under s.25, seeking an exemption from the operation of the Act.
The Immigration and Refugee Board’s National Documentation Package (NDP) on Pakistan is one of the thickest. That should not be a point of pride for Pakistan.
As of the date of this writing, items 2.1 (Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2013, US Department of State); 7.1 (IRB RIR) as to the state’s response to criminality; 10.1 (IRB RIR) and 10.2 (Human Rights Commission of Pakistan; Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative) disclose the following regarding police corruption and ineffectiveness, that:
police corruption was a “persistent” problem;
police effectiveness varied greatly; some police committed human rights abuses or were responsive to political interests;
some police charged fees to register genuine complaints and accepted bribes for registering false complaints;
“an ineffective police force and judicial system is the root of the violence, leading ethnic, sectarian, political, militant, and criminal groups to use violence with impunity”;
“police officers are powerless, lack resources and are “ill-prepared”;
“police officers have been implicated in “extortion”...that police “are poorly paid, which is a major reason for rampant corruption and inadequate performance”; and
ombudsman tasked with receiving complaints regarding the police are “ineffective”.
Honour crimes and killings remain a pernicious problem for Pakistan. Items 2.1 (the aforementioned Department of State Report, or “DOS”), 2.2 (the UK Home Office Report); 2.4 (World Report 2014, Human Rights Watch); 2.7 (Freedom in the World 2013, Freedom House); and 5.1 (IRB RIR), disclose the following regarding these gender based crimes, that:
“Rape, domestic violence, sexual harassment, “honor” crimes, other harmful traditional practices, abuse, and discrimination against women and girls continued to be a serious problem;
“Women often were sentenced to violent punishments or death for “honor”-related crimes;
“2,773 honor killings between 2008 and 2012 and estimated less than 2 percent of honor killings were reported”;
“Women are legally free to marry without family consent, but women who did so were often ostracized or faced becoming the victims of “honor” crimes”;
“In a report on honour killings, Agence France-Presse notes that honour and the preservation of a family’s good name are “highly valued” in Pakistan”; and
Police “largely” treat honour crimes as “private, family affairs” and have been complicit with perpetrators of honour crimes
My case this afternoon may well turn on a filed First Information Report. This is the document that initiates police investigation. Items 3.6 (IRB RIR), 9.1 (IRB RIR); 9.5 provide further details.
Item 3.6 indicates that FIRs are “sometimes filed by authorities without “supporting evidence” [in order] to harass or intimidate;
“The HRCP representative described false registration as a “common problem” and that bribery of police to register false FIRs is a “common occurrence”;
Pakistan has been a major refugee producing country since I was a Refugee Protection Officer with the Immigration and Refugee Protection Division more than ten years ago. It will continue with this dubious distinction so long as there remain serious issues with democratic and rule of law institutions.
I’ve talked in the past about preparing and submitting a spousal sponsorship. These applications are straightforward but there are complications that may come up that may require legal advice or representation.
Once a positive decision is made on sponsor eligibility an officer will finalize the application by reviewing the applicant's - the sponsored person is the applicant - his or her admissibility to Canada and the genuineness of the relationship. If the documents provided don't satisfy an officer's concerns, an interview may be held.
This spousal interview causes stress and anxiety for both the sponsor and applicant. In my view the best antidote for stress and anxiety is preparation; I'm surprised how often applicant's walk into an interview "cold" with little or no preparation.
The interview usually involves only the applicant; however the sponsor can also be asked questions (if overseas, the visa officer may call the sponsor). Remember, methods vary principles stay the same. The key is to think like an officer.
You've got to understand the strengths and weaknesses of your file.
Questions will be asked about the origins and development of the relationship. Questions will be asked about pre- and post-marriage behaviour (trips, outings, activities).
One issue that I've seen over the years is haste, particularly in arranged marriages. If the sponsor and applicant met and married within a short period of time, the officer will undoubtedly have issues regarding the haste in such an arrangement. How did the sponsor and applicant come to make such a significant life altering decision in x amount of days? The officer will want to know the decision making process and your explanation has to be cogent, reasonable, plausible and ultimately credible.
If the marriage is not in accordance with religious or cultural norm, be prepared to address it. Don't get your back up. Don't get offended. Explain how this apparent incompatibility is not an issue; perhaps the officer is wrong on his or her assumption of a cultural norm. Or, that overall compatibility trumped this one superficial incompatibility.
The same issue occurs when there is a significant age difference between the couple. In my view this is a personal choice between two consenting adults; and again, you will need to stress the overall compatibility or how this issue was addressed or overcome.
The applicant will be asked knowledge questions. He or she will be asked about their spouse's life in Canada. These answers should be detailed and specific and not vague or full of generalities. These questions could be about the sponsor's previous relationship history, his or her children from a previous relationship, their employment, hobbies and finances.
In my experience, the decision often turns on knowledge.
The applicant will be asked about contact and financial support (if any) since the marriage and sponsorship. Contact should be regular and on-going. Anything else would detract from what is expected of a genuine couple. Return trips, especially when the sponsor can afford it and the processing times are lengthy, are supportive of a genuine relationship.
The applicant may be asked about future plans. What has the couple discussed in planning their life in Canada?
Be direct. Look into the officer's eyes and deal with the questions that you are asked. If you don't know the answer to a question, say you don't know. If you are guessing, say that you are guessing. Do not lie. Do not embellish your application or attempt to strengthen it with false documentation or representations. Do not accept bad advice to do so. You may be in a genuine relationship, but a finding of misrepresentation will set you back years -- and thousands of dollars to an immigration lawyer -- in your efforts to come to Canada.
Remember that certain issues are simply difficult to deal with. You will be behind the eight ball whenever the applicant has an extensive and negative immigration history. If the applicant has been previously deported from Canada the officer will think that the intentions are to return to Canada, not to be with the sponsor.
Finally, if the application is refused, the sponsor has 30 days from receiving the negative decision in Canada to file an appeal with the IAD.
I hope this information will be useful and wish you the best of luck.
Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more;
Or close the wall up with our English dead.
In peace there's nothing so becomes a man
As modest stillness and humility;
But when the blast of war blows in our ears,
Then imitate the action of the tiger. . . .
Henry The Fifth Act 3, Scene 1, 1-6
The judicial review application will be heard tomorrow before Justice Gagné (a relative recent appointment to the Federal Court). The matter involves a (faulty) decision by the RPD. My client was granted refugee protection; the Minister sought to vacate that status after they learned of a warrant for his arrest in the US. The Minister alleged that the offence (for which my client was never convicted, and only charged in absentia) constituted a "serious non-political" crime as envisioned by Article 1F(b) of the Convention. The RPD Member took the (stale dated) evidence (containing hearsay and triple hearsay) at face value and failed to properly assess (in my view anyway) the so-called Jayasekara factors.
Not only did the RPD Member accept a document containing triple hearsay, he erred in shifting the onus from the Minister to my client. That is, the Minister has the responsibility of proving his case. Here, they presented a 3 year old (and now 4 year old) statutory declaration from a CBSA officer. They never called the CBSA officer (even though they could have) to present that statutory declaration and to be available for cross-examination. This is Law 101; that failure to call that witness should have resulted in the Member drawing a negative inference against the Minister. Needless to say, the Member did not do so. Instead, the Member pointed out that my client could have made application for the officer to testify. This betrays a fundamental lack of understanding regarding a vacate hearing.
There was no viva voce evidence at this "hearing". The Member relied on a statement baldly advanced by the Minister. The Member then characterized the hearsay statements in that statement as "testimony" on no fewer than eight (8) occasions. This betrays a fundamental misunderstanding as to the treatment of evidence.
The Member simply looked at the warrant issued in absentia without regard to the Jayasekara factors. A simple reading of the Federal Court of Appeal decision in Jayasekara would have intimated the fact that the perspective of the receiving state (ie Canada) is relevant. Simply put, the foreign offense is a hybrid offense in Canada. That means that there is a range of culpability, ranging from 'non-serious' to 'serious'; only the latter would attract sanction.
Like every litigator, I'm not sure which argument (or if any) will find traction tomorrow morning. Uncertainty, inevitable imperfection in the record, the genuine risk to my client, and "anti-chance" (H/T to Trevanian) all of these combine to give rise to an analogy to Clausewitzian Friction:
“Friction is the only concept that more or less corresponds to the factors that distinguish real war from war on paper. The military machine—the army and everything related to it—is basically very simple and therefore seems easy to manage. But we should bear in mind that none of its components is of one piece; each part is composed of individuals, every one of whom retains his
potential of friction.
“This tremendous friction, which cannot, as in mechanics, be reduced to a few points, is everywhere in contact with chance, and brings about effects that cannot be measured, just because they are largely due to chance.
“Action in war is like movement in a resistant element. Just as the simplest and most natural of movements, walking, cannot easily be performed in water, so in war it is difficult for normal efforts to achieve even moderate results.
My friend, Peter Edelmann, was counsel for the Respondent in MCI v. Jose Vicelio Lopez Velasco 2011 FC 627.
It's one of the cases that I'm relying on in my appearance before the Federal Court tomorrow morning.
The facts in Lopez Velasco are the following:
The Legal Analysis
The question for the Court is whether the RPD committed a reviewable error in coming to its decision. The relevant and binding jurisprudence is contained within Jayasekara v. Canada (MCI) 2008 FCA 404. One of the purposes of Article 1F(b) of the Convention is to deny protection to those that don't deserve it. Re-stated, "that the country of refuge can protect its own people by closing its borders to criminals whom it regards as undesirable because of the seriousness of the ordinary crimes which it suspects such criminals of having committed".
The FCA set out a principled approach that needs to be followed in determining whether a crime is "serious" or not. The factors are the following:
The RPD noted that the equivalent offence in Canada was a hybrid offence and thus inferred that that there existed a "range of culpability" and some "sexually motivated crimes against children are not legally "serious" when making a determination regarding exclusion..."
The Minister argued that the RPD was wrong to look at the equivalent Canadian offence which was hybrid. In other words, the RPD should only have looked to the mode of foreign prosecution. In their view, the RPD speculated as to how Mr. Lopez Velasco would have been prosecuted in Canada. The issue is thus "whether the RPD may consider the hybrid character of the equivalent Canadian offence (Lopez Velasco, paragraph 41).
The RPD disagreed. Justice Letourneau noted at paragraph 43 of Jayasekara that while one should have regard to the international standard the perspective of the receiving state cannot be ignored in determining the seriousness of the crime (Lopez Velasco, paragraph 44); Justice Mandamin found that the RPD was entitled to consider the hybrid nature of the equivalent Canadian offence.
The facts of my case are somewhat similar. In contrast to the facts in Lopez Velasco, my client was never convicted of any offence anywhere in the world. He was charged with an offence that he learned of after his arrival and grant of status in Canada. The equivalent Canadian offence, like in Lopez Velasco, is a hybrid one, and therefore resulting in a "range of culpability". In contrast to Lopez Velasco, the RPD in this case did not consider the "perspective of the receiving state" and thus, in my view, committed a reviewable error.
A removal order can be issued against you if you are a Permanent Resident of Canada and have been convicted of an indictable offence in Canada (for the purposes of IRPA, hybrid offences are considered indictable. A removal order can even be prepared if you've been convicted (or there are grounds to believe that you have committed) an equivalent offence outside Canada to one in Canada that would receive 10 years sentence or more.
Tip #1 - if the sentence is more than 6 months, you do not have an appeal to the Immigration Appeal Division. There is, however, a possibility that the officer will exercise his or her discretion not to write a section 44 report (which initiates removal proceedings) against you. You've got one shot. In the immortal words of Eminem:
Look, if you had, one shot, or one opportunity
To seize everything you ever wanted, one moment
Would you capture it?
Or just let it slip, yo
The moment, you own it, you better never let it go
You only get one shot, do not miss your chance to blow
This opportunity comes once in a lifetime, yo
Tip #2 - If the allegation involves you committing or being convicted of an equivalent offence outside Canada, get an experienced immigration lawyer. This scenario gets technical and complicated really quickly. In this case, the Minister bear the onus in establishing the equivalency before the Immigration Division (there is no appeal to the IAD). Frankly, I can't imagine how anyone can navigate the criminal deportation process without a lawyer who's handled these cases.
Tip #3 - If you're heading to the Immigration Appeal Division remember that you bear the burden of proving that there are sufficient humanitarian and compassionate grounds. Start gathering relevant documents to establish the "Ribic & Chieu" factors. This includes evidence of establishment in Canada, community involvement and support, family support and dislocation in the event of removal, best interests of any children affected by removal and hardship upon return.
Tip #4 - Don't take this lightly. Prepare for the hearing. Watch our Youtube video on tips at succeeding in your immigration appeal. (The video is about winning a spousal sponsorship appeal, but a lot of it is relevant to any appeal before the IAD - like observing someone else's appeal). Remember, other than a long shot judicial review to the Federal Court, the appeal to the IAD is it.
Tip #5 - The IAD will only give you a second chance to live in Canada if you demonstrate some degree of remorse (saying sorry is very powerful). Take responsibility for your actions, show insight as to why you did what you did and set out why you won't do it again (rehabilitation).
There has been a lot of heat, sound and fury surrounding the refugee health cuts since they were announced in July 2012. Advocates for refugees, including medical professionals and lawyers were vociferous and united in their opposition to the change in policy. Ministers Kenney and Alexander have been equally steadfast in defending their position.
Justice Ann Mactavish found that the refugee health cuts violated fundamental rights under the Canadian Charter. That decision is apparently to be appealed.
The reductions in health care coverage for refugee claimants under then-Immigration Minister Jason Kenney in 2012 as part of a larger package of refugee policy reforms have often been cited as evidence of the callous parsimony of the Harper Conservative government.
The 2012 refugee healthcare reforms were part of a larger, long-term effort by the Harper government to overhaul immigration and refugee policies, ostensibly to better serve Canada’s economic interests.
For failed refugee claimants, there is either no health coverage or limited emergency health coverage in Australia, Denmark, England, France, Germany, Iceland, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, and Switzerland.
Complaints about health care coverage for refugee claimants fall along three lines: a lack of general health care coverage for those who come from a DCO who are waiting for a determination; outpatient prescriptions and other extended benefits for those from a non-DCO who are waiting for a determination; and a lack of general health care coverage for those who have no legal right to remain in the country.
Of course, with any policy there are important questions about fairness, some of which were raised in the court challenge to the reforms. For example, failed refugee claimants may still hold valid work permits pending expulsion, meaning they could pay taxes to support Canadian healthcare but have no access to it. The reforms also neglect to address health coverage for failed refugee claimants who are stateless or cannot be returned due to other government policies.
While opponents of the reforms may celebrate the recent court finding, a look beyond Canada’s borders suggests it’s time for them – and the courts – to drop the ... rhetoric against the changes.
I'm sure my article will raise some eyebrows within the refugee or immigration bar; a colleague emailed and indicated that this "blowback" is not "so much about the substance of the piece" but "in the choice to associate" with the Fraser Institute. I'm confident that my colleagues will be able to rise above ad hominen concerns and I hope that the piece adds to the discussion.
Jason Kenney thinks that if you can buy beer in BC, you are not a dependent child and thus, starting on August 1, you won't be able to be sponsored by your parents or accompany them to Canada on their immigration application. In the past, unmarried children under 22 could be sponsored to Canada by their parents or could accompany their parents (sponsored by their child in Canada). The definition of 'dependent child' included one that was older than 22 if he or she maintained full time accredited studies.
Keeping a family together is hard as it is, this government, under the guidance of Jason Kenney (and Chris Alexander), just made it harder. Immigrants may be ok with not being able to bring their parents or grandparents to Canada; not sure if they're ok with leaving a 19 year old daughter behind who is studying and hoping that she will be able to find her own way to Canada. The change in policy thus reflects a cultural insensitivity.
It's extremely important to understand the concept of a 'lock-in' date. This site attempts to clarify that concept.
This continues the theme of immigrants as integers: someone has obviously parsed the economic outcomes of <19 years and >19 years.
The Conservative government is continuing it's short arms, deep pockets approach to immigrants and newcomers to Canada.
Citizens or permanent residents of Canada that live here for ten years have access to the Guaranteed Income Supplement, the Spousal Allowance and the Survivor Allowance. Parents and grandparents that are sponsored to Canada, however, will, after passage of Bill C-31, not be able to access these benefits until 20 years pass after their arrival in Canada.
Jason Kenney pointed to an increase in sponsored seniors utilizing social services after the ten year mark as justification for a doubling of the sponsorship period. A Globe and Mail article discussed his rationale here. Interestingly, according to Kenney, the number one source for parents/grandparents sponsored to Canada is the Punjab region of India.
In my opinion, the Bill does not adequately account for unanticipated and unexpected changes. What happens if the sponsor is unemployed or underemployed or suffers a traumatic injury or serious illness and the sponsored person descends into poverty? There are limited exceptions, including if the sponsor dies, goes into bankruptcy, is in jail or his convicted of an offence against the sponsored person.
An important component of Canada's social safety net is about to be eliminated by this government and the consequences will be borne by some of the most vulnerable in our society, elderly immigrants.