The Minister of IRCC, Ahmed Hussen, has announced a two-year pilot program which allows some immigrants to sponsor family members who were previously barred under the family class sponsorship due to not being declared. This new policy shows a shift in the government's stance towards a more flexible approach and applies to sponsors who came as refugees or as accompanying family members. However, it does not apply to everyone and can result in potential misrepresentation and removal from Canada for those excluded. The new policy eliminates much of section 117(9)(d) of the IRPR and taking enforcement action against sponsors may not make sense given that many of them can now sponsor the previously omitted family member.
The Minister of IRCC, Mr. Ahmed Hussen, recently announced a two-year pilot program which allows some immigrants to sponsor their undeclared, non-accompanying family members. These individuals would have been previously barred under the family class sponsorship pursuant to section 117(9)(d) of the IRPR.
This pilot is significant as it shows the government’s changing mindset towards giving more flexibility to the current harsh regime set out in 117(9)(d). Announcing this new pilot, Minister Hussen said that the “federal government recognizes that the regulation was unfair” and that, “newcomers who failed to declare immediate family members as they first came to Canada were barred to sponsor them. Today, we right that wrong.”
The new policy applies to sponsors that came as refugees or as accompanying family members. However, the policy leaves others out in the cold. One class gets to sponsor even previously undisclosed family members; the other class face potential misrepresentation and removal from Canada. This entails the writing and referral of a s.44 report; a hearing at the ID and thereafter an appeal to the IAD.
The new policy obviates much of s.117(9)(d) -and so it makes little sense to take enforcement action against sponsors given that, on the other hand, many of them can now sponsor the omitted family member.
Nothing is served by treating individuals differently in this context.