July 14, 2022
Federal Court Grants Judicial Review of H&C Application Refusal
Yesterday, our office received wonderful news from the Federal Court that the Honourable Justice Ahmed had rendered a decision with regards to a hearing at which one of our litigation lawyers, Ms. Athena Portokalidis, appeared in April 2022. The Application for Leave and for Judicial Review concerned the refusal of an application for permanent residence within Canada on humanitarian and compassionate (“H&C”) grounds.
The Applicant, who has been in Canada for nearly a decade, first arrived on a work permit with the promise of an employment offer, which unfortunately fell through after his arrival. He was devastated as he left his young family behind in his country of citizenship to seek employment and improve their quality of life. Instead of returning, he remained in Canada and despite his best efforts, fell out of status. While here, the Applicant suffered from serious medical issues which thankfully have been managed through treatment and ongoing care.
He applied for the H&C application, which was unfortunately refused in May 2021. At the Federal Court, Ms. Portokalidis argued the Officer’s decision to refuse the application was unreasonable as the Officer did not meaningfully grapple with the risks the Applicant would face upon a return to his country of origin given his health and the systemic issues of healthcare there, as well as challenges in securing employment. Justice Ahmed agreed in part, noting the Officer’s decision was unreasonable in erroneously using the Applicant’s resourcefulness and resiliency against him and inappropriately focused on ways in which the Applicant could mitigate hardship he and his family would face, rather than weighing the risks associated with his removal from Canada.
Ms. Portokalidis also advanced that the Officer’s analysis of the best interests of the children impacted by the decision, the Applicant’s daughters, was flawed. Justice Ahmed agreed, noting the Officer’s decision did not articulate what would be in the children’s best interests before weighing those interests against other elements in the application, and instead improperly focused on whether the children’s basic needs could be met.
We are thrilled with this result and wish the Applicant and his family the best. The full Federal Court decision can be read here.