Our Recent Immigration Success Stories
At BLG we are privileged to work on behalf of many wonderful people, companies and associations. We represent immigration applicants from far outside Canada from the time they step foot into the country’s airport waiting rooms all the way to the Supreme Court of Canada.
Our immigration clients often tell us after their case is concluded it would have helped to know of similar stories that are real and not just what you hear on the street. So every month we post a few stories to celebrate our immigration success stories and offer some comfort to those who will soon embark on a similar journey . . .
Young Professional Granted PR Under the Express Entry System
Our office was approached by a young professional to manage her permanent residence application under the Express Entry system. We worked diligently to complete and submit her permanent residence application pursuant to the Express Entry category – Canadian Experience Class within the deadline provided to our client by Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).
Only two months after submission, we received a request for original passport for IRCC to place her permanent resident visa inside. Her original passport was submitted to IRCC and we expect our client to get landed in the near future.
Refusal and Five-Year Ban From Canada Overturned; Family’s PR Application Approved
We succeeded in settling a Federal Court case and overturning the refusal of a Federal Skilled Worker application for permanent residence on grounds of misrepresentation. The Visa Office concluded, after conducting on-site verifications, that the applicant had misrepresented his work experience. As a result, the application was refused and the applicant and his family were deemed inadmissible to Canada for five years.
The case was settled soon after our initial arguments were filed, and the application was sent back to the visa office for redetermination. After assisting our client in updating his application, he recently was informed that his application had been approved. He and his family will soon obtain their permanent residence visas and be able to come to Canada for the first time.
Couple United in Canada Permanently After Many Years of Uncertainty
We were successful on a matter that dates back to 2011, that began with a Record Suspension for the applicant, then sponsorship by the spouse of the applicant, and then finally an Authorization to return to Canada for previous removal from Canada. The couple are now united in Canada permanently after many years of being in limbo.
Express Entry Canadian Experience Class Application Approved in 3 Months
We recently assisted a young professional to apply for permanent residence who had acquired multiple periods of part-time skilled work with various employers in Canada, as well as periods of non-qualifying self-employment while on a post graduate work permit. Our office worked to ensure that his qualifying periods of part-time work experience and variable hours of work were clearly set out in our submissions and the supporting documentation, in order to demonstrate that he met the one-year work experience requirements of the Canadian Experience Class. His application was processed smoothly and was recently approved, in just three months after submission.
Citizenship Application Approved in Four Months!
Our office was approached by a young individual who was seeking our assistance with his citizenship application. Our office prepared his package and our submissions and supporting documents were accepted by Immigration, Refugee, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). His application was recently approved, and he was invited to take the Oath of Citizenship. Despite the longer processing times, his application was approved by IRCC in four months.
Permanent Residence Application Refusal for Medical Inadmissibility Re-Opened
A family whose permanent residence application was refused for the second time last year on grounds of medical inadmissibility retained our office to assist with challenging the decision. Extensive submissions were made detailing the errors in the submissions. The application was successfully sent back for re-determination with the client having an opportunity to provide additional evidence, and will now be decided by a senior officer.
Parental Sponsorship Granted After Medical Inadmissibility Finding Was Overturned!
We represented a family in seeking to overcome a medical inadmissibility finding for a sponsored parent, having sought an early resolution with Counsel for the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada. This was successful without having to wait for, and advance to a full hearing, which can take years. This was all the more important as the sponsorship application had originally been filed nearly 10 years ago. We worked together with the family providing guidance in securing necessary medical records and made submissions to the Minister’s Counsel seeking to have the Embassy Officers review their refusal. This was successful and the Embassy withdrew their original admissibility finding, overturned the refusal, and the applicant recently received her visa to travel and settle in Canada.
Client Granted Authorization to Return to Canada to Visit Relatives
Our office was approached by a client who was seeking our assistance to return to Canada. In the late 80s he arrived to Canada and submitted a refugee claim. Unfortunately, his claim was refused and an exclusion order was issued against him. Unintentionally he failed to notify Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC)/Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) when he departed from Canada and as a result his departure was not formally executed at that time.
Years later he tried to enter Canada to visit his relatives, and only at that time he learned from CBSA officials that there was a pending immigration warrant for him and an unexecuted deportation order remained outstanding against him.
We worked diligently to complete and submit his application for Authorization to Return to Canada (ARC), in order to facilitate his travels to visit relatives in Canada. Despite some difficulties in obtaining documents confirming his departure, our submissions were accepted. His application was approved within six months.
Four Temporary Resident Visa Refusals and Two Misrepresentation Findings Overturned
We were recently successful in Federal Court in overturning four Temporary Resident Visa refusals and findings of misrepresentation made against a husband and wife who had a lengthy positive immigration history in Canada.
The couple was seeking to return to Canada, where they held valid temporary study and work permits. They submitted initial TRV applications to the Visa Office, but neglected to mention on their application forms that they had been refused Canadian visas in the past, leading a Visa Officer to believe that they had purposely misrepresented their immigration history. The couple responded to a procedural fairness letter explaining that any omissions were unintentional and invited the Visa Office to verify whether the information they had provided was correct. While awaiting a final decision from one Visa Office, the couple flew to another country to visit a sick relative. While there, they submitted new TRV applications indicating that they needed to urgently return to Canada.
All four applications were refused, with the first Visa Office finding the applicants inadmissible to Canada for five years for having misrepresented their immigration history. The Visa Office also alleged that the couple was trying to circumvent this misrepresentation finding by submitting new TRV applications while their initial applications were still in process. The other Visa Office refusals also alleged that the female applicant had contravened conditions of her study permit. These refusals were devastating for the couple, who had lived in Canada since 2006 and were awaiting a decision on their permanent residence application.
All four decisions were challenged in Federal Court, and after complex written pleadings and a lengthy hearing, we were successful in overturning all four refusals and the misrepresentation findings were set aside. The family will now have the opportunity to obtain their TRVs, return to Canada, and pursue their application for permanent residence.
Medical Officer Withdraws Inadmissibility Finding for Applicant on Immigration Appeal
We were recently successful in representing a family in seeking to overcome a medical inadmissibility finding for an elderly applicant on an immigration appeal. The time that is required to await a hearing date with the Immigration and Refugee Board is routinely quite lengthy. As such, we worked together with the Sponsor, providing guidance in securing necessary medical records and made submissions to the Minister’s Counsel while awaiting a hearing, seeking an early resolution, in order to have the Medical Officer review their refusal. Following submissions, the Medical Officer withdrew their original admissibility finding, overturned the refusal, and is presently processing the permanent residence application to completion. The family will soon be reunited in Canada after having begun the process nearly 10 years ago.
Work Permit Application Refusal Re-Opened
A young man was recently refused a work permit extension application and retained our office to assist with having the decision re-opened. We contacted the immigration case review office, at which time extensive submissions were made. The application was successfully re-opened and his work permit was recently approved and issued. Our client is now preparing his permanent residence application.
Comprehensive Mitigation Plan Addressing the Use of Medical/Social Services Secures PR
We are pleased to advise that after many years of advocating on behalf of our clients, we were successful in assisting a dependent family member first restore temporary valid legal status, and then shortly thereafter secure permanent residence. The dependent family member had an intellectual disability, and following preparation and submission of a comprehensive Mitigation Plan addressing the use of both medical and social services in Canada, permanent residence was granted.
Complex Spousal Sponsorship Appeal Approved!
We were thrilled to receive a positive result on a complex spousal sponsorship appeal involving a long immigration history. In this case, the strength of the evidence made all the difference. With extensive documentation filed to explain the Applicant’s complicated past and corroborate the genuine nature of this relationship, the Minister consented to allowing the appeal. We could not be happier for this couple and their two young daughters!
Out of Status Caregiver Issued Work Permit and Permanent Residence Finalized
A caregiver who had completed two years under the former live-in caregiver program submitted her permanent residence application. Unfortunately, while waiting for her permanent residence application to be finalized, she inadvertently lost her temporary resident status in Canada. Canadian immigration advised the caregiver that without temporary resident status, her application for permanent residence would be refused.
She approached our office for assistance regarding her situation. Although she had been out of status for over two years, with our extensive submissions, the caregiver was issued a new work permit and her permanent residence application continues to be processed. Her permanent residence application is now in the final stages and we anticipate she will receive her confirmation of permanent residence shortly.
Refused Live-In Caregiver Permanent Residency Application Successfully Challenged in Federal Court!
On behalf of the Applicant we argued that she was unrepresented throughout the application process and Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) conceded in the file notes that inconsistent and unclear requests were made of the Applicant with respect to additional information regarding her husband, one of her overseas dependent. Strikingly though, despite not explaining to the Applicant why the information she provided was insufficient, what steps she had to follow and the consequences of a refusal for non compliance, the Respondent summarily refused the application and we argued this was a breach of procedural fairness. The application included the Applicants two children and had taken years to process. She endured a six year separation from her children while she pursued Canadian status. We also submitted to the Court that live- in caregiver (LIC) applicants are often vulnerable, have little means and have made an important contribution through their work and that the goal of the LIC program is to facilitate the attainment of permanent residence status.
The Federal Court agreed that the goal of the LIC program is to facilitate the attainment of permanent residence status and recognized the valuable services LICs provide. In finding that the Applicant’s procedural rights were breached the matter was sent back to be re-determined. We are delighted by the outcome and hope to see the Applicant and her family reunited soon.
Canadian Citizenship Granted Despite IRCC’s Misrepresentation Finding
An individual became the subject of (then) Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) investigations on a citizenship application for misrepresentation; specifically for failing to disclose information. CIC’s investigations revealed criminally related information, however after our investigations, we represented the individual in proving that he had not misrepresented any material fact, nor did he have any criminal convictions. This individual has since had his application processed and was pleased to take his oath as a new Canadian citizen.
Immigration Work Permit Status Issue Overcome and Permanent Residency Granted in Two Months!
A young man who had received a qualifying (LMIA based) job offer from a Canadian employer, approached us for assistance with his permanent residence and work permit applications. Unfortunately, having previously submitted applications which were returned unprocessed and refused, he had inadvertently worked without authorization and lost his status in Canada.
With our assistance and extension submissions, we were able to assist the young man to submit his permanent residence application explaining his unauthorized work and overstay. We are happy to report that his application for permanent residence was recently approved in just two short months.
Work Permit Granted Despite Cumulative Duration Rule
We assisted a client whose work permit was to expire and it appeared that he could not extend it due to the four-year limit. According to the cumulative duration rule introduced on 01 April 2011, foreign workers in Canada (with some exceptions) can only work for four years, after which they have to wait four years in order to be granted another work permit. Upon review of his matter, we discovered that he was unemployed for about one year during the four years, and as such, was entitled to an extension. We requested an extension of his work permit based on strong evidence of his unemployment. We were happy to learn that his permit was extended as requested.
Submissions Grant Study Permit Despite Past Refusals
This week’s featured success story includes that of a young man who had previously submitted five separate study permit applications, all of which had been denied over the course of three years. With the help of our immigration team, our office was able to successfully challenge the negative decision at Federal court. With our assistance, our client was recently issued his visa to travel to Canada and subsequent study permit to begin his studies.
Extensive Submissions Grant Settlement Offer for Inadmissibility Finding
We were happy to receive another settlement offer from the Department of Justice on a Federal Court matter scheduled for judicial review. Following receipt of our arguments, which highlighted a number of errors in the Visa Officer’s decision to refuse the application, the Department of Justice agreed to settle the matter and have the application redetermined by a different Officer. This is excellent news for our client, who was found to be inadmissible to Canada on problematic grounds.
Permanent Residence Granted Despite Criminal Inadmissibility Finding
We were recently successful on a permanent residence application that had been previously refused for criminal inadmissibility. Following careful and extensive research, it was discovered that the applicant may have been incorrectly identified as inadmissible. As such, a new application was filed together with detailed and strong submissions in connection with the applicant’s admissibility to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada. This ultimately resulted in the applicant receiving permanent residence!
Sponsorship Granted Despite Criminal Inadmissibility Finding
We assisted a person who was being sponsored to Canada under Common-Law Spouse Class. After the application was submitted, the applicant was charged and subsequently convicted of a criminal offence in Canada. The applicant was therefore facing a refusal due to criminal inadmissibility. We were pleased to learn that after our extensive submissions, IRCC granted status to the applicant under humanitarian and compassionate grounds!
Misrepresentation Finding Rejected by Federal Court!
Bellissimo Law Group was retained to challenge a misrepresentation decision in Federal Court and we were successful with our efforts. The Federal Court agreed that the misrepresentation finding was unreasonable, concluding that the visa office had failed to justify their decision and had not properly considered all of the evidence provided with the application, including the initial documents in which the applicant had disclosed her promotion and later documents confirming her four years of work experience. The decision was therefore set aside, the bar for misrepresentation lifted, and the application was to be returned to the visa office for redetermination by another officer.
Detailed Submissions Grant Spousal Sponsorship Despite Criminal Inadmissibility Finding
We recently worked on a Spousal Sponsorship application for a family that had been living overseas for a number of years. We assisted them in presenting the sponsor’s re-settlement plan, together with the family’s settlement plan, as well as established the spousal relationship. In addition, the applicant was criminally inadmissible for a matter dating back quite some time that did not have a direct criminal equivalence in Canada. With careful and detailed submissions advocating for rehabilitation, the application was recently successful and the family members granted permanent residence to facilitate their move to Canada.
Extensive Submissions Grant Child Status in Canada Under H&C Grounds
We were successful on a sponsorship application for a child that was not disclosed and therefore not examined at the time of his father’s application for immigration to Canada. We made extensive submissions on humanitarian and compassionate grounds and the application was approved!
Study Permit Application Approved in Express Time!
A hopeful student who wished to commence her Master’s degree in Canada approached our office for assistance with her study permit application. Although her proposed Master’s program was a natural progression of studies from her former Bachelor’s degree, it was completely unrelated to the field of her previous studies and the work she had completed over the past decade. We assisted her to submit an application for a study permit, making strong submissions that she was a genuine student, irrespective of her change in field of studies. Her study permit was recently approved within a one week period!
Thorough Submissions Grant Client Temporary Resident Permit
We were successful in assisting one of our long-term clients in securing a new Temporary Resident Permit, which are difficult to obtain. By partnering with our clients and developing thorough and compelling submissions, we were successful in our efforts. Our client was relieved that despite material changes in his life, one of those changes would not include having to leave Canada.
Family Class PR Application Approved in Express Time!
We recently assisted a member of a family class, the spouse of a Canadian citizen, applying for permanent residency from overseas. With our extensive submissions, the application was approved in express time. We sent the application to CPC Mississauga on 16 March 2016 and on 28 Apr 2016, we received a notification that a permanent resident visa was ready!
Extensive Submissions Grant Study Permit After Previous Refusal
Our firm was approached by a young woman who’s most recent study permit extension application had been refused. She had commenced her studies in Canada prior to the new changes to study permits in June 2014 and held a study permit for a school which was not on the Designated Learning Institute list. She had only one semester of school remaining, and was devastated that she would be unable to complete her studies and qualify for a post-graduate work permit. Our firm made extension submissions on behalf of our client and was able to restore her status in Canada. Her accompanying co-op work permit was also approved along with her study permit. She will now be able to complete her program and have the opportunity to apply for a post-graduate work permit!
Provincial Nominee Certificates Reinstated to Several Clients in Saskatchewan
We were recently retained by several clients in Saskatchewan who had their Provincial Nominee certificates revoked well after they had been issued and the clients Permanent Resident Applications were in process. The case presented many challenges, including jurisdictional issues, as we had opened cases against the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration as well as the Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program with the assistance of a lawyer in Saskatchewan. In the end, the clients Provincial Nominee certificates were reinstated and we were able to have the clients Permanent Residence Applications reopened.
PR Status Granted After Medical Inadmissibility Finding
We were recently successful on an application for permanent residence, which involved a young child who had a rare and serious medical condition. Had the medical admissibility assessment not been specifically individualized to the particulars of his condition, i.e.: stage in treatment and prognosis, etc., the entire family would have been found to cause an excessive demand in Canada, and would have been refused permanent residence. Following extensive research and consultation with specialists, a Mitigation Plan and submissions detailing the appropriate condition, together with corroborating research, was presented, reviewed by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, and approved. This family is now pleased to call themselves permanent residents of Canada.
Sponsorship Appeal Approved for Deserving Couple
After the visa office refused his application to sponsor his wife to Canada, we were retained to help with our client’s appeal. We filed volumes of evidence to the Immigration Appeal Division supporting the genuine nature of this relationship, and prepared our client and his wife to provide oral testimony at the hearing. Despite the Minister’s extensive cross-examination, we demonstrated through strong testimony and legal submissions that this was a genuine marriage, exposing key errors in the visa officer’s decision. The appeal was allowed, and our client is thrilled that his wife will soon be joining him in Canada!
Permanent Residence Granted Under the Express Entry Category FSW
Our office was approached by a young professional to manage her permanent residence application under the Express Entry system. Our client had extensive foreign work experience that she wished to rely on, however, only held various deficient employment documents to prove this work. She was unable to obtain an employment letter with the required information listed. The client had received an Invitation to Apply (ITA) under the Express Entry (EE) category – Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) and had 60 days to comply with the document requirements.
With the documents that were in the client’s possession, we were able to make submissions to show that taken together, the documents as a whole met the immigration requirements. Our submissions and her documents were accepted by CIC and her application for permanent residence was recently approved!
Strong Submissions Grant PR Status Under H&C Grounds
Our firm assisted a client who had been out of status for a considerably long period of time in Canada. We submitted an application under the Humanitarian and Compassionate Grounds (H&C) category. We prepared strong submissions highlighting our client’s establishment in Canada, her involvement in the community and the disproportionate hardship she would face if she returned to her birth country, given her extended absence and lack of ties. We recently received correspondence that the application has been approved!
Status in Canada Granted on Humanitarian and Compassionate Grounds
Our client successfully landed this week after a number of attempts to secure status in Canada. Following a failed refugee claim and refusal of his application based on humanitarian and compassionate grounds (H&C), he retained our office to complete a second H&C application. This application highlighted his strong establishment in Canada, his commendable contribution to Canadian society, and the significant hardship he would face upon return to his country of origin, which has suffered decades of civil strife. We are very pleased that our client can now officially call Canada home!
Applicant Granted Study Permit
Recently, our firm assisted with an individual’s study permit application. The matter was quite challenging considering that the applicant had applied on his own twice in the past, and was refused in both instances. However, with our submissions, we are very pleased with the end result, in which the applicant has successfully obtained his study permit.
Extensive Submissions Grant Family Permanent Residence in Canada
We were recently successful on an application for permanent residence, based on Humanitarian and Compassionate considerations, for a family who had been living in Canada for over 10 years. In addition to the usual issues that can arise when individuals are in Canada without status, there was also a complicated medical inadmissibility matter under consideration. Ultimately, following extensive submissions, the requested exemptions were granted and the family is thrilled to call themselves permanent residents of Canada.
Submissions Help Grant Work Permit and ARC Approval
Our office was approached by a young man with respect to his options for returning to Canada. He had been previously deported from Canada, however, had a valid job offer as a caregiver. After assisting his employer to obtain a positive Labour Market Impact Assessment, we submitted an application for a work permit with an accompanying Authorization to Return (ARC) to Canada for the young man.
We made strong submissions with respect to the circumstances surrounding his departure from Canada, the need for him to return to Canada, as well as the steps that he had taken since his departure to upgrade his education and find work in his chosen field. Our submissions and supporting documents were accepted by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada and both his applications for work permit and ARC were recently approved.
Exception to Conditional Permanent Residence Granted
A young woman was granted exception to the condition on her permanent residence status, which necessitated she reside with her sponsor for two years after landing in Canada as a permanent resident.
Amendments applicable to spouses, common-law and conjugal partners who have been in a relationship with their sponsor for two years or less, and have no children with them at the time of their application’s submission, came into effect on 25 October 2012. CIC imposed conditions on the sponsored partner to cohabit with their sponsor for two years from the day on which they became a permanent resident, or risk having their PR status revoked. The goal of the new law is to avoid immigration through fraudulent means, such as marriages of convenience. Fortunately, there is an exception to this rule in cases of spousal abuse or neglect where sponsored persons cannot satisfy the two-year requirement. One of our clients faced the same difficult situation, in which she was abused by her sponsor and falsely reported to CIC of a bad faith marriage, in the hopes that she would get deported. Our office provided CIC with documentation, demonstrating evidence of sponsor abuse, and requesting that exception to the condition be granted. The officer made a positive determination within two weeks and our client has now attained regular permanent resident status in Canada!
Submissions Help Grant PR Under Express Entry
Our office was approached by a young professional to manage his permanent residence application under the Express Entry system. He was issued an Invitation to Apply (ITA) under the Express Entry (EE) category – Federal Skilled Worker (FSW). The applicant declared foreign work experience in his EE profile, which he received points for and required to pursue his ITA. Unfortunately, he did not have the required proof of this employment in the form that Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) required.
We assisted the applicant to compile other related documents in order to provide his foreign work experience, as well as made submissions in this regard. Our submissions and alternative documents were accepted by CIC and his application for permanent residence was recently approved.
Appeal Allowed in Complex Case of Medical Inadmissibility!
We were very pleased to obtain a positive result on a complex appeal involving medical inadmissibility. The Appellant applied to sponsor his mother to Canada, and his two siblings (who were dependent on their mother due to their age) were also included. Following immigration medical exams, the Appellant’s brother learned that he had a health condition which would likely cause an excessive demand on Canadian health or social services. By the time this came to light, however, the brother was an adult who no longer wished to immigrate to Canada. The Appellant therefore asked that his brother be removed from the application. The visa officer did not allow the Appellant’s brother to be removed from the application because he was locked in as a dependent, and refused the application for the entire family because of his medical inadmissibility.
Our office argued that the visa officer committed a legal error in not allowing the Appellant’s brother to be removed from the application before a final decision was made. We provided detailed legal submissions citing relevant legislation and jurisprudence, as well as supporting evidence. The Immigration Appeal Division allowed the appeal in chambers, without requiring the attendance of the parties. We are very pleased for the Appellant and his family!
Canadian Citizenship Granted After Lengthy Process!
A long time client was recently granted Canadian Citizenship after beginning the citizenship process back in 2010. Initially, residence issues were presented, and once settled, the matter was tied up for years in a CIC (Citizenship and Immigration Canada) investigation due to believed travel outside of Canada. We provided fulsome evidence to support the Applicant’s position and submitted a demand letter to CIC to process the application to conclusion. Only following persistent and tenacious follow-ups with CIC, was the Applicant able to finally secure citizenship. Although it was a lengthy process, we are happy to have assisted in securing citizenship.
Couple Reunited After Successful Sponsorship Application!
An application for permanent resident status, based on a spousal sponsorship, was approved within 6 months! The application was sent to Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) in the middle of July 2015 and by the end of November 2015 the visa was ready. At the time of filing the application, for this particular office, the processing time was 28 months. The case faced challenges, as the sponsor was a young person who was in the process of completing her schooling and searching for employment. Concerns were raised by the visa office regarding the financial situation of the sponsor and her ability to fulfill her sponsorship obligations. The application was approved after additional submissions were made, addressing the financial admissibility. We are very pleased that this young couple will be reunited in Canada very soon.
H&C Approval Ends Hardship For Couple
A couple, both out of status for several years in Canada, approached us for assistance with their options for permanent residence. Our office assisted the couple to submit applications under the Humanitarian and Compassionate Grounds (H&C) category. We prepared strong submissions highlighting the disproportionate hardship the couple would face if they returned to their respective birth countries. Additionally, that it was in the best interest of their Canadian born children for the couple to remain in Canada.
Just over three months after submission, we received first stage approval on the couple’s H&C application. Our clients have since completed their medical and criminal checks and have now received their permanent residence confirmation dates.
Permanent Resident Status Secured!
We were recently successfully in securing permanent resident status for a spouse of a Canadian citizen who had previously been refused admission into Canada to reunite with her spouse on more than one occasion and had a history that included a criminal conviction, although not serious.
Family Reunited After Medical Inadmissibility Obstacle!
We represented a family who sponsored their parents to permanently reunite in Canada. Citizenship and Immigration Canada was of the opinion that one of the Applicants was medically inadmissible. Their findings were incorrect, and only after a difficult battle and the presentation of two separate Mitigation Plans providing evidence that no excessive demand would result in Canada, the family will finally be reunited in Canada after 7 long years.
A Long Path to Permanent Residence
In 2009 we were retained to assist a young man with his refugee claim. He was in an interfaith marriage, and feared that he would be returned to his home country. The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) was involved in the refugee hearing, as there were also security concerns. In 2011, following interviews with the CBSA and the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, he was granted status as a Convention Refugee. Now safe from being returned to his country, the assessment of permanent residence began.
While on a road trip with friends in Canada, this refugee was arrested for theft together with his friends in 2012. While waiting in the car, a friend stole some items from a store in another province. We updated Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC), and advised that these charges would delay his permanent residence. A criminal lawyer was required, and in 2013 the criminal charges were withdrawn. We again updated CIC and waited for his application to be processed. By the end of 2014, there was no progress. We commenced an application for mandamus – demanding that CIC process his application for permanent residence – with the Federal Court of Canada in 2015. We filed arguments demonstrating that, even with the delay in processing caused by the criminal charges, CIC was taking too long. Before the Court proceedings were concluded, our client was invited to become a permanent resident of Canada.
Express Federal Skilled Worker Results!
Our office was approached by a young professional to manage his permanent residence application under the Express Entry system. He had extensive work and travel history. He also held complicated financial records, which were required to prove his ability to become financially settled in Canada. We worked diligently to complete and submit his permanent residence application pursuant to the Express Entry category – Federal Skilled Worker Program within a one month period. His application was therefore submitted well within the 60 day deadline provided to our client by Citizenship and Immigration Canada.
Only four months after submission, we received a request for original passport for CIC to place his permanent resident visa inside. His original passport will be submitted to CIC and we expect our client to become landed in the near future.
Successful Rehabilitation Application following Legal Submissions and Interview Preparation!
Our office was retained to assist an applicant with a highly complex immigration history. Seeking to come to Canada as a member of the family class, he also required an application for criminal rehabilitation. Our office prepared detailed submissions and supporting evidence which demonstrated that this applicant maintains a stable and productive lifestyle and is not at risk of further criminality.
Following review of the rehabilitation application, CIC called him in for an interview at the visa office. We worked with the applicant to prepare for this interview, which ultimately led to a successful result. With the application for rehabilitation approved, he is one step closer to coming to Canada.
Successful Express Entry Ontario Nomination
We assisted a client in submitting an application under the new Ontario Provincial Nominee – Human Capital Priorities Steam, shortly after the category was opened in the summer of 2015. The client had received a notification of Interest in their Express Entry profile.
This application was recently approved and a Nomination Certificate issued. This Nomination Certificate increased our clients score by an additional 600 points under the Express Entry profile. With his increased score, we expect that he will receive an Invitation to Apply for permanent residence in the next Express Entry round of invitations.
Overcoming a Medical Inadmissibility
We were recently successful in assisting our client’s family in overcoming a medical inadmissibility finding for a dependent. Had the dependent been found to be medically inadmissible, the entire family would be rendered inadmissible as well.
Initially, the permanent residence application was filed under the Investor Program which was in effect at the time. With the expectation of the the Investor Program to be fazed out, we presented an application to the Federal Court. The intention for the application was to compel Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) to process the application prior to the law changing. The strategy was successful and the application was processed.
However, before finalizing the application, CIC found that one of the dependents was determined to require social services. These were expected to result in an excessive demand. We assisted in advocating for the family on the appropriate medical classification of the condition, as well as providing a detailed Mitigation Plan and legal submissions to overcome CIC’s determination. Following the Visa and Medical Officers’ review(s) of the submissions and Plan, CIC deemed the plan to avoid the creation of excessive demand to be a viable one.
Creating EXPRESS Results
Our office assisted a client submit his permanent residence application under the Canadian Experience Class – Express Entry stream in August 2015. Within less than a two month period his permanent residence application was approved and a request for his original passport was made. His original passport has been submitted to CIC and we expect our client to be landed in the near future.
Positive Decision – Criminal Rehabilitation Application
Last week our office received a positive decision on a very challenging application for criminal rehabilitation. The applicant hopes to one day be sponsored to Canada to join his wife and sons who are Canadian citizens. However, a criminal act he committed decades ago rendered him criminally inadmissible to Canada. The first step in reuniting this family was to convince Citizenship and Immigration Canada that he is rehabilitated, thereby overcoming his inadmissibility. Although it was a challenging application to prepare, as his immigration history is complex and spans many years, we were ultimately successful and could not be happier for this family.
Federal Court Upholds Grant of Citizenship
Earlier this year a young woman’s citizenship application was approved by a Citizenship Judge. Instead of being called to take the Citizenship Oath, she was notified that Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) did not agree with the decision, and were seeking to have the Citizenship Judge’s decision overturned by the Federal Court. CIC argued that they had not seen the woman’s complete passports, and so were unable to confirm whether she had been in Canada as and when declared.
The woman explained that she had brought her passports to meet with the Citizenship Judge, and that he had reviewed the documents. Our office reviewed the complete passports; there was nothing inconsistent with what she had declared. We argued that the Citizenship Judge, and not CIC, was responsible for making the decision. The Citizenship Judge had the information required to make that decision and did not have any concerns with the woman’s credibility. The Federal Court agreed with our arguments, meaning that the young woman will be called for the Citizenship Oath and will become a citizen of Canada.
Work Permit Approved!
On-line application for work permit was refused alleging that the proper processing fee (open work permit holder fee of $100) was not paid. We requested a reconsideration as the fee was paid. We just received a positive decision on the application and the work permit was back dated.
Ontario PNP Nomination Re-Issued!
Our office assisted a client with respect to the re-issuance of an Ontario Provincial Nominee Program (“PNP”) nomination certificate. In October 2012, our client received a positive nomination certificate and submitted his permanent residence application before expiry. Unfortunately, his application was deemed incomplete and was unprocessed. Due to some mailing delays, our client did not receive the return of his permanent residence application package until over two years later, well past the PNP nomination certificate expiry date. The category he had been nominated under was also no longer available.
Our office assisted this client to make submissions to Ontario PNP to have his nomination certificate re-issued. Even though over two years had passed since the issuance of his original nomination certificate, the Ontario PNP office agreed to re-issue our client’s PNP certificate and he was able to re-submit his permanent residence application. His application has already passed completeness check and we expect our client to receive the approval of his permanent resident in the near future.
PR Granted Following Initial Medical Inadmissibility!
We were recently successful in assisting our client in receiving permanent residence for their entire family, following an initial medical inadmissibility finding for an autistic child whose education would have resulted in an excessive demand finding for the entire family. We provided advice and assisted in sourcing out a qualified private educator in the appropriate province. Once obtained we developed an appropriate education plan that was to be privately funded, following the appropriate legal test. The detailed plan together with the detailed and particularized legal submissions were well presented, and ultimately successful. The family is pleased to call Canada their home today!
From Refusal to Successful Study Permit!
We were approached by a client who applied for extension of his work permit on his own and was refused. He was a participant of the Alberta special pilot project and without having a valid Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA), an extension of his work permit could not have been granted. With our help, he managed to restore his status and change it to a study permit without having to leave Canada. He will be starting school in September!
Multiple Settlements Received from the Department of Justice!
We were very pleased to receive offers of settlement from the Department of Justice on a number of recent applications to the Federal Court of Canada. With the Department of Justice agreeing to the settle these matters after reviewing our legal arguments, this concludes the Federal Court process without the need for a hearing. This is fantastic news for our clients!
Visitor Visa Issued After Previous Refusals!
A woman who wished to visit her mother in Canada contacted our office after having been refused for a visitor visa on three separate occasions. Her applications were refused for various reasons ranging from financial grounds, lack of family ties in her home country, and purposes of visit. The women’s mother was a permanent resident of Canada whom she had not seen in over nine years.
We assisted the young woman to re-submit a new visitor visa application for herself and for her youngest child. Our application contained extension submissions on family (re)unification as well as detailing the women’s established life and stable financial circumstances in her home country. Our submissions were accepted and passport requests for visa issuance were requested by immigration.
IAD Sponsorship Appeal – Settled & Allowed!
Following the refusal of their spousal sponsorship for criminality, a young couple retained our office to assist with their appeal to the Immigration Appeal Division. Our office assisted the couple in gathering evidence both of the husband’s rehabilitation and the genuine nature of their relationship. The evidence gathered was conclusive and compelling. Upon a review of that evidence, the Hearing’s Officer was willing to accept that there were sufficient humanitarian and compassionate considerations and recommended to the IAD that the appeal be allowed without a hearing.
Caregiver LMIA Application Approved!
Our office assisted a client who wished to hire a caregiver for his elderly father under the new caregiver Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) requirements. Given all the changes that occurred to this program, it was essential that all advertising and forms were submitted properly. We assisted our client in completing recruitment, submitting an LMIA application, and making submissions as to why a foreign hire was required. Despite the fact that there is currently a high refusal rate for caregiver LMIA applications, our submissions were accepted and his application was approved.
Challenging H&C Approved!
We were delighted to receive a positive decision on a challenging application for permanent residence based on humanitarian and compassionate (“H&C”) grounds. Our client’s history was complex, and a great deal of evidence was required to support the case. After submitting the extensive package of materials and comprehensive legal submissions, CIC agreed that Canada really is home for this deserving applicant who has managed to turn his life around in a remarkable way.
Record of Suspension Granted, Applicant No Longer Inadmissible
We prepared a sponsorship application as well as a Record Suspension application (previously Pardon). Unfortunately, the Record Suspension processing timelines were lengthy and the Officer made a decision, refusing the sponsorship application for inadmissibility, before a decision could be made on the Record Suspension. This would require the Applicant to leave Canada. Our office did anything and everything we could to prevent this from happening, encouraging the officer to reconsider the refusal without having to advance it to the Federal Court, and did so successfully. This resulted in the refusal being struck, the application being re-opened and reconsidered, the Applicant not having to leave Canada, and saving considerable financial resources. While the application was being reconsidered the Record Suspension was granted, and the Applicant was no longer inadmissible.
Canadian Citizenship Granted on Humanitarian and Compassionate Grounds
A Canadian citizen entered Canada with his newborn, who was born in the USA via human reproduction technology. The parent had the birth certificate which indicated that he and his spouse, both Canadian citizens, were the legal parents of the baby. The newborn was allowed to enter without being given any status. Once in Canada, the parents applied for a citizenship certificate for the baby as they believed she was entitled to it given their status as Canadian citizens. About one year later, they were advised that their application was put on hold until the “new policy has been developed”.
In the circumstances, with the help of our office, a Temporary Resident Permit was requested and granted. An application was then filed for permanent residence on Humanitarian and Compassionate Grounds. This was also approved and she became a permanent resident of Canada. Subsequently, our office requested that the child be granted Canadian citizenship under subsection 5(4) of the Citizenship Act – based on humanitarian and compassionate grounds. Over 5 years after she arrived in Canada, a decision on the initial application for the Citizenship Certificate as a child of Canadian citizens was made: it was refused. Our office made another application for citizenship, as a child of a Canadian parent (section 5(2) of the Citizenship Act). After many complications, the application was approved and the girl, now 6 years old, was just recently granted Canadian citizenship. Finally!
One Matter, One Client – Five Successful Judicial Reviews!
Last year a man retained our office to challenge his refused Pre-Removal Risk Assessment (PRRA) to the Federal Court of Canada. He advised our office that this was the fifth time that his PRRA had been refused, and so would be his fifth time challenging the matter to the Court. We reviewed his application materials and the decisions already made by the Federal Court to make our arguments.
The Court allowed the application for Judicial Review and was in complete agreement that enough was enough. No longer satisfied in only quashing the PRRA refusal, the Court issued clear directions to the next Officer to re-determine the file, including the disclosure of communications that Citizenship and Immigration Canada had withheld from our client and the requirement that a PRRA interview be held.
Happy Results for Mother of Three!
We were delighted to assist a mother of three young children, two of whom have special needs, in appealing the refusal of her spousal sponsorship application. Although the visa office was satisfied that her relationship with her husband was genuine, the application was refused because the sponsor had defaulted on a previous sponsorship undertaking.
At the Immigration Appeal Division we argued that despite the sponsor’s default, there were sufficient humanitarian and compassionate factors – including the best interests of the children directly affected – to warrant special relief. We provided extensive documentation corroborating the particular needs of the sponsor’s children and the hardship caused by continued family separation. The sponsor gave compelling oral testimony speaking to these challenges.
The Minister and Member at the Immigration Appeal Division agreed that special relief was justified in the circumstances, and the appeal was allowed. The sponsor is very happy that her husband will soon be able to join her in Canada to help her care for their children.
Successful PR After Medical Inadmissibility Finding
We were recently successful in assisting our client’s family in receiving permanent residence, following an initial medical inadmissibility finding for a medical condition of Cerebral Palsy for a dependent. Had the dependent been found to be medically inadmissible the entire family would be inadmissible.
The dependent was initially determined to require social services that were expected to result in an excessive demand and they were refused. We challenged the refusal to the Federal Court of Canada and negotiated a settlement to have the refusal set aside and the matter sent back for reconsideration. We then assisted in advocating for the family on the appropriate medical classification of the condition and provided accurate prognostic findings. In doing so we were able to accurately advance what medical and social services would be required in the intended province in Canada, which was under the threshold. Following extensive research and a comprehensive mitigation Plan, presented together with specialized legal submissions, the medical admissibility finding was overturned without having to resort to further litigation, and the family recently arrived in Canada.
Successful Study Permit
A young man contacted our office after having been refused a study permit application. He had previously been in Canada for 2 years working towards a Bachelor’s degree, however due to various reasons; he was unable to complete his degree. During his time in Canada, his study permit expired and he was unable to renew his work permit from inside Canada. He left Canada and made an application for a study permit to return to Canada to complete his studies. Given his previous overstay, the officer refused the application, concluding they were not satisfied that he would leave Canada if permitted to re-enter.
We assisted the young man to re-submit a new study permit application, making submissions explaining the circumstances of his overstay and his commitment to the completion of his studies in Canada. The young man had only completed half of the required credits for his Canadian bachelor’s degree, so it was crucial for him to be able to return to complete the remainder of his studies. Our submissions were accepted and his application was approved.
IAD Determines it has Jurisdiction over ARC refusals
A mother applied to sponsor her son to Canada, while the son was in Canada as a failed refugee. In order to complete processing on the overseas sponsorship application, the son had to leave Canada. As a failed refugee, he left Canada with a Deportation Order and so required Authorisation to Return to Canada (ARC). The Visa Office refused ARC, finding that he had taken advantage of Canadian tax payers by making a ‘spurious’ refugee claim and later a Pre-Removal Risk Assessment application, and so refused his application for permanent residence.
The mother appealed this decision to the Immigration Appeal Division (IAD). During the hearing, submissions were specifically requested to address the jurisdiction of the IAD to consider ARC refusal. The Board Member determined that the IAD not only has jurisdiction to consider ARC refusal, but to consider humanitarian and compassionate considerations to override ARC refusal. In considering the family’s circumstances, the Board Member allowed the appeal.
One Day Made a Difference!
An applicant for a permanent resident card contacted our office after being refused for not meeting the basic requirements of physical presence in Canada for at least 730 days, within a five year period. Upon careful assessment we determined that the applicant met the eligibility by one day. It appeared that the applicant calculated her physical presence in Canada incorrectly. We made submissions to CIC based on our new calculations and the application was approved!
Successful Permanent Resident Application
A common-law couple contacted our office after having CBSA pay them a visit at their old address. After obtaining a copy of the immigration file, we learned that a poisonous pen letter was sent to immigration. The person concerned had no status in Canada at that point. We applied for permanent residence under the spousal category. During the processing of the application, the applicant was stopped by police, which prompted an interview at one of the CIC local offices. The officer was satisfied as to the genuineness of the union, despite a significant age gap and culture difference. DNA testing was also required. Further complications arose, the dependent’s child got married and was charged with a criminal offence. Despite many issues, the applicant successfully obtained a status of a permanent resident.
Medically Inadmissible Granted Work Permits
We were successful in advocating for our clients and securing work permits, following an initial medical inadmissibility finding for a medical condition of HIV. Based on this the family was determined to require medical treatment and access to social services that was expected to result in an excessive demand. We challenged the resources relied on by Citizenship and Immigration Canada, and after exhaustive independent research were able to accurately determine what medical care would actually be required and where it was available in their intended province, all of which would not cause any excessive demand. The research was presented together with a comprehensive mitigation Plan, and our specialized legal submissions. As a result, the medical admissibility finding was overcome and the family was able to pursue their intended employment in Canada.
Large Company Successfully Granted LMIA’s
A large company approached us for assistance transferring short-term specialized trade workers into Canada. Using Employment Service Development Canada (“ESDC”) exemptions to advertising for specialized workers as well as their 10 day service processing for high-demand skilled trades, we were able to obtain Labour Market Impact Assessments for these workers in less than one week.
We are now preparing the work permits for these workers and expect the same positive result.
Families Granted Refuge in Canada
Over the last few weeks, three more families were granted refuge in Canada after their claims for protection were allowed. All three claims were based on religious persecution suffered in the claimants’ countries of origin. In advance of the hearings, we helped these claimants prepare for oral testimony and ensured that they had sufficient documentation to substantiate their religious affiliations. As sectarian violence continues to escalate across much of the Middle East, these families are very grateful to be able to remain safely in Canada.
Deported Refugee receives ARC and PR Visa
A young woman who had made a refugee claim in Canada, to be refused and deported from Canada afterwards, entered into a relationship with a Canadian man while still in the country. The couple retained our office to assist with an overseas spousal sponsorship and, if that was approved, an application for Authorisation to Return to Canada (ARC). On making a refugee claim in Canada, claimants are given a departure order; many claimants do not leave Canada within 30 days of their claim being refused and so the departure order becomes a deportation order and the individual requires ARC (special permission) to return to Canada in the future.
Our submissions explained why our client had overstayed in Canada, emphasizing her compliance with immigration authorities and her willingness to cooperate even by purchasing her own ticket to leave Canada. Her applications were accepted, and she was granted both ARC and the permanent resident visa. She will soon re-enter Canada to be reunited with her husband.
Successful Work Permit, Study Permit, and Visitor Visas for Family of 5
A family of five, two adults and three children, approached our office wanting to stay in Canada by way of applying for a study permit for one of the adults. The situation was difficult because they had no status in Canada when they contacted our office and they already spent an extended period of time in the country. Prior to coming to Canada, they were issued multiple entry visas valid for two years. However, when they entered Canada, they were granted visitor status for six month only. They mistakenly thought that their entry visas entitled them to stay in Canada for two years, which was not the case. They wished to stay in Canada during the processing of the study permit instead of going back to their home country and applying from there. We managed to restore their status in Canada as visitors. Then, we applied for a study permit for one of the parents. The permit was granted without an interview, which would have been outside of Canada. Subsequently, the other parent was issued a work permit and the children’s status as visitors was extended, giving them the right to study in Canada. The family now has status, enjoying the studies and work in Canada.
Permanent Residency Granted to Medically Inadmissible Parents
We were recently successful in assisting our client in receiving permanent residence for their parents, following an initial medical inadmissibility finding for a medical condition of Hepatitis B. The individual was determined to require medical treatment that was expected to result in an excessive demand. We assisted in sourcing out the appropriate medical specialists and prognostic findings, and in accurately determining what medical care would be required in their intended province. Following extensive research and a comprehensive mitigation Plan, presented together with our specialized legal submissions, the medical admissibility finding was overturned without having to resort to litigation.
Spousal Sponsorship Appeal at the Immigration Appeal Division
Last week we represented our client at the Immigration Appeal Division where he appealed the refusal of his spousal sponsorship application. The Immigration Officer at the visa office overseas had concluded that our client’s marriage was not legally valid and not genuine. In preparation for the hearing, we helped our client gather strong evidence to refute these findings, and we also worked with both our client in Canada and his wife overseas to prepare for oral testimony at the hearing. After considering all of the evidence on appeal, the Hearings Officer consented that the appeal should be allowed, and the deciding Member agreed. This is a fantastic resolution for our client, who can now be reunited with his wife in Canada.
Invitation to Apply for Permanent Residence Received on Returned Canadian Experience Class Application
Our client’s Canadian Experience Class (“CEC”) permanent residence application was returned earlier this year, after the CEC cap was met for the 2014 year. We assisted the client to submit their profile under the new Express Entry (“EE”) system and they were accepted into the EE pool of eligible candidates.
Our client recently received an Invitation to Apply for permanent residence under the EE system! We are now in the process of finalizing his permanent residence application and again anticipate a positive outcome.
Successful Humanitarian & Compassionate Application
Our client became a permanent resident of Canada on humanitarian and compassionate grounds. The applicant – a very young, bright man – initially came to Canada as a student. After three years of studies, he became destitute and could not afford tuition fees any longer. For various reasons, returning to his country of birth was going to cause extreme hardship. His application for permanent residence was approved and he just landed a few days ago.
Regularly permanent residents in the Toronto-area wait up to 3 years to receive Canadian citizenship. As applicants get closer to the 36-month projected deadline, some worry that – as they have not heard from Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) in the last year or so – their application has not been processed. When facing delays in excess of projected processing times, an application to the Federal Court for mandamus may be appropriate.
Recently two clients in this position attended citizenship oaths and became Citizens of Canada. One man and his son had applied for citizenship in September 2011, and our office made submissions to the Federal Court in November 2014. The other man had applied for citizenship in July 2011, and our office made submissions to the Federal Court in early January 2015. We reviewed the processing histories of both applications, incorporating this information into our legal arguments. Both applications were resolved within the first stage of Federal Court processing (before a decision on leave). CIC concluded their processing and invited both to attend citizenship ceremonies in February 2015.
Family With Autistic Child Granted Permanent Residence
We were recently successful in assisting our client in receiving permanent residence for their family, following an initial medical inadmissibility finding for an autistic child whose education would have resulted in an excessive demand finding. We assisted in sourcing out appropriate educators and facilitators in their intended province, who helped develop an appropriate education plan together with our office. The detailed plan together with our specialized legal submissions were well supported and presented, and ultimately successful.
Misrepresentation on Permanent Residence Application Avoided
In our recent case, the Applicant had applied for permanent residence in the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP). His wife and children were accompanying dependents, and his wife’s form mistakenly said that she had not been refused a visa to Canada or any other country. In reality, she had previously been refused a visitor visa to Canada. Because of this, he was found to be inadmissible based on misrepresentation for a period of 2 years. At Court, we argued that although the incorrectly checked box was certainly an error, it was not a material error, as it could not have affected the processing or outcome of the Applicant’s permanent residence application. Regardless of his wife’s past visa refusal, this would not have affected investigations into her admissibility to Canada, nor would it have affected the Applicant’s eligibility in the PNP program. Finally, this past visa refusal was already known to CIC either way, as they were the authority which refused this application in the first place.
Our arguments succeeded at Court, which is a wonderful resolution for this family.
Citizenship Appeal Allowed
Championing the need for procedural fairness, the Honourable Mr. Justice Phelan allowed our client’s appeal of his refused Canadian citizenship application. Working with our client, we established that his complete application for citizenship was likely not put before the Citizenship Judge deciding his application. By use of affidavit evidence, we demonstrated that this evidence was substantial and compelling, and may have led the Citizenship Judge to make a different finding.
His citizenship application has been returned to Citizenship and Immigration Canada for determination by a new Citizenship Judge.
Bench Positive for Iraqi Refugee
A woman from Iraq, fleeing gender-based and religious persecution, was accepted as a refugee at the conclusion of her refugee hearing. Our office worked closely with the claimant to gather documentation and prepare her to testify. The Member accepted that the claimant was credible and that state protection would not exist for her in Iraq. The Member also accepted that the claimant’s decision not to claim refugee protection in two countries prior to her arrival in Canada did not undermine her fear of persecution.
She will be applying for permanent residence in 2013, establishing a permanent home for herself in Canada.
Successful Refugee Claim!
A man from central Asia was recently successful in his Convention refugee claim on the basis of his imputed political opinion. We prepared an extensive collection of documents for this client, including a great deal of evidence about how human rights defenders are treated in his country of origin. Thanks to keen preparation and strong supporting evidence, our client received an oral decision at the end of his refugee hearing granting his claim.
Federal Skilled Worker Application Returned to Visa Office for Re-Determination
A man who had applied to immigration to Canada as a skilled worker has a second opportunity for his application to be approved after a settlement was reached with the Department of Justice. After this permanent residence application was refused, our office assisted our client in Judicially Reviewing the refusal at the Federal Court. Convincing legal arguments and affidavit evidence convinced the Court to schedule a full hearing on the merits of his application. Further written arguments in support of our client were filed after Leave was granted; then, a day before the hearing was to have proceeded the Department of Justice agreed to settle the matter and have our client’s application sent back to the Visa Office for Re-Determination.
Successful Residency Appeal
A man diagnosed with a terminal illness who did not meet the residency requirement as a permanent resident was recently successful in his residency appeal before the Immigration Appeal Division. We prepared extensive documentary disclosure for this client establishing the humanitarian and compassionate basis for his case. We also worked closely with the client and his family in order to prepare them for the hearing. Thanks to keen preparation and strong supporting evidence, our client’s appeal was allowed and he has been able to remain in Canada as a permanent resident.
Couple Reunited At Last!
Husband and wife, separated for nearly 5 years while waiting for their spousal sponsorship to reunite them in Canada, find success at the Immigration Appeal Division. The couple, who originally filed their spousal sponsorship application without counsel, were refused with the Visa Officer determining that the marriage was not genuine and that the foreign national was criminally inadmissible to Canada.
Our office worked with the couple extensively to prepare them for giving testimony at their hearing. At the conclusion of the hearing, the Board Member provided oral reasons for allowing the appeal, citing the foreign national’s substantial efforts at rehabilitation. The couple are now awaiting final processing at the Visa Office, before being reunited in Canada.
Refugee Claim Approved! – Escape from Torture
A man has been determined to be a refugee by the Refugee Protection Division. Working with our client to obtain credible documentation regarding the plight of his family, we were able to establish that he would be at risk of detention and torture on return to his country of origin. Safe in Canada, he may now take steps to apply for his wife and children to be reunited with him here.
It has been a successful week for the processing team at Bellissimo Law Group! Following ongoing communication with Service Canada for over one year, we were able to secure a positive Live-In Caregiver Labour Market Opinion (LMO) for a kind lady who was in dire need of a live-in caregiver to care for her two elderly parents. We are now in the process of preparing the work permit application for the foreign worker wherein we once again anticipate a positive outcome. Together with this good news, we are also celebrating a second positive LMO, and two approved overseas spousal sponsorship applications. Congratulations to both employers, and to the couples who will soon be reuniting in Canada!
Successful Refugee Claim!
A woman from North Africa was recently successful in her Convention Refugee claim on the basis of her gender and religion. We prepared an extensive collection of documents for this client, including a great deal of evidence about how women and religious minorities are treated in her country of origin. Thanks to keen preparation and strong supporting evidence, our client is awaiting the arrival of her positive written decision, formally granting her refugee status.
Madam Justice Snider sends refugee for redetermination
Last fall a new client asked us to review a decision he had received following his refugee claim. We assessed the decision and advised that the reasons provided by the Board Member appeared inadequate and further advised that the Member had unreasonably determined that our client’s risk was generalised, rather than personal. We applied to have the Federal Court review the Board Member’s decision, filing written argument on this basis.
Our client’s case was heard before the Honourable Madam Justice Snider. Upon hearing oral arguments, the Court agreed that the decision was unreasonable and issued an Order directing the Refugee Protection Division to re-determine his refugee claim.
Removal Order Cancelled for Long-Time Permanent Resident
Years ago, our office was retained to assist a Canadian permanent resident who was facing removal from Canada because of having obtained a criminal record. This man had been in Canada since he was a child, and had no family remaining in his country of origin. However, his criminal record was serious and so the government had issued a removal order against him. We appealed the order.
After seven years of having his removal from Canada stayed by the Immigration Appeal Division (IAD), we succeeded in having the IAD cancel his removal order allowing him to remain in Canada. At his fourth reconsideration hearing, the IAD agreed that our client had taken positive and proactive steps to comply with Immigration and to not commit any further criminal acts. Our client now need not fear removal, as he can remain in Canada with his family with all the rights of a permanent resident.
Removal for Mother and Son
Our office was recently retained to delay the removal of our client’s mother and brother from Canada. The mother had an important, upcoming medical appointment, and the brother wanted to complete his school year. On this basis, our office was able to successfully argue that their removal from Canada should be deferred until after the appointment and the school year ended.
Now, the family will remain together in Canada until the summer, meaning that neither the mother’s health nor her brother’s education will be adversely affected. With a pending family-class sponsorship, the family hopes to be permanently reunited in the future.
Bench Positive for Mexican Refugees
A family from Mexico, fleeing gender-based violence, were accepted as refugees at the conclusion of their refugee hearing. Our office worked closely with the family to gather documentation and prepare them for the emotional testimony that would be provided. We obtained the Vulnerable Person designation, which allowed us additional lee-way in presenting evidence to the Refugee Protection Division. Ultimately, after emotionally charged testimony, the Member accepted that the claimants were credible, that state protection would not exist for them in Mexico, and that they could not live safely anywhere in their country.
This family will be applying for permanent residence in 2012, and can take comfort in the fact that they may establish a permanent home for themselves in Canada.
Successful Refugee Claim!
A man from the Caribbean was recently awarded Convention Refugee status on the basis of sexual orientation. We prepared an extensive collection of documents for this client, including a great deal of evidence about how members of the LGBT community are treated in his country of origin. Thanks to keen preparation and strong supporting evidence, our client was granted refugee status at the conclusion of his brief hearing.
Our client is now beginning his new life in Canada.
Two Year Battle with IAD; Spousal Sponsorship Appeal Success
Our client retained our services after his application to sponsor his wife had been refused by an overseas visa office. Our office appealed this decision to the Immigration Appeal Division (IAD), and began to prepare him for his hearing. This was a complex appeal, involving past criminal charges, a refugee claim, a proxy marriage, and a couple who had never met in person. Both the genuineness of their relationship and the legality of their marriage were in dispute before the IAD.
After five volumes of disclosure, four hearing dates, hours of testimony, and both oral and written argument, our client has succeeded in his appeal. His wife’s application for permanent residence will now be processed and she should be joining him in Canada soon.
Not Inadmissible for Misrepresentation
Our office was retained to assist a woman accused of having misrepresented herself to Immigration authorities. She had sought to extend her temporary resident visa because she was being sponsored to Canada by her husband, yet later the husband advised Immigration authorities that their relationship was never genuine and that they had not cohabited. According to Immigration, they would never have issued the visa extension, had they known this information.
Over the length of a full-day hearing, we managed to establish that it was the husband not our client, who had misrepresented information to the Immigration authorities. This result required a great deal of documentary evidence, witness preparation, and oral argument. Our client’s record with Immigration is clean and she will not be issued an exclusion order barring her return to Canada.
Minor Granted Refugee Protection
Recently, a young man from the Caribbean was granted protection as a Convention refugee. Only after coming to Canada and finding safety with a family member here did he disclose the violence he faced in his home. The police, rather than help a runaway returned him to his home. His family in Canada fought for him to be able to stay with them in safety.
With very little documentary evidence to corroborate his claim for protection, our office worked with him to prepare him to give testimony before the Refugee Protection Division. At the end of the hearing, he was found to be credible and the Board Member granted his claim for protection.
Second Sponsorship Approved
After our client’s first application to sponsor his Chinese wife was refused because an officer determined their relationship to not be genuine, our office was retained to provide assistance. After reviewing their application, we advised that they discontinue their appeal to the Immigration Appeal Division and, instead, submit a second sponsorship application.
Our office prepared this new application for permanent residence, addressing the past officer’s concerns in our submissions. Some 16 months later, they are paying the Right of Permanent Residence Fee and she will soon be joining her husband in Canada.
Mexican Refugee gets Second Chance at Refugee Hearing
By Order of the Federal Court, our client will have a second opportunity to present their circumstances to the Refugee Protection Division. The Board Member denying our client’s claim for protection determined that she had not done enough to obtain the protection of the Mexican government. The Member concluded that had she sought state protection on more occasions, that Mexico would have been able to provide the protection sought.
We prepared extensive written argumentation in advance of the Federal Court hearing. After oral arguments, a Judge accepted our submission that the Board Member had not considered all of the evidence before him, and that in doing so the Member acted in a manner which was procedurally unfair.
Husband Reunited with Wife and Daughter
A man who was sponsored to Canada by his wife was refused permanent residence on the basis of his criminal record. They retained our office for the appeal of this decision before the Immigration Appeal Division (IAD). There, we presented our research and submissions on criminal equivalency, arguing that the husband was not actually inadmissible for criminality. This involved research into the criminal laws of the foreign jurisdiction, understanding the nature of the offence committed, and Canadian criminal and immigration law.
Ultimately, the IAD was persuaded and this family will soon be reunited in Canada.
Bisexual Woman Gains Refugee Protection
A woman and her children sought refugee protection on the basis of the women’s sexual identity. With very little documentation to corroborate her identity, it was left to our office to prepare our client for the emotional and difficult testimony of establishing her sexual orientation. She was ultimately successful, with the Board Member finding her to be a genuine refugee claimant. She and her children will be permitted to remain in Canada without fear of return to her country of origin.
American Permanent Resident Granted Refuge
An elderly woman who had already become a permanent resident of the United States, was granted refugee status in Canada. Her claim was against her country of origin, but because of her American residency she was to be excluded from protection as she already had a safe alternative country in which to live. Our office prepared substantial disclosure and submissions to address exclusion and, after a lengthy review of recent jurisprudence with the Board Member, our client was granted Canada’s protection.
Our client, who came to Canada to be with her daughter, will now be applying for permanent residence in Canada.
Subjective Fear and Refugee Protection
Refugee claimants are expected to quickly flee from their country if they fear for their life. When they delay in leaving, or when they return to their country of origin, there is a presumption that they are not truly scared and so not at risk.
Recently, our office was able to obtain refugee protection for a young woman who had, on many occasions, returned to her home country. We helped prepare her for the hearing; there, she explained to the Board Member why she continued to risk her life. In the result, she was found to be a refugee.
Caribbean Woman Who Faced Lifetime of Domestic Abuse, Finds Refuge
Our office worked closely with an illiterate woman from the beginning of her refugee claim. We helped her tell her story on paper for the purposes of the Personal Information Form and also carefully prepared her for answering questions at the hearing. In consideration of her experiences, we were also able to secure designation as a Vulnerable Person, which allowed our counsel to lead the questioning at her refugee hearing. This type of accommodation is of great use for individuals who have survived trauma as it may make the refugee process less intimidating.
Our client was found to be a Convention Refugee and is now preparing to re-claim her life her in Canada.
Bench Positive for Refugee Reconsideration
After succeeding at Federal Court last year, our clients again appeared before the Refugee Protection Division. Facing changing country conditions and their abandoned asylum claim in the U.S.A., they had a difficult claim to prove. We assisted the clients in preparing for their hearing and made submissions on the basis of “compelling reasons” arguing that their past experiences were sufficient to render return, even at this time, unconscionable.
This young family, who has already been in Canada for nearly five years, will not be separated from other Canadian relatives. In the next months they will become permanent residents of Canada
Refugee Protection for Woman and Children from Caribbean
Last week, a young mother appeared before the Refugee Protection Division; her claim has now been accepted. Our client faced persecution on the basis of being a bisexual woman. Our office worked with the claimant to prepare her for giving difficult testimony and to support her claim through documentation from her country of origin; we successfully argued that even though women are not typically targeted, the fact that homosexual acts remain illegal is evidence of government tolerance for violence against sexual minorities. Happily the Member agreed.
Our client can now build a life in Canada with her children without fear of return.
Stay of Removal for Man with Schizophrenia
After an immigration officer refused to defer the removal of our client, we asked the Federal Court to intervene and stop his deportation from Canada. We argued that the risk of return for our client had not been properly assessed, given changing country conditions and our client’s mental health. Before even reaching a Federal Court judge, the Department of Justice consented to our request.
While our client has not ensured his permanent position in Canada, he has been granted another opportunity to explain to an officer why his removal at this time is unreasonable. This additional time may also mean that his outstanding immigration applications will be decided before he is again faced with removal.
Bench Positive at Refugee Hearing
A young woman fleeing from an honour crime was granted refugee protection at the conclusion of her refugee hearing. After questioning led by counsel, the Board Member was satisfied as to the woman’s credibility and her experiences; counsel then reviewed the expert opinions and country documentation submitted, demonstrating that state protection would not be available in her country of origin. Our client will now be able to start her life over as a permanent resident of Canada.
Grandfather of Four Granted Stay of Removal
A man with a criminal record stretching over 25 years was granted a stay of removal for a period of three years. Due to a pre-hearing conference between counsel, the hearing was able to conclude in under 30 minutes; relieving our client and his family members from the need for lengthy and emotional testimony. Our client, a father and grandfather to Canadian children, will be able to remain in Canada with his family while he demonstrates that he has rehabilitated his life.
Preventing Imminent Removal
Bellissimo Law Group stopped the deportation at Federal Court of a person who was facing imminent removal by the Canada Border Services Agency but had her entire life savings on the line if removed. The decision is notable because stopping removal for economic harm is challenging. Our team did well as did the Federal Court in preventing removal in these dire circumstances.
Federal Court Gave Failed Refugee a Second Chance
The Federal Court agreed with our assessment that the Refugee Protection Division incorrectly assessed a Tamil woman’s fear of return to Sri Lanka. Our client, who had withdrawn her claim for asylum in the USA, was deemed not to truly fear return; this decision was made while ignoring our client’s desire to be reunited with her family in Canada.
She will now have the opportunity to present her claim for refugee protection again, and while awaiting her new hearing she is able to remain with her family in Canada
Woman Seeking to Defend Her Interests in Lawsuit Granted Stay of Removal
With a pending humanitarian and compassionate application already filed and a lawsuit in progress, an Enforcement Officer refused to defer our client’s removal from Canada. On an emergency basis, our team pulled together an urgent motion to Federal Court requesting that her removal be stayed. We were successful in our arguments, and she will now have more time in Canada to gather evidence in support of her lawsuit and to make her bid for permanent residence.
Removal Order Cancelled
A young mother who had been issued a removal order after being found criminally inadmissible to Canada was successful before the Immigration Appeal Division. Although the client only retained our office’s assistance a week before her hearing, we were able to quickly gather evidence and conduct preparation sessions in advance of the hearing.
Her children and extended family may now rest easy, knowing that she is no longer under a removal order.
Successful Entry of Permanent and Temporary Residents
Although this section of our website usually focuses upon our high profile or more complex success stories – medical, criminality, last minute work permits, refugee cases, Federal Court, Immigration Appeal Division etc. we felt it was time to highlight the many permanent and temporary residents our Corporate team help everyday to obtain their status.
In particular, to acknowledge our hard working Corporate team that assists with Citizenship, Business Cases, Work Permits, Arranged Employment Opinions, Labour Market Opinions and successfully navigating the new waters of Skilled Worker Applications every day. Although you do not receive the spot light like our other cases we remembered – hats off to you all!
Unfairly Refused Skilled Worker Application finally Rectified
Our client’s skilled worker application was refused July 31, 2008 for language reasons. We found that the officer did not follow the Regulations and so we challenged the officer’s decision at Federal Court and negotiated a settlement to have the application sent back for reconsideration and the refusal overturned. Supplementary reconsideration submissions were done October 2009 and were recently approved.
The initial application which was submitted in 2003 was finally approved much to the satisfaction of our client and staff.
Second Stay of Removal for Father
A permanent resident of Canada received a second stay of removal before the Immigration Appeal Board after committing several further criminal offences. Although one of the conditions of his first stay of removal was that he commit no further criminal acts, our extensive pre-hearing negotiations resulted in a brief hearing and our proposed conditions being accepted by the Board.
Our client will now have a further two years with his wife, child and extended family; plenty of time to prove that he is committed to his rehabilitation and will make a positive contribution to Canada.
Refugee Fleeing Religious Persecution
After having his father kidnapped and escaping a kidnapping himself, our client made it to Canada to seek protection as a refugee. With substantial pre-hearing preparation, our client was ready to tell his story to the Immigration and Refugee Board. The Board accepted that our client was a member of a minority religion who had, personally, suffered persecution because of his religion.
A Stay of Removal for Criminal Inadmissibility
A young man came to our office with his removal order appeal scheduled for only days later. Charged with several crimes, stemming from his involvement with a gang, our office worked over time to interview and prepare our client, his family members and his employer for the hearing. Having removal stayed, where it is based on multiple criminal charges and alleged gang involvement, is not a simple matter. At the close of the first hearing, the Board was still not convinced that our client had taken steps to turn his life around and be a good and supportive father to his children. Our office engaged in post-hearing negotiations, involving the use of DNA evidence, and were able to establish that our client would not pose future risk to Canadians and deserved this second chance.
He now lives with his partner and their children, with whom he has taken an active parental role. Without a stay of removal, it is likely that he would have had very little contact with his children in the future, and this family would have forever been ripped apart.
We were recently successful in assisting our clients’ application for permanent residence. One of the applicants had a condition that would render s/he medically inadmissible. It was initially determined by Citizenship and Immigration Canada that the cost of medication would be too high and too great of a demand on the Canadian healthcare system. We challenged this finding through our specialized medical legal submissions, and we were able to convince the Minister that the family would not cause any such excessive demand based on their particular circumstances.
A woman who fled to Canada after suffering years of domestic violence, was granted the status of a Convention Refugee today. After genuine and credible testimony as to her fear of return and the practical ability to seek state protection for a woman in a ‘visiting relationship,’ the Board Member accepted that her life would be at risk should she return to her country.
Our client will soon be applying for permanent residence, and will finally be reunited with the children that she was forced to leave behind.
A Case of Permanent Residence
We recently were able to procure a permanent residence visa under the Federal Skilled Worker category for a client who was affected by the change of procedures in November 2008, when the Ministerial instructions came into effect. In this case, additional submissions were required to ensure that our client was being processed according to the right stream.
Fortunately, our submissions were successful and our client is now a happy permanent resident!
A Case of Mild Autism
We are pleased to have recently assisted our clients with a difficult case whose son was denied permanent resident status to Canada for medical inadmissibility reasons. It was determined by Citizenship and Immigration Canada initially that he required special education services and therefore would be an excessive demand on the Canadian healthcare system.
When we examined the case and reasons for concern, we were able to clearly establish that the diagnosis and extent of his social service requirements was misinterpreted. We were able to prove that the client was not in fact an excessive demand using expert medical opinion and financial calculations to the medical burden our client would be on the educational and healthcare system. We handle so many medical cases each month and we share in the emotional struggle with our clients and when all our hard work and diligence results in a huge obstacle being overcome and the dream to make Canada home realized – all we can say is way to go team!
Month of Urgent Stays of Removal!
As February comes to a close, we have to say we have had an unparalleled amount of removal cases we have had to act upon very quickly! Several of the clients who have come to us for assistance this month have had removal dates for either February or early March.
We are happy to say that we have made great progress with these cases and have received at least three stays of removal this month. Needless to say, our clients are very relieved that they are still in Canada!
Case of the Delayed Deportation
Mario Bellissimo reached an agreement with the Department of Justice under the guidance of the Federal Court to stop the deportation of a family until further investigation could be undertaken into the medical consequences of deportation. The matter was adjourned for a month. Mr. Bellissimo noted, ” that this is a fine example of both sides (the Applicant and the Department of Justice) with the direction of the Court working together to reach a fair resolution to ensure a person is not deported to potential harm”. On behalf of the clients we will work diligently to ensure all investigations are efficient and exhaustive. Deportation is traumatic and where it is possible to assist in a family avoiding this consequence it is a source of tremendous pride and a sense of accomplishment.
Case of Mistaken Charges
We attended an interview at the Greater Toronto Enforcement Centre (GTEC) for a client. The purpose of the interview was to determine whether the client shall be authorized to remain in Canada or a whether a removal order should be issued against the client. The client was presented with a report written under section 44(1), alleging that they were a person inadmissible to Canada due to criminality. The report contained some 17 charges for which the client was purportedly convicted.
In fact, the client in question was convicted of only one count, for which they received a conditional discharge. We therefore submitted that the report appears to be incorrect and requested further investigation of the court documentation. We also submitted that a conditional discharge does not constitute inadmissibility for immigration purposes.
After this interview, we were advised that the report in fact was written in error and the matter will be closed. No further steps in respect to our client’s inadmissibility will be taken by the CBSA (Canada Border Services Agency) and our client is now eligible to proceed with our application for landing.
We are very pleased on our client’s behalf that this misunderstanding and misinformation has been cleared up!
Case of Critical Deportation
We were approached by a client who received a deportation date coming up very soon and needed assistance in staying his deportation order. We had serious concerns in this case as if the client was removed from the country he would face a life-threatening medical condition. Despite the severe time restrictions and challenges involved, we desperately tried to procure a stay of removal for the client.
Mr. Bellissimo, was quoted as saying that he had “grave concerns about the applicant being removed from Canada”. After we successfully obtained a stay of removal, Mr. Bellissimo stated that he was “very pleased that the Federal Court agreed that this deportation should be stopped pending the ultimate resolution of the underlying litigation.”
We are happy to have contributed to the relief of the applicant, his family and the greater community by preventing a potentially life-threatening deportation.