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Canadian Citizenships, Visas and Passports

Why my wife cannot join me?

Q. I came to Canada on 25th March 2009 on a two-year work permit. My wife applied twice at the visa office in India, as a dependant, to come and join me in Canada, but she was refused both times. The first time, the application was refused as I was still in India and they advised that I must first travel to Canada, and then she would be eligible to apply. The second time, they said that “your spouse does not appear well established in Canada as he has just recently arrived there”. At the same time, they mentioned that “they are not satisfied that she will leave Canada at the end of the stay as a temporary resident and the funds are not sufficient”. After how long would she be eligible to apply from the date of my landing in Canada and how much money should we show in the account? How can we prove she will go back at the end of the visa?

A. You pose excellent questions. First, it is important to understand officers are given a wide discretion in deciding these applications but the decision must be reasonable or they will be overturned by the Federal Court. Generally speaking, the legislation includes provisions for a work permit holder’s spouse to obtain an open work permit. The tough part is obtaining the permit. One condition is not to raise any questions in the mind of an officer that you or your wife will not leave when the permit expires (even though dual intent is recognized under the Act). This is difficult to prove but your wife must demonstrate sufficient ties to India to convince the visa officer (employment, family, and assets etc to return to in the future). There is no magical number of funds required in an account or time in which you must be residing in Canada before applying for your wife. Having a lease agreement in place, payment stubs, evidence of a Canadian bank account will assist. Having said this I would recommend seeking the assistance of a lawyer to prepare your next application with a view to the Federal Court if you are refused again as you have a legal right to have your wife join you in Canada and absent any damaging facts, circumstances not provided. Good luck!

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