Buddhist Priest Inadmissible For Misrepresentation

Buddhist Priest Inadmissible For Misrepresentation

31st Jul 2012 Comments Off on Buddhist Priest Inadmissible For Misrepresentation

Last Updated on July 31, 2012 by Steven Meurrens

The Federal Court has affirmed the reasonableness of Citizenship and Immigration Canada’s (“CIC“) decision to declare a Buddhist priest inadmissible to Canada for misrepresentation.  The consequence of being declared inadmissible to Canada is a two-year ban on entering Canada.

The priest, who at the time of the decision lived in Toronto, filed an application for permanent residency with CIC in 2009.  On his Schedule 1 Background Declaration form, the priest answered as follows:

The priest ticked NO to bullet points 2 and 3 despite having applied for numerous temporary resident visas in the past.  While most of these were approved, one of them was rejected.

CIC determined that the priest’s misstatement was material enough to result in the priest being inadmissible to Canada for misrepresentation.

The decision did not address whether a misrepresentation finding would have been reasonable if the priest had never been refused a visa.  In other words, if the priest had merely not disclosed that he had previously applied for temporary resident visas which were all approved, would a misrepresentation finding still be reasonable?

It may be that we never learn the answer.

To anyone who recently applied for permanent residency and is thinking “I don’t remember being asked this question and I checked NO to all the boxes in the Schedule 1..” don’t worry…  CIC recently changed the Schedule 1 Background Declaration form.

It now only asks if applicants have previously been refused a visa.

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No Good Faith Requirement in Refugee Decisions

19th Jul 2012 Comments Off on No Good Faith Requirement in Refugee Decisions

Last Updated on July 19, 2012 by Steven Meurrens

The Federal Court has affirmed in Yang v. Canada, 2012 FC 849 that there is no good faith requirement in refugee claims.

For example, refugee claimants from countries where apostasy is a crime (such as Iran) can credibly claim persecution based on the fact that they converted from Islam regardless of what their motivations for converting were.

Even where claimants convert for opportunistic reasons, they are still entitled to protection if they can establish a well-founded fear of persecution on a Convention ground.

The decision re-iterated the Ghasemian v Canada (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration), 2003 FC 1266 ruling which stated that:

Mrs. Ghasemian says that the Board also erred when it looked at her motive for conversion and applied the wrong test by rejecting her claim on the basis that it was not made in good faith i.e. she did not convert for a purely religious motive. She relies on the decision of the English Court of Appeal inDanian v. Secretary of State for the Home Department, [1999] E.W.J. No. 5459 online: QL.

In that case, the English Court of Appeal found that even though Mr. Danian’s “refugee sur place” claim was based on outspoken political opinions, allegedly made for the sole purpose of supporting his claim, the tribunal still had the obligation to determine whether he would face persecution if returned to his country of origin.

Although the decision in Danian, above, is not binding on this Court, I find its reasoning quite persuasive and agree that opportunistic claimants are still protected under the Convention if they can establish a genuine and well-founded fear of persecution for a Convention ground.

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Summer Changes See Suspension of Programs, Changes to Others

18th Jul 2012 Comments Off on Summer Changes See Suspension of Programs, Changes to Others

Last Updated on July 18, 2012 by Steven Meurrens

The start of summer has seen Citizenship and Immigration Canada (“CIC”) make numerous changes to Canadian immigration programs.  Many application classes have been modified for new applicants, if not outright suspended.   The changes include:

  • “Pausing” the acceptance of new Federal Skilled Worker Program and Federal Investor Applications;
  • Prohibiting certain businesses from participating in the Temporary Foreign Worker Program;
  • Restricting the availability of humanitarian & compassionate considerations and Pre-Removal Risk Assessments; and
  • Mandatory language testing for lower-skilled provincial nominees.

Fifth Set of Ministerial Instructions Results in Suspension of New Federal Skilled Worker Program and Federal Investor Applications

On June 29, 2012, Jason Kenney, the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Canada (the “Minister”) introduced the fifth set of Ministerial Instructions (“MI-5”).  Ministerial Instructions allow the Minister to unilaterally make operational changes to how CIC manages application intake.

As a result of MI-5, CIC is no longer accepting new applications under the Federal Skilled Worker Program, except for those applications made under the PhD eligibility stream and those with qualifying offers of Arranged Employment.  As well, CIC is no longer accepting new Federal Immigrant Investor Class applications.  The temporary “pauses” in accepting new applications for these programs will remain in effect until otherwise indicated in future Ministerial Instructions.

The “temporary pause” for new applications in the Federal Entrepreneur Class that was introduced on July 1, 2011, and the temporary pause on parent and grandparent sponsorship applications that came into effect on November 5, 2011, remain in effect.

Accordingly, individuals who are eligible to immigrate to Canada under any of the above-mentioned programs should understand that the programs are effectively suspended,

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