Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (“IRCC”) will often tell people that they do not need to hire a lawyer or consultant in order to immigrate to Canada. They are right.
In 2018 IRCC approved 191,337 applications for permanent residence.
Of these, 7,334 were represented by a lawyer, 11,262 were represented by a regulated consultant, 52,066 were represented by a family member or friend, and 191,337 had no representative.
IRCC in 2018 also approved 17,678 applications in which there was a lawyer as representative, 17,554 in which there was a regulated consultant, 258,802 in which the representative was a family member or a friend, and 2,448,311 in which the person was unrepresented.
While the above statistics do not show approval rates or refusals, which are not publicly available nor do I possess, and it is possible that there is a prevalence of ghost representation that is not reflected in the statistics, the approval figures certainly demonstrate that it is not necessary to hire a representative to immigrate to Canada.
Do You Need a Lawyer
When someone asks whether they need a representative in their application I typically tell them to review the IRCC website, forms and document checklists and to then decide whether they are comfortable submitting an application on their own. If they are not, then they should hire a representative, or at least schedule a consultation with one to discuss what is causing them to be uncomfortable.
For those individuals who are more or less comfortable with the material on the IRCC website, the decision of whether to hire a representative is a cost-benefits analysis.Read more ›
A frequent question that people ask is what role their Member of Parliament can play in assisting them.
In my opinion, the biggest role an MP can play is getting a timely status update. MPs typically can get an update in 48 hours, as opposed to 30 days for an Access to Information Act request or 14 days for a Case Specific Enquiry.
MPs can also write letters on files. As Justice Ahmed noted in Nagarasa v. Canada (Citizenship and Immigration), 2018 FC 313, visa officers have to take these letters into consideration when assessing applications.Read more ›
Sergio Marchi was Canada’s Minister of Citizenship and Immigration from 1993-1995.
3:00 – Does someone keep the Minister title their whole life?
4:50 – What was the political consensus regarding Canadian immigration at the end of the 1980s? How did the Reform Party impact things?
8:00 – The mix of immigrants between economic, family and humanitarian immigrants.
11:15 – What dictates whether IRCC meets its level targets?
14:30 – The Brian Mulroney government was considering moving immigration under Public Safety. Under Sergio Marchi it instead became it’s on Ministry. What prompted this?
17:30 – Canadian attitudes to refugee resettlements and misconceptions.
20:45 – Sources of resistance to refugee resettlement. Resettled refugees vs asylum seekers.
23:00 – Changes that Minister Marchi made to the refugee determination process.
25:00 – What was Minister Marchi’s approach to intervening on specific cases? When would Minister Marchi help Members of Parliament on constituent files? Did it matter which political party the MP was from?
32:00 – The impact of a police officer who was shot by an illegal immigrant on deportation policy.
36:00 – Whether the Canada Border Services Agency should be under the immigration umbrella.
37:30 – What Minister Marchi considers to be his main accomplishments and the implementation of the right of landing fee.
45:00 – Minister Marchi’s push to remove the Queen from the citizenship oath.Read more ›
Syed Farhan Ali shares his Canadian immigration story. During the time that his spousal sponsorship application was in process he was denied temporary entry to Canada, missed the birth of his first child and missed her first steps. He recently arrived in Canada after a three year application process.
Chantal Dube is a Spokesperson for Spousal Sponsorship Advocates, a group with more than 5,000 members in Canada that argues for reforms to the family reunification process.
3:15 Said tells the story of his spousal sponsorship application. His application took 34 months to process. During the processing of his application Canada denied his visitor visa applications. He missed the birth of his children and their first steps, although he was able to reunite with his wife during brief trips to the United States, which did grant him a visitor visa.
21:00 We discuss the refusal of temporary resident visas for people with spousal sponsorship applications in process, people with frequent travel histories, people with American multiple entry visas, and judicial reviews.
25:00 How long a judicial review takes.
29:50 Assessing genuineness in a spousal sponsorship application, and the distinction between “low risk and high risk” in the checklists.
33:00 The strange quirk in the Family Class where people have to prove that their relationship is genuine but immigrants and foreign workers do not. The same is true for work permits, where the spouses of Canadians cannot apply for work permits from abroad, but the spouses of foreign workers can.
38:00 What are major issues that Sponsorship Advocates seeing?
39:45 What things can trigger genuineness concerns? » Read more about: Borderlines Podcast Episode 45 – Spousal Sponsorship Delays and Refusals, with Chantal Dube and Syed Farhan Ali »Read more ›
The Federal Court decision in Calderon Garcia v. Canada (Citizenship and Immigration), 2012 FC 412 sets out the legal principles regarding a delay in claiming asylum. It states:
The Applicants assert that the Board erred in rejecting their claim based solely on the delay in claiming and a lack of supporting documentation. However, this position is not supported by the Board’s decision or related jurisprudence.
Delay in making a refugee claim “is not a decisive factor in itself” but it is a “relevant element which the tribunal may take into account in assessing both the statements and the actions and deeds of a claimant” (Huerta v Canada (Minister of Employment and Immigration) (1993), 157 NR 225,  FCJ no 271 (CA)). It is reasonable to expect that the Applicants would make a claim at the first possible opportunity (see Jeune v Canada (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration), 2009 FC 835,  FCJ no 965 at para 15).
Recent jurisprudence also suggests that while the delay itself is not determinative, it “may, in the right circumstances, constitute sufficient grounds upon which to dismiss a claim” (Duarte v Canada (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration), 2003 FC 988,  FCJ no 1259 at para 14). Absent a satisfactory explanation for the delay, it “can be fatal to such claim, even where the credibility of an applicant’s claims has not otherwise been challenged” (Velez v Canada (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration), 2010 FC 923,  FCJ no 1138 at para 28).
While the Board implied that the nineteen month delay in this instance would be fatal to the claims, it proceeded to raise several other issues associated with the Applicants’ credibility, notably evasive testimony and the lack of corroborating documents. It is evident from the remainder of the decision that the delay was a significant factor,Read more ›
It is generally regarded as difficult for people who are from countries with bad home country conditions to apply for permits. Hamad v. Canada (Citizenship and Immigration), 2012 FC 336 is an example of how to put together an application that can overcome these issues.
When he applied, Mr. Hamad lived in Benghazi, Libya, with Ms. Mahmoud and their four children who were all under the age of ten. They were all Libyan citizens. In 2011, Mr. Hamad applied to study in Canada at George Brown College in a business administration-accounting program.
Mr. Hamad had two brothers living in Libya. His third brother was a Canadian citizen who lived in Toronto and who testified that he was committed to supporting and financially assisting his brother’s family during their stay in Canada. Mr. Hamad had previously traveled to Egypt, and in his application stated that he had visited his brother in Canada in 1991, on a visitor’s visa valid from January 24, 1991 to July 23, 1991, and that he left Canada before the expiry date.
The family had no debts, had a home, an orchard and a well in Libya. Mr. Hamad also owned a transport truck and an interest in a building supply store. He was the Head of Teaching Staff Human Resources, Faculty of Agriculture, Garyounis University in Benghazi, and his wife was a teacher. Both of them arranged for leaves of absence from their jobs while in Canada.
IRCC refused the application. The refusal was because the officer was not satisfied that the family would return to Libya after their visit. In reaching this view, the officer examined their travel history; their purpose for the visit; family ties in Egypt,Read more ›
Section 34(1)(d) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (the “IRPA”) provides that a permanent resident or a foreign national is inadmissible on security grounds for being a danger to the security of Canada.
Standard of Proof
Section 33 of the IRPA provides that the facts which can give rise to an inadmissibility under IRPA s. 34(1)(d) include facts arising from omissions and, unless otherwise provided, include facts for which there are reasonable grounds to believe that they have occurred, are occurring or may occur.
In Mugesera v. Canada (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration), 2005 SCC 40, the Supreme Court of Canada stated that the “reasonable grounds to believe” standard requires something more than mere suspicion, but less than the standard applicable in civil matters of proof on the balance of probabilities and that reasonable grounds will exist where there is an objective basis for the belief which is based on compelling and credible information.
In Suresh v. Canada (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration), 2002 SCC 1, the Supreme Court stated:
While the phrase “danger to the security of Canada” must be interpreted flexibly, and while courts need not insist on direct proof that the danger targets Canada specifically, the fact remains that to return (refouler) a refugee under s. 53(1)(b) to torture requires evidence of a serious threat to national security. To suggest that something less than serious threats founded on evidence would suffice to deport a refugee to torture would be to condone unconstitutional application of the Immigration Act. Insofar as possible, statutes must be interpreted to conform to the Constitution.Read more ›
Please note that none of the information on this website should be construed as being legal advice. As well, you should not rely on any of the information contained in this website when determining whether and how to apply to a given program. Canadian immigration law is constantly changing, and the information above may be dated. If you have a question about the contents of this blog, or any question about Canadian immigration law, please contact the Author.
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