Last updated on April 23rd, 2020
A “dependent child” is defined in the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations, SOR/2002-227 as:
dependent child, in respect of a parent, means a child who
(a) has one of the following relationships with the parent, namely,
(i) is the biological child of the parent, if the child has not been adopted by a person other than the spouse or common-law partner of the parent, or
(ii) is the adopted child of the parent; and
(b) is in one of the following situations of dependency, namely,
(i) is less than 22 years of age and is not a spouse or common-law partner, or
(ii) is 22 years of age or older and has depended substantially on the financial support of the parent since before attaining the age of 22 years and is unable to be financially self-supporting due to a physical or mental condition. (enfant à charge)
In setting 22 as the limit, the Government of Canada stated that its rationale was:
The Government of Canada has established as a priority for the immigration program the goal of family reunification, which is about giving family members the opportunity to live with or near each other, instead of being separated by borders and long distances. It is recognized that many young adults remain with their parents for a longer period of time. Given the importance placed on education, it is not unusual for some children to remain with their nuclear family while pursuing higher education before entering the labour market. The current definition of “dependent child” in the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (the Regulations) is limited to persons less than 19 years of age and is therefore too restrictive (p.Read more ›
Last updated on June 15th, 2019
On December 15, 2011 the Supreme Court of Canada (“Supreme Court“) issues its decision in Newfoundland and Labrador Nurses’ Union v. Newfoundland and Labrador (Treasury Board), 2011 SCC 62,  3 SCR 708 (“Newfounland Nurses“).
In Newfoundland Nurses, the Supreme Court essentially abolished “adequacy of reasons” as a stand-alone ground for judicial review. Rather, the Supreme Court stated that an officer’s reasons must be read together with the outcome and serve the purpose of showing whether the result falls within a range of possible outcomes. The Supreme Court further stated that (citations removed for ease of reading):
Reasons may not include all the arguments, statutory provisions, jurisprudence or other details the reviewing judge would have preferred, but that does not impugn the validity of either the reasons or the result under a reasonableness analysis. A decision-maker is not required to make an explicit finding on each constituent element, however subordinate, leading to its final conclusion. In other words, if the reasons allow the reviewing court to understand why the tribunal made its decision and permit it to determine whether the conclusion is within the range of acceptable outcomes, the Dunsmuir criteria are met.
The fact that there may be an alternative interpretation of the agreement to that provided by the arbitrator does not inevitably lead to the conclusion that the arbitrator’s decision should be set aside if the decision itself is in the realm of reasonable outcomes. Reviewing judges should pay “respectful attention” to the decision-maker’s reasons, and be cautious about substituting their own view of the proper outcome by designating certain omissions in the reasons to be fateful.
As one immigration lawyer put it,Read more ›
Last updated on September 24th, 2020
Many lawyers when they meet with clients often review rejected applications and/or appeals where it is obvious that the individual’s previous representative was incompetent. The examples of incompetence range from missed deadlines to ignorance of the law. Some specific examples include:
- former counsel being told by an Immigration Appeal Division member to “sit down” because they were incompetent;
- an immigration consultant not knowing the difference between a “conviction” and a “dismissal”;
- an immigration consultant stating that the “prevailing wage = the wage paid to Canadians at the employer’s company”; and
- a lawyer filing late because “deadlines are policy, not statute.”
While the previous representative’s incompetence may serve as a ground for relief in a judicial review, cases based on incompetence and/or negligence of previous counsel are exceptionally difficult. The Federal Court’s March 7, 2014, Procedural Protocol on arguing incompetence of counsel only make these cases more challenging.
The Law on Incompetence of Counsel
As the Supreme Court of Canada stated in R v. GDB for incompetence/negligence of previous counsel/representative to count as a ground for judicial review, it must be established that (1) previous counsel’s acts or omissions constituted incompetence and (2) that a miscarriage of justice resulted from the incompetence.
The Federal Court has closely followed the above two requirements when determining whether an alleged incompetence is a ground for review. In the frequently cited case of Memari v Canada (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration), the Federal Court stated that:
…the performance component must be exceptional and the miscarriage of justice component must be manifested in procedural unfairness,Read more ›
The Federal Court has confirmed that s. 65 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act requires that the Immigration Appeal Division determine whether an applicant is a member of the Family Class before considering humanitarian & compassionate considerations (“H&Cs“).
Accordingly, people appearing before the Immigration Appeal Division in a Family Class appeal should be prepared to prove that the applicant is a member of the family class before arguing H&Cs. This is the case even if the visa officer did not make a determination, or made a negative determination, regarding membership in the Family Class.
For example, if a visa officer rejects a spousal-sponsorship application on the basis of criminality, then at the Immigration Appeal Division the appellant must be prepared to demonstrate bona fides of the relationship prior to analyzing the inadmissibility, and any H&Cs to overcome it.
Read more ›
Does the Immigration and Refugee Board (“IRB”) violate the provisions of section 7 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (the “Charter”) if it declines to postpone a hearing based on risk to life where there is a pending humanitarian and compassionate application also based on risk to life?
The above question was certified by the Federal Court in Laidlow v. Canada, 2012 FC 144, released today. The Federal Court of Appeal will soon answer the question.
The facts in Laidlow giving rise to the question were essentially that an individual had a pending H&C claim which was based on risk to life (availability of medical treatment reasons) at the time that he appeared for his refugee hearing. He asked that the refugee hearing be adjourned until the H&C application was determined. The IRB refused to do so, and heard the refugee claim, which was dismissed.
The Court’s answer to the question was that refusing to adjourn the hearing did not breach section 7 of the Charter. Relying on Poshteh v. Canada,  3 FCR 487, and Gosselin v. Quebec (Attorney General of Canada),  4 SCR 429, the Court articulated the following principles:
- A finding of inadmissibility does not engage an individual’s section 7 Charter rights. The reason is because a number of proceedings may take place before an individual reaches the stage at which his deportation from Canada may occur.
- Section 7 does not place upon the state a positive obligation to ensure that each persons enjoys life, liberty or security of the person. Rather, it restricts the state’s ability to deprive people of these.
Considering that the jurisprudence is fairly settled on the first point,Read more ›
Last updated on June 9th, 2020
Section 34(1) of Canada’s Immigration and Refugee Protection Act provides, amongst other things, that a foreign national or Canadian permanent resident is inadmissible to Canada for engaging in an act of espionage that is against Canada or that is contrary to Canada’s interests, or being a member of an organization that there are reasonable grounds to believe engages, has engaged or will engage in espionage against Canada or that is contrary to Canada’s interests. It is one of the most serious inadmissibilities in Canadian immigration law.
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada’s (“IRCC”) Enforcement Manual 2 – Inadmissibilities contains the following definitions and guidance to officers regarding how immigration officials are to determine whether someone is inadmisisble to Canada for espionage.
Espionage is defined as a method of information gathering by spying; that is, the gathering of information in a surreptitious manner, secretly seeking out information usually from a hostile country to benefit one’s own country.
Paragraph A34(1)(a) contains two possible allegations that could render a permanent resident or foreign national inadmissible to Canada for acts of espionage:
1. if the act of espionage is against Canada, or
2. if the act of espionage is contrary to Canada’s interests.
Espionage “against Canada” means espionage activities conducted by a foreign state or organization in Canada and/or abroad against any Canadian public or private sector entity on behalf of a foreign government. It may also include activities of a foreign nonstate organization against the Government of Canada, but does not include acts of industrial spying between private entities where no government is involved.
The following is a non-exhaustive list of activities that may constitute espionage that is “contrary to Canada’s interests”:
Espionage activity committed inside or outside Canada that would have a negative impact on the safety,Read more ›
On June 7, the Federal Court released its decision in Ariyaratnam v. Canada (Citizenship and Immigration), 2010 FC 608 (“Ariyaratnam“) The case involved a 28 year old from Sri Lanka whose Pre-Removal Risk Assessment (“PRRA“) and Humanitarian & Compassionate applications were refused.
The appellant argued in Federal Court that the assessing officer (the “Officer“) had a duty to consider a UNHCR report that would have bolstered the applicant’s claim (the “Report“). The Report was released a few weeks before the Officer released her decision, and the Officer did not consider it.Read more ›