November 12, 2009
MAVI v. Canada (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration)
The appellants sponsored a relative’s entry into Canada under the family class immigration regime. As required by the relevant statutory regime, the appellants all signed undertakings in which they promised to provide for their sponsored relative’s essential needs and to ensure that their relative would not require social assistance during the sponsorship period. The Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) provides that the amount of any social assistance paid to a sponsored relative during the sponsorship period is a debt owed by the sponsor to the government and that the debt “may be recovered” either by the federal government or by the provincial government that made the payments. The appellants claim that circumstances beyond their control left them unable to honour their undertakings, and applied for a declaration that they are discharged from their sponsorship obligations.
The Ontario Court of Appeal held that Canada and Ontario have a case-by-case discretion whether to enforce sponsorship debt taking into account a sponsor’s submissions concerning the sponsor’s circumstances and those of their sponsored relative. Canada and Ontario owe sponsors a duty of procedural fairness when enforcing sponsorship debt. The duty of procedural fairness includes (a) an obligation to provide sponsors with a process for explaining their own and their sponsored relative’s relevant personal and financial circumstances; (b) an obligation to consider those circumstances; and (c) an obligation to inform any sponsor who makes submissions that their submissions have been considered and of the decision that was made.
March 20, 2008
MALKIAT SINGH GILL ET. AL. v. Canada (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration)
The Visa Officer must look beyond the mere registration in the applicant’s program of study to determine if he is engaged in his schooling in a bona fide capacity. The applicant attributed the failure of her academic year to substantial leaves of absence taken for personal reasons throughout the year, her claims substantiated by her father. The Judge agreed and concluded that these absences alone did not constitute an excessive period of time for the applicant to abandon her schooling based on the fact that she had studied with enough intensity to gain the knowledge that her classes aimed to impart upon her, and that no intention to abandon her studies existed. The Visa Officer erred in deciding that the applicant had violated section 2 of the Regulations and the Judge allowed the application.
March 30, 2008
OL UGBOYEGA GBOLAGUNTE OLADIPO v. Canada (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration)
The applicant failed to provide pertinent documentation describing his job duties and responsibilities outside Canada, and therefore did not fulfill the requirements of qualifying as a skilled worker. Even after the officer agreed to include employment experience at Verizon, regardless of its legality, and expressed concern over the lack of information, the applicant provided no documented proof. The application was dismissed.
April 3, 2008
CHOON SOO YOON ET. AL. v. Canada (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration)
Claiming reliance on one’s children does not constitute grounds for a valid H&C claim. In this case, the officer failed to grasp the applicants’ point that they rely entirely on their children and that any return to Korea would place them in an undue situation of hardship. The H&C officer made allegations that the applicants must have relatives to turn to in Korea, that their daughters have reached a point of self-sufficiency at which they can sponsor their parents, and that any separation between the applicants and their daughters would be temporary. No evidence supports these assumptions. The application was allowed.
April 3, 2008
LANG ZHENG v. Canada (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration)
A Visa Officer cannot be willfully blind in assessing an application and must act in good faith. The Officer rejected the applicant’s claim after noticing an obvious error in the latter’s education history. The respondent cited Lam v. M.C.I., (1998), 152 F.T.R. 316, which outlines a proviso with respect to the obligations of the Visa Officer and the exercise of discretion. The Judge concluded that the Officer exercised poor judgment by not asking for clarification regarding the obvious error which led to the rejection of the initial application.
April 17, 2008
MUNIRUL ALAM v. Canada (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration)
The Visa Officer did not breach the doctrine of procedural fairness by refusing to grant the applicant an extension to take the IELTS test. He had no legal obligation to grant an extension, although he could have. The applicant conducted a self-assessment of his English Language proficiency but did not undergo the IELTS test pursuant to paragraph 79(1) (a) of the Regulations, and so the Officer proceeded with the assessment of the application beginning in January-February 2007.
April 25, 2008
AHMAD REZA AZALI ET. AL. v. Canada (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration)
The duty of fairness does not require that the applicants be confronted with information which they themselves supplied. The officer discovered contradictions in visa information submitted by the applicants and concluded that they did not meet the requirements as members of the convention refugee abroad class or the country of asylum class. His decision to draw negative inferences based upon the inconsistencies in this information known to, and submitted by, the applicants did not breach his duty of fairness and was free from reviewable error. The application was dismissed.