In response to the Government of Canada’s notice of its new public policy regarding the ramifications of unjust regulations on undeclared family members dated September 6, 2019, KIS Migration is sharing these insights to guide potential applicants on how to sponsor their initially undeclared family members.
In brief, foreigners must declare their relatives when applying for permanent residence including family members who are not coming to Canada. Per paragraph 117(9)(d) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR), sponsors aren’t allowed to sponsor their family members who were not declared or examined when the sponsors became permanent residents.
The purpose of the legislation is to prevent misrepresentation and ensure that the family members would not render the applicant ineligible or inadmissible.
Public policy on sponsoring undeclared family members
On September 9, 2019, the Immigration Refugees Citizenship Canada (IRCC) introduced a 2-year pilot project via a temporary public policy to help some immigrants sponsor close family members excluded under the IRPR.
Newcomers who failed to declare immediate family members as they first came to Canada were barred to sponsor them. Today, we right that wrong.Ahmed Hussen, Minister of IRCC
The lifelong sponsorship ban has been a subject of controversy since it took effect in 2002; an effort to deter fraud. Many stakeholders like the Canadian Council for Refugees voiced concerns about the very broad and harsh effects of paragraph 117(9)(d) of the IRPR.
Their reasons for doing so include fear of endangering the family member, gender-based oppression, lack of information, and unexpected life events. The regime set out in R.117(9)(d) is overbroad, excessive, and inflicts devastating harm on vulnerable people, especially children.
For those who had legitimate reasons for not disclosing a family member, the only remedy possible is to request an exemption from R.117(9)(d) on humanitarian and compassionate grounds. However, this process is expensive, lengthy, and inconsistent – very often putting it beyond the reach of the Regulation’s most vulnerable victims.Brief on undeclared family members by the Canadian Council for Refugees
Sponsorship of undeclared family members
Since the launch of the pilot program, some sponsors may be able to sponsor undeclared family members as long as they did not make the sponsors ineligible or inadmissible to immigrate to Canada.
Further, sponsors who immigrated to Canada as refugees, protected persons or were sponsored as a close family member can now sponsor previously undeclared or unexamined immediate family members (spouses, common-law partners or dependent children) as they benefit from the exemption.
Finally, sponsors must apply via the normal process to sponsor a spouse, partner or child to reunite with their families.
Read more about this pilot program on the IRCC’s website.
Information provided in this article does not constitute immigration advice. Only authorised representatives are allowed to assist applicants with immigration and citizenship services for a fee. In addition, immigration laws, regulations, and policies are changing constantly.
If you need help with the assessment of your case, then obtain sound advice from Mrs. Katharina Kontaxis, RCIC. Only with a proper case strategy can you reach your goal of Canadian permanent residence or citizenship.
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