Sun | Sep 24, 2017

Immigration Corner | I have a child with a Canadian resident

Published:Tuesday | July 12, 2016 | 7:00 AM

Dear Ms. Powell,

I met a man on the beach a few years ago who said he was a Canadian citizen.

I took him home with me, where he spent the rest of his vacation with me. I showed him all of Jamaica and we had a wonderful time. After he left, I realised that I was pregnant. I told him about the child and he sends money every now and again. Can he sponsor our daughter to be a citizen? I asked him to sponsor her and he said he can't. What would prevent him from making the application? What can I do to make sure my child has a good life? She looks so much like him. I think she would have better opportunities in Canada. What can I do?

- A.W.

Dear A.W. ,

Only citizens and permanent residents of Canada over the age of 18 are permitted to sponsor family members to Canada. Family members, under Canadian laws, include dependent children under the age of 19 years old. The definition of who is deemed to be a child was changed in August 1, 2014, from the previous limit of 22 years. Canadian citizens and permanent residents can also sponsor other family members, such as spouses, common-law or conjugal partners, parents and other relatives, if they can satisfy certain requirements.

In order for your daughter's father to sponsor her, he would have to meet certain specified requirements such as:

1. Ability to provide for her financially.

2. Provide a police certificate.

3. Be in good health.

4. Be willing to sign a commitment agreement stating that he will provide support for her and not cause her to seek financial support from the government.

5. Other requirements based on the details of your case.

There are certain factors which could make him ineligible. You will need to ask him these questions:

1. Is he, in fact, a citizen or

permanent residence of Canada?

2. Can he provide you with a copy of his birth certificate, citizenship card, citizenship certificate or permanent resident card?

3. Has he or someone he sponsored breached the terms of a previous sponsorship?

4. Has he failed to provide financial support in accordance with a court order?

5. Has he received social assistance for reasons other than disability?

6. Has he committed a criminal offence of a sexual nature, or involving violence against a family member?

7. Has he defaulted on an immigration loan?

8. Is he now in prison?

9. Has he declared bankruptcy?

 

Children of Canadian Citizens

 

If your child's father was a Canadian citizen before the birth of your child, then he may have the option of not just sponsoring your child, but he can make an application for your child to become a permanent resident or citizen, based on how he got his citizenship and the date when your child was born.

The Canadian laws and immigration system are constantly changing; however, a key fact to note is that if your child was born before April 17, 2009, then your child is deemed to be a Canadian citizen at birth and you will only need to submit all the relevant documents in order for the child to receive Canadian citizenship.

For children born after April 17, 2009, the rules are different. A child born outside of Canada, whose parent is a Canadian citizen, does not automatically become a citizen unless the parent was employed by certain Canadian government departments.

There could be several factors that affect whether or not your child's father can sponsor or apply for your daughter to become a Canadian citizen or permanent resident. I strongly recommend that you both consult with a Canadian immigration lawyer to guide you.

• Deidre S. Powell is a lawyer, mediator, and notary public who is

admitted to practise in Jamaica and Canada. Submit your questions and comments to

info@deidrepowell.com.

Find her on Facebook: jamaicanlawyer.

Call 613-695-8777 or

876-922-4092.