Immigration Corner | I'm being booted
Dear Miss Powell,
I got permanent residence in Canada about five years ago and I moved there with my family and stayed a few months. However, I wasn't able to get a job, so I returned to Jamaica. I had only taken a leave of absence from my job to see if I could settle in Canada and since I didn't get a job, I went back to work in Jamaica. My wife and two children stayed. I continued to support them and went up every holiday, when I got leave, and any chance I got. I am now back in Canada and just got a good job, so I quit my job in Jamaica with the intention to stay in Canada. My permanent residence (PR) card expired recently and my wife submitted the application to renew all our cards together. My wife and children's cards were renewed, but mine was rejected. Can I appeal this decision?
When you are granted permanent residence of Canada and you receive a PR card, you have an obligation to ensure that you are present in Canada a minimum of 730 days over a period of five years in order to maintain your permanent resident status. Once you are able to establish that, then your card is usually renewed for another five years. Since your renewal application was rejected, I am going to assume that you were not able to satisfy the authorities that you met the minimum requirement.
You could appeal to the Immigration and Refugee Board and you should do so immediately, before you receive a departure order. If you receive a departure order, you may also submit an appeal.
As part of the appeal process, you will be required to provide credible explanation for your absence from Canada and urge the board to reconsider you application. You will need to show that you seriously intend to remain in Canada and will not breach the requirements in the future.
You may appeal the refusal and any departure order on the basis that you have sufficient humanitarian and compassionate grounds to overcome the breach of the permanent residence requirement. Your appeal has to be carefully prepared as Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada view these cases strictly and could deem that you did not take your residency requirement seriously and really do not see the value of your status in Canada.
You will need to provide facts, supported by documents, to show a genuine intention to integrate into the Canadian society. Part of the proof will be proof of establishment of significant ties by you and your family in Canada over the past five years. So they will need proof of payment of taxes, acquisition of property, savings, investments and overall proof that your ties to Canada are greater than your ties to Jamaica.
You said that you now have a job, so will need to present a job letter that details your role, responsibility and the amount of income that you are getting. I hope that this is not just a contract, temporary or part-time job, as if so, that will not be deemed as substantial enough to show significant establishment of connection to Canada.
Another important factor is if you are a member of a community organisation and play an active role in the viability of the organisation. So being on a committee or on the executive and providing proof could help your case.
The appeal board will look at whether your family will suffer hardship if you depart from Canada. One of the popular arguments they use is that you could apply for a visitor's visa instead of permanent residence, if you only plan on visiting your family occasionally.
The board will consider all the factors and evidence presented to see if your appeal should be granted and your permanent resident status restored.
I strongly recommend that you consult an immigration lawyer to assist you with the process. Remember that time is of the essence.
- Deidre S. Powell is a lawyer, mediator and notary public. Submit your questions and comments to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 613.695.8777.