Tue | Sep 25, 2018

Immigration Corner | Is he too sick to apply for my child?

Published:Tuesday | March 20, 2018 | 12:00 AM

Dear Miss Powell,

My child's father is a Canadian citizen, but he is not in good health. Would it be possible for him to apply for her to live with him in Canada? She was born in Jamaica. How would he apply? I was also wondering if I could get a visa to visit him.

- J.J.

Dear J.J.,

There are several issues here. The first is the status of your child, as a child of a Canadian citizen, and whether or not you qualify to get a visitor's/temporary resident visa.

In previous articles, I outlined that some of the requirements for getting a temporary resident visa are your ability to satisfy a visa officer that you have strong social and economic ties to your home country, that you will honour the terms of the visa, and that you are not a threat to people living in Canada. Another important factor is explaining your purpose for the visit. Therefore, it will be necessary to elaborate and provide proof of the reason for your visit.

However, before you submit an application for a visitor's visa, let us examine the status of your child.

First, let me say that your child could already be a Canadian citizen even though she was born outside Canada, since her parent is a Canadian citizen. She could be deemed a Canadian citizen at birth.

The Canadian Citizenship Act has gone through a number of changes over the years and, in some cases, the amendments retroactively gave Canadian citizenship to the children of some persons who were born abroad.

In order to determine if your child is already a citizen, we will need to examine the status of her father at the time of her birth and her date of birth. She would be deemed a Canadian citizen if she was born outside Canada and her father was born in Canada, or if her father became a naturalised citizen of Canada before her birth or formal adoption.

The Canadian government has a tool known as the 'Am I a Citizen tool' on their website, that you can use to answer questions to find out whether or not your child could be deemed a citizen. You would need to answer a few specific questions about your child's birth, her parent's birth, citizenship, and marital status.

You can also request a formal assessment of your child's citizenship status from the government, if she's under 18 years old. If she's over 18 years old, then she will need to make the application herself.

 

DOCUMENTS NEEDED

 

Once you are satisfied that your child qualifies to be a citizen, you may submit an application for citizenship certificate and Canadian passport for her.

The documents that you will need are:

- Original birth certificate for your daughter. This birth certificate must name your child's father as such. If your child's father's name is not on the birth certificate, you may need to make a special application to the Registrar General of Jamaica to have his name added to the birth certificate.

- Two certified true copies of your daughter's personal identification and at least one document must have a photograph, for example, a Jamaican passport and driver's licence, depending on her age.

- Proof that her father is a Canadian citizen. That is, original or certified true copy of his birth certificate; citizenship certificate, or passport;

- Two identical photographs, taken according to the specification;

- Properly completed application for citizenship certificate (proof of citizenship);

- Document checklist;

- The required fees.

Since you are applying for a child who is residing outside Canada and the United States, you are required to submit the application and documents to the Canadian High Commission closest to where your child resides.

That means you will need to submit the application and supporting documents to the office in Jamaica for processing. There are currently two offices in Jamaica - 3 West Kings House Road, Kingston 10, Jamaica, or 29 Gloucester Street, Montego Bay, St James.

Your application will be reviewed and if you satisfy the requirements, then a citizenship certificate will be issued to your daughter. Once you have a citizenship certificate, you can use that to apply for a Canadian passport for your daughter.

You should note that each application is assessed on an individual basis and the visa office may require additional documents based on your particular situation. If you have issues or concerns, please consult with an immigration lawyer to guide you in the process.

- Deidre S. Powell is a lawyer, mediator and notary public who is a member of the Jamaican and Ontario, Canada bars, with office located in Ottawa, Ontario. Her areas of practice are in immigration, real estate, family, commercial and administration of estates. Submit your questions and comments to: Email: info@deidrepowell.com. Subject line: Immigration. Tel: 613-695-8777, Twitter: deidrespowell Facebook: jamaicanlawyer.