In July 2019, Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) announced that they would waive the application of s.117 (9)(d) in certain limited cases.
Let us examine s.117 (9)(d) of IRPR- a foreign national shall not be considered a member of the family class by virtue of their relationship to a sponsor if (d) subject to subsection (10), the sponsor previously made an application for permanent residence and became a permanent resident and, at the time of that application, the foreign national was a non-accompanying family member of the sponsor and was not examined.
Under the new policy, IRCC will exempt from the application of 117(9)(d) those who immigrated as: a resettled refugee, after being granted refugee protection in Canada, as a dependent of a resettled refugee/protected person or after being sponsored as a spouse, common-law partner, conjugal partner or dependent child.
This pilot project will last two years starting September 9, 2019 to September 9, 2021.
What happens to those who already submitted the sponsorship application before the pilot starts? Good news, because if they are eligible for the pilot, the application will not be refused.
I had several consultations regarding undeclared family members; before the announcement of the new pilot there was nothing that I could do except suggest that if they had legitimate reasons for not disclosing a family member, the only remedy possible is to request an exemption from R117 (9)(d) on humanitarian and compassionate grounds. But this process is expensive, lengthy and provides no guarantee of the approval of the application.
I understand that R117 (9)(d) was introduced in 2002 to fight fraud and misrepresentation based on the presumption that failure to disclose is motivated by the deliberate intention to deceive. The impact of such a regulation is a lifetime ban on reuniting families. In most cases, it’s the children who have been affected by this regulation. They should not suffer as a result of this regulation since it is not their fault that their parents failed to declare them in their permanent residence application. The children suffer the worst as a result of this regulation. They are separated from family members at an age when being with family is crucial, and in many cases, they are left behind in situations where they are exposed to abuse and neglect.
We commend the Government of Canada with the introduction of this new pilot. It shows their commitment to make family reunification one of Canada’s core immigration priorities.
Quote from the Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship “Newcomers who failed to declare immediate family members as they first came to Canada were barred from sponsoring them. Today, we right that wrong. No worker should fear losing their job when they are being mistreated in their place of work. No partner should be more fearful of losing their immigration status instead of escaping abuse. Today, we say, fear no more.”
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Source: Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulation (IRPR)
A word of caution: You should not act or rely on the information provided in this column. It is not legal advice. To ensure your interests are protected, retain or formally seek advice from a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (RCIC) in good standing of ICCRC. The views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect those of RCICs.