In all immigration applications, Citizenship and Immigration Canada requires that specific documents be submitted. The documents required depend on the type of application a person is making. If an applicant forgets to put in a required document, Immigration can refuse that person’s application.
Last fall, the federal court decided the case of Chowdhury v. the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration. In this case, Ms. Chowdhury needed to prove her relationship to family in Canada. When her application was submitted her mother’s birth certificate was missing. This was important as it was needed to show the link between Ms. Chowdhury and her uncle in Canada.
In this case, the Immigration Officer refused Ms. Chowdhury’s application even though the officer had a copy of Ms. Chowdhury’s uncle’s Canadian permanent resident card, affidavit birth certificate and family tree.
In arguing her case, Ms. Chowdhury argued that she gave a copy of her mother’s birth certificate to her immigration consultant but that when the consultant submitted the application, the birth certificate was missing. Ms. Chowdhury indicated that this should have made the immigration officer communicate with her that the birth certificate was missing before refusing the application.
In this case, the judge found that the immigration officer should have given Ms. Chowdhury an opportunity to provide the missing birth certificate. However, while Ms. Chowdhury was successful in this case, the judge made his finding on the basis that a letter in the immigration application from Ms. Chowdhury’s uncle referenced that a birth certificate was supposed to be included. Because it seemed clear to the judge that everyone thought the birth certificate was to be included the judge found that the officer should have given Ms. Chowdhury an opportunity to get that document. However, if there been no reference to the birth certificate in the package, the officer could have been within the law to refuse the application on the basis of missing documentation.
Clearly, it is important that all information needed for an immigration application be submitted at the beginning. As well, it is also important that whenever documentation is submitted in an application, it be referenced in the package of materials in the event it gets lost or misplaced by an Immigration Officer.
This Article is prepared for general information purposes only and is intended to provide comments for readers and friends of the Filipino Journal. The contents should not be viewed as legal advice or opinion.
Reis is a partner with Aikins Law and practices in the areas of immigration law. His direct line is 957-4640. If you would like to know more about Reis or Aikins you can visit the firm’s web page at www.aikins.com, follow Reis on Twitter at http://twitter.com/#!/ImmigrationReis, or connect with him on LinkedIn at http://www.linkedin.com/in/reispagtakhan