Many people look to Canada as the best place to emigrate to, and rightly so. In the 1970s, the country embraced then Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau’s policy to promote multiculturalism, which has since resulted in the country welcoming over 310,000 immigrants in 2018 alone.
Though Canada is indeed a good place to live in especially for immigrants, it has a harsh provision in place that anybody applying for permanent residency should be aware of: the Section of 117(9) (d) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations.
What Is the “117(9) (d) Problem”
This provision imposes a lifetime ban on the sponsorship of family members who were not examined at the time of the sponsor’s immigration. Put simply, you should disclose all of the members of your immediate family during your application for residency in Canada, whether or not they will be accompanying you. Canadian law describes “family members” to include the following:
- Spouse or common-law partner
- Dependent children, whether or not they are your biological children
- Children of your dependent children.
This disclosure gives the government the opportunity to examine you and your family members. Failing to disclose the identity of any of your family members denies the Canadian government the right to examine, and risks not only their possible entry to Canada as a permanent resident in the future but also yours.
There are many reasons a foreign national would deem it necessary to hide the identity of a family member. However, there is one entirely avoidable scenario that you should be aware of: getting married while your application is in the works.
This not to say that you should avoid marrying your significant other while processing your application. Know that the Canadian Immigration process can take anywhere from a few months to two years for the application to get approved. However, do not make the mistake of hiding this significant change from the Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), or you will never be able to sponsor your spouse’s immigration, provided that you even get your own permanent residency.
Many applicants, whether through ill-informed advice or lack of information often read the provision and think that informing the CIC will only delay their application process. Depending on where you are in the application process when the marriage happened, it may take a few more documents (especially if you plan to take your new spouse with you). However, it is absolutely worth it to do so, instead of risking your own permanent residency, and the lifetime ban on your partner.
What You Can Do
While the provision is touted by others as unnecessarily harsh especially to refugees, there is a silver lining: you can seek relief on humanitarian and compassionate grounds (H&C). The H&C applications follow a much more complex legal procedure, and the approach is often specific to an applicant’s situation. In this case, you will benefit from the services of a Canadian immigration lawyer who will be able to guide you to every process.
While immigration to Canada is known to be much easier than it is for other developed nations, it’s still a fairly complex process. To avoid legal pitfalls, such as the 117(9) (d) problem, you should seek the guidance of a reputable Canada immigration agency. Doing so will help iron out any potential issues along the way, and ensure that you are doing things right the first time.
If you’re looking for professional help, please contact our immigration consultants in Toronto at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1-888-404-8472.