Jim Metcalfe – Director of Immigration: It is always interesting and a pleasure to meet with former clients who we have been able to assist in becoming permanent residents of Canada.. It’s great to see that they have made a significant contribution to life in Canada both for themselves and their friends and family.
One such couple came to see me recently and I was reminded of their story (I’ll leave out some details in order to maintain confidentiality). The couple had been residing and working in Canada for five years without official papers. They decided to come out of the cold and consult with me about the prospects of becoming permanent residents of Canada. They were well established financially and socially, and they had an extended family that included Canadian citizens and permanent residents.
Humanitarian and Compassionate Grounds
Due to existing selection criteria, the couple did not qualify for submitting an immigration application outside of Canada. Besides, that was an impractical solution. They were already in the country. The only option available to them from inside Canada was a Humanitarian and Compassionate application pursuant to section 25.1 of the Immigration Act.
As is always the case in H and C applications, what constitutes a good case and one that would cause an immigration officer to approve it is very speculative. There is no formula that exists which allows you to predict what is a good case and what is not.
In this case there was really nothing spectacular about what the couple was doing in Canada, They were just good, hard working people who had established themselves economically and socially. However, during discussions I discovered that their two boys were both active in hockey. They played at a high level in what are called rep teams or travelling teams. Essentially, the mother described herself as a “Hockey Mom” who spent most of her time driving her boys to practices and games all over southern Ontario.
My immediate conclusion was: how more Canadian can you be than to embrace Canada’s national sport and have your two sons actively participate in it at the highest level? We prepared the application with the hockey story and included a significant number of photographs of the boys with their teammates and trophies. To our satisfaction and theirs, the application was approved without even an interview. I was mildly surprised, the applicants were very surprised, and their extended family in Canada was ecstatic.
I think the moral of the story is that you have to explore all aspects of a client’s life and their contribution to Canada when considering Humanitarian and Compassionate applications. Merely living and working without status in Canada is not enough. You have to show that you have become invested in Canada and are making a contribution to the country.
It’s not about hockey, but rather about giving back to the community and participating in activities that make you part of the Canadian fabric. My experience is that people who contribute to Canada not only economically but socially are often rewarded with being granted permanent residence in Canada in this way.