Immigration Policy Letting A Family Down

By Al Pace | April 17, 2015

US and Canadian Immigration Lawyer Andy SemotiukAn Egyptian family whose father recently passed away is having a tough time with the investor immigration program:

On his deathbed in a hospital in Egypt, Amr Abogabal was anxious about one thing in particular: He kept reminding his wife and daughters not to miss the expiry date on their Canadian immigration visas.

The family had been approved to come to Canada under the investor immigration program and issued papers to that effect in 2013. His heart attack last April came as they were preparing for the big move.

What they didn’t know was that their hopes for a new life in Canada hinged on the survival of Abogabal, an oil company accountant, who had made a $120,000 deposit in 2011 to qualify.

Abogabal died in April 2014, and his wife and daughters have been denied permanent residency status and lost most of their hefty deposit. They are now embroiled in a bitter battle with the National Bank of Canada to get it back.

This is a case where some common sense would go a long way.Common Sense

Given where this family was in the process already, it would seem to me that someone in the immigration department would figure out that it would make better sense to proceed with the case through the humanitarian exception under the Immigration Act. This would relieve the family of the hardship presented by the death of their father. Better to do this than to reject the family and

leave them high and dry.

The objective of the investor immigration program was met in getting the investor to invest in Canada. People got paid. The fact that the man was unable to enjoy the fruits of his labors could have been somewhat remedied by at least allowing the family to benefit. Instead, we have this article as evidence of a heartless and greedy immigration system that leaves families out in the cold while a bank and the government washes their hands of the whole thing. It isn’t right.


Andy Semotiuk is a Canadian and US immigration lawyer with immigration law firm Pace Immigration. You can learn more about Andy at My Work Visa.