When Charles decided to sponsor his parents to Canada, he never imagined it would turn out this way. He is close to his parents and they visit him here often since they don’t require a visa to enter Canada.
In 2004, and long before his children were born, Charles thought it wise to begin the lengthy process of sponsoring his parents to Canada. He is a Canadian citizen, makes enough money to qualify as a sponsor, and thought it a good idea for his parents to apply for the right to live in Canada with their son, daughter-in-law and, hopefully, any future grandchildren.
His parents were here three years ago to witness the birth of their first grandchild, Daniel, and again last year for the birth of their second grandchild, Michelle.
Naturally, these trips were extremely memorable and allowed the children an opportunity to know their grandparents and to bond with them. His parents always looked forward to spending time with their loving grandchildren.
In February, the Canadian embassy asked the couple to repeat the medical examinations they had underwent in 2009 which had since expired. After a long seven-year wait, it finally looked like the processing of the application was about to be completed.
When Charles’ mom was being examined, she advised the immigration doctor that she was taking pills prescribed by her doctor for a heart condition. The immigration doctor ordered a follow-up medical with a local cardiologist.
In June, the couple received a letter from the Canadian embassy saying that Charles’ mom has a mitral valve disease and that it was reasonable to conclude that this condition will continue to progress and deteriorate, requiring ongoing management by specialists in cardiology and cardiovascular surgery. They were given two months to provide further documentation which might lead immigration authorities to reconsider their finding that Charles’ mom was medically inadmissible to Canada.
In spite of the further medical information the family submitted to the embassy in response to this letter, the application for permanent residence was formally rejected in July.
Given the fact that Charles’ mom never suffered a heart attack nor was ever hospitalized for this condition, this refusal came as a profound disappointment to the family. But what was really unexpected was the following passage which was contained in the refusal letter:
“This inadmissibility may also extend to any stay in Canada as a visitor … [and you] should therefore not attempt to enter Canada without seeking advice from a Canadian visa office.”
Charles felt shocked and betrayed by the prospect that his mom would not be allowed to even visit Canada anymore. He and his parents did everything right. They applied from abroad, waited patiently for seven years, told the truth, and now they are in a far worse position than when they started. He was upset that his mom wasn’t even offered the opportunity to undergo any surgery or treatment abroad that might be needed to address any medical concerns as a precondition to the granting of permanent residence.
His parents visited often, always with health insurance, and never overstayed. Now his mom may not be able to spend her vacations visiting the grandchildren she has become so attached to. Her confidence is shaken and Charles is worried that his mother is too afraid to hear what immigration officials might tell her at the Canadian embassy.
What was supposed to be a plan of family reunification has now turned into a potential nightmare for this family.
This outcome was not at all anticipated.
Guidy Mamann, J.D. practices law in Toronto at Mamann Sandaluk LLP and is certified by the Law Society of Upper Canada as an immigration specialist. For more information, visit www.migrationlaw.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org