Conditional Permanent Residence: What a Sponsored Spouse Needs to Know
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Conditional Permanent Residence: What a Sponsored Spouse Needs to Know

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Re-recorded on December 20, 2012 - This webinar in the Family Law Education for Women (FLEW) series is about the new immigration program called Conditional Permanent Residence, which went into......

Re-recorded on December 20, 2012 - This webinar in the Family Law Education for Women (FLEW) series is about the new immigration program called Conditional Permanent Residence, which went into effect on October 25, 2012. We will talk about the program from the perspective of the potentially negative impact it will have on women who come to Canada as sponsored spouses or partners. METRAC's Legal Director, Tamar Witelson, discusses the issues with Raoul Boulakia, a certified Immigration and Refugee Law specialist.
Watch the webinar at:
http://yourlegalrights.on.ca/webinar/Conditional-Permanent-Residence-What-a-Sponsored-Spouse-Needs-to-Know

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  • 1. Conditional Permanent Residence: What a Sponsored Spouse Needs to Know December 13, 2012 Tamar Witelson, Legal Director, METRAC Raoul Boulakia, Immigration and Refugee Lawyer, Toronto, Ontario www.onefamilylaw.ca Funded by: 13/12/2012 1 Funded by:
  • 2. METRACMETRAC METRAC, the Metropolitan Action Committee on Violence Against Women and Children  works to end violence against women, youth and children  a not-for-profit, community-based organization www.metrac.org METRAC’s Community Justice Program  provides accessible legal information and education for women and service providers f l th t ff t f di b k d focuses on law that affects women, from diverse backgrounds, especially those experiencing violence or abuse FLEW, Family Law Education for Women in Ontario  provides information on women’s rights and options under Ontario family law  in 14 languages, accessible formats, online and in print www.onefamilylaw.cay 13/12/2012 2
  • 3. Presenters Tamar Witelson Legal Director, METRAC Raoul Boulakia Immigration and Refugee Lawyer, Toronto, Ontario 13/12/2012 3
  • 4. Topics to be Covered 1 Th Old S t1. The Old System 2. The New Law 3. How to Rely on the Exception for Abuse/Neglect 4 C f W d Child4. Concerns for Women and Children 5. What To Do If Immigration Status Is At Risk 6. Additional Resources Information is accurate as of December 13, 2012 13/12/2012 4
  • 5. Th Old SThe Old System 13/12/2012 5
  • 6. The Old System Spousal/Partner Sponsorship Canadian Citizen or Permanent Resident could apply to sponsor for permanent residence:residence: • a married spouse • a common law spouse (1 year or more)a common law spouse (1 year or more) • a conjugal (marriage like) partner • a same-sex spouse/partnerp p • a spouse/partner inside or outside of Canada 13/12/2012 6
  • 7. The Old System Spousal/Partner Sponsorship Requirements:q • Genuine relationship • General admissibility of sponsored person Approximately 16% of applications were refusedrefused When application was approved, sponsored b P t R id tperson became Permanent Resident Permanent status revocable at any time if based on misrepresentation 13/12/2012 7
  • 8. Th N LThe New Law 13/12/2012 8
  • 9. The New Law Conditional Permanent Residence Amendment to Regulations under the Immigration and• Amendment to Regulations under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act • Applies to:  Sponsored spouse/partner  Married or conjugal relationship with sponsor for 2 years or less Married or conjugal relationship with sponsor for 2 years or less at time of application for permanent residence  The couple has no children together at the time of application  Applicants inside and outside Canada Applicants inside and outside Canada • In effect as of October 25, 2012 13/12/2012 9
  • 10. The New Law Conditional Permanent Residence Th diti• The condition: Sponsored spouse/partner and sponsor must co- habit in a conjugal (marriage-like) relationship for 2habit in a conjugal (marriage-like) relationship for 2 continuous years after conditional permanent residence is granted Children born after the application do not change the condition Government computer system will record when condition applies and endscondition applies and ends (Global Case Management System – GCMS) 13/12/2012 10
  • 11. The New Law Conditional Permanent Residence The consequence:• The consequence: If the spouse/partner leaves the relationship within 2 years, her permanent residence may be revoked, and She may be deported, and Any family member who became a permanentAny family member who became a permanent resident based on accompanying or being sponsored by the sponsored spouse may also have permanent residence revoked and be deported Sponsor remains financially responsible for sponsorship period, even after relationship breakdownbreakdown 13/12/2012 11
  • 12. The New Law Conditional Permanent Residence Th ti• The exceptions: 1. Death of sponsor 2 S Ab N l t2. Sponsor Abuses or Neglects: • sponsored person • child of sponsored person or sponsor• child of sponsored person or sponsor • relative of sponsored person or sponsor who lives in their home 13/12/2012 12
  • 13. The New Law Conditional Permanent Residence Th ti• The exceptions: 3. Sponsor’s relative abuses or neglects, and f il t t tsponsor fails to protect: • The sponsored person • A child of the sponsored person or sponsor • A relative of the sponsored person or sponsor who lives in their home 13/12/2012 13
  • 14. The New Law Conditional Permanent Residence • Abuse means:• Abuse means: Physical abuse Sexual abuseSexual abuse Assault Forcible confinement Psychological abuse Threats and intimidation Financial abuse, fraud, taking things by force/threat (extortion) 13/12/2012 14
  • 15. The New Law Conditional Permanent Residence N l t• Neglect means: Failure to provide necessaries of life, such as: F d• Food • Clothing • Shelter • Medical care • Failure to give anything that results in risk of serious hharm 13/12/2012 15
  • 16. The New Law Conditional Permanent Residence • EnforcementEnforcement Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC): • May do random assessments of couples • May investigate tips, complaints, anonymous reports • May require proof that the sponsor and sponsored person are complying with the 2 year condition • CIC Operational Bulletin 480 – Conditional Permanent Residence 13/12/2012 16
  • 17. H R l h E i fHow to Rely on the Exception for Abuse/Neglect 13/12/2012 17
  • 18. How to Rely on the Exception for b lAbuse/Neglect • Initial Request is made by calling CitizenshipInitial Request is made by calling Citizenship and Immigration Canada Call Centre 1-888-242-2100 (toll free)1 888 242 2100 (toll free) • Consider calling with a support personConsider calling with a support person • Provide contact information for a confidentialProvide contact information for a confidential call, where and when you will be safe 13/12/2012 18
  • 19. How to Rely on the Exception for b lAbuse/Neglect • Must provide evidence of abuse/neglect From sponsored person From any other relevant evidence, such as: Shelter or other social support person• Shelter or other social support person • Police report • Medical report • Court documents • Photographs, emails, voicemail • witness • Must provide evidence of conjugal cohabitation with sponsor until it stopped because ofwith sponsor until it stopped because of abuse/neglect13/12/2012 19
  • 20. How to Rely on the Exception for b lAbuse/Neglect • Information and evidence may be provided by  Phone, email, fax, mail • Evidence must show abuse/neglect was the reason forg relationship breakdown • Must leave the relationship and home before requestingMust leave the relationship and home before requesting the exception for abuse/neglect • Any information of abuse to or witnessed by a child• Any information of abuse to, or witnessed by a child may be reported by CIC to child protection authorities or police, with or without the mother’s consent 13/12/2012 20
  • 21. Presenters Tamar Witelson Legal Director, METRAC Raoul Boulakia Immigration and Refugee Lawyer, Toronto, Ontario 13/12/2012 21
  • 22. C f W dConcerns for Women and Children 13/12/2012 22
  • 23. Concerns for Women and Children Common Barriers to leaving an abusive relationship:p • Concern about children and custody • Fear of homelessness and poverty C t lli t d th f il b• Controlling partners and other family members • Attitudes of family, friends and community members • Not knowing legal rightsNot knowing legal rights • Not knowing about resources or how to find help • Discrimination • Comfort with English language and Canadian customs 13/12/2012 23
  • 24. Concerns for Women and Children More Barriers to Leaving Abuse for Conditional Permanent Residents: • Not knowing immigration law and personal rights • Fear of deportation for self and childrenFear of deportation for self and children • Fear of deportation without children • Fear of deportation of sponsored relatives • Burden of proving abuse/neglectBurden of proving abuse/neglect • Cost of gathering evidence, working with a lawyer 13/12/2012 24
  • 25. Concerns for Women and Children The new Conditional Permanent Residence may:y • Trap women to stay in abusive relationships for two years or longer Not knowing when condition appliesNot knowing when condition applies Not knowing about the exception Not knowing when the condition ends • Give sponsor power to threaten deportation for two years or more • Give family, friends and community members power to threaten reporting that could lead to deportation 13/12/2012 25
  • 26. Concerns for Women and Children The new Conditional Permanent Residence may:y • Create conditions of unfair demands and forced behaviour • Create conditions of fear, helplessness, guilt • Force couples to stay together despite genuine, agreed relationship breakdown • Perpetuate the stigma and stereotype of “dishonest” immigrants 13/12/2012 26
  • 27. Concerns for Women and Children The new Conditional Permanent Residence may:Residence may: • Harm children Remaining in an abusive homeRemaining in an abusive home Facing separation from a parent after deportation Facing deportation as a relative of a sponsored person 13/12/2012 27
  • 28. Wh T D If I i iWhat To Do If Immigration Status Is At Risk 13/12/2012 28
  • 29. What To Do If Immigration Status Is At Risk • Risks during Conditional Permanent Residence Sponsor can end relationship at any time, leading to revocation of permanent resident status Citizenship and Immigration Canada canCitizenship and Immigration Canada can determine the condition of permanent residence was not met Request for exception for abuse/neglect could be d i ddenied 13/12/2012 29
  • 30. What To Do If Immigration Status Is At Risk • If Compliance with the Condition ofIf Compliance with the Condition of Permanent Residence is Questioned CIC investigates Submissions may be made CIC may write an inadmissibility report 13/12/2012 30
  • 31. What To Do If Immigration Status Is At Risk • If Inadmissibilty Report is Issuedy p Hearing at Immigration Division of Immigration and Refugee Board S d h i ht t d kSponsored person has right to appear and make submissions Getting a lawyer to represent you is important 13/12/2012 31
  • 32. What To Do If Immigration Status Is At Risk • If Deportation is Ordered  Sponsored person has right to appeal to Immigration Appeal Division of the Immigration and Refugee Board  May include Humanitarian and Compassionate grounds in appeal  If sponsored person loses appeal, may ask Federal Court to judicially review the decision  Getting a lawyer to represent you is important 13/12/2012 32
  • 33. What To Do If Immigration Status Is At Risk • If Deportation is Ordered, Sponsored Person may also:  Apply for Permanent Residence based on Humanitarian and Compassionate (H&C) grounds  Consider getting legal advice about a possible Refugee Claim, if she believes she is at risk of persecution in her home country  Cannot make H&C application at same time as a Refugee Claim 13/12/2012 33
  • 34. What To Do If Immigration Status At Risk Humanitarian and Compassionate Applications Citizenship and Immigration Canada: Inland Processing Manual 5: “Officers should be sensitive where the spouse (or other family member) … leaves an abusive situation and, as a result, does not have d hi Offi h ld id th f ll ian approved sponsorship. Officers should consider the following factors: • Information indicating there was abuse such as police incident reports,g p p , charges or conviction, reports from shelters for abused women, medical reports, etc.; • Whether there is a degree of establishment in Canada; • The hardship that would result if the applicant had to leave Canada;• The hardship that would result if the applicant had to leave Canada; • The laws, customs and culture in the applicant’s country of origin; • The support of relatives and friends in the applicant’s home country; and • Whether the applicant has children in Canada or/and is pregnant.” 13/12/2012 34
  • 35. What To Do If Immigration Status At Risk F i D t ti d Child I l dFacing Deportation and Child Involved • A Canadian-born child cannot be deported Mother/significant adult can make an application for permanent residence, on Humanitarian and Compassionate (H&C) groundsCompassionate (H&C) grounds H&C applications must take into account the “best interests of the child” 13/12/2012 35
  • 36. What To Do If Immigration Status At Risk Oth C id tiOther Considerations • a person seeking sponsorship could consider:  waiting to apply until relationship is more than 2 yearsyears  waiting to apply until after a child of the couple isg pp y p born 13/12/2012 36
  • 37. Presenters Tamar Witelson Legal Director, METRAC Raoul Boulakia Refugee and Immigration Lawyer, Toronto,  Ontario 13/12/2012 37
  • 38. Addi i l RAdditional Resources 13/12/2012 38
  • 39. Resources (Domestic Violence and Abuse) For information, if your partner is abusive or violent: • Assaulted Women’s Helpline www.awhl.org  24 hours/7 days; multiple languages  Toll-free: 1-866-863-0511;
TTY: 1-866-863-7868 • Victim Services Directory www.justice.gc.ca/eng/pi/pcvi-cpcv/vsd-rsv/index.html • Abuse is Wrong in Any Language (available in 16 languages and Braille) www.justice.gc.ca/eng/pi/fv-vf/plei-vij/index.html • FLEW (Family Law Education for Women) Resources page www.onefamilylaw.ca/en/resources/ • FODF (Femmes Ontariennes et Droit de la Familles) www.undroitdefamille.ca/ 13/12/2012 39
  • 40. Resources (Domestic Violence and Abuse) For information, if your partner is abusive or violent: • Legal Aid OntarioLegal Aid Ontario www.legalaid.on.ca/en/getting/type_domesticviolence.asp  Available to every immigration status  Free telephone interpretation services for languages other than English Free telephone interpretation services for languages other than English and French  Toll-free: 1-800-668-8258; TTY: 1-866-641-8867 • Family Violence Authorization Program (Legal Aid Ontario)  Free 2-hour emergency meeting with a lawyer  Offered through some shelters and community legal clinics  Toll-free: 1-800-668-8258; TTY: 1-866-641-8867 13/12/2012 40
  • 41. Resources (Immigration) Find a community legal clinic near you www.legalaid.on.ca/en/contact/contact.asp?type=cl Community & Specialty Legal Clinics www.legalaid.on.ca/en/contact/contact.asp?type=cl  Centre for Spanish Speaking PeoplesCe t e o Spa s Spea g eop es  Metro Toronto Chinese and Southeast Asian Legal Clinic  Refugee and Immigrants Information Centre Toronto  South Asian Legal Clinic of Ontario FCJ Refugee Centre www.fcjrefugeecentre.org/  416-469-9754 Canadian Association of Refugee Lawyers www.refugeelawyersgroup.ca/ 4113/12/2012
  • 42. Resources (Immigration) Refugee Law Office www.legalaid.on.ca/en/getting/type_immigration.asp  416 977 8111 416-977-8111 Refugee Lawyers Association of Ontario www rlaontario com/www.rlaontario.com/ Canadian Council for Refugees www.ccrweb.ca/en/homewww.ccrweb.ca/en/home  514-277-7223  Directory of immigrant and refugee serving organizations in your area www.ccrweb.ca/en/links Settlement.org www.settlement.org/index.asp  I f ti d ttli i O t i Information and answers on settling in Ontario 4213/12/2012
  • 43. Resources (Immigration) Citizenship and Immigration Canada www.cic.gc.ca/english/index.asp  Call Centre Toll free: 1 888 242 2100 Call Centre Toll-free: 1-888-242-2100  TTY: 1-888-576-8502  More Contacts: www.cic.gc.ca/english/contacts/index.asp Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration (Ontario) www.citizenship.gov.on.ca/  Find information about citizenship and immigration in Ontario  General Inquiry: (416) 327-2422  Toll-free: 1-800-267-7329  TTY: 1-800-555-5559 211 Canada.ca www.211canada.ca/  Find available immigrant and refugee serving organizations in your area Find available immigrant and refugee serving organizations in your area 4313/12/2012
  • 44. Resources (Family) Assaulted Women’s Helpline www awhl orgAssaulted Women s Helpline www.awhl.org  Toll-free: 1-866-863-0511; TTY: 1.866.863.7868  Toronto: 416-863-0511 Legal Aid Ontario www legalaid on ca/en/getting/default aspLegal Aid Ontario www.legalaid.on.ca/en/getting/default.asp  Toll-free: 1-800-668-8258; TTY: 1-866-641-8867  Toronto: 416-979-1446 (accepts collect calls) Famil La Information Program (FLIP)Family Law Information Program (FLIP) www.legalaid.on.ca/en/getting/flip.asp Family Law Information Centres (FLICs) l l id / / tti /t f ilwww.legalaid.on.ca/en/getting/type_family.asp Family Law Services Centres (FLSCs) www.legalaid.on.ca/en/contact/contact.asp?type=flsc Ontario Women’s Justice Network (OWJN) www.owjn.org FLEW (Family Law Education for Women) www.onefamilylaw.ca/en/resources/ FODF (Femmes Ontariennes et Droit de la Familles) www.undroitdefamille.ca/ 4413/12/2012
  • 45. Resources (General) Law Society of Upper Canada Lawyer Referral Service www.lsuc.on.ca/with.aspx?id=697  Toll-free: 1-800-268-8326  Toronto: 416 947 3330 Toronto: 416-947-3330  TTY: 416-644-4886 Justice Net www.justicenet.ca/directory/search/  Reduced fee lawyers for low income people not eligible for Legal Aid Toolkit for a good Client Lawyer RelationshipToolkit for a good Client-Lawyer Relationship schliferclinic.com/vars/legal/pblo/toolkit.htm  Barbra Schlifer Commemorative Clinic Ministry of the Attorney General www.attorneygeneral.jus.gov.on.ca/english/  Toll free: 1-800-518-7901  TTY: 1-877-425-0575 4513/12/2012