Uploaded on

Recorded on Thursday, April 12, 2012. This webinar is Part II of a two-part review of issues related to immigration, women, and children. It discusses situations involving immigration and family …

Recorded on Thursday, April 12, 2012. This webinar is Part II of a two-part review of issues related to immigration, women, and children. It discusses situations involving immigration and family issues that may arise for non-citizen women and their children. It looks at situations such as non-citizen women with Canadian-born children, and sponsorship when relationships break down. Presenters are Tamar Witelson, Legal Director at The Metropolitan Action Committee on Violence Against Women and Children (METRAC) and Raoul Boulakia, a lawyer and certified specialist in Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship law. Those not already familiar with basic concepts related to immigration status should review Immigration, Women, and Children: Part I - Basic Concepts.

Watch an archived version at:
http://yourlegalrights.on.ca/webinar/immigration-women-and-children-part-ii-%E2%80%93-sample-situations

More in: Education
  • Full Name Full Name Comment goes here.
    Are you sure you want to
    Your message goes here
    Be the first to comment
    Be the first to like this
No Downloads

Views

Total Views
835
On Slideshare
0
From Embeds
0
Number of Embeds
0

Actions

Shares
Downloads
1
Comments
0
Likes
0

Embeds 0

No embeds

Report content

Flagged as inappropriate Flag as inappropriate
Flag as inappropriate

Select your reason for flagging this presentation as inappropriate.

Cancel
    No notes for slide

Transcript

  • 1. This webinar is brought to you by  Your Legal Rights: a website of legal  information for people in Ontario. www.yourlegalrights.on.ca Your Legal Rights is a project of CLEO and funded by the Law Foundation of Ontario.
  • 2. Please Note: The content of this webinar is based on law or  policy that was current on the date the webinar  was recorded Your Legal Rights webinars containwas recorded. Your Legal Rights webinars contain  general legal information. They are not intended to  be used as legal advice for a specific legal problem. be used as ega ad ce o a spec c ega p ob e For more information on how to find a lawyer or  to contact your local community legal clinic visit:  www.yourlegalrights.on.ca/find‐services Your Legal Rights is a project of CLEO and funded by the Law Foundation of Ontario.
  • 3. About our presenter… Tamar Witelson is the Legal Director at  METRAC. Her background includes practice in  labour and human rights law, and in Constitutional g , law for the Ontario Ministry of the Attorney  General. She was also counsel at the Human  Rights Tribunal of Ontario, and before joining g , j g METRAC was staff lawyer at the Women’s Legal  Education and Action Fund (LEAF), running an  equality rights law and information website.equality rights law and information website. Your Legal Rights is a project of CLEO and funded by the Law Foundation of Ontario.
  • 4. Immigration, Women and Children Part 2: Specific Situations April 12, 2012 f il l Tamar Witelson, Legal Director, METRAC Raoul Boulakia, Immigration and Refugee Lawyer, Toronto, Ontario www.onefamilylaw.ca 15/05/2012 4
  • 5. 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 15/05/2012 5
  • 6. Presenters Tamar Witelson Legal Director, METRAC Raoul Boulakia Refugee and Immigration Lawyer, Toronto, Ontario 15/05/2012 6
  • 7. Immigration, Women and Children Opening RemarksOpening Remarks Barriers to leaving an abusive relationship:Barriers to leaving an abusive relationship:  Concern about children and custody  Fear of homelessness and poverty  Controlling partners and other family members  Attitudes of family, friends and community members  Not knowing legal rights Not knowing legal rights  Fear of the legal system  Not knowing about resources or how to find helpg p  Discrimination  Immigration status or lack of status 15/05/2012 7
  • 8. Topics to be Covered 1. Introduction  Domestic Violence and Abuse  Non-citizens’ Rights in Family Court 2. Relationship Breakdown: Sponsored Permanent Residents 3. Sponsorship Breakdown: When Children are Involved 4. Sponsorship Breakdown: Women Who Sponsor a Partner 5. Immigration Consequences of a Criminal Conviction 6. Relationship Breakdown: Refugee Claimants 7. Travelling with Children  Custody  Abduction 8. Additional Resources Information is accurate as of April 12, 2012 15/05/2012 8
  • 9. I d iIntroduction: Domestic Violence and Abuse 15/05/2012 9
  • 10. Domestic Violence and Abuse Assess safety:Assess safety:  make a safety plan  ensure she and her children are safe Abuse can be: h i l i l physical violence  threats of harm  treatment that causes emotional or psychological suffering In most emergencies, call 911 15/05/2012 10
  • 11. Domestic Violence and Abuse For information, if your partner is abusive or violent: Assaulted Women’s Helpline http://www.awhl.org/  24 hours/7 days; multiple languages  Toll-free: 1-866-863-0511;
TTY: 1-866-863-7868 Legal Aid Ontario http://www.legalaid.on.ca/en/getting/type_domesticviolence.asp  Available to every immigration status  Free telephone interpretation services for languages other than English and French  Toll free: 1 800 668 8258; TTY: 1 866 641 8867 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 Offered through some shelters and community legal clinics  Toll-free: 1-800-668-8258; TTY: 1-866-641-8867 FLEW (Family Law Education for Women) Resources page http://www onefamilylaw ca/en/resources/http://www.onefamilylaw.ca/en/resources/ 15/05/2012 11
  • 12. I d iIntroduction: Rights in Family Courtg y 15/05/2012 12
  • 13. Rights in Family Court Example:Example:  Naseem and her husband are permanent residents, but her 3 children were born in Canada and are citizens.  She and her husband have been having relationship difficulties for awhile now, and recently he told her he is returning to his home country and leaving her and thereturning to his home country and leaving her and the kids. She does not currently have a job. She wants to make sure she gets custody of the children and support f th d f h lffor them and for herself. 15/05/2012 13
  • 14. Rights in Family Court  Every immigration status can go to Family Court (f ) Possible Family Law Issues (for Naseem)  divorce/separation  child custodyy  child support  spousal support Ri k f t t Risk for non-status persons 15/05/2012 14
  • 15. R l i hi B kdRelationship Breakdown: Sponsored Permanentp Residents 15/05/2012 15
  • 16. Relationship Breakdown: d dSponsored Permanent Residents Example:  Zina is living in Canada and she is in a common law l ti hi ith C di itirelationship with a Canadian citizen.  Her partner sponsored her and she is a permanent resident. He has always been controlling and jealous,y g j , but their problems are getting worse and she can’t take his abuse anymore. H ’ th t i t h t h d h h d t d if h He’s threatening to hurt her and have her deported if she leaves him. 15/05/2012 16
  • 17. Relationship Breakdown: d dSponsored Permanent Residents Leaving an Abusive Sponsor  If Permanent Residence has been granted:If Permanent Residence has been granted: Permanent Resident status is not affected Sponsor cannot withdrawp Government cannot remove her from Canada just because she leaves her sponsor 15/05/2012 17
  • 18. Relationship Breakdown: d dSponsored Permanent Residents Leaving an Abusive Sponsor  How she can get financial support: How she can get financial support: Sponsor’s obligations Social AssistanceSocial Assistance Look for Work 15/05/2012 18
  • 19. Relationship Breakdown: d dSponsored Permanent Residents Example:  Zina is living in Canada and she is in a common law relationship with a Canadian citizenrelationship with a Canadian citizen.  Her partner has sponsored her but the process is not complete, and she does not have legal immigrationp , g g status here. She can’t take his abuse anymore and wants to leave.  He’s threatening to hurt her and have her deported if she He s threatening to hurt her and have her deported if she leaves him. 15/05/2012 19
  • 20. Relationship Breakdown: d dSponsored Permanent Residents L i Ab i SLeaving an Abusive Sponsor  If Permanent Resident application in process/no status:status:  Sponsor can withdraw  Risk of being deported Risk of being deported  Options: f Application for Permanent Residence based on Humanitarian and Compassionate (H&C) grounds  get legal advice about a possible refugee claim get legal advice about a possible refugee claim 15/05/2012 20
  • 21. Relationship Breakdown: S d P t R id tSponsored Permanent Residents Citizenship and Immigration Canada: Inland Processing Manual 5: “Officers should be sensitive where the spouse (or other family member) of a Canadian citizen or permanent resident leaves an abusive situation and, as a result, does not have an approved sponsorship Officers should consider the following factors:sponsorship. Officers should consider the following factors:  Information indicating there was abuse such as police incident reports, 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 laws, customs and culture in the applicant’s country of origin;  The support of relative and friends in the applicant’s home country; and  Whether the applicant has children in Canada or/and is pregnant.” 15/05/2012 21
  • 22. S hi B kdSponsorship Breakdown: when Children are Involved 15/05/2012 22
  • 23. Sponsorship Breakdown: h h ld l dwhen Children are Involved Example:Example:  Zina is living in Canada and she is in a common law relationship with a Canadian citizenrelationship with a Canadian citizen.  They have a child together who was born in Canada. Her partner has sponsored her but the process is not complete and she does not have legal status here. She is scared for herself and her child, and wants to leave.  He’s threatening to have her deported if she leaves himHe s threatening to have her deported if she leaves him. 15/05/2012 23
  • 24. Sponsorship Breakdown: h h ld l dwhen Children are Involved L i Ab i R l ti hi ithLeaving an Abusive Relationship with a Child If P t R id li ti i i If Permanent Residence application is in process:  he can withdraw sponsorship; she can be deported  a Canadian born child cannot be deported a Canadian-born child cannot be deported  she can make an application to stay, on Humanitarian and Compassionate (H&C) grounds  H&C applications must take into account the “best interests of the child” 15/05/2012 24
  • 25. Sponsorship Breakdown: h h ld l dwhen Children are Involved Best Interests of the Child Factors:Best Interests of the Child Factors:  Child’s physical, emotional, social and cultural welfare  Child’s age  Dependency between child and H&C applicant  Child’s establishment in Canada  Child’s medical or special needs Child’ d ti (i / t f C d ) Child’s education (in/out of Canada)  Child’s gender (if relevant in another country) 15/05/2012 25
  • 26. Sponsorship Breakdown: when Children are Involvedwhen Children are Involved Best Interests of the Child Considerations:  Immigration officials should consider ALL children affected by H&C application  Can’t assume young children will adapt to changeCan t assume young children will adapt to change  Can’t avoid the issue as the parent’s decision to take or leave child in Canada  Medical or community supports to support parenting of Medical or community supports to support parenting of child should be considered 15/05/2012 26
  • 27. S hi B kdSponsorship Breakdown: Women Who Sponsor ap Partner 15/05/2012 27
  • 28. Sponsorship Breakdown: hWomen Who Sponsor a Partner E lExample: Zina has sponsored her partner, he is abusing her, d h t t land she wants to leave  she can leave the relationship  if his application is in process, she can withdraw asif his application is in process, she can withdraw as sponsor  if his permanent residence is granted, she must fulfill the sponsor’s obligationssponsor s obligations  if he goes on social assistance, it is likely she will have to repay the government 15/05/2012 28
  • 29. I i i CImmigration Consequences of a Criminal Conviction 15/05/2012 29
  • 30. Immigration Consequences of a Criminal Conviction Example:Example:  Tanya and her boyfriend have been together for many years. Their relationship has always been difficult and at ti i l t Th l t ti th d th i hbtimes violent. The last time they argued, the neighbours called the police and Tanya ended up in the hospital. Th li h h d h b f i d ith lt The police have charged her boyfriend with assault even though Tanya didn’t want them to. Tanya’s boyfriend is a permanent resident. He has sponsored h b t h i till iti t b ther, but she is still waiting to become a permanent resident. 15/05/2012 30
  • 31. Immigration Consequences of a Criminal Conviction C f No risk to Canadian citizens, regardless of country of origin Unless citizenship based on fraudUnless citizenship based on fraud  Permanent Residents Permanent Residents Can be deported if convicted of “serious” crime 15/05/2012 31
  • 32. Immigration Consequences of a Criminal Conviction When police get involved:When police get involved:  police may check status  if she has no status, police may inform immigration If sponsor is convicted and deported:  and her sponsorship is incomplete her application is and her sponsorship is incomplete, her application is at risk 15/05/2012 32
  • 33. Immigration Consequences of a Criminal Conviction Example:Example: The police have charged Tanya’s boyfriend with assault. They are both permanent residents.y p  Permanent Residents: Are not at risk if their partner is deportedAre not at risk if their partner is deported If police lay dual charges, immigration status may be at risk from a criminal conviction If partner reports/lies that her permanent residence was based on fraud, immigration status may be at risk 15/05/2012 33
  • 34. Presenters Tamar Witelson Legal Director, METRAC Raoul Boulakia Refugee and Immigration Lawyer, Toronto,  Ontario 15/05/2012 34
  • 35. R l i hi B kdRelationship Breakdown: Refugee Claimantsg 15/05/2012 35
  • 36. Relationship Breakdown: f lRefugee Claimants E lExample:  Esther fled her home country and came to Canada seeking refugee protection She is part of an ethnic andseeking refugee protection. She is part of an ethnic and religious minority that is being persecuted in her home country.  While she was waiting for her refugee claim to be dealt with, she started living with her boyfriend who is a Canadian citizen He has a temper and is verballyCanadian citizen. He has a temper and is verbally abusive. She wants to leave him. 15/05/2012 36
  • 37. Relationship Breakdown: f lRefugee Claimants R f Cl iRefugee Claim:  Is not directly affected by her relationship or by leavingleaving  Esther’s boyfriend could contact immigration officials to undermine information in her refugeeg claim 15/05/2012 37
  • 38. Relationship Breakdown: f lRefugee Claimants Example:Example:  Esther and her husband fled their home country and came to Canada seeking refugee protection. Theircame to Canada seeking refugee protection. Their refugee claims are connected and her husband has been handling most of the details. The stress has taken a toll on their relationship and he gets very angrytaken a toll on their relationship, and he gets very angry with her for small things. He is verbally abusive and threatens to hit her. She wants to leave him. 15/05/2012 38
  • 39. Relationship Breakdown f lRefugee Claimants J i t R f Cl iJoint Refugee Claims:  She should get her own lawyer Ask previous lawyer for file regarding her claim Ask previous lawyer for file regarding her claim  Discuss domestic abuse with lawyer  Was she forced to agree or sign anything? Was she forced to agree or sign anything?  Does she fear husband or family in home country?  May cooperate with husband in a joint hearing  Her lawyer may ask for separate hearings 15/05/2012 39
  • 40. Relationship Breakdown: f lRefugee Claimants Example:  Esther fled her home country with her husband and children and came to Canada seeking refugeechildren and came to Canada seeking refugee protection. Their refugee claims are all connected and her husband has been handling most of the details. The stress has taken a toll on their relationship and he gets very angry with her for small things. He is verbally abusive and threatens to hit her. She wants to leaveabusive and threatens to hit her. She wants to leave him. 15/05/2012 40
  • 41. Relationship Breakdown: f lRefugee Claimants Refugee Claims Including Children: Child ill d D i t d R t ti Children will need a Designated Representative  Usually a custodial parent  Relative/Friend/Social worker/Lawyer Relative/Friend/Social worker/Lawyer  Designated Representative chooses lawyer for children 15/05/2012 41
  • 42. T lli i h ChildTravelling with Children 15/05/2012 42
  • 43. Travelling with Children Example:Example:  Lucia and her husband are both permanent residents. They have a child together, and are recently separated. It was messy and they are not on good terms.  She has sole custody of their child, and he has access. H i till d h f t l tti hi He is still very angry and accuses her of not letting him see their child. She wants to visit her family back home, but does not know what she has to do, so that the child can travel with her. 15/05/2012 43
  • 44. Travelling with Children If you have custody:  Carry a copy of your custody order or agreement Carry a copy of your custody order or agreement  Get a notarized letter of permission from the other parent, if possible  Find out the laws about child custody in the home country 15/05/2012 44
  • 45. Travelling with Children If you have custody (continued):If you have custody (continued):  Ensure you have all travel documents for you and the childrenand the children  Ensure you all have a Permanent Resident Card, valid on the return dateCard, valid on the return date  Check whether the amount of time abroad will affect permanent residence or delayp y citizenship application 15/05/2012 45
  • 46. Travelling with Children Example:Example:  Lucia and her husband are both permanent residents. They have a child together, and are recently separated. It was messy and they are not on good terms.  She has sole custody of their child, and he has access. L i i i d th t h h b d i i t t k Lucia is worried that her husband is going to take the child out of Canada and not come back. 15/05/2012 46
  • 47. Travelling with Children Child Abduction  It is easier to prevent an abduction than to recover a child Precautions: Get a clear, detailed custody order or agreement, y g It should say that the child cannot travel outside of Canada without your permission It can say that you or the court holds the child’s or other parent’s passport 15/05/2012 47
  • 48. Travelling with Children Child Abduction  Precautions (continued): Get detailed travel informationGet detailed travel information, plans, people and places where the child will be Keep a recent picture of your child Teach your child how to makeTeach your child how to make a long distance, collect call 15/05/2012 48
  • 49. Travelling with Children Child Abduction  Response: C t t th l l liContact the local police Contact an immigration lawyer Contact the Consular Affairs Bureau in CanadaContact the Consular Affairs Bureau in Canada • 1-800-387-3124 or 1-800-267-6788 • (24 hours/7 days a week)( y ) 15/05/2012 49
  • 50. Travelling with Children Child Abduction  The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction may apply if:  You have legal custody of the child You have legal custody of the child  The child is under 16 years old  The country where the child was taken has signed the Hague Convention  For more information:  http://www.voyage.gc.ca/publications/child- abductions_enlevements-enfants-eng 15/05/2012 50
  • 51. Presenters Tamar Witelson Legal Director, METRAC Raoul Boulakia Refugee and Immigration Lawyer, Toronto,  Ontario 15/05/2012 51
  • 52. Addi i l RAdditional Resources 15/05/2012 52
  • 53. Resources (Immigration) Find a community legal clinic near you http://www.legalaid.on.ca/en/contact/contact.asp?type=cl Community & Specialty Legal Clinics http://www.legalaid.on.ca/en/contact/contact.asp?type=cly p y g  Centre for Spanish Speaking Peoples  Metro Toronto Chinese and Southeast Asian Legal Clinic  Refugee and Immigrants Information Centre Toronto  South Asian Legal Clinic of Ontario South Asian Legal Clinic of Ontario FCJ Refugee Centre http://www.fcjrefugeecentre.org/  416-469-9754 Canadian Association of Refugee Lawyers http://www.refugeelawyersgroup.ca/ Refugee Lawyers Association of Ontario http://www.rlaontario.com/ Settlement.org http://www.settlement.org/index.asp  Information and answers on settling in Ontario 211 Canada.ca http://211canada.ca/  Find available immigrant and refugee serving organizations in your area 5315/05/2012
  • 54. Resources (Immigration) Legal Aid Refugee Law Office http://www.legalaid.on.ca/en/getting/type_immigration.asp  416-977-8111 Citizenship and Immigration Canada http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/index.asp  Call Centre Toll-free: 1-888-242-2100  TTY: 1-888-576-8502  More Contacts: http://www cic gc ca/english/contacts/index asp More Contacts: http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/contacts/index.asp Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration (Ontario) http://www.citizenship.gov.on.ca/  Find information about citizenship and immigration in Ontario  G l I i (416) 327 2422 General Inquiry: (416) 327-2422  Toll-free: 1-800-267-7329  TTY: 1-800-555-5559 Canadian Council for Refugees http://ccrweb.ca/en/home  Directory of immigrant and refugee serving organizations in your area http://ccrweb.ca/en/links  514-277-7223 5415/05/2012
  • 55. Resources (Family) Assaulted Women’s Helpline www.awhl.org  Toll-free: 1-866-863-0511; TTY: 1.866.863.7868  Toronto: 416-863-0511 Toronto: 416 863 0511 Legal Aid Ontario http://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) Toronto: 416 979 1446 (accepts collect calls) Family Law Information Program (FLIP) http://www.legalaid.on.ca/en/getting/flip.asp Family Law Information Centres (FLICs) http://www.legalaid.on.ca/en/getting/type family.aspFamily Law Information Centres (FLICs) http://www.legalaid.on.ca/en/getting/type_family.asp Family Law Services Centres (FLSCs) http://www.legalaid.on.ca/en/contact/contact.asp?type=flsc FLEW (Family Law Education for Women) http://www.onefamilylaw.ca/en/resources/FLEW (Family Law Education for Women) http://www.onefamilylaw.ca/en/resources/ Ontario Women’s Justice Network (OWJN) www.owjn.org 5515/05/2012
  • 56. Resources (General) Law Society of Upper Canada Lawyer Referral Service http://www.lsuc.on.ca/with.aspx?id=697  Toll-free: 1-800-268-8326  Toronto: 416-947-3330  TTY: 416-644-4886 Toolkit for a good Client-Lawyer Relationship http://schliferclinic.com/vars/legal/pblo/toolkit.htm  Barbra Schlifer Commemorative Clinic Barbra Schlifer Commemorative Clinic Ministry of the Attorney General http://www.attorneygeneral.jus.gov.on.ca/english/http://www.attorneygeneral.jus.gov.on.ca/english/  Toll free: 1-800-518-7901  TTY: 1-877-425-0575 5615/05/2012
  • 57. This webinar was brought to you by  Your Legal Rights: A website of legal informationYour Legal Rights: A website of legal information  for people in Ontario For more information visit Your Legal Rights at  www.yourlegalrights.on.ca For more public legal information webinars visit: www yourlegalrights on ca/trainingwww.yourlegalrights.on.ca/training